Regional

Call for more support for bereaved families in Samoa in wake of measles crisis

Almost six months since the measles epidemic in Samoa, a senior counsellor is calling for better support systems from government and communities for families who lost loved ones to the disease. Eighty-three people died during the...

Rehabilitative programmes top list for Kiribati corrections reforms

Rehabilitative programmes top the list for reforms within Kiribati’s corrections system. Local parole board members and corrections staff have been in New Zealand discussing the reforms and ways to improve their work. The tour is part of the Pacific parole partnership. Compared to Kiribati, New Zealand’s parole board is a behemoth with almost 10,000 cases...

PNG and Tonga teams get second shot at Rugby World Cup

Papua New Guinea and Tonga will put their Rugby World Cup hopes back on the line in this weekend’s Oceania women’s repechage qualifier. Tonga withdrew from the Oceania Championship three months ago after the team was [https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/403831/tonga-women-forced-from-oceania-cup-over-measles-concerns quarantined for measles] but were thrown a lifeline after World Rugby agreed to a revised qualification process. Fiji...

Eurocentric view of climate change failing to recognise impacts in Pacific – researcher

A colonial eurocentric view of climate change is failing to recognise many of the threats and impacts in the Pacific, says a researcher. For her PhD thesis at the University of Waikato, Jessica Pasisi spoke to 12 women from a range of ages and backgrounds on Niue for their take on how climate change is...

PNG’s PM warns of risk in deciding on Bougainville too soon

Papua New Guinea’s prime minister has warned of the risks in having Parliament deliberate on the Bougainville referendum result too soon. James Marape, speaking in New Zealand, where he is on a four-day visit, has reiterated the need for time to allow PNG to process the result. An overwhelming majority of Bougainvilleans voted for independence in their recent non-binding...

24th February

Samoa proposes end to direct flight to Fiji

Direct flights between Samoa and Fiji could soon be a thing of the past as the Samoa government moves to close down the route. The Samoa Observer newspaper reported the measure was endorsed by Cabinet earlier this month in an apparent move to promote the use of the country’s airline, Samoa Airways in the Fiji-Samoa route. Currently...

PM’s Fiji, Aus visits highlight differing climate change approaches

The Prime Minister heads to Fiji and Australia this week to meet with her counterparts, where very different conversations are expected on climate change. In the case of Fiji, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama is a strong advocate for action that will reduce global warming, not only in the Pacific but globally. But in Australia, a...

Warning for Niue cancelled as Cyclone Wasi dissipates

The tropical cyclone warning previously in force for Niue is now cancelled. The Fiji Meteorological Service said a gale warning previously in force for Niue was now cancelled. Tropical Cyclone Wasi, which affected both American Samoa and Samoa over the weekend, drastically lost strength overnight as it moved southeast towards Niue. There were fears the...

Newcomers advance to OFC Champions League knockout rounds

Debutants Eastern Suburbs and Galaxy FC have advanced to the OFC Champions League quarter finals at the expense of two former regional winners. New Zealand domestic title holders Eastern Suburbs thrashed defending champions Hienghène Sport 4-0 in their final Group A clash on Saturday to top the standings with eight points from three games. Uruguayan...

Residents stranded after Cyclone Wasi floods rivers in Samoa

Some residents on the Samoan island of Savai’i are stranded due to rivers flooded by the weekend’s Cyclone Wasi. Although there were no casualties or major building damage reported due to the cyclone, some rivers and roads remained flooded. The Samoa Observer reported two rivers on Savai’i, Mali’oli’o River and Sasina Fiord rose to dangerously high levels...

Marape seeks more PNG numbers in NZ seasonal work scheme

Papua New Guinea’s prime minister says he will work to enable more young people from his country to come to New Zealand for seasonal work. James Marape made the comment yesterday at T&G apple orchard in the Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand, where he is on a four-day state visit. A number of Papua New...

Samoa qualify for World Rugby Under 20 Trophy

Samoa has qualified for the World Rugby Under 20 Trophy after thrashing Tonga 36-0 in the Oceania qualifier at Apia Park. The home side ran in five unanswered tries in wet conditions and managed to keep the kingdom scoreless despite being reduced to 13 players for a brief period in the second half. Samoa first...

22nd February

Solomons’ central bank looking into new anti-scam legislation

The Central Bank of Solomon Islands says legislation specifically targeting scams, such as ponzi schemes, is needed in the country. That comes as the bank reiterates its warning to the public about an ongoing ponzi scheme called One Link Pacifica. Despite being registered it as a fishing company, One Link Pacifica’s promoters have been taking cash deposits...

Australian state mulls nation’s first gay ‘conversion therapy’ ban

KUALA LUMPUR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – An Australian state is considering the nation’s first ban and jail sentences for so-called gay conversion therapy, a bid that has sparked division more than two years after the country legalised same-sex marriage. The northeastern state of Queensland introduced a bill in November that would prohibit conversion therapy, with...

Niue hunkers down for Cyclone Vicky; new storm for Samoas

Niue is preparing for the arrival of Cyclone Vicky, which is due to pass close to the island as at least a category two storm on Saturday night (Friday, local time). The cyclone was about 300km northeast of the island on Saturday morning, with winds gusting as high as 100km/h — but forecasters warned that...

