Cover story

August 2014

Tokelau’s energy options

Samisoni Pareti

With almost all their electricity supply sourced from the sun, the 1,400 islanders of Tokelau are a living testament to what the German-born but English economist the late E F Schumacher advocated in his book ‘Small is Beautiful’ in 1973. Dumping finite fossil fuel for solar energy is saving the ...

July 2014

Multi-million dollar Fiji airport upgrade

Samisoni Pareti

Nadi International Airport will receive a massive $102 million facelift to give it an attractive and modern look as part of plans to create a striking impression of the South Pacific’s most integral airport.

Palau – where size doesn’t matter

Samisoni Pareti

Not counting the 400 or so volcano-uplifted little limestone islands that make up the spectacular Rock Islands, Palau is small. With a population of 21,000 living in the islands’ 16 states, the island republic does live up to the Greek meaning of the name of the cultural grouping it belongs ...

June 2014

The rush to Fiji’s elections

Robert Matau

By first June, the countdown clock on the Fijian Election Office’s official website would read 107 days to poll day. That website actually breaks it down to number of hours, minutes and seconds to 17 September, which has been officially declared a public holiday to allow Fiji’s 550,262 registered ...

Andre Dang

At his office in Noumea and on a trip to the Vavouto smelter, Andre Dang spoke to Nic Maclellan about the origins of SMSP, negotiations with corporate partners, his ongoing battles with ERAMET and his vision for local control of the nickel industry. Excerpts from the interview:

Mr. Nickel

Nic Maclellan

It’s just days before New Caledonia’s elections and Andre Dang is angry. The conservative majority in the Southern Province Assembly has allocated exploration rights for two major nickel deposits at Prony and Pernod. The President and CEO of the Société Minière du Sud Pacifique (SMSP) is not impressed that two ...

May 2014

Fiji-born entrepreneur lands a logical acquisi tion

Dev Nadkarni

Suva born New Zealand technology entrepreneur Daven Naidu has acquired the entire national chain of Apple Computer retail stores across New Zealand. His Auckland based company Logical Systems, which also operates in Fiji, bought out all the YooBee stores, which sell Apple computers besides a wide range of other high ...

The day the gods took over

Alfred Sasako

There was nothing unusual about the heavy rain that began to pound Honiara on Wednesday April 2. Other parts of the country had been pelted by the heavy rain, causing flash flooding as well as extensive damage to roads, bridges and food gardens. In Honiara, Police Sergeant William Foufaka was ...

Patrick Beni – the 10 year-old hero who lost it all

Alfred Sasako

Ten year-old Patrick Beni was home that fatal Wednesday morning. Like other children of his age, he did not go to school due to the inclement weather, with non-stop rain almost all weekend. His mother was asleep in her bedroom of the rented home on the foothills of the Koa ...

A nameless deadly storm

Alfred Sasako

It left as quickly as it came. And despite it being nameless, the storm that whipped up flash floodings on April 2 had left a swathe of destruction in its wake in Honiara and across the nation. Authorities were caught napping. Today, as outpourings of financial and in-kind support flood ...

April 2014

New constitution is the key, says Fiji’s new military chief

Robert Matau

The new head of Fiji’s military Brigadier General Mosese Tikoitoga says the country’s new constitution should stay if there is to be no more coups in Fiji. In an exclusive face-to-face interview with Islands Business magazine at the office of the Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces inside ...

Tukuitonga at the helm New boss of SPC sets out to fine-tune the Pacific’s largest organisation

Samisoni Pareti

With three out of four deaths in the Pacific today caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the islands’ most immediate concern is NCDs and not so much HIV-AIDS. That is the view of the new chief of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Dr Colin Tukuitonga and it reflects the ...

March 2014

Climate ‘line in the sand’

Sean Hobbs*

“The 2007 IPCC report was rather a game-changer in terms of people’s view of climate change,” says Dr Arthur Webb. His office is stacked high with maps of the Pacific, charts and technical reports. Seated behind a desk at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Applied Geoscience and Technology ...

February 2014

France’s nuclear legacy haunts French Polynesia

Last December, the United Nations General Assembly addressed France’s nuclear legacy in French Polynesia in its annual statement on decolonisation.

Flosse taps Beijing-Tahiti connection for increased tourism

As with previous governments in French Polynesia, the Flosse administration is seeking to boost ties with China, hoping for increased tourism, trade and investment.

The Battle for French Polynesia’s Future

Nic Maclellan

In French Polynesia, they’re gearing up for next month’s municipal elections. It’s another round in the long-running battle over its future, between President Gaston Flosse and opposition leader Oscar Manutahi Temaru.

January 2014

Big year ahead for islands sports

Peter Rees

2014 What to Expect Pacific islands athletes and teams are set for a huge year in 2014 with a number of major regional and international events lined up.

Growth to pick up for region in the new year

Rowan Callick

2014 What to Expect Last year has been disappointing—though by no means disastrous—one for most economies, and thus for many businesses in the Pacific. In 2012, it seemed the developing world had succeeded in slipping away from the “old world”—Europe and America—that had been dragging it back since the global ...

New sheriff in town

Nic Maclellan

2014 What to Expect Since Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Coalition government won elections last September, they’ve hit the ground running. After just five months in office, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been to Bali and Jakarta, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong. She made a ...

Challenges facing the region’s tuna fisheries

Transform Aqorau*

2014 What to Expect 2013 ended with the development by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) of a conservation and management measure for skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye tuna that will not achieve the objective of removing 100% overfishing of bigeye tuna within three years. The measure that was ...

Sour relations over of US aid programmes

Giff Johnson

2014 What to Expect The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Marshall Islands face numerous challenges with the administration of their Compacts of Free Association with the United States as they head into their final 10 years of the treaty’s financial agreement.

The outlook for Polynesia

2014 What to Expect One of the more important scheduled political events in the region in 2014 is the three-yearly general election in New Zealand. Though the election will be held in the latter part of the year, political maneuvering is likely to begin as early at the end of ...

2014: Year of Elections for Melanesia

Samisoni Pareti

2014 What to Expect With the exception of Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, all the other countries that make up Melanesia will be going to the polls this year. Fiji, of course, will be the country to watch. After leading his soldiers in a bloodless coup on December 5, 2006, ...

December 2013

NUCLEAR CHAMPION Our 2013 Person of the Year

Giff Johnson

---------- ISLANDS BUSINESS has chosen Darlene Keju-Johnson as its 2013 PACIFIC PERSON OF THE YEAR in recognition of her combination of fearless advocacy with island-style innovation that isn’t “merely relevant” in 2013. Seventeen years after her death in 1996, her words and actions continue to speak to key issues confronting ...

November 2013


Giff Johnson

A showdown that could decide the sustainability of the US$7 billion Pacific tuna industry is expected at the annual meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) in Cairns, Australia, on December 2-6. The Pacific countries and distant water fishing nations that are members of WCPFC will meet ...