Cover story

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 ...

October 2013


Dionisia Tabureguci

International shipping in this part of the world is famously fraught with irregularities and high freight costs that finding a solution to satisfy both governments and the shipping companies is still an unresolved enigma, especially where the very small Pacific islands countries are concerned. Imagine having to service a handful ...

September 2013

Islands discuss aviation gas emissions

Robert Matau

As the world of aviation grapples with how to accept and implement an aviation gas emissions scheme championed by the European Union, three Pacific Islands nations are gearing towards compliance as they intensify their climate change initiatives.

Airlines sensitive to external environment

The global aviation industry—one of the fastest growing industries in the world—is viewed as being relatively resilient despite the severe impacts of external shocks such as the global financial crisis and terrorist threats. In contrast, the aviation sector in the Pacific region, where airlines operate on thin profit margins at ...


Dionisia Tabureguci & Robert Matau

If a one-Pacific aviation market sounds too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true and will never happen. No matter how many blueprints are designed to catalyse it, the near utopian vision of ‘open skies’ in this part of the world is believed to ...

August 2013


Samisoni Pareti

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 ...

July 2013


Samisoni Pareti

West Papua’s struggle for independence has found a supporter in Vanuatu’s newest Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil.

June 2013


Dionisia Tabureguci

Year after year, earthquakes and tropical cyclones have battered a number of small islands countries in the Pacific region, some to such a degree that thousands of lives are lost and millions of dollars in damages are incurred. They have become regular visitors to the region, their tendency to disrupt ...

May 2013


Rewritten by Dionisia Tabureguci

After years of effort to get Fiji tuna caught using longline fishing method to carry MSC certification, the first taste for European consumers carrying the coveted label will hit their stores in June. This follows the launch of the Fiji albacore tuna range by global seafood supplier Anova Seafood at ...

Sorcery prompts calls for death penalty

Davendra Sharma

It is ironic that at a time when public consensus is gaining momentum for greater women’s rights around the region, men are being accused of horrific crimes and sorcery against hapless women in the region’s most populous nation.

Witchcraft Saga

A surge in sorcery and witchcraft related murders in Papua New Guinea has drawn widespread condemnation from international groups such as the United Nations and Amnesty International. A growing culture of insecurity and fear has been blamed and there are concerns it will impact on the country’s economic development.