News & Current Affairs
Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited (PCBL) aims to bring the best of New Zealand content to you via its contribution feed service Pasifika TV. We will keep you updated with the latest news and current affairs happening locally and from the Pacific.
20 June 2022
Fiji rugby has announced its team for the Pacific Nations Cup next month. Ten potential debutants have forced their way into the squad; among them, former All Blacks and Crusaders star Seta Tamanivalu, who will become the first Fijian player...
20 June 2022
On March 16th 2022, the upgraded multi-purpose hall was revealed in Honiara, Solomon Islands. The project was  a collaboration between the Honiara City Council, Solomon Islands Government and the New Zealand Government. Started in 2018, the building was designed to withstand...
16 June 2022
This month’s Taste of the Pasifika Festival in Auckland, New Zealand showcased an all Pasifika and Māori strongman competition over the weekend with events such as bus pulling and truck pushing, performed by about 20 athletes including some of New...
14 June 2022
Pacific nations advocating for the International Maritime Organisation to decarbonise the shipping sector say they will continue to push the global regulator to clean up the industry. The IMO concluded its 78th Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting in London last...
13 June 2022
Home to over 17,000 people, Rarotonga is the site of the largest infrastructure project undertaken by the Cook Islands Government. With much of the water network having been laid in in the 1960s, the infrastructure is showing its age rendering...
13 June 2022
Opened in 1974, the Rarotonga International Airport is a gateway for the tourism in the Cook Islands. Comprised of over 3300 concrete slabs weighing eighteen tons each, the runway is a vital part of the economy. So, in 2010 when...
9 June 2022
Samoa’s prime minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa has opened the country’s first High Commission in Fiji with her counterpart Frank Bainimarama. Fiame said the decision to set up office in Suva is a testament of Samoa’s support for regional unity and...
4 June 2022
All 11 crew on the Taiwanese fishing vessel, Chuan I Shin, grounded on Beveridge Reef, have been transferred safely to a sister ship. Niue’s acting Secretary of Government, Gaylene Tasmania, said a Tongan naval patrol vessel was to take officials from...
3 June 2022
Netball playing nations in the Pacific are looking forward to finally getting international Tests again after Covid forced them into a hiatus more than two years ago. Financial restraints and small player pools have always been a challenge for countries...
3 June 2022
Church bells and police sirens rang out across Samoa at midnight to herald the start of 12 months of nationwide celebrations for the 60th year of independence from New Zealand. Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, who is the chairwoman of...
3 June 2022
Sāmoan oratory, lāuga, is performed at formal and ceremonial gatherings. It is an integral part of the Sāmoan cultural and political landscape. It is ubiquitous, found at every level of Sāmoan life from the village fono to the Parliament. For...
30 May 2022
When Samoan matai Lelevaga Fa’amanū Lā’ulu speaks of his cherished home, his words resonate with immense pride. His pride for his nation and his people is brimming as his community prepares to mark 60 years of independence for Samoa. Samoa...
30 May 2022
The government’s decision to extend the deployment of five NZ Defence Force personnel in Solomon Islands by 12 months is to continue its support of the security in the country, Minister of Defence Peeni Henare says. NZDF personel were deployed...
30 May 2022
Seventeen people, who had been missing at sea in Solomon Islands for three days, were rescued by an Australian navy ship. The missing, who included a number officers from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, had been travelling on a...
30 May 2022
The Cook Islands 2022 Budget, called ‘Keeping the Faith’, includes a boost to the pension and minimum wage. Another tranche of salary increases for teachers, better connectivity to Pa Enua, plus funding for infrastructure and health are also included. Parliament...
30 May 2022
Seven people missing in two boats near Kiribati have been found by an Air Force Orion. The boats, missing since last week, were found within 10 nautical miles of each other. One boat, on a trip to Butaritari Island, had...
19 May 2022
The Fiji Met Service has warned that a newly formed tropical cyclone, Gina, is approaching Vanuatu’s Pentecost, Ambrym and Malekula islands. The out of season category one storm has sustained winds of about 40 knots, or about 75 kilometres an...
19 May 2022
Moana Pasifika centre Henry Taefu is excited about the potential line-up for Samoa’s rugby team, which is due to be announced before the end of this month. New eligibility rules mean former Samoan Wallaby and All Black players can now...
19 May 2022
Hawaii’s famous Hokule’a traditional double hull canoe has completed the first leg of the “Kealaikahiki Voyage” from Hawaii to Tahiti. Kealaikahiki, which means ‘The path to Tahiti’ is the first leg of a worldwide voyage by the Hokule’a and its sister vessel Hikianalia. Hokule’a’s first...
19 May 2022
Sam Basil died following a car crash in the Bulolo district of Morobe Province last Wednesday. Hundreds of people, including Prime Minister James Marape, Speaker Job Pomat, governors, state ministers and MPs gathered at Jackson International Airport as the body of Basil...
19 May 2022
A new era has dawned in Samoa with the swearing-in of three women MPs, taking the number of women in the Legislative Assembly to seven. The swearing-in follows a court ruling issued by Chief Justice, Satiu Simativa Perese, Senior Justice...
19 May 2022
Communities in many of Kiribati’s most remote areas will receive much-needed support for climate resilience as part of a new US$20 million climate change adaptation project. The World Bank has approved the Kiribati Outer Islands Resilience and Adaptation Project to...
19 May 2022
Four months on from the violent explosion of Tonga’s Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano, scientists are still piecing together what caused the biggest eruption the world has seen in decades. January’s blast sent shockwaves around the world: the sonic booms could be...
19 May 2022
A total of 1034 athletes from 20 Pacific nations and territories are due to compete in the Pacific Mini Games in the Northern Marianas next month. Super typhoons, the withdrawal of government support and Covid-19 have disrupted the event which will now...
12 May 2022
Papua New Guinea’s deputy Prime Minister, Sam Basil, has died following a car crash in the Bulolo district of Morobe Province. As well being Deputy Prime Minister, Basil was Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, and is the former Minister for...
10 May 2022
A professor of Pacific studies says the increase in the frequency of natural disasters and land erosions, and rising ocean temperatures, means new terminology is now needed to reflect how drastic the environmental situation has become. Steven Ratuva, who is...
10 May 2022
Niue’s quarantine free travel bubble with Aotearoa and the resumption of weekly passenger flights starts on June 27. Niue is one of very few countries that has had no community transmission of Covid-19. But nine cases were detected at the...
10 May 2022
Papua New Guinea has launched a bid to join the NRL as the rugby league competition’s 18th team and is being backed by the country’s prime minister. As the NRL awaits the introduction of the Queensland-based Dolphins as the 17th...
10 May 2022
Two double-hulled voyaging canoes from Hawaii have arrived in Tahiti to a welcome ceremony attended by more than a thousand French Polynesians. The Hokule’a and the Hikianalia reached Papeete after a 17-day voyage after a stop-over in Rangiroa. The voyage...
10 May 2022
Sustainability of the language and culture will be the main focus of this year’s Rotuman language week. Listed as one of UNESCO’s endangered languages, the Rotuman community in Aotearoa New Zealand is not taking any chances to see their unique...
29 April 2022
New Caledonian telecommunications company OPT-NC has almost finished connecting key underwater internet cables. These will give New Caledonia and its eastern islands faster internet. The Gondwana-Picot-2 cables, will run from New Caledonia to Fiji and measure 1,515 kilometres in length....
Thousands of people work in some of the world's most remote and inhospitable environments Photo: ThinkSafe
29 April 2022
A New Zealand firm’s technology has been selected to help protect Pacific workers in a United Nations programme which also aims to prevent the extinction of hundreds of endangered species. Gisborne based tech company ThinkSafe has developed mobile technology to...
26 April 2022
The game went down to the wire on Saturday as the Waratahs staged a comeback with New Zealand import Natalie Delamare crossing for a hat-trick of three of tries, Rugby.Com reported. However, the Fijiana Drua refused to give up and...
26 April 2022
Pacific countries held dawn services today to commemorate Anzac Day and recognise the 107th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli in Turkey. Tonga paid tribute to its war veterans with a dawn ceremony held in Nuku’alofa this morning. The ceremony...
26 April 2022
Efforts to contain a covid outbreak on Vanuatu’s Pentecost Island are being hampered by a lack of testing equipment. RNZ Pacific’s correspondent in Vanuatu reports chief Visisio Bubunbah as saying the government has under-estimated the omicron situation on the island....
“If we fail to protect our oceans, we are failing to preserve our people, our culture, our identity,” according to Mia Kami, a Tongan storyteller and songwriter. Kami delivered this compelling message via word and song at last week’s One...
At the closing of the Our Ocean conference in Palau the co-hosts announced that 410 commitments were made by various, countries, civil society, and industry valued at $US16.35 billion. The two-day conference was held in the Pacific region for the...
The Our Ocean Conference opens in Palau this week and more than 500 delegates from upwards of 80 countries are expected to attend. The Republic of Palau and the United States are co-hosting the conference, which is seen as a key...
11 April 2022
Fiji has beaten the All Blacks Sevens 28-17 in the final of the Singapore round of the World Series. It was Olympic champions Fiji’s first Series title since Sydney in January 2020, while the New Zealanders were playing their first...
5 April 2022
Now that Polyfest 2022 is over, we reached out to Avondale College to get their thoughts on how it went. We spoke to Isileli Vake, the male leader of the Tongan group, about their experiences this year. How does it...
25 March 2022
It was the Bula Boys who struck first courtesy of a 12th minute finish from Tevita Waranaivalu, but the midfielder went from hero to zero when he was sent off half an hour later for a dangerous tackle. Then in...
25 March 2022
Yesterday marked the second day of the ASB Polyfest 2022 and schools across Auckland have come out in force. While the first day on Wednesday 23rd was reduced in scope, the second day put the full range of Auckland’s secondary school’s...
22 March 2022
In the face of a challenging road to 2022 Polyfest, students from Avondale College and Manurewa High School have stepped up to the plate determined to participate in this year’s festival. Brenda Fa’alogo-McNaughton, the Deputy Principal at Avondale College, talks...
17 March 2022
The 2022 ASB Polyfest marks the 47th year of the event with a twist. Due to constraints placed by the red traffic light setting across Aotearoa the entire event will be live streamed online for free and for the first...
14 March 2022
By Paul Thompson* This opinion piece was first published on the Stuff website. Opinion – The government last week unveiled the creation of a new public media entity that will incorporate RNZ and TVNZ. It will pave the way for digital innovation as well...
7 March 2022
Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio has announced the 2022 Pacific Language Weeks series, highlighting the contribution of those who have provided life-saving Covid-19 messages in the nine Pacific Island languages over the past two years. The series will also align...
3 March 2022
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck looks for support during the Blues v Hurricanes, Round 2 of the Super Rugby Pacific rugby union competition at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand. Photo: Derek Morrison / The Blues welcome back their captain Dalton Papalii as...
1 March 2022
Tuala Tugaloa Tusani is a businessman and community leader who has been delivering necessities to some of the most vulnerable. Photo: RNZ / Matthew Theunissen The requirement to isolate at home means that tens of thousands of Covid-19 cases and their contacts...
25 February 2022
The Cook Island government has extended the wage subsidy for March as businesses feel the pinch due to an underwhelming number of New Zealand tourists. Despite February being a low tourist season, occupancy in the Cook Islands is at 35...
23 February 2022
A scientist from the Tonga Geological Services watches the eruption of the volcano from a boat. Photo: Facebook / Tonga Geological Services The Southern Cross Cable cut during the volcanic eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai and subsequent tsunami last month has...
23 February 2022
A huge “Moai” statue, one of the iconic stone monuments from Rapa Nui or Easter Island has begun its journey back home. It’s been a years-long campaign to get it returned to its original setting since it was housed in...
Handover of LiveU gear for FijiTV with Charlotte Darlow and Sitiveni Halofaki
21 February 2022
Fiji has become the latest Pacific nation to receive the capability to broadcast live content to New Zealand which can then be sent back out across the Pacific. MaiTV, Fiji TV and Fiji Broadcasting Corporation have received LiveU broadcasting equipment...
16 February 2022
The Cook Islands Health Ministry Te Marae Ora tested 371 people for Covid-19 yesterday, in the wake of the first positive result in the country on Monday. Of the 371 PCR tests conducted at the Terevete Park testing station, 211...
14 February 2022
A Marshall Islands ship registry official has pushed back at criticism a US organization lobbed its way as part of the announcement that the United States government is going to launch an “open” ship registry. The announcement late last month...
12 February 2022
The unpacking of aid in Tonga has been made with easier with forklifts to help distribute much-needed supplies to families. La’auli Sir Michael Jones said he had received word that up to 70 percent of the goods in the 51...
10 February 2022
The Speaker of Tonga's Parliament says it has been a great privillege to be a part of the reaction from the Tongan community disapora in Aotearoa to the disaster in the Kingdom. Lord Fakafanua was in Porirua, north of Wellington, for the 'Ofa ki Tonga-Takanga 'enau fohe - or Sending love to Tonga - event organised by Victoria University Te Herenga Waka and the Wellington Tongan Leaders Council.
