Pacific Update

February 2015

New Forum SG: Eager for action

FRESH off a January visit to the “troika”—past, present and future chairs of the Pacific Islands Forum in the Marshall Islands, Palau and Papua New Guinea, respectively—new Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor has hit the ground running with an ambitious agenda from the leaders. With a new Framework for ...

China-bound cattle cargo causes Suva Port Scare

Samisoni Pareti
Thu 15 Jan 2015 -

Vigilant bio-security officers in Fiji had to call on the Fiji Navy to escort an international cargo freighter out of Suva Harbour this week because of its undeclared cargo: 7200 heads of cattle.

December 2014

Four-way race for Solomons Island PM job

Priestly Habru

Four former Prime Ministers re-elected in last month’s national election could lead Solomon Islands again in the next four years after the surprise loss of incumbent Gordon Darcy Lilo. The four included Synder Rini, whose term as Prime Minister lasted for less than a month in 2006. He retained his ...

Pacific Sport: The best of 2014

Peter Rees
Tue 09 Dec 2014 -

It was a remarkable year for athletes of Pacific heritage in the international arena.

WCPFC chair makes early exist

Samisoni Pareti in Apia, Samoa.
Fri 05 Dec 2014 -

In a yet to be explained move, the chair of the WCPFC Dr Charles Karnell has left Samoa, leaving delegates of the 11th session of the Commission to try and forge some agreements on measures to manage the Pacific’s tuna fishery.

WCPFC Apia Meeting Shut Down

Samisoni Pareti, in Apia, Samoa.
Fri 05 Dec 2014 -

Pacific journalists who have been covering the 11th session of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission in Apia this week have been told they won't be allowed into cover the final session of the meeting scheduled for 3pm today.

Fiji joins body on Pacific Bluefin tuna fishery

Samisoni Pareti in Apia, Samoa.
Thu 04 Dec 2014 -

Fiji has become the 3rd South Pacific island country to join the Northern Committee of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).

Tackling the tough stuff

Samisoni Pareti in Apia, Samoa.
Thu 04 Dec 2014 -

Its the second last day of the annual tuna fishing negotiations in Samoa today and its still not clear whether delegates will be able to agree on more control measures to avoid the overfishing of the Pacific's depleting tuna stock .

Tuvalu ‘son’ secures top WCPFC job

Samisoni Pareti* in Apia, Samoa.
Wed 03 Dec 2014 -

Sitting beside his lead supporter – Tuvalu’s Minister of Fisheries -- during a press conference this morning, Feleti Teo said he was still coming to terms with the enormity of the decision by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission to appoint him as their Executive Director.

Tuvalu’s Feleti Teo jostles for top WCPFC job

Samisoni Pareti* In Apia, Samoa.
Tue 02 Dec 2014 -

Will long time Tuvalu and Pacific civil servant Feleti Teo get the nod to become the new executive director of the Secretariat of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission?

Pacific takes on the world fishers in Samoa

Samisoni Pareti* In Apia, Samoa.
Sun 30 Nov 2014 -

Pacific Island nations are going into the 11th session of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission in Samoa from Monday with a clear message to Asian, European and American countries that fish in the Pacific: agree to reduce your fishing effort or be prepared to face tougher actions.

November 2014

Cyberbattle for the region’s ocean resources

Lisa W-Lahari/FFAfeatures

How does a 10-day birthday celebration happen across the entire Pacific without a single mention? The answer is Kurukuru, the region’s most comprehensive maritime surveillance partnership targeting illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in Pacific waters. In the same way that the vessels they are watching sweep for tuna, maritime surveillance ...

War leaves a lasting legacy of unexploded bombs

Nic Maclellan

In September 1944, US Marines stormed ashore the beaches of Peleliu Island in Palau. The assault was preceded by a massive naval bombardment and air strike, to weaken the Japanese forces which were hidden in caves or entrenched in concrete bunkers. Seventy years later, the people of Peleliu are still ...

October 2014

A deportation, a stateless person and unease

Tony Wilson

Within days of Joe Natuman (pictured) becoming Prime Minister in May following a well-planned and executed takeover of power from Moana Carcasses that many did not see coming, rumblings of a Carcasses-led bounce back motion surfaced. And they have never gone away. So for many it was to almost a ...

Vote verification in Fiji's elections enters day four

Netani Rika
Sun 21 Sep 2014 -

VERIFICATION of the counting process continued throughout today (Sunday) as Fiji’s General Election process drew towards its end.

Fiji First Party gunning for huge win

Samisoni Pareti
Sat 20 Sep 2014 -

Slowly but surely, Frank Bainimarama’s Fiji First Party is increasing its lead in the number of votes its leader and the rest of its candidates are winning in the country’s general elections.

Election Commission rejects parties’ irregularity complains

Samisoni Pareti
Sat 20 Sep 2014 -

Allegations of corrupt and irregular practices from political parties opposed to Frank Bainimarama’s Fiji First Party have been rejected as lacking substance and unfounded.

Fiji Election Result Update: 7am (fiji time)

Samisoni Pareti
Sat 20 Sep 2014 -

Counting in Fiji's general elections enters its third day at the capital's largest indoor sports complex located in the capital Suva, with progress of the count to be released throughout today, (Saturday 20th September).

Parties refuse to accept election defeat

By Samisoni Pareti
Thu 18 Sep 2014 -

Five political parties that took part in the country’s general elections say they won’t accept the outcome of the elections and has called on the authorities to suspend vote count until their complaints are investigated.

Frank Bainimarama’s Party poises for Fiji election win

Samisoni Pareti
Thu 18 Sep 2014 -

Provisional results from Fiji’s general elections show Frank Bainimarama’s Fiji First Party at a comfortable lead and his party is most likely to form the next elected government of this Pacific island nation.

'It's in our DNA to conserve the ocean' – Cook Islands Prime Minister

Mon 01 Sep 2014 -

PACIFIC ---- Two days before world leaders begin their weeklong conference on sustainable development in this Pacific island nation, mall island developing states have been inspired to follow the lead of countries like the Cook Islands, Kiribati and Palau in turning most if not a large part of their oceans ...

September 2014

Forum debates fisheries management

Nic Maclellan

At the Pacific Islands Forum, regional leaders adopted a new agreement to strengthen enforcement and surveillance over the region’s fisheries. In a ceremony during last month’s meeting in Palau, New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully signed the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement (NTSA), while Samoa and Vanuatu ratified their signature. With ...

August 2014

Solomon goes to the poll under the weight of mounting debt

Alfred Sasako

As Solomon Islands gears up for its national general election later this year troubling signs of corruption, economic woes and mounting debts are overshadowing preparations. No one really knows the exact date for the election yet, although October 29 has been widely tipped. Discussion on the subject, however, has been ...

Puna back as Cook Islands Prime Minister?

Samisoni Pareti

Pending any successful petition against winning candidates in last month’s general elections in the Cook Islands, incumbent Prime Minister Henry Puna (pictured) and his Cook Islands Party are poised for another term in government. Final election results put Puna’s CIP winning 13 seats in the 24-seat parliament while the Democratic ...

Secret letter at centre of O’Neill AU$30m payments

Sam Vulum

The simmering political tensions created by the attempted arrest of Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill by police over alleged corruption allegations have cooled - at least for the time being. Mounting pressure on the Prime Minister and the government was created by a buildup of anti-government sentiment propagated ...