Pacer Plus set to come on stream later this year – Cooks Deputy PM

The trade deal known as Pacer Plus will have immediate benefits for the Cook Islands when it comes into force later this year, says the Cooks’ deputy prime minister. The Australia and New Zealand-led deal was signed in 2017, although two of the region’s biggest economies, Papua New Guinea and Fiji, have refused to join....

French Polynesia takes further measures against coronavirus

French Polynesia has suspended, for one month, the work permits of locally-employed Chinese workers who are currently in China. The move is the latest in a raft of measures aimed at stopping the coronavirus emanating from Wuhan from entering French Polynesia. Travellers who since the start of the year have been to any of Asia’s...

Church urges PNG PM to discuss refugees with NZ govt

The Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea has called on the prime minister to discuss resettling Manus Island refugees in New Zealand. James Marape arrived in New Zealand today for a four day state visit. The general secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG, Giorgio Licini, wrote to Mr Marape in January to remind him...

‘This is our home’: Samoa court issues eviction order for Sogi families

Samoa’s Supreme Court has issued an order supporting the eviction of families living on government land in Sogi village. The Samoa Lands Corporation has been trying to move families to new settlements at Tafaigata and Falelauniu for years. Several families have already left but the 20 members of the Tokuma family are still occupying part...

Chronic nursing shortage in Pacific of rising concern

The growing nursing shortage in the Pacific is sparking conversation over the industry’s future in the region. Heads of nursing and midwifery from 13 countries and territories across the Pacific met for the first time in Fiji last week to discuss health emergencies and education. Other topics included the mobility of workforces between countries especially...

EU gives €3m for Pacific public health

The European Union has given $US3.2 million to the Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network for a new project strengthening health security in the region. The Pacific Community’s director of public health, Dr Paula Vivili, said it was the first time the EU had contributed to the network. The four year project is commencing at a...

Samoa places blanket ban on cruise ship visits

Samoa has issued a blanket ban on all cruise ships wanting to visit as part of its on going prevention plans against the novel coronavirus. In the latest travel advisory issued by the Ministry of Health on Friday, it said all cruise ships will not be granted entry into Samoa until further notice. All other...

New Zealand PM Ardern will visit Fiji next week

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will visit Fiji next week. It will be the first time a New Zealand Prime Minister has visited Fiji in four years and comes during the 50th anniversary of Fiji’s independence. Ms Ardern says Fiji is New Zealand’s largest trading partner in the Pacific, visited by 200,000 New Zealand...

NZ and PNG pledge closer relations

New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have pledged to work together more closely at a leaders summit in Auckland. PNG prime minister James Marape began his four day state visit to New Zealand with bilateral discussions with his New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern. Ms Ardern said while PNG was an important partner to New Zealand,...

Cyclone Vicky rapidly weakens, but another storm threatens Samoa, Niue

While one cyclone warning for Niue has been withdrawn another tropical depresssion could impact the island later this weekend. Former cyclone Vicky is now to the southwest of Niue after rapidly weakening earlier this morning. But tropical depression TD10, which is to the west of Samoa is expected to intensify later today. The Fiji Meteorological...

Cyclone Wasi the latest to hit Samoa

The Fiji Met Service has identified another cyclone near Samoa, naming it Cyclone Wasi. It is the second cyclone in two days to have formed in the same area. At noon today category one Wasi was located to the northwest of Apia and moving southeast. Wasi is expected to pass Samoa, intensifying to a category...

21st February

‘Plague that’s hit our country’

RAROTONGA, 21 FEBRUARY 2020 (COOK ISLANDS NEWS) – Cutting the drink-drive limit to 250mcg is a stopgap measure, but the real solutions will come from our homes, families and communities. We have all lost people to drink-drive tragedies, we have all made mistakes. Now, says Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna, it’s time to learn...

Vanuatu MPs’ allowances under spotlight 

PORT VILA, 21 FEBRUARY 2020 (VANUATU DAILY POST) – Vanuatu Members of Parliament (MPs) will be more cautious on how they use their entitlements now that the people of Vanuatu know how much money the Parliament is giving them to serve their constituencies. People know very little how much their elected representatives are getting, but...

PM Marape attends roundtable discussions at the Israel-Pacific Island Leaders’ Summit

NADI, 21 FEBRUARY 2020 (PNG GOVT) – Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape, attended roundtable discussions at the Israel-Pacific Island Leaders’ Summit in Nadi Thursday. In his intervention points, he acknowledged the Government of Fiji through Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama for hosting the first meeting and thanked the people and Government of Israel for...

Solomon Islands Government loan deal from China exposed

HONIARA, 21 FEBRUARY 2020 (SOLOMON STAR) – Leaked information exposed the Solomon Islands government’s attempts to acquire a loan of USD$100 billion (SBD$800b) from a private businessman in China after switching diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China in September 2019. According to corresponding information sighted by Solomon Star newspaper, the Minister of Finance Harry Kuma...

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