4 February 2022
Vanuatu's Education Ministry says there is no quick fix to address a shortage of high schools in the country. This is after reports that there are not enough schools to accommodate Year 11 students for the 2022 academic year which starts next Monday. Director of Education Services Samuel Katipa told RNZ Pacific there are 2000 primary schools but only 90 secondary schools on the island.
2 February 2022
The Kingdom of Tonga will go into nationwide lockdown from 6pm on Wednesday. Speaking via Tongan radio, Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku and Minister of Health Dr Saia Piukala held a media conference on Tuesday night to announce the news. They confirmed that two cases of Covid-19 have been detected through routine testing at the wharf in Nuku'alofa. Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku ordered the lockdown.
1 February 2022
A French Polynesian ship is on its way to Tonga with 300 tonnes of supplies - two weeks after Tonga was hit by a volcanic eruption and tsunami. The Tahiti Nui is expected to travel for four days to reach Nukualofa, bringing water, storage tanks and other material as part of an international relief effort. The French Polynesian government contributed following Tonga's appeal for assistance, relayed via the Pacific Islands Forum.
28 January 2022
The Kiribati Health Ministry has confirmed that the atoll island has surpassed 100 Covid-19 cases after it recorded 37 new positive infections on Wednesday. There are 116 people infected on the island - 36 imported and 80 local cases. Nine new cases have been found in Butaritari Island, prompting the government to advise local authorities to enforce a lockdown.
26 January 2022
Samoa has extended its current nationwide lockdown for another 72 hours to end on Thursday night. Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa says the decision was made after the identification of five frontline workers who tested positive for Covid-19 while caring for 15 positive cases off a flight from Brisbane last week.
25 January 2022
Health authorities in Solomon Islands are reporting 350 confirmed cases of Covid-19 today with many more expected in the days ahead. 56 people with the virus have been admitted to hospital however data on the severity of their infections is still being collated.
24 January 2022
High sea surges continue to threaten parts of the Cook Islands as a violent weather system hampers the country. Yesterday strong gusts and heavy rain battered Rarotonga, with sea surges flooding low lying areas and inundating roads with debris. Cook Islands Meteorological Service Director Arona Ngari said it will be a significant clean up operation.
24 January 2022
An Australian military aircraft has landed in Honiara - the first of two flights carrying emergency medical supplies to support the Solomon Islands' response to an escalating Covid-19 outbreak. The 19-tonne cargo includes 100 oxygen concentrators and PPE, medical supplies and equipment to help manage and contain the outbreak. The flights will also deliver a total of six tonnes of UNICEF emergency water and sanitation and dignity kits.
22 January 2022
The second day of a drive to receive emergency supplies to be sent to Tonga starts in Auckland at 9am this morning. Hundreds queued for hours at Mount Smart Stadium in Penrose yesterday to deliver emergency goods that will be sent to their families in Tonga. Almost six shipping containers were filled yesterday and organisers say at one point queues of more than 400 hundred cars stretched three kilometres.
22 January 2022
Three shipping containers are being set up at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium to be filled with donations for Tonga today. The Aotearoa Tonga Relief Committee is organising the relief effort and plans to collect and ship food and emergency supplies donated mainly by people with family of those living in Tonga. People can donate food and emergency supplies at Mt Smart stadium from 9am to 8pm on Friday and Saturday.
17 January 2022
Power is being restored in Tonga's capital, and the country is sending naval boats to outlying islands to assess the damage from the huge Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption and tsunami. A New Zealand Defence Force plane has left for Tonga to assess the damage from Saturday's volcanic eruption and tsunami.
20 December 2021
19 December 2021 The New Zealand boxer Joseph Parker has bagged a unanimous points decision win over British veteran Dereck Chisora in their heavyweight rematch in Manchester. Joseph Parker lands a punch on Dereck Chisora. Photo: Mark Robinson/Photosport Parker, who won the first fight back in May by a controversial split decision, won this morning's bout far more decisively, by at least two rounds on all three judges scorecards.
20 December 2021
The Cook Islands Prime Minister says Cabinet has approved new entry rules for people once the border is reopened mid-January. Mark Brown said the Covid-19 Safe Framework will be enforceable under new regulations available to Te Marae Ora (TMO) Ministry of Health. Under the Safe Framework there will be three different groups of visitors able to enter the country, each group will need to comply with its own particular set of rules.
1 December 2021
Fiji is reopening to tourists today with four plane loads of approximately 800 people expected over the first 24 hours of the country reopening its borders to international tourists. Welcome Home to Fiji which is 'Open For Happiness'. That is the message Tourism Fiji and its stakeholders are selling to holiday makers in its Travel Partner Countries.
30 November 2021
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft and personnel to transport PPE and medical supplies to provinces in Papua New Guinea. The stores were being held in warehouses in Port Moresby but getting the supplies from the capital to provincial areas has been a major challenge for local authorities.
22 November 2021
The Cook Islands Prime Minister is calling on the international finance community to recognise the debt small island states are taking on for climate adaptation and mitigation. Mark Brown said because the world's largest emitters refuse to phase out coal and because COP26 failed to deliver any positive climate finance outcomes, countries like his have to dig deep into their own pockets to prepare themselves for the impact of climate change.
16 November 2021
A New Zealand medical and logistics support team with essential supplies to assist Papua New Guinea with its Covid-19 crisis have departed New Zealand. Associate Foreign Minister Aupito William Sio said the PNG government has formally requested humanitarian and medical support from partner governments to respond to the health crisis, with rising case numbers, hospitalisations and deaths due to the current Delta surge.
15 November 2021
As the people of the Kiribati island of Banaba again plead for a reliable water supply, New Zealand says it stands ready to help. Banaba, which frequently experiences drought conditions, has no sources of water apart from rainfall. This year alone it has been through two dry spells, the most recent happening now.
9 November 2021
Wallis and Futuna will reopen its air links to New Caledonia next week after their suspension two months ago because of Covid-19 community outbreaks in both territories. The French prefect of Wallis and Futuna Herve Jonathan said the Covid-19 response committee has decided unanimously to allow a first flight on November 18th. The committee found that the pandemic has eased, and New Caledonia is again in a position to receive patients who cannot be treated in Wallis.
5 November 2021
The Pacific Islands need an urgent commitment for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, says the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). A call for action is underway by the secretariat at the UN Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. The Director of SPREP's Climate Resilence Program, Tagaloa Cooper, said the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has highlighted the urgency with which the world needs to act.
2 November 2021
Global climate talks have started in Glasgow, but most Pacific leaders can't get there. While the leaders of four Pacific nations are attending the United Nation's COP26 summit, Covid-19 travel restrictions are preventing the leaders of 10 Pacific nations from attending with their delegates. Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown is one, and he said it was verging on hypocrisy that Pacific countries are denied a voice unless they attend in person.
2 November 2021
Tonga's first lockdown due to a case of Covid-19 has begun, with stores forbidden to open and schools closed. Tonga's main island Tongatapu began a seven day lockdown after the kingdom recorded the arrival of its first case of Covid-19 on a flight from Christchurch last week.
27 October 2021
Police and a court sheriff have relocated more than 500 settlers from Black Sands in Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila, ahead of their eviction deadline. It is the biggest relocation of illegal settlers undertaken on Efate and follows a police exercise last week, when about 100 people were relocated from near Mele village. One of the relocated Black Sands villagers said he had been living there for 30 years.
21 October 2021
Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama will move Ratu Wiliame Katonivere's name on Friday in Parliament to be the next President. In a post on his official Facebook page Bainimarama said Ratu Wiliame has accepted his nomination. The Prime Minister described the President-elect as one of the fiercest defenders of the ocean and of the right of Fiji's future generations to live in a clean, safe and natural environment.
19 October 2021
An elder at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in the Vanuatu capital, Port Vila, is appealing to members of churches and the public to help their Melanesian brothers and sisters from Solomon Islands who are stranded in Vanuatu. Elder Lawrence Dick said the Solomon Islands nurses, whose contracts ended recently, cannot return to their country yet due to Covid-19.
12 October 2021
New Caledonia has launched a health pass for residents as it has begun easing restrictions imposed after last month's Covid-19 outbreak. The pandemic has infected more than 9,000 people and killed more than 200. The pass, which is needed for access to restaurants, museums and other venues, is available in an online version or as a printed document at townhalls.
11 October 2021
The Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) has announced it will not resume domestic competition this year, and is planning for an early kick-off in 2022. Its CEO John O'Connor said after thorough consultation and careful consideration, it decided to cancel all the domestic competition for 2021.
7 October 2021
A mass vaccination event has dished over 7000 vaccines to Pasifika in Auckland within almost a week. The youth-led drive-through event, 'Rally your Village' is a big win for Pacific communities, who not only received a dose of the Pfizer vaccine but also drove away with practical essentials. The colourful community event is another milestone for Pasifika, helping to reach more youth and their families.
The CNMI House of Representatives has a introduced a joint resolution that condemns Japan's plan to dump treated nuclear waste from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean. Introduced by Representaive Sheila Babauta, the joint resolution opposes any other government's actions related to nuclear testing, storage, and waste disposal in the Pacific and reaffirm everyone's fundamental right to a safe and healthy living environment.
4 October 2021
The Pacific is making a desperate plea to the world's wealthy nations: Step up and deliver on your promises to fight the global climate crisis. The call comes as climate ministers hold final talks before a key UN conference in Glasgow next month. One of the biggest issues holding up progress is the question of money, a pre-COP26 summit was told last weekend.
28 September 2021
A Niuean businessman who began exporting taro to New Zealand last year is now broadening the goods he's sending into the Auckland market. Brad Etuata started exporting taro after the Covid-19 pandemic brought a halt to tourism In Niue and increased demand for the crop. Initially, as a trial, Mr Etuata flew a small quantity on an Air New Zealand flight but is now filling containers with hundreds of 20 kilogramme sacks of taro.
27 September 2021
Samoa's prime minister has put climate change and ocean protection to the fore in a speech to the United Nations. Fiame Naomi Mata'afa told the 76th UN General Assembly in New York that there was no greater challenge facing the global community than climate change - including its effects on ocean health.
24 September 2021
Today is the second and final day of lockdown in Samoa with health authorities going door to door to administer Covid-19 vaccines. Around 7000 doses of AstraZeneca were administered on Thursday as part of the two-day roll out. Despite the strict lockdown, from 8am to 6pm, it is not compulsory to get vaccinated. Those willing to have the jab have been instructed to place red flags at the entrance to their dwellings.
23 September 2021
Five months after the General Election in April, Samoa has a financial budget to operate with. The Samoa Parliament passed the national budget totalling 983 million tālā after midnight local time on Thursday. This means the private sector will finally be paid for their services after waiting while the government operated on emergency provisions of 25 percent of the 2020/2021 budget from July 1 this year.
23 September 2021
In Tonga, the King has again criticised Parliament, this time over what he sees as a lack of effort in combatting the drug threat, and a lack of accountability and communication on what the government's doing.
21 September 2021
Twenty Tongans stranded in Fiji since March this year have been told their repatriation has been suspended because the risk of importing the delta variant is too high. Fiji is battling an outbreak that began in April, with over 12,000 active cases in isolation and the death toll at 575. Tonga's Government said the group in Fiji were among 2608 Tongans stranded overseas.
20 September 2021
An estimated 2,500 people protested against a compulsory vaccination law in French Polynesia over the weekend. Lawmakers last month passed legislation making vaccination against Covid-19 compulsory for anyone dealing with the public and individuals deemed to be vulnerable. They have been given two months to be inoculated or risk a fine of $US1,700 and a suspension of their work contracts.
16 September 2021
Twenty-five Pacific health providers are expected to receive funding from the Government's $26 million support package, a senior health official has said. The assistance, announced two weeks ago, is aimed at the Pacific Covid-19 response as a large number of the people who have been infected as well as those currently isolating are Pasifika.
15 September 2021
The Pacific Oceania men's tennis team is full of confidence heading into this week's Davis Cup meet in Jordan. The regional team won promotion to Asia Oceania Group three two years ago but last season's competition was cancelled because of Covid-19. Brett Baudinet from the Cook Islands said all four players are looking forward to representing the Pacific on the international stage.
14 September 2021
More than 350 Cook Islanders could be home by the end of next week, if Auckland's Covid-19 alert level status is relaxed. New Zealand's largest city has spent the past four weeks in a level 4 lockdown, following an outbreak of the Delta variant, but the government has indicated Tāmaki Makaurau will move to alert level 3 next Tuesday.
13 September 2021
A sold out crowd of 15,000 were on hand to watch the Lae Snax Tigers be crowned Papua New Guinea's domestic rugby league champions for the fourth time in six years. Last season's beaten finalists defeated Waghi Tumbe 16-10 at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby on Sunday, to regain the title they last won in 2019. PNG National Rugby League Competition Manager Ora Gairo said it was a positive way to end another season disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
8 September 2021
The Fiji Rugby Union is planning another domestic sevens series as Covid-19 continues to disrupt the international sevens calendar. The inaugural 'Super 7s Series' was held earlier this year to help Fiji's preparation for the Olympic Games. The Fiji men's and women's sevens teams are due to resume training in Suva later this month, after a six week break following their success in Tokyo.
