Pacific Update

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 ...

July 2014

PM O’Neill comes under fire over AU$30 million payout

Sam Vulum

Papua New Guinea is embroiled in political turmoil triggered by the attempted arrest of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill by police on June 17 as part of ongoing anti-corruption investigations into payments to a prominent law firm. The investigations spiraled into political chaos after a secret letter by the Task Force ...

June 2014

Donations to flood victims in Solomons mount

Alfred Sasako

The two-day flash flooding that began on April 2 struck at the heart of Solomon Islands’ administrative and business and commerce power base. It caught authorities napping. If there were any warnings at all, not many people took any notice.

Lack of data affects tuna stock assessments

Foreign fishing nations who benefit immensely from fishing in the Western and Central Pacific region’s US$7.2 billion fishery are not releasing valuable tuna stock data needed to manage and sustain the industry.

Carsasses’ out, Natuman’s in

Tony Wilson

It had all the guile and secrecy of a commando raid. And as much impact. This was the demise of Vanuatu Prime Minister Moana Carcasses after 14 months in the top job. He entered parliament on May 15 confident he had the numbers to survive his fourth motion of no ...

May 2014

Pacific NGOs up in arms

Robert Matau

Greenpeace’s closure in Suva adds to an already growing concern amongst Non-Government Organisations in the region that their services are not appreciated.

Will Japan stop killing our whales?

Davendra Sharma

A world court slapped a moratorium on Japanese from slaughtering whales in the Antarctic in April but the country’s whale enthusiasts have no plans to stop their hobby in the northwest Pacific.

Greenpeace to operate by ‘remote control’ in the Pacific

Robert Matau

Greenpeace’s closure of its Pacific Office in Fiji last month has ignited fears that the global environmental group no longer considers the region a priority.

Parties to Nauru Agreement loses CEO

Robert Matau

The Pacific is losing one of its most prolific tuna negotiators who has been instrumental in negotiating greater returns for tropical purse seine fishery. Parties to Nauru Agreement (PNA) Chief Executive Officer Dr Transform Aqorau told a PNA meeting in Honiara last month that those series of meeting would be ...

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 ...