Pacific Update

April 2014

Tuila’epa in NZ for treatment

Merita Huch

Days after being airlifted by the New Zealand Government for medical treatment in Auckland, aides of Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuila’epa Lupesoli’ai Sa’ilele Malielegaoi (pictured) were still playing down the extent of his illness. Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of the Prime Minister Leilua Tavis Leota says the Prime ...

Pacific’s first flyover roadway

Sam Vulum

The metropolis landscape of Port Moresby is set to transform significantly with the construction of the multi million dollar Kookaburra Flyover Street, the biggest project yet ever to be undertaken this decade in Papua New Guinea and the first in any South Pacific country once completed.

Deadly Lusi claims 11 lives in Vanuatu

Tony Wilson

Vanuatu is still reeling from monster cyclone Lusi that took at least eleven lives and caused millions of dollars in damage to gardens and properties early March. Yet in this rare instance, the cyclonic winds were not the central villain in the plot. Cyclone Lusi was first noticed as a ...

March 2014

MP’s jailing a warning

The jailing of a Papua New Guinea MP, his rival and their supporters in Madang for contempt of court has sounded a warning to politicians and their supporters to strictly abide with the court orders.

Samoan language finally official

Merita Huch

After 51 years of independence, the government of Samoa has just made its mother tongue the official language of the country. Many did not know that since 1962 that the English language had always been Samoa’s official language. It was a decision made to ensure that development matters are dealt ...

Nauru’s new lawman under the microscope

Davendra Sharma

It could be a classic case of jumping from a frying pan into the fire for Nauru as the government fired its two top judicial executives in favour of another Australian with claims of “deceptive conduct”. After months of wrangling as the business executive arm of the government tried to ...

February 2014

Cyclone Ian a blessing: Fonua

Robert Matau

Cyclone Ian could be a blessing in disguise for Ha’apai Island, which has been neglected over the years in terms of development.

MSG meets to seek answers from delegation

Robert Matau

The Melanesian Spearhead Group heads into further talks this month to seek more answers from the MSG mission that failed to meet indigenous West Papuan leaders in West Papua last month.

Solomons faces potential economic rescue

Alfred Sasako

As it edges closer to an election later this year, the Hapi Isles appears to be in an economic turmoil.

January 2014

New speaker for Tuvalu in the new year?

Robert Matau

Expect a new speaker for Tuvalu’s parliament if government has its way in the coming by-election. Tuvalu goes to the poll on January 14 to fill the Namuga seat left vacant by the sick former education, youth and sport minister Dr Falesa Pitoi.

Micronesian leaders tackle climate change, human trafficking

Haidee V. Eugenio

Amid a backdrop of high healthcare costs, eroding coastlines, skyrocketing air transportation costs and what the United States considers either a target destination for or source of human trafficking, nine Micronesian presidents and governors gathered on Saipan from December 4 to 6 for a regional summit that tackled issues of ...

December 2013

Abbott rules out new climate funding

Davendra Sharma

In a blatant disregard for a call by the Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting this year to lift efforts and funds for climate change, the new Abbott government in Australia ruled out any new commitment at a global symposium on climate change last month.

US marks 4th year of CNMI immigration control

Haidee V. Eugenio

Four years have already gone by since the Nov. 28, 2009 start of a five-year transition period for the implementation of United States immigration law in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). But indications are rife that neither the U.S. nor the CNMI is ready to end the ...

November 2013

West Papuan activists lobbying Pacific leaders

Robert Matau

While they are keenly awaiting the decision on their membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), West Papua activists are travelling the Pacific lobbying countries to support their bid. One such activist is exiled investigative journalist Octovanius Mote, who has just returned to his adopted home in Washington D.C in ...

Why the Pacific should say No to refugees

Marilyn Shepherd

Papua New Guinea and Nauru are being bullied to assist Australia to traffic humans by force out of Australia on the pretext of stopping people smuggling—a con invented by former Minister for Immigration Philip Ruddock in 1999 and agreed to by former Shadow Minister Con Sciaccia and which has continued ...

Pacific Update

Christopher Pala

President Anote Tong of Kiribati has reversed a previous position against funding and the banning of fishing in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), paving the way for the creation of the world’s most important marine reserve.

October 2013

Tourism operators suffer as MA60 debate drags on

Robert Matau

Aviation employees who adhere to the utmost safety standards will tell you that the industry has no room for trial and error.

Invest now on PACER Plus, advisor urges

Samisoni Pareti

Australia and New Zealand will have to concede significant concessions if the proposed free trade and development agreement between them and Pacific Islands Countries is to become a reality. That is the view of the man who is the Pacific Islands Chief Trade Adviser in PACER Plus negotiations with the ...

Sopoanga ropes in donors to help in roadmap

Robert Matau

Tuvalu’s cabinet is embarking on a fresh roadmap and vision for the island nation as they take stock of the various needs of each ministry before they compile their budget for 2014 in December. The roadmap contains a long list of needs by each government ministry.

September 2013

Own up to shame: Aust told

Davendra Sharma

It took 150 years but it now appears that Australia will recognise a damning part of the country’s evil history involving torture and slavery of indigenous Melanesians abducted to work on Australian farms. State governments in Australia’s two most populous states—New South Wales and Queensland —tabled motions in August to ...

Pacific solution to an Australian political problem

* Satish Chand

Australians go to the polls to elect their next government on September 7. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, leader of the Australian Labor Party, has nailed his hopes on being able to stop the boats that have been ferrying an influx of asylum seekers for the past two months. High on ...

August 2013

RAMSI realities: 10 years later

Lisa Williams-Lahari

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’.

No other way: O’Neill enacts death laws

Davendra Sharma
Thu 13 Jun 2013 -

No other law has ever passed so swiftly as the new death penalty legislation in Papua New Guinea on May 29. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill minced no words in declaring that his government will enforce measures that are “the toughest and the most wide-ranging” to deal with the issue of ...

June 2013

French Polynesia on UN decolonisation list

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has voted to place French Polynesia back on the UN list of territories that should be decolonised. And it has requested the French Government to “facilitate rapid progress […] towards a self-determination process.”

Leaked report reveals resource curse

Jason Brown
Thu 13 Jun 2013 -

Ethnic tensions in the Solomon Islands are somewhat different today from the famed troubles that began 20 years ago. “Australians are rude and arrogant,” a Honiara resident told ISLANDS BUSINESS. “We prefer Kiwis.” An unintended consequence of peacekeeping efforts has given the people of the Solomon Islands someone else to ...