7 September 2021
New Caledonia has detected three cases of Covid-19 in the community and ordered a two-week lockdown from midday Tuesday. The three cases are not connected and involve people who haven't travelled, suggesting the virus is circulating in the community. President Louis Mapou said investigations have been launched immediately to identify contacts and the chain of transmission. One of the cases is an unvaccinated person who had already been in hospital in Noumea.
6 September 2021
The alert level for the Pagan Island volcano has been raised to one with the volcano exhibiting heightened unrest. The Northern Marianas government is advising mariners and the public to avoid the area around Pagan for their safety. The U.S. Geological Survey upgraded the alert level for Pagan following an observation of low-level emissions from the volcano for most of last Wednesday.
3 September 2021
The Fijian Drua will be based in Australia for its inaugural season in Super Rugby. The Drua were this week confirmed as part of an expanded 12 team competition called 'Super Rugby Pacific', alongside Moana Pasifika and five teams each from New Zealand and Australia. But the Fijian team is unable to play on home soil in 2022 because of the country's ongoing Covid-19 situation and closed international borders.
1 September 2021
With 'Super Rugby Pacific' confirmed to kick off in February, the race is on for Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua to sign up their inaugural playing squads. The Drua also have to decide where they will be based next season, with Fiji's ongoing Covid-19 problems ruling out plans to play on home soil. Flying Fijians prop Haereiti Hetet said the Drua was a hot topic of conversation when national squad during their recent test series against the All Blacks.
31 August 2021
A group of Cook Islands Olympic team members expect to remain in New Zealand until Auckland's Covid alert level status is relaxed. 13 athletes and officials spent two weeks in an MIQ facility in Christchurch after flying back from Tokyo Games. The nine based in Rarotonga had been scheduled to fly straight home but by the time they were released New Zealand had gone into lockdown, after the Delta variant was discovered in the community.
30 August 2021
Fiji's Paralympians Inosi Bulimairewa and Iosefo Rakesa are the first athletes to represent the Pacific at the 2020 Tokyo Games today. Athletics (Men's) Iosefo Rakesa is set to make his debut when he competes in the F41 shot put event at 10am, with Inosi Bulimairewa competing in the F64 javelin event at 7pm.
27 August 2021
Basketball's governing body, FIBA, has launched a female internship programme for Pacific nations. The first part of the programme will run at the end of this year, and aims to provide professional development opportunities through online courses, mentoring and workshops. Applicants will also relocate to Australia, where they will work on developing a basketball-related project for their national federation back home.
27 August 2021
The Tahiti beach soccer team's World Cup journey has ended with a 5-4 extra time defeat by Japan in the quarter-finals. The Tiki Toa trailed inside five minutes in Moscow following an own goal from Teaonui Tehau. Shusei Yamauchi doubled Japan's lead from the penalty spot within 20 seconds and the Asian champions held a 2-0 lead after the first period.
23 August 2021
Tahiti are a win away from the knockout rounds at the Beach Soccer World Cup after beating Spain 12-8 in their second group match in Moscow. Heimanu Taiarui gave the Tiki Toa an early lead with a long range effort after 69 seconds, before Javi equalised in the sixth minute with a stunning bicycle kick.
20 August 2021
The Vanuatu Cricket Association's players and staff are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The group received their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Port Vila on Wednesday. Over 30,000 people in Vanuatu have received at least one dose of the vaccine in and the Vanuatu Cricket players and staff are amongst the first 2000 people in the country who are now fully vaccinated.
18 August 2021
By Cook Islands News The Cook Islands Prime Minister says the travel bubble with New Zealand has been suspended after New Zealand officials reported new Covid-19 community cases.
16 August 2021
The Samoan Judicial Commission has appointed five temporary judges from the New Zealand High Court to assist the local bench. In a press release yesterday the Commission said the judges were sworn in via video link 11 August by the Head of State Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II from his official residence at Vailele. Justices Robert Fisher, Peter Blanchard, Rhys Harrison, Rodney Hansen and Raynor Asher have been appointed for two year terms.
13 August 2021
The possible independence of Bougainville is the greatest challenge Papua New Guinea faces, the PNG Prime Minister James Marape says. The sanctity of the union of PNG as one country was very important, Marape said, and the issue was a bigger than Covid-19, the economy or other challenges. Marape said parliament will soon need to address the autonomous region's quest for independence.
11 August 2021
Two Cook Islands football teams achieved a major milestone during a week-long tour of Aotearoa last month. The Under 15 boy's and Under 16 girl's teams each played four games across the Auckland region, ending a 16 month stretch without international football matches in Oceania because of the global pandemic.
9 August 2021
The Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Henry Puna, says Friday's meeting honours the leaders who set up the organisation, 50 years ago. The leaders of the Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Tonga and Samoa together with Australia and New Zealand met in Wellington from 5th-7th August 1971. This was the first South Pacific Forum meeting. At the time, the only regional organisation established was the South Pacific Commission which was created in 1947.
3 August 2021
Seasonal workers from Tonga, Samoa and Vanuatu will be allowed into the country without having to go into managed isolation from September, the government says. In a post-Cabinet media briefing this afternoon, Ardern announced Cabinet had made the decision to allow Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from those countries to travel one way, without using MIQ.
2 August 2021
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today gave a formal and unreserved apology on behalf of the government for the Dawn Raids which she said left Pacific communities feeling "targeted and terrorised". Ardern delivered the speech as part of a three and a half hour ceremony in front of more than 1000 people at the Auckland Town Hall.
29 July 2021
Fiji has dedicated its Olympic rugby sevens win to the people back home who are struggling amidst the country's Covid-19 health crisis. Fiji defeated New Zealand 27-12 in the men's sevens final in Tokyo to defend the title they won in Rio five years ago. Captain Jerry Tuwai said the win is very special for the team and all of Fiji.
26 July 2021
Samoa's former prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has finally conceded defeat in the April 9 election. During a TV interview on Sunday night he said he looked forward to working with the new FAST government. Tuilaepa said he has asked Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa to give him and his government seven days to move out of his office. Even at the end of last week Tuilaepa was refusing to concede that he lost the election.
7 June 2021
A Cook Islands man who has been on holiday in Rarotonga since May 21, 2021 has tested positive for Covid-19, after requesting to be swabbed Friday evening. The alert level remains unchanged and the risk to public remains low, the government said. The man who arrived in Auckland from Egypt on May 5, 2021, and tested positive on his Day 0 test when in managed isolation (MIQ) in Auckland, according to a statement issued by Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health.
6 June 2021
The head of the Pacific Islands Forum wants more answers from Japan on its plan to dump wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant in the Pacific. Secretary General Henry Puna called for a frank discussion ahead of a meeting with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, after that organisation said Japan's dumping plan was technically feasible.
31 May 2021
To celebrate Samoa Language Week RNZ Pacific journalist Mariner Fagaiava-Muller and his Papa, Faasootauloa Fepuleai Galo Fagaiava, sat down together to make oka.
29 May 2021
Samoa's incoming leader has condemned the actions of the former government and demanded it hand over power. Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, speaking formally as the country's elected prime minister, slammed the behaviour Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and his Human Rights Protection Party. Fiame's FAST party, which won the most seats in last month's election, and the previous ruling party, HRPP, are waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on several contentious issues.
24 May 2021
Samoa's constitutional crisis deepened on Monday morning with the party that commands the majority of seats locked out of parliament, but still insisting it can form a government today. The FAST party, its leader Fiame Naomi Mata'afa and a large number of supporters gathered in a tent on the lawn in front of parliament house in Apia, where there was a heavy police presence. The officers were unarmed and wearing green shirts, RNZ Pacific's correspondent said.
18 May 2021
After more than a year, New Zealanders are finally able to travel to the Cook Islands without having to quarantine. The first flight to Rarotonga is set to take off from Auckland Airport at about 8.45am this morning. There will be daily flights between the two countries after that. Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty told First Up the crew are very excited about today's flight.
14 May 2021
Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown has announced this week that the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out will commence from next Tuesday. Brown said with the support from New Zealand, they had managed to receive sufficient Pfizer vaccine to provide full coverage for the population. All residents in the Cook Islands over the age of 16 years are eligible for vaccination.
10 May 2021
Aotearoa's Rotuman community is excited to celebrate their language and culture together this year. Last year's Rotuman language week, New Zealand's third, was forced online because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This year's theme for Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta - Rotuman Language Week - is Tutur häk ne måür lelei - the four pillars of life and wellbeing: Måür Fak'ata (spiritual - a place of solace that gives meaning to life).
3 May 2021
The Cook Islands bubble will open later this month, allowing two-way quarantine-free travel between both countries, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced. Cabinet ministers have this afternoon signed off on a 17 May start date, pending final confirmation by New Zealand's Director-General of Health and the Cook Islands Secretary of Health. It will be subject to final checks such as airline and airport preparedness.
3 May 2021
French Polynesia will tomorrow re-open its borders for quarantine-free travel. Such access will be allowed for vaccinated tourists arriving from the United States who have tested negative for Covid-19 no more than three days before departure. Air Tahiti Nui is relaunching its Los Angeles to Papeete service after a three-month break imposed by France as its pandemic worsened.
30 April 2021
A month after being hit with devastating floods, Timor-Leste struggles to cope amid a Covid-19 outbreak. Last month's floods left more than 45 people dead including a dozen children and tens of thousands homeless. The floods were brought on by a cyclone in Indonesia. In its latest update issued on 21 April, the government said 28,734 households were affected by the floods, with 90 percent of the homes in the capital Dili.
29 April 2021
The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape, is hoping the impasse with the Micronesian leaders can be resolved. In February, the five Micronesia members said they would withdraw from the Pacific Islands Forum after their candidate for secretary general was rejected, despite a gentleman's agreement that it was their turn.
27 April 2021
An interim management body could be established as to run the affairs of Tongan Rugby League in the lead-up to the World Cup later this year. It comes after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed an appeal by the former governing body, Tonga National Rugby League, over its expulsion from the International Rugby League.
26 April 2021
Four more new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Fiji, one of them sending Fijian health authorities on a massive manhunt. The Central Division including the capital Suva is in lockdown effective today for the next 14 days. A restricted movement order issued on the main island of Viti Levu on Saturday ended this morning.
24 April 2021
After last year's cancellation due to Covid-19, New Zealand will warmly welcome back its Anzac Day services tomorrow. The cancellation was the first since the day was marked in the early 1900s. The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio said he was pleased and relieved that New Zealand could again honour the huge sacrifices of the country's soldiers including the Pacific troops.
23 April 2021
The Pacific Games Council says all eyes will be on Tokyo as the world waits to see if major sporting events can be delivered in the age of Covid-19. The Pacific Mini Games are scheduled to take place in the Northern Marianas next June, having been delayed by 12 months because of the global pandemic.
19 April 2021
SIX60 will play the first ever concert at Eden park this Saturday 24th April to the largest crowd of the SATURDAYS tour! To celebrate the band’s history-making concert at Eden Park, artist Glenn Jones was commissioned to create a SIX60 mural which has just been installed in Mount Eden. In what is set to be a monumental event, the band are pulling out all the stops to make it an unforgettable evening for all.
16 April 2021
The Niue government has announced the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be used to innoculate the population against Covid-19. In a statement, the government says Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved by Medsafe in New Zealand. The government plans to vaccinate everyone over the age of 16. New Zealand government gave Niue $NZD9 million last month to help its response to Covid-19.
16 April 2021
Tonga's Princess Pilolevu Tuita was the first person to receive her first dose of the Covid-19 AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, followed by frontline workers on Tongatapu. The Princess volunteered to take part along with her husband Lord Tuita and Prime Minister Dr Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa. Acting CEO for Health Dr Reynold 'Ofanoa also received his first shot.
13 April 2021
Tonga's Covid-19 vaccination programme starts this Thursday on the main island, Tongatapu. The Minister of Health Dr 'Amelia Tu'ipulotu told Matangi Tonga that frontline workers will be the first to receive their shots at Falemasiva Hall. The Ministry of Health has held a national campaign on radio and television to inform the public about the vaccine and its roll-out since the first 24,000 doses of the Covid-19 AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines arrived on March 31.
10 April 2021
Organisers of the Pasifika Festival are expecting thousands of people to celebrate its return in Tāmaki Makaurau/ Auckland this morning. Cancelled for the past two years, due to the Christchurch terror attacks and the Covid-19 pandemic, the two-day festival will be held at a new venue, Mt Smart Stadium. Previously it was held at Western Springs.
10 April 2021
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh has died at the age of 99. Buckingham Palace said: "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. "His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle." UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he "inspired the lives of countless young people".
