In a novel that is set one thousand years into the future, in AD 3001 to be precise, my favourite science fiction author, the late Arthur C Clarke, has an interesting character—a scientist who has Japanese first and last names but who is brown skinned, yet has Caucasian features, Afro ...
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Views from Auckland
‘It is time Australia stood up and took some touch decisions on the boat people problem, even if it risks the opprobrium of humanitarian groups in the process. It should be prepared to wear that criticism if it promises a result in the end. But involving smaller, powerless nations to ...
‘PNG’s leaders need to do everything they can to lift large numbers of people from the bottom rungs of society. Businesspeople setting up new ventures are already beginning to say that the much touted fact that the country is a market of 7 million that will soon grow to 10 ...
‘One such innovative project made the headlines in the Pacific region last month but did not receive the news coverage it deserved. A small island in Fiji officially became the first certified organic island in the country—perhaps even in the region’
Whispers is compiled and edited by Laisa Taga. If you have any Whispers, please contact is on firstname.lastname@example.org
Who said nation rebuilding would be easy? Definitely not the Solomon Islands, where the July 24 date marked the 10-year anniversary of the Regional Assistance Mission to the country, known as RAMSI for short, and branded under ‘Helpem Fren’.
The European Commission has hit back hard at Pacific ACP states for refusing to negotiate fisheries’ conservation measures at their recent negotiations for a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that ended in Brussels on July 5. While the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific based in Suva is ...
Unpopulated white sand beaches lapped by lazy swells from a turquoise lagoon are a trademark of the Marshall Islands’ 1200 plus coral islands. Is this Maldives East, a tourist Mecca? Could be. But the only problem is the government airline’s multi-million dollar losses—which ballooned this year—have produced such a record ...
With an estimated 400 people descending on Majuro in early September for the Pacific Islands Forum meeting, the capital city’s hotels and apartments will be taxed to the limit. The country has fewer than 200 hotel rooms, so local organizers are tapping into numerous apartments to supply needed space.
With a drought disaster in the northern islands from December last year and storm surges flooding parts of Majuro in late June, Marshall Islands officials believe they are getting a taste of the predicted future climate change today.
For 13 years, the Marshall Islands has patiently waited for the U.S. Congress to reply to a petition seeking more nuclear test compensation. The lack of a response prompted the now-retired Representative Gary Ackerman from New York City to criticize the U.S. government’s response to its nuclear legacy in the ...
The emergence of smaller groupings within the 16-member Pacific Islands Forum states is not a sign of fragmentation, but one that adds great value to the regional organisation, so says the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS). The reassurance comes as Forum Islands Leaders, minus Fiji, prepare to travel to Majuro, ...
The 44th meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), comprising the 13 islands nations (less suspended Fiji) plus Australia and New Zealand, will take place in Majuro, the capital of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) next month. What should we expect from this annual jamboree of our leaders this ...
The harsh geographical realities and isolation of this region of islands nations have made regional development integration and cooperation a necessity. At the core lies our shared sovereignty—among us and with other players in today’s global village—and our shared ideals.
In August 1863, the schooner Don Juan arrived in the Brisbane River, carrying 67 islanders to work on the Queensland cotton plantation of businessman Robert Towns. The Don Juan’s landfall in Australia marked the start of the blackbirding era, where more than 60,000 Melanesians were coerced, kidnapped or indentured to ...
Only months after Papua New Guinea seems to have settled their damaging social issue of sorcery, a damning international report in July alerted that the country is fast carving a name as a haven for sex trafficking of women and children.
“After 12 months, I feel like I’m only just getting warmed up!” As he closes off a year at the helm of the region’s highest-level body, Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna has only just arrived in Honiara—and he is already packing his bags to leave.
The inaugural meeting of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) held early this month heralds a new dawn for Pacific regionalism. The PIDF is the most significant addition to the regional architecture for cooperation since the formation of the MSG.
As I stood with the crowd on the embankment on the eastern side of Lawson Tama Stadium on Monday 8 July to watch the spectacle of the Solomon Islands 35th Independence anniversary celebrations, I could not help myself but think of what could have been.
Whatever implication the word ‘tax haven’ has on the credibility of a country, Cook Islands is not amused at recent allegations that it fits the ‘tax haven’ description.
Many people of long experience in PNG’s coffee industry are very concerned at the decline in annual yield. Following a 20-year period where PNG shipped an annual average of 1 million export bags, there is a definite decline in production.
The “Finance-factor” stands out as a wildcard in discussions last month surrounding the integration of work to tackle two major forces that affect countries in the region—climate change and natural disasters. Just how the funding structure will pan out is a bit of a grey area at this point, as ...
Pacific Islands exist in a climate of change. Not just the long-term climate change we hear a lot about, but also season-to-season and year-to-year changes that can cause large swings in rainfall and sea level, among other things.
The Choiseul Integrated Climate Change Programme (CHICCHAP) in the province of Choiseul, Solomon Islands, was the subject of much discussion during the first joint meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable held in Nadi last month.
Tonga says it will make do and explore other options if New Zealand continues to suspend its tourism aid to the island kingdom.
A remedial and upgrading programme on Vanuatu’s airports totalling A$350 million is expected to begin soon following an agreement signed between the Vanuatu government and a Singapore company. Under the programme, remedial work will be carried out on Bauerfield Airport; Pekoa Airport on Santo upgraded; plus improvement works on Norsup ...
A company hoping to build a US$350 million submarine internet cable out of New Zealand is eyeing Whangarei as its landing site. Auckland-based Hawaiki Cable is planning to build an internet link between New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and the US West Coast and said that the system could be operating ...
Thirty-five years after the mysterious deaths of an American couple on their sailboat in French Polynesia, we may finally know what happened to Loren and Joanne Edwards. The FBI labelled it a “Crime on the High Seas: Murder”, but closed the case without filing charges.
Fiji Business Cover story
Money, they say, is the root of all evil. For something ever so elusive and always changing hands, the power it has on many is as baffling as it is curious. A little overboard, the obsession can and has turned many ordinary people into criminals.
- Fri 06 Dec - Fisheries: CONSENSUS or vote.
- Fri 06 Dec - Fisheries: CONSENSUS or vote.
- Fri 06 Dec - Switzerland: ICRC presents ambitious yet realistic budget to meet growing needs in 2014
- Fri 06 Dec - South Africa: “Climate-smart” agriculture needed to steer food security through changing weather, Ban says
- Fri 06 Dec - USA: UN chief pays tribute to life and legacy of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela