February 2013

Cover story

Politics heats up in New Caledonia

Nic Maclellan

New Caledonia’s next Congressional elections will not be held until May 2014, but it seems like the electoral campaign has already begun.

Selling nickel to Asia

Nic Maclellan

New Caledonia’s nickel industry is being transformed as new joint ventures and exports to Asia challenge France’s control of the strategic minerals sector.

Views from Auckland

Can Obama’s green promise hold candle to Big Oil?

Dev Nadkarni

In his second and final stint at the helm of the world’s most powerful country, President Barack Obama can afford to go for broke. He does not have to deal with any possibility of a re-election and knows this is his opportunity to give his best shot at fixing things ...

We Say

Rising suicide rate among islanders

New Zealand, more particularly Auckland, has been the dream destination for Polynesian Pacific islanders for more than two generations now. Historical ties between the Polynesian islands from well before they became independent states 30 to 50 years ago have established a deep connection between the people of Samoa, Tonga, Niue ...

Raising the Pacific’s profile

Fiji will take on its role as chair of G77—a significant group of developing nations from across the world—this year. It was elected to the post on September 28 last year at the United Nations in New York.

Promoting Pacific art and culture

February and March are two months that have become important months for many things Pacific—particularly arts, crafts and culture—in the islands’ two big industrialised neighbours, Australia and New Zealand. Being the first significant events after the extended year-end holiday period, they bring with them a certain freshness and a sense ...



Pacific Update

Fighting corruption

Alfred Sasako

As the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) scales down its operation, the country it came to rescue 10 years earlier from a deadly ethnic social uprising appears to be tethering on yet another.

Goodbye Sir Holloway

Rowan Callick

Between World War II and Papua New Guinea’s independence in 1975, the best of a generation of Australians, some still teenagers, travelled to the remotest corners of their country’s big tropical colony to administer vast areas and populations of PNG as magistrates, police chiefs, road and bridge builders, health and ...


Australia/PNG see-saw relationship

Rowan Callick

After a few years when Papua New Guinea and its neighbour and former coloniser Australia seemed to have drifted apart, recently the relationship has intensified immensely.

Testing Taiwan’s patience—Round 2

Alfred Sasako

It was around 2002/2003— when Solomon Islands was in the middle of a bloody and costly ethnic crisis, engulfing the nation and was tearing it apart.

Pacific youth at risk to silent killer

Peter Rees

An alarming rise in suicides and the first reported suicide of a youth under nine years of age has rallied New Zealand’s Pacific community into taking ownership of a social issue that has left many grieving families searching for answers.

Litigation answer to maintenance of democracy?

Bob Makin

It may have something to do with the split personality of the condominium which saw the concurrent existence and legality of three separate legal codes in one jurisdiction.


What lies ahead for the Forum?

Dr Roman Grynberg

The last three years have certainly been amongst the most difficult in the history of the Pacific Islands Forum.


Time ticks for Marianas to zero out foreign workers

Haidee V. Eugenio

If and when the United States secretary of Labor decides not to extend the federal immigration transition period beyond Dec. 31, 2014 in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), then the foreign worker population is supposed to be zeroed out by Jan 1, 2015.

Debate over proposed tax revamp begins in Marshalls

Giff Johnson

The Marshall Islands could see a revamp of a tax system that it has employed for more than a quarter of a century if the Nitijela (parliament) backs legislation recently introduced to the body.

Australia to pay islands for hosting asylum seekers

Dr Satish Chand

Nauru, an island nation spanning 21 square kilometres located on the equator and in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, is a desolate place to a foreigner.

Can PNG convert growth into development?

Stephen Howes

Papua New Guinea experienced yet another year of high growth in 2012: GDP growth over the past 10 years has averaged close to 6 percent.

Fisheries negotiations under time pressure

Giff Johnson

Although last year produced agreement about how much money will be paid for US vessels to fish in the Pacific, there are still many hurdles to leap before a new US Pacific tuna treaty arrangement can be approved, say fisheries officials in the Marshall Islands.

Arts & Culture

Islands culture fuels success

Giff Johnson

What is remarkable in modern urban planning in the Pacific islands—everything from education and health to economic development—is the lack of appreciation for cultural skills and pride as key foundational building blocks for success.


Mobile, social media key to developing Pacific

Dionisia Tabureguci

Using mobile telephones to leapfrog development initiatives through innovation has long been done in most developing countries, especially in Africa and Asia. Now, it is somewhat slowly taking root in the Pacific.


Climate change adaptation

Rebecca McNaught

In the December issue of Islands Business, an article titled “Climate Change in a Coconut Shell” looked at the recent climate negotiations meeting in Vanuatu, rightly making the case that getting help to people in need must be the first priority.

Kevin Iro: An unlikely ocean champion

At first glance, Kevin Iro seems a somewhat unlikely ocean champion. Raised in Auckland, Iro had a successful career in rugby, playing for clubs in England, Australia and New Zealand. But off the rugby field, Iro developed a strong passion for the ocean starting as a young boy, when his ...

Loss and damage mechanism

Diane McFadzien, Espen Ronneberg and Ewan Cameron

Pacific Islands Countries have long been advocating for strong reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the impacts of climate change.


Tracking development progress

At the start of the 15-year journey towards the Millennium Development Goals (2000–2015), the absence of relevant and reliable statistical benchmarks was the norm rather than the exception in most Pacific Islands Countries.

Business Intelligence

Tourism courses not tailored to meet industry needs: report

The tourism industry in the region believes that courses offered by regional institutions are not tailored to meet the vast needs of the industry.

Chathams Pacific withdraws, Real Tonga takes off

Robert Matau

Tonga’s domestic air travellers have been assured they won’t be affected when the current domestic airline Chathams Pacific pulls out in March. A new locally owned domestic airline would take over servicing Tonga’s domestic routes, Tonga’s Deputy Prime Minister Samiu Vaipulu has confirmed.


What pensioners can expect under the new scheme

Dionisia Tabureguci

A mere $5 a month from the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) as pension annuity payout for some of its members is almost a joke. But this has long been the harsh reality for the nation’s only superannuation fund that caters for the country’s working population.

RAMSI Update

Atenasi Ata-Wasuka: Leader in waiting?

Working with RAMSI on governance reforms has only heightened Atenasi Ata-Wasuka’s interest in playing a direct role in taking her country forward.