1 April 2021
Creative New Zealand recently announced that Caren Rangi ONZM has been appointed as the new Chair of the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa. Ms Rangi will be the first Pacific Chair and third woman to hold this role of Chair of the Arts Council in its 55-year history. She is a founding director on the Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited (PCBL) board, following our establishment in 2015.
25 March 2021
The Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika could be confirmed as the newest Super Rugby teams within a "couple of weeks" after a further funding boost from World Rugby. The governing body has agreed to spend more than $NZ7 million over the next three years to support the establishment of two new Pacific Island Super Rugby teams.
22 March 2021
Solomon Islands' Covid-19 vaccination programme begins on Wednesday in Honiara. At the weekend, 24-thousand doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, supplied through Covax facility, arrived in the Solomons. The country's prime minister Manasseh Sogavare, gave a national update confirming the rollout will launch at the central field hospital which he said was best equipped for mass vaccinations.
15 March 2021
The Cook Islands biggest cultural festival, Te Maeva Nui, returning to Auckland after it was cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, the event was held in Aotearoa for the first time in its more than 50-year history. Organiser Kim Marsters said her team was optimistic the two-day festival would go ahead as scheduled in July.
10 March 2021
The family of former Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, is in isolation for seven days amid the surge in Covid-19 infections in Port Moresby. The family is in mourning after the death of Sir Michael 11 days ago. His funeral is scheduled for Friday in Port Moresby after which he will be flown to Wewak for burial.
7 March 2021
Papua New Guineans are mourning the loss of the man who was the central figure in the country's passage to independence. Sir Michael Somare died early this morning in Port Moresby after being diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer and admitted to hospital a week ago.
5 March 2021
Nations and territories around the Pacific have cancelled or downgraded the tsunami advisory issued this morning, following a second major earthquake off New Zealand's Kermadec Islands, but locals have been told to remain vigilant.
21 February 2021
Vanuatu's prime minister has announced the creation of a safe travel bubble between Vanuatu and New Caledonia. From April, the so-called 'Tamtam Bubble' will allow easier travel between the covid-free Melanesian neighbours. Travel will be restricted to Vanuatu's main island of Efate.
16 February 2021
Cyclone Yasa caused an estimated loss of almost $US250 million to infrastructure, livelihoods and agriculture, Fiji's government said. The category five storm left four people dead and thousands homeless when it hit the country in December. Speaking in Parliament, the Disaster Management Minister Inia Seruiratu said about 139,000 people and 31,000 households were directly affected by the super storm. Seruiratu said more than 8000 homes were destroyed.
4 February 2021
The former Cook Islands Prime Minister, Henry Puna is the new Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum after a marathon online meeting. Puna was voted in over Micronesia's candidate Marshall Islands Ambassador to the US, Gerald Zackious by nine to eight. The outgoing secretary-general, Papua New Guinea's Dame Meg-Taylor had been in the role for over six years. Regional divisions over who should replace her emerged last year.
3 February 2021
The huge clean up has started in Fiji following the recent cyclone, but thousands of Fijians are still in evacuation centres. Tropical Cyclone Ana went through Fiji and left behind a trail of damage to fragile settlements, properties and livestock. RNZ Pacific correspondent Lice Movono said the flooding and rain activity recently is one of the biggest rainfalls the country has experienced.
1 February 2021
Dozens of international passengers who arrived in Rarotonga over the weekend have tested negative for covid-19, and have been released from supervised quarantine. The group of 54 were passengers onboard the first Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Rarotonga since the announcement of new community cases of Covid-19 in Northland and north of Auckland.
1 February 2021
The intensity of Cyclone Ana surprised many in Fiji which was hammered with 140km/hr gusts and heavy rain over the weekend. The storm developed into a Category 2 storm after initially sweeping past the Yasawas as a Category 1 system. It proceeded to cut a swathe through the northern and eastern parts of Viti Levu, including Suva. As of Sunday the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) said a 49-year-old man had drowned and was the first casualty from the storm.
21 January 2021
The people of a village Fiji's prime minister described as the "worst-affected" by Cyclone Yasa in December have decided to completely relocate, instead of rebuilding on the same exposed patch of devastated land. Cogea, which sits at the junction of two rivers in Vanua Levu, was nearly wiped out by floodwaters on the night of 17 December, as Yasa tore a path directly over the village, leaving 32 families homeless.
18 January 2021
A Fijian has been elected to head the United Nations Human Rights Council, the first time a Pacific country has held the role. Fiji's ambassador to Geneva, Nazhat Shameem Khan, will serve as the council's president for this year. She was elected by an unprecedented secret ballot after a diplomatic stand-off prevented a consensus decision. Khan, who was a favourite of western countries, won 29 of the 47 votes, beating off competition from Bahrain and Uzbekistan.
18 January 2021
Passengers from the Cook Islands will resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from next week, the two governments have confirmed. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown have announced the change, which will start from 21 January.
14 December 2020
Fiji Rugby will introduce a new Sevens tournament next year to prepare for the 2021 Olympic Games. Chief Executive John O'Connor said Fiji Rugby had to be innovative after World Rugby had cancelled most of Sevens Series this year because of Covid-19. "The HSBC 7s Series had been an integral part of our preparations for the Olympics as such, we have had to look at other alternatives to give our players the needed preparation before the Olympics," he said.
2 December 2020
Māori All Blacks v Moana Pasifika Rugby fans could get a glimpse into the future, when Moana Pasifika face the Māori All Blacks in Hamilton this weekend. While the Māori have a history dating back decades, the Pacific Islanders are at the start of theirs, but have their sights set on Super Rugby as early as 2022. Many of the squad have hinted this is where their future could lie.
27 November 2020
The government has offered help to the under-pressure horticultural sector by allowing 2000 Recognised Seasonal Employer, or RSE, workers in to help pick fruit and vegetables this summer. Growers had complained that without these workers, some produce would rot unpicked. The government has however imposed strict conditions. The workers would have to be paid the living wage, of at least $22.10 an hour.
26 November 2020
Solomon Islands has extended its State of Public Emergency regarding Covid-19 for another four months. This followed a declaration by Governor-General, Sir David Vunagi last night to further extend the so-called SOPE. The extension was declared after the expiry of the country's second SOPE on Tuesday. A statement from the Government confirmed the extension stemmed from a recommendation by the Prime Minister following a Cabinet endorsement last week.
26 November 2020
The Tonga Rugby Union is seeking a Chief Executive Officer, in a bid to kick-start a new future of stability for 2021 and beyond. The full-time role comes after the TRU signed a tripartite agreement with World Rugby and the Tonga government in September, after the global governing body had threatened to pull all financial support. The new joint management committee are taking charge until long-standing governance issues are resolved.
18 November 2020
Fiji’s Autumn Nations Cup rugby match against Italy has been cancelled with the touring side ravaged by Covid-19. Tournament organisers confirmed this weekend’s match in Ancona was off, after the latest round of tests returned 29 positives within the Fiji camp on Tuesday. “The tournament organiser remains in constant contact with the Fijian squad to address the situation. The main priority at present is the welfare of all players and management,” the statement said.
18 November 2020
Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban has been recognised with a lifetime achievement award for her service as New Zealand's first female Pasifika MP at last night's 2020 Women of Influence Awards. Dame Winnie was New Zealand's eighth Minister of Pacific Island Affairs and entered Parliament in 1999 as a Labour Party List MP before winning the Mana seat in 2002.
18 November 2020
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has asked athletes to get vaccinated against Covid-19 to show "solidarity" with their Japanese hosts. Bach's words come as he concludes a two day visit to the facilities for the Tokyo Olympics. The trip to the Japanese capital was his first since the decision to delay the Games until next year. Bach however reiterated that competitors would not be forced to get a vaccination.
5 November 2020
Watch the Video Source: TVNZ
3 November 2020
Two Pacific Islands teams are set to join a new-look Super Rugby competition in 2022, which will return to its original 12-team format. The Moana Pasifika bid, backed by former All Blacks Sir Bryan Williams and Sir Michael Jones, is understood to have the support of New Zealand Rugby while the Fiji Rugby Union has been tasked with basing a franchise out of Suva.
30 October 2020
Samoan seasonal workers waiting to get back to New Zealand are eager to return. Fruit growers in New Zealand, faced with a massive worker shortage, are also anxious for Pacific workers to return. But thousands of Pacific workers who come to New Zealand each year under the Recognised Seasonal Employer have been unable to because of travel restrictions due to the pandemic.
27 October 2020
There is a call for Australia to mirror New Zealand's Pacific Quota to help Pacific Islanders fleeing the impacts of global warming. A new policy brief from the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law and the Lowy Institute advocates such a move, among the slew of programmes needed to combat the threat posed by climate change. Co-author Jonathan Pryke says migration with dignity has to be part of the solution.
27 October 2020
There are hopes in Tonga that the melon trade to New Zealand can be up and running again in two weeks. Trade was halted a fortnight ago when fruit fly were found in melons from Tonga during bio-security checks in New Zealand. With an audit underway into what happened, Minoru Nishi of Nishi Trading said the sector is hoping to be back in business as soon as possible.
23 October 2020
Two hundred candidates have been registered for Samoa's general election in April next year. The total number of candidates has been released by the office of the Electoral Commissioner at the closing of nomination at 12noon today. The ruling HRPP party is top in the number of nominations with 114 candidates, while the Faatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi party has fifty candidates.
20 October 2020
The Oceania Women's Rugby World Cup repechage qualifier between Samoa and Tonga is now confirmed to be hosted in Auckland on 14 November. The match is part of a triple header including games between the New Zealand Defence Services and Police and the World Champion Black Ferns and a Barbarians team.
19 October 2020
New Zealand's Labour Party will see its largest ever Pacific caucus after claiming a landslide victory of 64 seats in Parliament. Last term's four existing Pasifika MPs, Carmel Sepuloni for Kelston, Jenny Salesa for *Panmure-Ōtāhuhu, Aupito William Sio for Māngere and Poto Williams for Christchurch East, all comfortably won their electorates. Aupito said he was grateful to receive such strong support within his electorate and to see that support across the country.
19 October 2020
Samoa has signed an agreement committing to preserve 30 percent of its ocean area. Some 36,000 kilometres of new marine protected areas are expected to come from the agreement. The agreement was signed between the government and the Blue Prosperity Coalition, a network of scientists, activists, experts and governments. Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi said Samoan waters held exceptional marine habitats and diverse life.
14 October 2020
About 50 early childhood teachers in American Samoa claim they are owed pay and are "getting the run-around" from the government. The group said they had not been paid for four weeks of summer workshops they attended. Two of the teachers said the HeadStart workshops were federally funded and they were promised payment before the start of the new school year. However that had not happened.
13 October 2020
The Cook Islands government has created an advisory committee to provide community perspectives on the controversial issue of seabed mining. The government said it had brought together six people representing religious, cultural, environmental, sporting, youth and academic viewpoints. They full committee is Bishop Tutai Pere, Makiuti Tongia, Sam Napa, Makiroa Mitchell, George George Williamson and Maru Mariri.
12 October 2020
The long-delayed Goroka by-election in Papua New Guinea has concluded, with Aiye Tambua of the ruling Pangu Party winning the seat. Conducted under the limited preferential voting system, the election went down to elimination. Tambua edged out the former MP Bire Kimisopa, leader of the New Generation Party, who finished in second.
5 October 2020
More than 120 journalists from 10 Pacific nations are participating in a new training programme to help the region strengthen their news services. Broadcasters from Samoa, Cook Islands, Tonga, Niue, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Federated States of Micronesia are currently in week 3 of the 10-week training programme.
1 October 2020
The Cook Islands parliament is sitting to elect a new prime minister, as Henry Puna stands down after a decade in the job. His deputy and preferred successor, Mark Brown, is likely to be voted in at a vote of confidence this afternoon. Parliament's public gallery is packed out with flowers and supporters of Mr Puna and Mr Brown. Puna has resigned from the job to contest for the role of Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum.
30 September 2020
Pacific nations and territories have been urged to diversify their tourism sector to meet new market demands amid the Covid-19 pandemic. On Monday, tourism in the region received a boost with an economic-resilience grant of almost $US20,000 from the United States. Accepting the donation, head of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) Chris Cocker said the funds can help implement effective responses to the industry.
30 September 2020
The Pacific has presented a united front to world leaders at the UN General Assembly this year. In an unprecedented virtual edition, the 75th instalment of the assembly was conducted through pre-recorded leader's statements and online meeting rooms. Climate Change, Ocean conservation and debt relief amid the Covid-19 pandemic were some of the recurring themes raised by Pacific leaders.
30 September 2020
The University of the South Pacific says New Zealand and Australia have reaffirmed their financial support to the regional institution. Last week, Fiji suspended its grants to the USP. New Zealand and Australia are also part of the university's governing council. Earlier this year, Australia announced it was with-holding its funding over allegations of mismanagement reported by Vice Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia.
