Regional

More funding committed for maritime safety programme

New Zealand’s maritime safety agency has committed US$6.3 million over three years to improve safety at sea in the Pacific. The Maritime New Zealand programme was set up in 2012 following a number of disasters,...

Reduced penalty for US company over American Samoa death

A US fishing company has had its penalties for negligence reduced after it contested the findings of the occupation safety regulator. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration had initially fined Cape Ferrat Fishing more than $US19,000 for three serious violations. It followed the death of a ship’s captain in American Samoa last year. But the...

Marshall Islands auditor’s office swamped with fraud reports

The Auditor General in the Marshall Islands says his office is being swamped with reports of government fraud. Junior Patrick told parliamentarians last week there has been a significant increase at local and national levels as well as at the country’s overseas missions. Mr Patrick said his office did not have enough staff to investigate...

Northern Marianas passes law legalising cannabis

The Northern Marianas has become the first US territory to legalise the use of cannabis. It is also the first US jurisdiction to legalise the drug through a legislature, rather than a public-initiated ballot. The law, signed by Governor Ralph Torres yesterday, legalises marijuana possession for all adults older than 21. Home grown cannabis will...

Retirement age raised in French Polynesia

French Polynesia’s assembly has voted to raise the retirement age from 60 ot 62. The decision was backed by the 39 members of the 57-strong assembly and came against a backdrop of a general strike by five of the territory’s unions. The reform project had been tabled in April but was abandoned during a general...

Call for consultation in PNG as plans for an Australian navy base are raised

A former Papua New Guinea military commander says any proposal to create an Australian military base there should be debated in parliament. Australian media have been reporting that its government is hoping to establish a naval presence at the PNG Navy base on Manus Island. It would be, in part, an effort by Canberra to...

NZ seal seventh OFC U16 title

New Zealand sealed their seventh straight OFC Under 16 Championship title at the weekend after beating Solomon Islands in a penalty shootout following a goal-less draw at Lawson Tama Stadium. Goal-keeper Alex Paulsen was the hero in Honiara as he made two penalty saves to ensure New Zealand gained revenge for their heavy 5-0 defeat...

Kanak custom on two-week exhibition in Suva

THE COUTUME Kanak (Kanak Custom) exhibition is an introduction talking mainly about territory, social structure and what the society is for the indigenous people of New Caledonia. This was highlighted by Artist and Photographer Sebastien Lebegue in an interview with this newspaper today. Lebegue has worked on these pieces for the past five years. “We...

Samoa court officer gets suspended sentence for owning crack pipe

A court officer in Samoa has been given a 12 month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to owning a crack pipe. The Samoa Observer reports Mene Junior Su’a was caught by a senior ministry official whose cheque book had been stolen by Mr Su’a and used to buy methamphetamine. Mr Su’a told his superior two other...

Jacinda Ardern rejects Trump’s call for war on drugs

New Zealand will not be signing the United States’ document calling for global action on the war on drugs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Ms Ardern is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, along with about 140 other world leaders. US President Donald Trump is kicking off his week at...

Among leaders making U.N. debut: a new mother with baby in tow

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – At the United Nations this week, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has to contend with some daunting challenges – her debut before world leaders and the sleep schedule of her 3-month-old baby. The 38-year-old Ardern has made global headlines since coming to power last October when she became only the...

Spotlight on gender bias in Tongan police force

POLICE in Tonga are hoping to improve their own behaviour with the introduction of gender bias training. Superintendent Ashley Fua says the Women and Children Crisis Centre helped run a workshop for 28 recruits addressing core questions of fairness, equity and equality and how they treat women. He said an earlier session revealed gender bias...

PIANGO commends Futuna traditional leaders’ decision to disallow seabed mining

THE Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO) has praised the decision of the traditional elders of the Pacific island of Futuna for disallowing any work related to seabed mining in their waters. The traditional kingdoms on Futuna had stated that their decision, expressed at a meeting in Futuna with French delegates sent to explain...

Students walk out of school over principal’s truancy comments

More than 100 students walked out of a Hamilton high school this morning in protest after the principal said truants are more likely to wind up being a rape victim. Principal Virginia Crawford told a Fraser High School assembly last week that truants were also more likely to go to prison and commit or be...

Leaders commit to collective action for a strong Pacific

LEADERS of the Pacific Islands Forum have reaffirmed their commitment to working together for a strong Blue Pacific region that is secure, peaceful, and prosperous, enabling its people to live free, healthy and productive lives. The 2018 Forum Leaders Communique, released after the Forum Leaders Retreat in Nauru, commits the forum to working for sustainable...

Plans for a Cook Islands high commission in Fiji

THE Cook Islands government plans to establish a high commission in Fiji in a bid to gain more interaction with key partners and expand on trade and economic opportunities. This was announced by the Cook Islands Finance Minister Mark Brown while delivering his 2018/19 budget address for the island nation recently. According to Mr Brown,...

Remote Marshall Islands atoll plans to become the ‘next Hong Kong’

  MAJURO, 21 SEPTEMBER 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – More than 5,000 kilometres away from his home in the Marshall Islands, the Mayor of Rongelap atoll, James Matayoshi, addressed hundreds of entrepreneurs, government officials and politicians in Hong Kong. There, at the Asia World Expo in April, he unveiled his grand design for Rongelap, a remote...

Vanuatu, China must develop their tourism links: VTO Chairman

PORT VILA, 21 SEPTEMBER 2018 (VANUATU DAILY POST) – Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) Chairman, Robert Avio, said Chinese tourism market is another potential for Vanuatu tourism industry and that the present Government will continue to support and develop strategies and mechanisms to allow more Chinese tourists on Vanuatu shores. Chairman Avio made the statement when...

Japanese development aid funding splits Pacific unity on key WHO post

AUCKLAND, 21 SEPTEMBER 2018 (ASIA PACIFIC REPORT) -The Western Pacific post for the World Health Organisation (WHO) is a vitally important role for the region. However,earlier unity over a strong Pacific candidate has slipped. All the headlines at last week’s Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru were political so the upcoming nomination and election next month...

New Cook Islands patrol boat big boost for police

RAROTONGA, (COOK ISLANDS NEWS) – The Cook Islands Police Service hopes to take delivery of its new patrol boat in 2022. By then, 14 new vessels are scheduled to have been completed for handover to the Pacific countries under the Australia Government’s Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (PPB-R) Programme. The Replacement Programme is valued at AUD$335...

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