April 2015

Draft trade agreement reveals differences between Australia, NZ

Nic Maclellan

PACIFIC island governments have proposed alternative disputes procedures, protection of infant industries and provisions to meet the specific needs of small island states during trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand. Draft chapters of the proposed PACER Plus treaty covering Trade in Services and Investment, obtained by Islands Business, show ...

Sea rise forces Bikini exodus

Giff Johnson

NEARLY 70 years ago, nuclear weapons tests forced Bikini Islanders off their atoll. Today it is sea level rise and repeated seawater inundations motivating Bikini leaders to propose evacuating their two island homes in exile for safer ground in the United States. In mid-March, just a week after the 69th ...

March 2015

Fiji compensates Christma s Island nuclear veterans

Nic Maclellan

In the 1950s, hundreds of Fijian soldiers and sailors witnessed Britain’s atmospheric nuclear tests in the central Pacific. With Britain refusing compensation for health effects, Fiji’s government will now compensate the survivors In May 1957, Ratu Inoke Bainimarama – Chief Petty Officer No. 1104 of the Fiji Royal Naval Volunteer ...

Enough violence

Sam Vulum

PAPUA New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s recent powerful statement against atrocities in Indonesia’s restive province of West Papua was a departure from the previous stance of successive governments - that West Papua issues were a domestic matter for Indonesia. For many years PNG has been viewed as a strategic ...

NGO offers rival fish surveillance

Samisoni Pareti

WASHINGTON DC based NGO Pew Charitable Trusts has teamed up with a British Government satellite technology company to launch a new surveillance system that monitors illegal fishing. In so doing, this Eyes on the Seas project rivals that of the three-year multi-country maritime surveillance centre that the Australian Government funds ...

February 2015

Remembering Eloi

Nic Maclellan

YOU can see his face in many places around New Caledonia, on T-shirts, posters or graffitied on walls. With his peaked cap, sunglasses and bushy moustache, the image of Eloi Machoro is unmistakable. On the 30th anniversary of Machoro’s death, supporters gathered on January 12 to commemorate the life and ...

From rural girl to minister

Priestley Habru

FOR a Grade Six leaver to be catapulted into Parliament House as a national leader is no ordinary feat especially if you are a woman in patriarchal Melanesian societies like Solomon Islands. Freda A.B Tuki Soriacomua (pictured) is the only female MP in the Solomon Islands Parliament after being elected ...

Hanuabada killings put focus on police leadership

Rowan Callick*

ON January 23, Papua New Guinea police shot dead two young men during a clash with unarmed villagers in Hanuabada in Port Moresby. Such incidents have happened at other times and in other places in PNG, fairly consistently, in recent years. But this is already causing much larger waves, coming ...

Doubts over Fiji casino development

Samisoni Pareti

FIJI’S casino development has become a farce. Despite continuning government pressure, exclusive licence holder One Hundred Sands Limited has failed to start construction. The project is more than two years behind schedule with no progress on the proposed site which is located about a kilometre from its original Denarau Island ...

January 2015

Marshalls 2015: Year of election

Giff Johnson

WITH its national election scheduled for November, the Marshall Islands is already in campaign mode. Stakes are high for a number of reasons, including an ongoing crisis in management at the Ministry of Health that has confounded the past three administrations, numerous reform initiatives that have been delayed by the ...

Vanuatu seeks political stability

Tony Wilson

THE one thing Vanuatu craves and needs the most – political stability – failed to materialise again in 2014. Any review of 2014 and a subsequent look forward for 2015 hits the same major stumbling block which is that no government has been able to last in power much beyond ...

French enter rough waters

Nic Maclellan

LAST November, as French President François Hollande made his first visit to New Caledonia and Australia, he stressed that France would remain a Pacific power, welcomed by its neighbours: “That wasn’t always the case in past decades,” he said. “But today, they ask us to remain present, because we can ...

Stable times ahead for PNG economy

Sam Vulum

PAPUA New Guinea’s fast growing economy is being supported by a stable government going into 2015. Economically, Papua New Guinea is just seeing completion of 13 years of continuous economic growth and is about to enter another. Supported by more stable and favourable policies and an upsurge in commodity prices ...

Australia resists new-look forum

Nic Maclellan

THE last time an Australian Prime Minister attended the Pacific Islands Forum was in August 2012. And a number of pressing issues will draw Australian attention to the region in 2015. Following Fiji’s elections, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been wooing the Bainimarama government to return to full participation ...

December 2014

Hollande says France will remain a Pacific power

Nic Maclellan

Sometimes in politics, it’s the little things that matter. On his first official visit to New Caledonia, French President Francois Hollande stood in front of two flags on the stage of the Tjibaou Cultural Centre, to present his vision for the future of the Noumea Accord. One flag was the ...

Modi’s bold move

Netani Rika

When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi left Fiji after a 15-hour visit last month, he had boldly ventured where none of his predecessors had been before. For with one stop at what has traditionally been the Pacific’s hub since the first ships – and later jet-liners – began to traverse ...

Expelled Australian diplomat given 48 hours to leave Fiji

Samisoni Pareti
Tue 09 Dec 2014 -

A former Australian High Commissioner to Fiji who was expelled by the Fiji regime in 2009 had to return to Australia on the next available flight when he arrived in Nadi last Sunday.

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.

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).

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

Forum allows Fiji back into regional group

Samisoni Pareti

Moments after the magazine posted on its Facebook page the announcement by the Pacific Islands Forum that Fiji’s suspension from it has been lifted, an avid reader posted - “But will Fiji want to rejoin?” Our reader was actually not way off the mark. The same day, Fiji Television quoted ...

Women candidates impact on election line-up

Priestley Habru

A record number of women candidates are expected to contest the Solomon Islands national election on November 19. Lisa Horiwapu of Vois Blong Mere Solomons (VBMS) expects around 30 female candidates contesting in various constituencies of the 50 total seats in parliament. Nominations closed on October 22 and prior to ...

Tonga’s Freedom Fighter aims for election victory

Netani Rika

For veteran Tongan freedom fighter ‘Akilisi Pohiva, the election this month will be the final roll of the dice in a political career which started 40-odd years ago as a student at Fiji’s University of the South Pacific. At 73, Pohiva probably has this one moment in time to see ...

October 2014

Pacific voice grows in NZ

Peter Rees

Auckland: Over 330,000 Pacific people living in New Zealand now have a bigger voice in parliament following September’s General Election which saw the National Party re-elected for a third consecutive term in Government. The campaign trail was littered with revelations, lies and “dirty politics,” but voters stayed faithful to Prime ...