22 September 2020
A free WIFI project for Samoan schools is being called illegal by the government. The project involves a private communication company working with a new political party chaired by former cabinet minister and speaker, La'auli Leuatea Polata'ivao Schmidt. Launched in Savai'i with a future roll-out planned across the country, the project aims to provide free internet connection for students to aid their education.
17 September 2020
Over 200 French officials have gone into quarantine in New Caledonia after arriving from France to help supervise next month's independence referendum. The 235 personnel are required to spend two weeks in government-run facilities before they are allowed to be deployed to the 241 polling stations. A further 13 magistrates will be drawn from New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna, which has a quarantine-free air link to Noumea.
15 September 2020
The last of the Bougainville presidential votes have been counted but electoral officials still have days of work ahead of them before the winner can be announced. They need to do reconciliation and then start the elimination process, required under the proportional voting system used in Bougainville. Currently, former Bougainville Revolutionary Army commander, Ishmael Toroama, had a substantial lead of more than 8,000 votes over second placed Simon Dumarinu.
14 September 2020
Palau President Tommy Remengesau has confirmed his country will host an in-person meeting among the leaders of Kiribati, Nauru, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. Mr Remengesau said while details of the planned Micronesian Presidents' Summit were still being ironed out, the leaders were aiming to meet in October.
11 September 2020
Samoa has approved a petition from the Tokelauan government to allow a special trip to the atolls to repatriate contract workers island as well as Samoans wanting to return home. Approval had also been given to allow Tokelauan students to be repatriated from New Zealand and to travel directly to Tokelau after arrival in Samoa. The approval was given by Cabinet this week along with other additions to the current Covid-19 State of Emergency orders.
10 September 2020
More than 100 employees of Air Tahiti have agreed to accept voluntary redundacy as French Polynesia's flag carrier grapples with the downturn in tourism. The carrier is to shed 13 pilots and 40 cabin crew as well as ground staff - six months after the airline suspended flights because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Air Tahiti Nui resumed flights to the US and France in July but services to Asia and New Zealand remain suspended.
8 September 2020
The 2020 Oceania Sevens Championship is the latest sporting tournament to be cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The announcement follows confirmation last week that the Sydney and Hamilton legs of the World Sevens Series have also been axed. Oceania Rugby General Manager Bruce Cook said scrapping the November tournament was unfortunate but the right decision, with the health and well-being of the players, officials and public their top priority.
7 September 2020
Otara's largest Pacific health provider has partnered with Pacific churches in Auckland to offer support to families. The South Seas Healthcare Clinic in Otara said the on-going effects of the pandemic continues to impact the Pacific community.
4 September 2020
Coming up to the elections in Palau in November there is a rising tide of criticism over the marine protected area that's previously been considered a great national achievement. The Palau National Marine Sanctuary has been celebrated as one of the world's most ambitious ocean conservation initiatives. Known in Palau as a bul, it was designed to protect Palau's inshore fish stocks and to help ensure the sustainability of tuna in the Pacific.
2 September 2020
The United Nations Children's Fund is warning the impact of Covid-19 on children extends far beyond the spheres of their physical health. A new report released by the UN agency revealed the pandemic was having profound effects on children's mental health, social development, safety, privacy, economic security and beyond. The report Humanitarian Action For Children also said the impact of the global crisis on children would be lifelong.
1 September 2020
Tens of thousands of students in Fiji have been kept at home this week due to the escalating water crisis in the country. Barry Omundson is the chief executive of the Water Authority in Fiji. Photo: Water Authority of Fiji The Water Authority said an automatic transfer switch that ran raw water pumps to the Waila Water Treatment Plant burnt out and caused all five pumps to switch off.
31 August 2020
The island of Mangaia in the Cook Islands came to a standstill yesterday for the coronation of its new king. Tangi Tereapii was installed Numangatini Ariki at a packed ceremony and feast at Te Maruata-Nui-o-Numangatini Marae. The Cook Islands News reports the celebration was attended by the whole island, as well as dignitaries from Rarotonga, Aitutaki and Atiu.
28 August 2020
New Caledonia's UNI pro-independence party alleges the French state fails to be impartial in the lead-up to the October referendum on independence. Its leader Louis Mapou said with just over a month to go until the vote, the top French administrative court is yet to rule on the use of the French flag in the referendum campaign. Mapou said in a statement that the court had not replied to his side's challenge.
27 August 2020
The US Secretary of Defense is scheduled to visit Palau for five hours on Friday, with President Tommy Remengesau Junior calling it a historic visit from a high level official of the country's closest ally. In a press conference, President Remengesau said there were a range of issues that could be discussed during Mark Esper's visit.
26 August 2020
Palau is reportedly planning to open up for tourism next month, initially with just Taiwan. Despite remaining Covid-19 free, Palau's tourism industry - its primary source of revenue - has come to a standstill. Currently there are two chartered flights a month that carry essential workers and medical patients between Taiwan and Palau.
25 August 2020
Pacific countries are among 172 nations which are now pooling funds to pre-purchase Covid-19 vaccines still in development. Known as the Covax Facility, the initiative aims to secure supplies and deliver two billion doses of any safe and approved vaccines to these countries by the end of 2021.
24 August 2020
The repatriation of Marshall Islanders continues to be considered despite mounting cases of Covid-19 in Hawaii and Guam, the two principle points of departure for flights there. The government had yet to make a decision about repatriating what is said to be over 200 people stranded in Hawai'i, Guam, the Philippines, Fiji, Kiribati and elsewhere. But the government's National Disaster Committee is currently considering seeking cabinet endorsement for the return of two groups.
22 August 2020
More than 22,000 Pacific people have tested for Covid-19 in recent weeks, as the community has rallied in the face of the latest surge of the coronavirus. At a news conference for Pacific media on Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the director-general of health, Ashley Bloomfield, paid tribute to the community for the way it had responded to the call to get tested.
21 August 2020
Two New Caledonian airlines have asked for loans guaranteed by the French state to counter the downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The international carrier Aircalin and the domestic airline Air Caledonie reported a drop in passenger numbers of 91 and 40 percent respectively. Aircalin says it wants a $US48 million loan in order to keep operating a reduced schedule while cutting its wage bill by 20 percent.
With tourism sidelined in the Northern Marianas by the Covid-19 pandemic, hotels in the CNMI are cutting hundreds of jobs. The Hotel Association said its 12 member-hotels are losing $US10 million a month. The association said the hotels had terminated hundreds of employees, including nearly 800 foreign workers on CW-1 visas, who were being sent back to their home countries. Imperial Pacific casino is also cutting its foreign work force.
19 August 2020
A new newspaper for Bougainvilleans has been launched this week. The weekly paper, called The Bougainvillean, had its first print run of 5,000 copies in Port Moresby. The paper has had a digital presence on Facebook for months. However its first physical copies have only been sold in the Papua New Guinea capital so far because of Covid-19 restrictions on air freight into the autonomous region of Bougainville.
18 August 2020
The head of news at TV1 Samoa is hopeful that a rare Covid-19 government briefing held today signals a move towards more openness and transparency with media. Renee Kahukura-Iosefa said briefings have not happened during the Covid State of Emergency despite media requests.
17 August 2020
Journalists in Tonga are angry at new regulations they say clamp down on media freedom. The Ministry of Communication passed eight regulations in May, without seeking input from the Media Association of Tonga or others in the sector. Media professionals have only now become aware of the law changes.
15 August 2020
The United Nations Pacific proudly presents: Pacific Unite: Saving Lives Together virtual concert is envisioned to be a regional extension of the Global Goal concept.
14 August 2020
The Governor of Papua New Guinea's capital is urging all residents to take responsibility for protecting their community from Covid-19. Port Moresby has the majority of confirmed cases of the virus in PNG, with the total nationwide number now approaching 300. With limited testing done so far, authorities fear transmission of covid is widespread in the city.
13 August 2020
The newly set up Nauru Shipping Line has revealed its main focus will be chartering a single vessel, Kiwai Chief, to carry freight between Suva and Nauru. It was announced last month that the company was being established by the Nauru Maritime Service, with funding from the government. Spokesperson Adalane Ika says the Suva service will allow for transshipment of cargo from Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Fiji.
12 August 2020
The Cook Islands has tightened its borders after the confirmation of new coronavirus cases in New Zealand. People arriving on Friday's flight from Auckland will have to be tested before they leave, and will go straight into supervised quarantine when they arrive in Rarotonga. The Cabinet met this morning to discuss the new cases in New Zealand and the steps that would be taken to protect the Cook Islands.
11 August 2020
Solomon Islands has received the first batch in a series of medical supplies from abroad to help it prepare for a Covid-19 outbreak. The personal protective equipment and other medical supplies were financed by the Asian Development Bank and procured by the United Nations Children's Fund. The supplies, including masks, thermometers, face-shields, gowns and testing kits will help frontline medical workers respond to a potential outbreak of the virus.
10 August 2020
New Zealand's prime minister says a travel bubble with the Cook Islands could be open before the end of the year, but has refused to be drawn to a firm timeline. Cabinet this morning considered a draft text of an agreement being worked on by both governments. Jacinda Ardern said she hoped officials would be able to start work on the ground in both countries to prepare for quarantine-free travel.
8 August 2020
About five Cook Islands families were driven from their homes by flooding this week, during a downpour that brought a month's worth of rain to Rarotonga. The Metservice measured 121 mm of rain during the deluge on Wednesday night, six more than the island's monthly average. Inspector John Strickland from the Cook Islands police said flood waters over a metre deep were recorded in residential areas close to the islands main town, Avarua.
7 August 2020
While the prospect of international rugby remains up in the air, Flying Fijians coach Vern Cotter is taking a closer look at locally based talent. The former Scotland head coach was unveiled as the new Fiji mentor in January but has yet to step foot in the country because of Covid-19. He's currently back home in New Zealand, where Fiji's Skipper Cup domestic competition is being screened on TV.
6 August 2020
Leaders of Papua New Guinea and Australia have signed a Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership. PNG's prime minister James Marape and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison signed the partnership at a virtual summit yesterday. The agreement looks to elevate relations in areas including security, social and human development, and economic co-operation.
4 August 2020
French Polynesia may be linked to a cable planned between South America and Australia. The OPT telecommunications company said discussions were continuing with Chile to consider a hook-up for French Polynesia. Last month, reports suggested that the planned cable would be laid between Chile, New Zealand and Australia but bypassing French Polynesia. However, the OPT said a decision was not expected before December.
3 August 2020
Australia's Human Rights Law Centre says the Australian Government must ensure the safety of people it is detaining in Papua New Guinea. It said it was making the call as PNG's Pandemic Response Controller warned a coronavirus outbreak could overwhelm the health system within days. There are currently more than 175 people in PNG and 185 in Nauru detained under Australia's offshore detention scheme.
31 July 2020
Pacific Island states are looking at risky money making opportunities as they desperately seek ways to revive their economies hit hard by Covid-19. Tourism keeps many countries and territories such as the Cook Islands afloat but the hotels and resorts have been empty since last March when borders were closed.
30 July 2020
Next year's Netball World Youth Cup in Fiji has been postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The decision comes only weeks after qualifying events in Africa, the Americas, Europe and Oceania were cancelled, with the remaining spots determined via world ranking points. The World Youth Cup was scheduled to be held in Suva in June, with Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands set to represent the Pacific.
28 July 2020
By Jonathan Milne of Cook Islands News The Cook Islands and New Zealand governments have again delayed announcing details of an air-bridge between the two countries. The New Zealand Cabinet was understood to be discussing plans today for the first relaxation of the borders of New Zealand and Cook Islands, expected in a matter of weeks.
27 July 2020
There are concerns in New Zealand that a newly launched Pacific Education action plan doesn't go far enough. Last week Associate Minister for Education, Jenny Salesa, launched the 10 year plan that looks to support Pacific learners and families to achieve their educational dreams.
25 July 2020
A cable connecting four Polynesian countries has been readied for operation. The Manatua cable is 3800 kilometres long and links Samoa, Niue, the Cook Islands and French Polynesia. The French Polynesian presidency has hailed the three-year project as a fantastic technological step forward. The cable is expected to improve connectivity and lower costs.
24 July 2020
The UN children's agency in Vanuatu says motivating children to return to school is its key focus for today's public holiday, Children's Day. The event is part of a nine day celebration marking Vanuatu's 40th independence anniversary. However the occasion was bittersweet in some ways. UNICEF's Communications Officer, Rebecca Olul, said while Children's Day in the south would be festival-like, it would be different in the north.
23 July 2020
Francis Kean is standing down as chair of the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) after a controversial five year term. The former navy commander, who was convicted of manslaughter in 2007, was appointed to the role by Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who is also his brother in law and President of the FRU.
22 July 2020
A study into Tonga's tax on sugar-sweetened drinks has found it may have led to an increase in bottled water production. The research, by a team from Otago University, is one of the first studies of such taxes in the Pacific, where 14 countries and territories have introduced them. Since introducing its tax in 2013, Tonga's government has taken about US$3.4 million a year in revenue.
