Regional

PNG and Total sign LNG deal

Papua New Guinea has reached an agreement with French company Total on a planned second major LNG gas project in the country. PNG’s prime minister Peter O’Neill announced the agreement at a major business meeting...

French Polynesia opts for sugar tax

French Polynesia has decided to introduce a sugar tax to counter soaring rates of diabetes. The health minister Jacques Raynal has told the public broadcaster a 25-percent tax will be levied from next year on all sugary drinks as well as foods with hidden sugar. The tax revenue will be used exclusively for health promotion...

Firm makes $US30m from Nauru centre in seven months

The Human Rights Law Centre in Australia says it’s appalling that the Australian company running the offshore processing centre on Nauru is profiting from abuse. Canstruct has disclosed it made a profit of more than US$30 million from the centre in seven months. Canstruct’s sole contract is with the Australian government to provide garrison and...

Work visa scheme to be opened to PNG

CANBERRA, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 (AAP) – Australia is preparing to offer Papua New Guineans the chance to work here under the Pacific Labour Scheme. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is heading to PNG on the weekend for the APEC summit, said the scheme would be progressively rolled out to all Pacific island countries, with Tonga...

Papua officials concerned about high death rate at hospitals

IRIAN JAYA, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – In the past four years, Papua’s main hospital recorded five times more annual deaths than the national average. A survey published this year in Tempo reported that from 2013 to 2017, 2,393 patients died at Jayapura Public Hospital, the highest number in Indonesia. It’s almost double the...

Arrests in New Caledonia over attacks on motorists

NOUMEA, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – Six people have been arrested in New Caledonia over clashes north of Noumea last week. The men aged up to 30 are suspected of being behind the stoning of vehicles along the coastal road near Paita which was briefly closed. Reports say five motorists were injured during the...

16th November

American Samoa election results official

PAGOPAGO, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC)—The American Samoan election results have been declared official. The Elections Office no challenges had been received by the close off on Tues after the poll on 6 November. The incumbent US Congresswoman, Aumua Amata, garnered a total of 83.3 percent of the votes. None of her challengers got more...

Cocaine yet to be destroyed in Solomon Islands

HONIARA, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 (SOLOMON STAR) – Solomon Islands Police are yet to destroy the million dollars worth of cocaine that was seized from a yacht in Honiara in September. Speaking to media personnel at the weekly commissioner’s conference Thursday, supervising police commissioner Juanita Matanga said they are continuing with their investigation on the case....

China says nobody can stand in its way in Pacific island cooperation

BEIJING, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 (REUTERS/AP)—No country can block China’s cooperation with island nations in the Pacific and the area is no country’s sphere of influence, a senior diplomat said, ahead of a summit between President Xi Jinping and Pacific island leaders. Australia, in particular, has been vying for influence with China in sparsely populated Pacific...

2018 General Elections: Final results from 1027 polling stations

AS of 7pm tonight, a total of 47 per cent of the polling venues have been accounted for along with three boxes of postal ballots. Fiji’s Supervisor of Elections (SOE) Mohammed Saneem said this was why the total number of polling venues had increased from 2170 to 2173. With the latest result in official mode...

‘$20 million tax-free for MPs’

HONIARA, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 (SOLOMON STAR) – Solomon Islands Members of Parliament (MP) will walk away with their untaxed $400,000 (US$49,684) each terminal grant when the 10th Parliament comes to its natural death in few weeks. Minister for Finance and Treasury, Manasseh Sogavare told Parliament when he moved the 2018 Supplementary Appropriation Bill (No.2) 2018...

Pacific island nations want more say in APEC

PORT MORESBY, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 (SBS) – The leaders of small Pacific island nations are demanding a greater role in a key Asia-Pacific forum meeting this weekend. Australia, New Zealand and PNG are the only south-western Pacific members of APEC, while other island leaders have been invited for the first time as observers. Samoan prime...

On Guam, approval for foreign labor unrelated to military projects took years

HAGÅTÑA, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 (THE GUAM DAILY POST) – JMI-Edison is the first Guam company in nearly three years to receive approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for its petition to bring 22 skilled foreign workers to Guam under the H-2B visa program to work on a nonmilitary-related construction project. Greg Massey, the...

Palau urges Taiwan to boost business ties, tourism

KOROR, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 (PACIFIC NOTE) – Koror- Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. urged the Taiwan government to boost business ties and tourism with his country to further strengthen the two nations’ “friendship.” This was among Remengesau’s key messages during the state banquet hosted by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. “In the area of economic development,...

Making waves in West, China luring Pacific islands with Belt and Road

PORT MORESBY, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 (REUTERS) – President Xi Jinping will showcase China’s Belt and Road initiative to Pacific leaders at a regional summit on Friday, diplomats say, with Western countries watching warily for signs of Beijing’s growing clout. The competition for influence between China and Western allies Australia, New Zealand and the United States,...

