Cover story

October 2014

Bainimarama offers more of the same

Netani Rika

If the people of Fiji had expected a smooth, less confrontational political life after the September elections, they will be disappointed. One day after being sworn in as Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama was at his vitriolic best, heaping scorn on political rivals and mounting a scathing attack on the Methodist ...

Bainimarama storms home with massive victory

Dennis Rounds

Voting in Fiji’s 2014 General Election signaled overwhelming public support for incumbent Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and gave legitimacy to his unelected rule over the last eight years and unprecedented endorsement to the future “roadmap” he has laid out for the country.

September 2014

Leadership choice crucial to Fiji poll result

Dennis Rounds

Fiji’s September 17 General Election will be decided primarily on the quality of political leadership on offer rather than on political platforms and manifestos. Media-driven interviews and general political coverage of the election campaigns has focused largely on the leadership qualities of party stewards and only sparsely on the actual ...

Thirty nine years of independent Papua New Guinea

Rowan Callick

Thirty nine years this month a proud independent nation, Papua New Guinea is starting at last to box its weight as a real regional force as well. At last month’s Pacific Islands Forum summit in Palau, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill highlighted that his country had committed almost 300 million kina ...

Clearer skies ahead for economy

With its high dependency on tourism and agriculture, the Samoan economy is severely affected by natural disasters. In December 2012, Tropical Cyclone Evan is estimated to have caused damage of more than S$400 million (US$170m), according to Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, destroying tourism infrastructure and farmlands. The effect on ...

Samoa rolls out red carpet to the world

Dev Nadkarni

It’s Samoa’s biggest moment on the global stage. The third United Nations Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) Conference that gets under way on September 1 is the largest international event not just the tiny country but the entire Pacific Islands region has ever hosted. More than 3000 delegates from nearly ...

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 www.fijielections.gov.fj 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 ...