21 July 2020
The 2021 Pasifika Festival will see a new twist to the layout of the villages, with some island countries combining in a shared space. Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) has announced that Hawai'i, Tahiti, Tokelau and Tuvalu are the countries affected by its 2021 refresh plan. In short, the four islands, or villages as the event refers to each country, will share one stage but have their own separate sections within the shared space at Western Springs.
21 July 2020
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its partners are set to spend $US900 million on improving Pacific towns and cities by the end of 2022. The ADB's Pacific Urban Update 2020 report details a swathe of urban infrastructure projects that are planned or under way across the region. ADB Pacific urban division director Jingmin Huang said the report showed how the bank was partnering with island governments, private sector and donor partners.
20 July 2020
American Samoa's governor has ordered flights between Pago Pago and Hawaii be suspended until September. The last Hawaiian Airlines flight in and out of Pago Pago was in March, as the territory shut down because of coronavirus concerns. That flight ban was due to be lifted at the end of the month, but with Covid-19 resurgent in Hawaii, Lolo Matalasi Moliga has extended the suspension.
19 July 2020
The foreign ministers of the Pacific Islands Forum countries are calling for the member states to work together to overcome Covid-19. They have issued a joint statement, saying that the pandemic poses unique challenges for the Pacific. The island geography, the limited medical infrastructure, and communal ways of Pacific life, mean even one case of Covid-19, in any country, represents a major threat.
17 July 2020
Four new confirmed covid-19 cases in Papua New Guinea come from staff in the main labatory that tests for the virus. The country's Health Secretary, Dr Paison Dakulala, announced the cases in PNG's capital, taking the total confirmed cases in PNG so far to fifteen. The Post Courier reports that all four cases are staff members at the Central Public Health Laboratory at Port Moresby General Hospital.
16 July 2020
The Samoan government is looking seriously at banning Facebook in the country. TV1Samoa reports Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi saying this week that many people had complained about the popular social media platform and how it is being used to hurt people. "I am thinking about this a lot especially how it is being used to make defamatory statements about others," he said.
15 July 2020
Sir Toke Talagi, the former long time leader of Niue, has died. The four-term premier has been ailing for the past few years, to the point where much of his last year as premier was spent in New Zealand for medical treatment.
15 July 2020
New Caledonia has detected another Covid-19 case. The French High Commission in Noumea said the individual tested positive at the end of the quarantine in the quarters set aside for the military. It said it compliance with the provisions in New Caledonia, the person has been transferred to the Covid-19 unit at the hospital although he is asymptomatic. A further test is expected to be done today.
14 July 2020
The Cook Islands government expects to confirm a "travel bridge" with New Zealand in the next week. The concept would allow people to travel between the two countries freely, and follows a meeting between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her counterpart Henry Puna last night. Cook Islands Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown says there's a desperate need for tourism in the country.
13 July 2020
A senior researcher in Papua New Guinea has emphasised that government moves to deter domestic violence need to be effective at a provincial and village level. The government this month introduced harsher penalties for gender-based and sorcery accusation-related, following the recent violent death of 19-year-old mother Jenelyn Kennedy.
12 July 2020
New Zealand's Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, said he is pleased to add the Kiribati language to this country's Pacific language weeks programme. He said the government is strongly committed to growing and supporting the Pacific language weeks, and with $NZ20 million in funding his ministry has been able to include funding support to the Kiribati and Rotuman communities this year.
10 July 2020
Five new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Fiji, all of them in border quarantine. They include a 44-year-old man, a 38-year-old woman, a 51-year-old man, a 29-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man. The acting permanent secretary of health, James Fong, said one of them is the husband of one of the three patients confirmed earlier this week. He said all eight cases were caught in border quarantine and there's no threat to the community.
8 July 2020
The charity ChildFund has gone into partnership with the New Zealand government to improve well-being in the Asia Pacific region. The $US7.3 million 'Impact programme,' to which New Zealand's foreign ministry will contribute about $US5.6 million, targets children, youth and their families in Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Solomon Islands over the next five years.
7 July 2020
A charitable trust championing Pacific art and artists in Oceania has now expanded their premises to include the first Pacific art gallery in New Zealand. Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust was formed in the 1980s by leading Samoan artist Fatu Feu'u, and with his peers they came together with a shared goal to support and promote Pacific visual artists.
2 July 2020
The Vanuatu women's beach volleyball team are set to boost a community-based tournament in celebration of the nations 40 years of independence. Eight men's and eight women's six-a-side teams have been confirmed to compete in the Indoor Volleyball Championships which got underway yesterday and will consist of 40 matches over a four week period. Tournament director, Mike Masauvakalo, said it was great to see national players getting involved.
1 July 2020
Two weeks after terminating the contracts of almost 300 workers, the Air Terminal Services in Fiji is advertising 106 positions. In a letter sent to staff this week, the company said those wishing to "apply for these jobs are being asked to submit an expression of interest with ATS". The government-owned company said former employees "must have completed their clearance formalities if they wish to be considered".
30 June 2020
The government has announced that New Zealand's hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the global disruption caused by Covid-19, including the border restrictions had been a major factor in the decision. He said given the current global environment, planning to have a large volume of high-level visitors in New Zealand from late this year is impractical.
26 June 2020
The Solomon Islands government has secured $US20-million from the Asian Development Bank to help prevent Covid-19 from entering the country. The funds are an even split between concessional loan and grant which the ADB says will also help mitigate the economic impacts of the virus. The Solomons' government says the funds will help tackle health and economic strains caused by the pandemic.
25 June 2020
The New Zealand government says it's taking a cautious approach to Fiji's 'Bula Bubble' proposal. Wellington's response follows Fiji's announcement this week that it was hoping to establish a tourism bubble with Australia and New Zealand, to attract visitors. Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said tourists could be contained and prevented from mixing with locals.
24 June 2020
Fijians have been told the government's plan to open the country's borders to visitors is safe. The government wants to create what it calls a "Bula Bubble" with New Zealand and Australia to attract tourists to Fiji. The Ministry of Health's Aalisha Sahukhan said a risk assessment was carried out by the ministry before the decision to ease Covid-19 restrictions was made.
23 June 2020
Tonga's Finance Minister has presented a plan to overcome a $TP60 million Budget deficit, the largest in the Kingdom's history. The National Budget of $TP589.6 million for 2020-2021 was passed unanimously by Parliament yesterday, 21- 0, over a week before the deadline on 30 June.
23 June 2020
Taneti Maamau has been re-elected president of Kiribati by more than 8,000 votes, cementing the country's relations with China. The switch to Beijing from Taiwan in September brought protesters out into the streets, and whether to align with China or Taiwan became the main dividing issue between the two presidential candidates.
22 June 2020
Twenty two positive Covid-19 tests linked to the US Air Force Andersen Base have taken Guam's total number of cases to 222. Of those cases 180 are classified as civilians, and 42 are military service members, including the 22 confirmed by the Department of Defense on Saturday. The government says there are 44 active cases in Guam while 173 people have been released from isolation and there have been five deaths over the course of the outbreak.
22 June 2020
The people of Kiribati will go to the polls today to vote in a presidential election. Whether the country has relations with China or Taiwan is the main dividing issue between the two candidates. Taneti Maamau is the incumbent who controversially switched allegiance from Taipei to Beijing last year. He is going up against Banuera Berina, a former close ally who fell out with Mr Maamau over the switch, and is campaigning to re-establish ties with Taiwan.
19 June 2020
More than 7000 Tongans are thought to be stranded overseas by Covid-19 restrictions. The chief executive of Tonga's Ministry of Information, Paula Ma'u, said a thousand have registered for repatriation, while a thousand stranded seasonal workers are being registered by the Ministry of Internal affairs. The first repatriation flight for 50 Tongans was being planned from New Zealand next month and Mr Ma'u said a second could take place 14 days after the first.
19 June 2020
A group of 27 French Polynesian residents has been repatriated from New Zealand, including the woman whose baby died after being rushed to Auckland. The Air Tahiti Nui plane was chartered by business people who imported 120 cubic metres of merchandise.
18 June 2020
Life is returning to normal in Papua New Guinea this week with the end of the Covid 19 State of Emergency. But some things are still restricted. PNG's Emergency Covid-19 Act lapsed on Tuesday and schools are now allowed to revert to normal classes, churches can conduct services again and sporting activities can resume. However the passage of the National Pandemic Act last week means international flights and border crossings are still banned.
18 June 2020
The first repatriation flights between the two Samoas are scheduled to begin today. More than 160 American Samoans have been stranded in Apia since the Covid-19 lock down and dozens of Samoans are also keen to return home from Pago Pago. Local media are reporting at least 40 people a day could be repatriated with both Samoa Airways and Talofa Airways operating flights.
17 June 2020
A survey is being carried out Samoa to assess the impact of the Covid-19 State of Emergency on households. The United Nations wants to know what the social and economic effect of Covid restrictions have been. It's looking at economic and food security, employment, debt and standards of living. Results will help the Samoa Government and aid donors better understand how Samoans are coping with the pandemic.
17 June 2020
A drill for repatriating Tongans stranded in New Zealand by Covid-19 has been hailed as a success. Fifty nursing students yesterday played the part of the first 50 Tongan citizens the government hopes to repatriate in July. For the drill, the students were met on the tarmac at Fua'motu Airport by health officials and police, who guided them to the terminal for the quarantine inspection process.
15 June 2020
Another 202 people have been flown to French Polynesia on a French government-sponsored relief flight from Paris - the seventh such flight since the Covid-19 related shutdown of air services. The French High Commission said the Air Tahiti Nui plane carried patients who had completed their care in France, students and French public servants.
15 June 2020
The Marshall Islands has extended its ban on incoming travellers to 5 July, but repatriated nine Marshallese stranded in Pohnpei and allowed the first group of five essential workers to return to the US Army missile testing range at Kwajalein Atoll. These two groups were the subject of Covid-19 testing prior to departing Pohnpei and Honolulu, and are undergoing a two-week quarantine with multiple tests prior to release.
12 June 2020
There are calls for the government to put more pressure on Vanuatu to repatriate its citizens with hundreds of seasonal visa holders stranded in New Zealand due to Covid-19. Some got home before Covid-19 gripped New Zealand, but about 500 Vanuatuans working in Central Otago for orchard and grape harvests became stuck when Vanuatu closed its borders. The horticulture and viticulture sectors in the district rely heavily on Vanuatuan seasonal workers.
11 June 2020
Samoa has further relaxed its Covid-19 State of Emergency restrictions for church services and allowed more than one gathering allowed on their sabbath. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi announced the easing of restrictions on Wednesday which included the return of street vendors. The formal notification of the amended orders stipulated that "only fruits, vegetables, cooked food and designed/elei materials/lavalava are allowed to be sold".
9 June 2020
Early childhood education in Tuvalu will get a $US14 million-dollar boost from the World Bank. This is after the bank's Board of Executive Directors approved a grant for a new literacy project to support all schoolchildren. The bank said Tuvalu was one of the smallest, most remote and climate change vulnerable countries in the world.
8 June 2020
A partnership has been launched between Kiribati, the European Union and UNICEF to improve water, sanitation and hygiene in the Line and Phoenix Groups. About 11,000 people live in the group, including 4000 children, who attend 12 schools and 28 kindergartens. The EU will provide about $US7 million during the four-and-a-half year project to install and repair infrastructure, and to promote hygiene.
8 June 2020
A second round of grants for cocoa farmers in Bougainville has been launched. The scheme, which began in 2017 and ran initially for 3 years, aims to help cocoa farmers increase production, improve quality and get better market access. Its been made possible by the governments of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand, through the Bougainville Partnerships Commodity Support Facility.
6 June 2020
The European Union has allocated a budget support of more than $US20 million to help the Fiji Government tackle the Covid-19 and climate change crises. EU Ambassador to the Pacific, Sujiro Seam, says the coronavirus pandemic has forced people to return to farming to "put food on the table" and it's important the EU's support focuses on these families. Mr Seam said the assistance will also help sustain rural livelihood programmes over the next three years.
4 June 2020
The French legislature has again tightened the law for those seeking compensation for ill health because of the nuclear weapons tests in French Polynesia. The new law reintroduces the need for every claimant to prove a minimum exposure to radiation for a compensation claim to be accepted. It was approved by a joint commission of the National Assembly and the Senate which met after last week's rejection of the text in the Senate.
3 June 2020
New Niue MP-elect, Richard Hipa, has confirmed his intention to put his name forward for the country's Premiership and says the weekend's election results indicate people want change. Mr Hipa told BCN he was grateful to the people of Niue after he gained the highest number of votes with 440.
2 June 2020
The leader of Fiji's National Federation Party says he's confident the NFP will do well to fill in the role of Opposition in Parliament following the suspension of SODELPA last week. Supervisor of Elections and Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem, suspended the main opposition party for 60 days for breaching political rules and the Constitution.
2 June 2020
A bill is expected to be tabled in Papua New Guinea's Parliament this week on measures to be taken once the State of Emergency comes to an end as scheduled today. Prime Minister James Marape said the government had been advised by technical and health experts to extend the Covid-19 national emergency but it was considering other options.