Attempt to attack PM Tuilaepa during Samoa Airways launch

APIA, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 (SAMOA OBSERVER) – A video has surfaced of an attempt to attack Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi in Brisbane, Australia. The video, shared online by ET Live, surfaced overnight from the official launching of Samoa Airway’s Faleolo to Brisbane flights, marking the airline’s first birthday. It shows Tuilaepa addressing the...

Pacific European Union Marine Partnership launched

NOUMEA, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – The Pacific European Union Marine Partnership was launched today in New Caledonia The EU has allocated €35 million (US$39 million) and Sweden €10 million (US$11 million) for the five year programme that seeks to improve economic, social and environmental benefits from fisheries for the 15 Pacific countries involved....

Pacific island leaders to meet with President Xi

PORT MORESBY, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 (POST COURIER) – About 12 Pacific Island nation leaders are already in Port Moresby ready for the 2018 APEC Leaders Meeting. Federated States of Micronesia President Peter Christian, Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and Niue Premier Sir Toke Fufukia Talagai arrived with their entourage on Wednesday. On Thursday Cook Islands...

Ambaeans will face challenges on return to island, resident says

An Ambae evacuee says residents are preparing to face potential food and water shortages, destroyed crops and a lack of infrastructure on their return to the Vanuatu island. James Bari, who is a Penama Province councillor, has been living on Santo since the government ordered an evacuation of the approximately 10,000 people living on Ambae...

PNG health and education suffer in Budget – economist

Papua New Guinea government allocations to the health and education sectors have reduced substantially in the last several years, an economist says. The 2019 Budget, released this week, was bigger than last year, boosted in part by a lift in resource earnings. But the expected deficit is also high at $US545 million dollars, or two...

Pacific European Union Marine Partnership launched

The Pacific European Union Marine Partnership was launched yesterday in New Caledonia. The EU has allocated €35 million and Sweden €10 million for the five year programme that seeks to improve economic, social and environmental benefits from fisheries for the 15 Pacific countries involved. The programme is being implemented by four regional agencies including the...

Sand mining plan opposed in Palau

A Japanese company’s plan to dredge an unlimited amount of sand in northern Palau for the next 50 years poses serious threats to the environment and peoples’ livelihoods, an NGO says. The Executive Director of environmental group Ebiil Society, Ann Singeo, said the venture between the Ngarchelong State Government and the Japanese RAM Corporation was...

China seen as key for reducing illegal logging in Melanesia

Civil society is looking at China as the best bet for reducing illegal logging in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. PNG is China’s single largest supplier of timber, large quantities of which come from illegal operations. A policy advisor with the environmental and anti-corruption NGO Global Witness says PNG’s government has largely failed to...

Type 2 diabetes rising in Auckland children

Research from New Zealand shows an increasing number of under-15-year-olds are being diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, which used to be considered an adult disease. The study, which analysed 21 years of patient records, also show rates for Māori and Pacific children are up to 18 times higher than for Pakehā children. Craig Jeffries, from Auckland’s...

15th November

Tokelau elders aggrieved that investigation report withheld

The release of a report from an investigation into the alleged misuse of millions of dollars of government funds in Tokelau has been delayed by a pending legal case, the territory’s leader says. It’s been a year since Jovilisi Suveinakama and Heto Puka were fired from Tokelau’s public service, over their role in the purchase...

France gives Tahiti site for nuclear memorial

The French National Assembly has voted to give French Polynesia a building in Papeete for a memorial site of the French nuclear weapons tests. The decision means that the site of the former command complex of the French Navy in Papeete will be made available for this new centre. The public accounts minister Gerald Darmanin...

Samoa PM coy on Airline’s financial performance

APIA, 15 NOVEMBER 2018 (SAMOA OBSERVER) –  Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, says reporters “don’t understand” financial records and therefore there is no need for Samoa Airways to reveal the state of its financial performance a year after it was launched. This is what Tuilaepa told the Samoa Observer at the Faleolo International...

Community input key to New Zealand Pacific Economy report

AUCKLAND, 15 NOVEMBER 2018 (NZ GOVT)— A new Treasury report on the contribution of Pacific peoples to the New Zealand economy shows the good work emerging from the Treasury’s consultation with Pacific communities, says Secretary to the Treasury Gabriel Makhlouf. The New Zealand Pacific Economy report was launched by Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and...

Valuable drug haul in Tonga

NUKU’ALOFA, 15 NOVEMBER 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – Tonga police have charged a 41-year-old man with the possession of 464 grams of methamphetamine. The man was arrested early on Wednesday in Kanokupolu. The drug has an estimated street value of US$198,000 The Commander of the Central Police Station, Tevita Vailea, said the police continue to focus...

NZ governmentt launches new vision for Pacific communities

WELLINGTON,15 NOVEMBER 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC)—The New Zealand government has a new vision for Pacific communities in New Zealand. For the first time in almost 20 years the Ministry for Pacific Peoples met with 350 Pacific community leaders from around New Zealand to announce the new vision with the Pacific Aotearoa Lalanga Fou Report. The vision...

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