Whispers

July 2014

Whispers

More trouble for the multi-million dollar tuna industrial zone in Madang Province, on the northern shores of Papua New Guinea. Work on the proposed Kina 212 million (AU$90m) project has been put on hold because China’s Export-Import Bank has put a freeze on its K190 million (AU$80m) loan. The bank ...

June 2014

Whispers

SG race heats up: The race for the new Secretary General of the powerful regional political body, the Pacific Islands Forum is shaping up to be a very, very interesting one. With incumbent Samoan diplomat and jurist Neroni Tuiloma Slade completing his second of three year term this December, leaders ...

May 2014

Whispers

Fire without the engine …. Residents of Port Vila are up in arms about the absence of the familiar red fire engines when it comes to attending to fire calls in the Vanuatu capital. The engine is reportedly parked in the garage of the Vila Fire Station due to lack ...

April 2014

Whispers

Mini media summit: Following close in the heels of the biennial Pacific Media Summit in Noumea in February, the inaugural Asian Development Bank Pacific Business Media Summit was held late last month in Sydney. In attendance were senior media practitioners, academics and managers from eight Pacific island nations. “We recognise ...

March 2014

Whispers

Red faced ministers... Media reports of recent but most probably final fact-finding mission of the Ministerial Contact Group of the Pacific Islands Forum to Fiji generated a positive vibe all around from both sides...Group leader and Foreign Minister of New Zealand Steve McCully was all smiles before the camera as ...

February 2014

Whispers

Sacrificial lamb... That’s the whisper doing the cocktail rounds in a South Seas metropolitan following news that accomplished diplomat and former Fijian foreign minister Kaliopate Tavola is in the running for the SG (secretary-general) job at the region’s “premier regional body,” the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. Melanesian members of the ...

January 2014

Whispers

Deepsea mining, a quick fix? The deepsea mining debate continues. Pacific civil society groups across the Pacific criticise SOPAC and its development of a regional regulatory framework on deepsea mining (DSM). They argue that it facilitates and pre-empts DSM before Pacific Islands communities have had the opportunity to debate whether ...

December 2013

The new South Pacific Queen

Cook Islands should be rejoicing after they won the Miss South Pacific Pageant in Honiara this month. Teuira Napa won the pageant ahead of nine other contenders. Miss Tonga was crowned the first runner-up while Miss Samoa came second, and the third spot was taken up by Miss Solomon Islands. ...

November 2013

Whispers

Farewell Dr Rodgers: This month, we’ll get to hear about who is replacing Dr Jimmie Rodgers as the new boss of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) as the Conference of the Pacific Community meets in Suva on November 18-19. WHISPERS has been told that three names will be ...

October 2013

Whispers

Now you see it, now you don’t… The Marshall Islands government spent a busy week at the Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting trying to keep both China and Taiwan happy. Problems arose when the Chinese delegation raised concerns about participating in meetings in Majuro’s International Conference Centre (ICC), a lavish ...

September 2013

Whispers

Lilo lashes at Canberra: Well, the Aussies have done it again…this time to Solomons’ prime minister Gordon Darcy Lilo. In an embarrassing reprimand of a senior Pacific islands government official—the second in as many years—immigration and customs officers at Australia’s Brisbane Airport held Lilo on August 17. Lilo was ordered ...

August 2013

Whispers

Whispers is compiled and edited by Laisa Taga. If you have any Whispers, please contact is on editor@ibi.com.fj

July 2013

Whispers

New ‘Island Airbus’ for resorts: Fiji tour operator, Pacific Island Air, recently took delivery of its new De Havilland DHC-3T Otter seaplane, visiting Castaway Island Resort to pick up its first customers. Fitted with the latest GPS system and intercabin communication headsets for each passenger, the 10-seater plane now offers ...

June 2013

Whispers

Diplomatic charade: Social events can produce unexpected results. Like the senior diplomat who before he delivered his address, had to plead with his audience—comprising islands politicians and senior civil servants—that he was merely reading what had been written for him by his bosses in Europe, then quipping, ‘please don’t shoot ...

May 2013

Whispers

Budget question: WHISPERS hears that at the recent annual meeting of the OCO (Oceania Customs Organisation) in Tonga, there were many questions raised about its audited account. One such question was how 30% of its 2012 budget, totalling a little over $1 million, was used for personal expenses without any ...

April 2013

Whispers

Who will be the next CEO? The million-dollar question being whispered around the corridors or tarmac of Fiji’s international airport is, who shall it be? The new boss of its national carrier to be exact! Interestingly, amidst all the pomp and ceremony associated with the arrival of Air Pacific’s (soon ...

March 2013

Whispers

Pacific Plan or Problem? Interesting comments are now surfacing regarding the Pacific Plan, touted as a vision for Pacific development which was delivered by leaders in 2005. And the team reviewing the plan headed by former PNG Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta is getting it left, right and centre. One ...

May 2012

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June 2012

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July 2012

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August 2012

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September 2012

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February 2013

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January 2013

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April 2012

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Oz Pacific view: Is that how Australia thinks of Pacific workers? That they are only good enough to be fruit pickers? That they are not skilled enough to fill shortages in Australia in jobs such as electricians and plumbers?