29 May 2020
Pacific Media Network’s 531pi radio show will now be accessible to listeners in the Pacific region. Pasifika TV will rebroadcast the radio platform to the nations in the Pacific. Interim Chief Executive of PMN, Sara-Jane Elika, says it is a very exciting time for the organisation. “Over the last year, our talanoa with Pasifika TV has focused on expanding the reach of our content given our close links with the Pacific region.
28 May 2020
Pacific Media Network has announced its 531pi radio station will now be available to broadcasters across the region. PMN Interim CEO, Sara-Jane Elika, says over the past year, their discussions with Pasifika TV have focused on expanding their content reach. "The first opportunity came through the Pacific Divas National Identity showcase and now we look to a phased approach with our Breakfast shows being the first of many audio feeds to come," Sara-Jane Elika said.
27 May 2020
Fiji Airways has secured more than $US200 million from the government to help steer the company through the Covid-19 crisis. The announcement comes a day after the airline sent nearly 800 staff home with the economic fallout from the pandemic being blamed. Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said the situation at Fiji Airways was being mirrored across the world.
The Northern Marianas has eased restrictions around the spread of Covid-19 by now allowing restaurants to open for dine-in and pushing a nightly curfew out an hour later. Aside from the change to restaurants, church services can resume, gyms can operate, and the tourist hotspot of Managaha Island is to reopen again. However the new directives still limit gatherings of more than 10 people in the same room.
25 May 2020
The first Solomon Islands repatriation flight is scheduled to take place tomorrow out of Australia. The Solomon Airlines flight will leave Brisbane for Honiara just after midday local time. Solomon Islanders who want to board the flight must purchase their own tickets from Solomon Airlines. A second repatriation flight is being planned for Wednesday to go via Vanuatu and Fiji but will be subject to the airline getting flight clearances.
25 May 2020
Nearly 800 Fiji Airways staff, including cabin crew, have been let go today. FBC News to obtained a copy of the termination letter that was sent to 775 staff from the airline. In the letter, Fiji Airways said the severe effects of Covid-19, had resulted in the company taking the "drastic step". Staff were sent the letter have been given 48 hours to return any Fiji Airways property and to collect personal belongings from the office.
19 May 2020
Fiji has called on the United Nations to help small island states facing the double burden of climate disaster and Covid-19. Fiji's permanent UN representative told officials meeting on Universal Health Coverage that the onus was inequitable. Satyendra Prasad reminded officials of the 2019 commitment by world leaders at the General Assembly to extending health coverage.
18 May 2020
Tropical Cyclone Harold showed us that Climate Change is still the Pacific's biggest existential threat, according to Vanuatu's opposition leader. Ralph Regenvanu had been speaking at an Asia Society Policy Institute web conference on Friday about Covid-19 in the Pacific and weathering two crises. Mr Regenvanu said when the Covid-19 pandemic reached the Pacific, countries were able to put in measures to limit its effects.
15 May 2020
NZ$195 million from the New Zealand government budget will go to helping Pacific communities. Pacific peoples minister Aupito William Sio said the money will help with the recovery and rebuild from Covid-19, with the Pacific community among the hardest hit. $80 million has been set aside for yet-to-be-announced education iniatives, while more than $30 million will go expanding skills, employment and education programmes that already exist.
14 May 2020
The Cook Islands' deputy prime minister says losing its developed country status needs to happen quickly. Its status was changed earlier this year by the OECD, a graduation which restricts access to funds from the likes of the World Bank. That change was off the back of phenomenal growth in tourism, an industry which has disappeared because of Covid-19. Mark Brown, who is also the finance minister, said the OECD's criteria is based on a country's income.
14 May 2020
Samoa's prime minister says he has deep reservations about reopening borders. Samoa was one of the first to lock down because of Covid-19, fearing a repeat of last year's measles epidemic which killed 83 people. The country's tourism industry has been hard hit by the shut down, and there has been talk about joining a so-called travel bubble if New Zealand eliminates Covid-19.
12 May 2020
New Zealand is set to channel more aid money into supporting Pacific countries' health systems and economy because of the impact of Covid-19. The man overseeing the New Zealand Aid Programme, Jonathan Kings, said the virus had made it focus on aid in different ways. He is calling it a 'pivot.'
11 May 2020
New Zealand's Aid Programme is looking to pivot its assistance to the Pacific due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Deputy Secretary of the Pacific at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jonathan Kings, said he was proud of the way the aid agency was able to provide initial support, but that now it needed to take a longer-term look.
11 May 2020
A Tokelauan leader has drafted a referendum on the territory moving to independence from New Zealand to be held by 2025. The proposal still has to go before Tokelau's parliament, but is the most significant step toward self-determination in more than a decade for the territory, which has been governed by New Zealand since 1925.
9 May 2020
The French military has flown a three-month old baby from French Polynesia to New Zealand for urgent surgery. The plane carried a medical team with the patient and their parents and returned to Tahiti after three hours in Auckland. The cargo plane, which has been deployed by Paris to Tahiti for a month, was sent by the French High Commission.
Reports from French Polynesia say a French military cargo aircraft has picked up 20 residents who were stranded in New Zealand because of the Covid-19 outbreak. The reports say the A400M aircraft had first flown supplies to the French base in New Caledonia and then returned via Auckland. When the plane was deployed to French Polynesia last month, officials said it was for missions around both French Polynesia and the wider Pacific.
7 May 2020
Tonga's only domestic airline, the privately-owned Real Tonga, is reportedly on the verge of bankruptcy. The Minister of Finance, Tevita Lavemaau, made the revelation in a government press statement. Owner and CEO of Real Tonga, Tevita Palu, confirmed the situation but also gave his reasons for the airline being in debt for millions of dollars. Mr Lavemaau said most of Real Tonga's indebtedness was to the government.
6 May 2020
Palau's Permanent Mission to the UN says the government of Cuba has offered to dispatch a medical brigade to assist the republic in building defenses against Covid-19. The deployment of medical personnel from Cuba would be made "when commercial travel to Palau becomes possible again." Cuba was planning to send two doctors, three nurses and a team supervisor to Palau.
5 May 2020
The Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, has revealed the details of a $US37.5 million economic stimulus package. Speaking on Monday at an official launch event, Mr Sogavare said the package was an initial response to the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on Solomon Islands' economy and society. "It is more sensible to prevent people losing their jobs now rather than trying to get them back into work once the pandemic has receded," Mr Sogavare said.
A 10pm to 5am curfew in Papua New Guinea's National Capital District and Central Province has been lifted. The curfew had been in place in Port Moresby and its surrounding region for around a month as part of PNG's state of emergency provisions in response to Covid-19. The NBC reports Emergency Controller David Manning saying markets, pharmacies, hotels and restaurants, banks, supermarkets and licensed wholesalers are allowed to trade.
4 May 2020
After nearly two months of not hearing church choirs singing hymns due to Covid-19 restrictions, Samoans piled into church buildings Sunday morning in unusually large numbers. The streets were again whitewashed with flashy Sunday best attire.
2 May 2020
Within days of launching "Barter for a better Fiji" on Facebook, Suva resident Marlene Dutta has sparked a cashless trade movement so popular it's gone from three administrators to more than 90,000 members in just a over a week. The no-cash, no commercial sales policy of the barter page was Ms Dutta's concept, responding to the lack of money and jobs as Covid-19 travel and trade restrictions set off economic shocks for Fiji and many other Pacific nations.
30 April 2020
New Zealand residents and citizens wishing to return home from Samoa will now be able to do so on 1 May. Air New Zealand has confirmed the Apia flight will collect Auckland bound passengers and deliver essential supplies to Samoa. The Auckland to Apia leg departs at midday New Zealand time and returning to Auckland at 5:45pm Samoa time the same day. Passengers should contact Air New Zealand for details.
28 April 2020
Vanuatu Cricket is hoping to build on a historic occasion in which almost half a million people tuned in around the world to watch two local matches in Port Vila. Members of the Vanuatu men's national team played a 10 over per side exhibition match on Saturday morning before the Mele Bulls defeated the Powerhouse Sharks in the Women's Super League final.
27 April 2020
A tertiary provider has helped Māori and Pasifika students access computer equipment and broadband to learn from home during Covid-19. Auckland University of Technology conducted a survey which indicated six percent of its students didn't have a laptop, tablet or PC at home they could use for study. Seventeen percent of students didn't have broadband at home.
27 April 2020
Solomon Islands now has the capability to test for Covid-19 in the country. This was announced by the prime minister Manasseh Sogavare on Friday. Mr Sogavare said the new capability was made possible through the donation of medical equipment from China that arrived last Wednesday. "We received and welcomed the arrival of a QPRC machine, testing kits and laboratory equipment that were donated by the people's republic of China."
25 April 2020
The ADB has this week announced $US27 million dollars worth of financial assistance to three Pacific countries to help them strenthen their Covid-19 responses. The Asian Development Bank has this week announced $US27 million dollars worth of financial assistance to three Pacific countries to help them strenthen their Covid-19 responses. Palau will be able to draw down on a $15 million policy-based loan.
23 April 2020
The Red Cross has released more than $US678,000 in additional funding to help Vanuatu in its recovery from the devastation caused by Cyclone Harold. The cyclone, which also caused damages in Fiji, Tonga and Solomon Islands, struck Vanuatu earlier this month as a powerful category five storm, the highest possible on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
22 April 2020
Fifty-thousand KN95 facial masks and 20,000 protective masks have arrived in Fiji to be used in the fight against Covid-19. The Personal Protective Equipment, destined for Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and French Polynesia was being coordinated through the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on Covid-19, (or PHP-C).
22 April 2020
The World Health Organisation says Pacific countries should very careful when considering lifting restrictions in place for the Covid-19 pandemic. The WHO's Western Pacific division held a media briefing this week to discuss the coronavirus. Asked when regional countries might lift some restrictions imposed under their states of emergency, the WHO Regional Director Takeshi Kasai urged caution.
21 April 2020
Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama isn't ruling out a 24 hour curfew as too many people are breaching current Covid-19 restrictions. Social gatherings are still banned and hospitals have put in strict restrictions for visitors. Schools are closed until June. The Fiji Times reports 37 people, many of them under 18, were arrested in the past 24 hours, many for playing rugby or gathering in public spaces.
21 April 2020
A ni-Vanuatu doctor stationed in the country's cyclone devastated north says they are in desperate need of more emergency response medical personnel. Jimmy Obed is with the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) critical care co-ordination centre responding to Cyclone Harold at Santo's main hospital in Luganville. Dr Obed is up in Luganville from the capital Port Vila.
20 April 2020
Covid-19 Pacific Update for April 20 There are 251 cases with 7 deaths in 7 locations across the Pacific. Most countries haven't tested over the weekend. Guam has 136 cases with 5 deaths, Northern Marianas has 13 cases with 2 deaths, French Polynesia has 55 cases, New Caledonia has 18, Papua New Guinea has 7 cases and Rapa Nui has 5 cases. Source: RNZ
20 April 2020
Home Learning TV: Papa Kainga programming for children and young people, as well as for parents.
18 April 2020
Power supply has been restored to more areas in Fiji affected by Cyclone Harold this month. Energy Fiji Limited said electricity services had been back on in Navua, Deuba, Pacific Harbour, Vunidawa and Naitasiri on Thursday while homes in Nausori received power on Friday. The state-owned utility company said services to the rest of the affected areas were expected to be restored this weekend.
18 April 2020
The Cook Islands has been declared free of Covid-19, allowing churches to reopen this weekend. Starting last night's address to the nation, Prime Minister Henry Puna thanked God for giving people courage and strength during the country's greatest threat in modern history. He said hundreds of Covid-19 tests taken in the Cook Islands had come back negative, and the country can officially be confirmed as a Covid-free zone - one of the first nations in the world to do so.
17 April 2020
A New Zealand Air Force Hercules will fly to Fiji on Saturday carrying relief supplies. Cyclone Harold last week caused extensive damage on Fiji's remote southern islands. Defence minister Ron Mark said the plane will deliver hygiene kits, shelter, tool kits, tarpaulins, satellite phones and portable generators. Foreign affairs minister Winston Peters said the New Zealand government will consider further requests for assistance.
17 April 2020
The United Nations is scaling up its support for Papua New Guinea's Covid-19 response. The UN's resident coordinator in PNG, Gianluca Rampolla, said UN agencies, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Development Project (UNDP), were providing strategic and operational support, as well as essential medical supplies.
17 April 2020
There are now 250 confirmed cases and 7 deaths in 7 locations around the Pacific. Guam has 135 cases and 5 deaths; Northern Marianas has 13 cases and 2 deaths; Tahiti has 55 cases; Rapa Nui has 5 cases; New Caledonia has 18; Fiji has 17 cases and Papua New Guinea has 7 cases. Video link & source: 1 NEWS Barbara Dreaver updates the coronavirus situation across the Pacific.
16 April 2020
A group of youth volunteers in Tonga are doing their bit to rebuild the country post-Cyclone Harold. Disaster resilience is one of the main jobs for the Community Integrated Vulnerability Assessment group or CIVA in the village of Fasi. Founder of CIVA, Fe'iloakitau Kaho Tevi, said the group started in 2017 and since then had been active in preparation for cyclones, help during the event and post-clean up.
16 April 2020
There have been no new cases of Covid-19 in the Pacific within the last 24 hours, however lockdown rules continue to be flouted in some regions. There remains 244 cases and seven deaths in several locations across the Pacific. Guam has the highest number of Covid-19 cases with 135 people confirmed as positive and five deaths.
15 April 2020
Individuals breaking curfews across nations in the Pacific are making things difficult for authorities as they continue their battle against the coronavirus pandemic with limited supplies. There are now 244 cases and seven deaths in seven locations across the Pacific with Guam on 135 cases and five deaths alone.
15 April 2020
International aid charities in New Zealand are stepping in to help out Pacific neighbours, but they face a dilemma. They are helping the three Pacific countries battered by Cyclone Harold last week, Vanuatu, Tonga, and Fiji. But the executive director of the Council of International Development, Josie Pagani, said that during the lockdown the charities aren't able to fundraise and the public can't donate.
14 April 2020
Vanuatu's Disaster Management Office has given non-government organisations the green light to distribute relief supplies to communities affected by Cyclone Harold. Last week the monster storm tore through the middle of the country, destroying homes and food gardens. Four deaths were linked to the cyclone while dozens were injured and thousands rendered homeless.
14 April 2020
Covid-19 Pacific Update: Sailor dies in Guam, becomes first US military coronavirus death A sailor from the USS Theodore Roosevelt has become the first active duty American in the military to die of Covid-19. The ship is in port in Guam, with 585 personnel sick. The crew member had been found unresponsive in their hotel room and taken to intensive care, where they died.
30 March 2020
Six countries in the Pacific have confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, with one death in Guam. Fifty-five cases, and the fatality, are in the US territory of Guam, with President Donald Trump declaring a major disaster, reports 1 NEWS Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver. The Northern Marianas is the latest country to confirm cases. Papua New Guinea has had one foreigner infected, but that person has been taken to Australia.
16 December 2019
New Zealand's climate and ocean science agency (NIWA) has started deploying a new tsunami warning system around the Pacific. A sign directs people to the tsunami escape route on Samoa's Lalomanu Beach. Photo: RNZ / Sharon Lundy Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters revealed while in Apia, Samoa, on Friday that NIWA's ship Tangaroa is on a mission to position the first four of 15 hi-tech buoys.
7 November 2019
The Oceania Sevens Championship kicks off in Suva today, which doubles as a chance for teams to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. One direct qualification spot is up for grabs in both the men's and women's competitions while the respective second and third-placed teams will advance to a last-chance global repechage competition in June.
23 October 2019
It’s time to get the voices of our Pasifika women heard, affirmed, valued and empowered Pacific Media Network is proud to announce the first ever Pacific Divas National Identity Tour, showcasing the very best of Pacific female artists across Aotearoa. Seven amazing Pasifika artists: Aaradhna, Annie Crummer, Betty-Anne, Bella Kalolo, RAZÉ, Pacific Soul and Cindy of Samoa will take the stage at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau at 6.30pm on Thursday 28 November.
13 September 2019
Pacific leaders are paying tribute to the late Tongan prime minister, 'Akilisi Pōhiva, who died on Thursday. The 78-year-old died in an Auckland hospital having been evacuated from Tonga on Wednesday with pneumonia. 'A beacon of democracy': RNZ's obituary for Mr Pohiva, who died on Thursday
3 September 2019
On 3 September, Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited (PCBL) announced its expansion to the Pasifika TV service. The service would move from an 8 hour per day contribution feed to a 24/7 channel feed, provide more training and equipment to local Pacific free-to-air broadcasters, as well as, resources to support local production in the region. PCBL currently delivers its Pasifika TV service to 24 broadcasters across 13 Pacific countries and territories.
4 July 2019
The Cook Islands traditional voyaging canoe, Marumaru Atua, has made a grand return to her resting place off Rarotonga. In September 2017, the vaka was damaged by fire. Extensive fundraising efforts led to the vessel being shipped to Auckland where she spent almost half a year being repaired. One of its senior crew members, Sam Timoko, said it had been an honour to sail her home to Avana Point, and a very moving moment for all on board.
4 July 2019
Media are a crucial part of the democratic process and accessibility to politicians is key to informing the public, say Pacific journalists visiting New Zealand. Esther Pavihi from the Broadcasting Corporation of Niue (BCN) and Tiana Elle Haxton of the Cook Islands Television News and Radio Cook Islands (RAR CK) are spending two weeks with RNZ Pacific in Wellington as part of the PCBL Media Exchange.
31 January 2019
Fiji plans to start broadcasting parliamentary committee meetings later this year. FBC News reported the proceedings of standing committees will be televised starting later this year. The Secretary-General to Parliament, Viniana Namosimalua, said the broadcasts will ensure people can see and hear for themselves submissions on proposed legislation. She said committees could sit in camera - privately - if allowed by the Speaker.
31 January 2019
Tupapa Maraerenga have all but confirmed their place in the OFC Champions League main draw after thrashing Lotoha'apai United 4-1 to make it two wins from two in the Qualifier event in the Cook Islands. Jared Colligan put the home side ahead in the very first minute, after latching onto a cross inside the box, before Ben Mata doubled their advantage from the penalty spot six minutes later.
22 December 2018
It was a busy year for the countries of the Pacific, which had more global spotlight than usual as it found itself in the middle of feuding great powers. That brought a slew of new deals and partnerships, but also pressures. RNZ Pacific's Johnny Blades and Jamie Tahana look back on the year the world discovered the Pacific.
11 November 2018
A Samoan woman behind an innovative internship programme linking Pasifika to the public sector has been recognised in New Zealand's inaugural Public Service Medals. Matalena Leaupepe was one of five people presented with a medal by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Ms Leaupepe was recognised for her work building relationships between Pasifika and the public sector.
1 October 2018
Samoa's Prime Minister says a proposed Pacific Super Rugby team might have to base itself in Hawaii to cope with formidable financial demands. The feasibility of basing a team in the Pacific Islands was explored in a Ministry of Foreign Affairs study released earlier this year but the money required makes that unlikely.
16 August 2018
Four people are dead in Solomon Islands after a boat they were travelling on sank in rough seas. Provincial Police Commander Central Province, Superintendent Patricia Leta said the loading capacity was for six passengers but a total of 16 boarded the boat. She said least 12 people were confirmed to have survived the tragedy and there were children among the survivors
16 August 2018
The Creative New Zealand Pacific Arts Strategy is close to being completed this month for launch in September. Pasifika artists are making significant contributions to the New Zealand arts community, and Pacific arts and culture are a major feature of the arts landscape in Aotearoa, but for some, trying to access funding isn't easy.
16 May 2018
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) is looking over a government commissioned a feasibility study on the establishment of a Pacific Islands Super Rugby team. The report has been given to NZR, though they say as it was shared with them confidentially, they can't discuss it. It was commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) under the previous National government.
30 April 2018
A newly-registered Tongan midwife in New Zealand says Pacific midwives need to get paid more to better reflect the extra work they do. Currently just over two percent of all midwives in the country are of Pacific descent but many more islanders are needed to service the fast-growing Pacific population.
26 April 2018
Combining the Maori word for 'guardian of the ocean' and the Samoan word for 'rainbow' or 'hope', the Kiwa Nuanua summit aimed to motivate and inspire more Pacific people to pursue opportunities in the technology industry. Cook Islander, Brittany Teei, instigated the gathering saying Pacific people had the potential to make huge inroads in technology. The software firm CEO hoped to inspire others to think outside the box and take ownership of their ideas.
24 April 2018
UNICEF says vaccination programmes for children in the Pacific have made significant progress, but great challenges remain. The United Nations children's agency says most of the region's countries have reached, or are close to reaching, a target of 90 percent of children immunised against serious illnesses. But an estimated 1,700 children in the Pacific still die because of vaccine-preventable illnesses.
20 April 2018
Fiji are one win away from a place at the Netball World Cup after outclassing the Cook Islands 55-38 in Auckland last night. The Pearls made it two wins from two at the Oceania qualifiers, joining Samoa atop the competition standings. Prior to this week Fiji had not won a match at international level since 2015 and coach Vicki Wilson said the confidence a win brings to a team is amazing.
17 April 2018
The Commonwealth Games have concluded with the Pacific recording their best medal haul in 16 years. Weightlifting led the way with 11 medals while boxing, lawn bowls, athletics, rugby sevens and beach volleyball combined for another seven. The Pacific won 18 medals on the Gold Coast, their best return since winning 21 at the 2002 Games in Manchester.
13 April 2018
Vanuatu is celebrating a second Commonwealth Games medal after their women's beach volleyball team beat Cyprus in the playoff for bronze. Miller Pata and Linline Matauatu were in complete control at Coolangatta Beach, winning in straight sets 21-14 21-10. After playing together on the Beach Volleyball World Tour, in the Pacific Games and at World Championships, Linline Matauatu said they didn't feel any added pressure with a medal on the line.
9 April 2018
Cook Islands lawn bowls pair have won the country's first ever Commonwealth Games medal. The duo of Taiki Paniani and New Zealand born Aidan Zittersteijn beat Malta 17-11 in the bronze medal match in the men's pair's bronze medal match. SOURCE: TVNZ ONE NEWS - SPORT
9 April 2018
Steven Kari has won the Pacific's first gold medal of the Commonwealth Games with a record-breaking lift on the Gold Coast. Defending the men's 94kg weightlifting title he won in Glasgow, the Papua New Guinean trailed Canada's Boady Santavy by 14kgs after the snatch. But he responded in stunning fashion to lift 216kg in the clean and jerk, shattering the Commonwealth record by six kilograms and the Games record by 11 in a dramatic finish at Carrara Sports Arena.
8 April 2018
Samoa have won their first medal of the Commonwealth Games after weightlifter Don Opeloge secured silver in the men's 85kg division. The 18 year-old lifted a personal best 151kg in the snatch but missed his final two attempts at 188kg and 191kg in the clean and jerk. He finished with a total of 331kg at the Carrara Sports Arena, seven kilograms behind Venkat Rahul Ragala from India, who also beat him to gold at last year's Commonwealth Championships.
7 April 2018
Solomon Islands won their first ever Commonwealth Games medal on a historic night on the Gold Coast. Weightlifter Jenly Wini lifted 189kg to secure bronze in the women's 58kg division. The 34 year-old is competing in her third Commonwealth Games and said to finally make it onto the podium means a lot.
6 April 2018
Papua New Guinea have won a second silver medal in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games. Dika Toua was unable to repeat her gold medal performance from four years ago, lifting a total of 182kg in the women's 53kg division, to finish 10kg adrift of India's Sanjita Chanu Khumukcham.
6 April 2018
Papua New Guinea's Morea Baru has won the Pacific's first medal of the Commonwealth Games. But the weightlifter said a silver medal on the Gold Coast fell below his expectations. Baru lifted a combined total of 286kgs, two kilograms shy of the gold medallist Muhamad Bidin from Malaysia. The 27-year-old fell short with a final attempt at 163kg in the clean and jerk, which would have put him back in front.
12 March 2018
Pasifika TV brings coverage of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games to the Pacific. The New Zealand government-funded Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited (PCBL) has secured the broadcasting rights for Pasifika TV to share coverage of the Gold Coast, Commonwealth Games 2018 (GC2018), with Pacific free-to air broadcasters in Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Tuvalu.
9 March 2018
It was a week of potently strong insect repellent, woven flax fans, and to put it bluntly - sweat. Jacinda Ardern has completed a whirlwind trip of the Pacific Islands, stopping in Samoa, Niue, Tonga and the Cook Islands. It was her first trip as Prime Minister, where she took the chance to meet with all the heads of the countries. At every island there was a visit to some sort of school and it was in these moments that Ms Ardern shone the most.
8 March 2018
Papua New Guinea take on the two-time world champions, the West indies, tonight at the World Cup Cricket Qualifiers in Zimbabwe. The Barramundis must win the match to have any hope of staying alive in the competition and eventual qualification for next year's World Cup, after consecutive defeats against the United Arab Emirates and Ireland.
5 March 2018
New Zealand's prime minister has announced $US4.7 million ($NZ 6.5 million) in extra funding to boost employment and investment in small businesses in Samoa. Jacinda Ardern is visiting Apia as part of her Pacific Missions trip which also includes legs in Tonga, Niue and the Cook Islands.
2 March 2018
New Zealand's Auckland City FC and Fiji's Lautoka FC are through to the OFC Champions League football quarterfinals after confirming themselves as the top two in Group C at Auckland's Trusts Arena yesterday Auckland were too good for Madang beating the Papua New Guinea side 5-0, while Samuela Drudru was the hero for Lautoka, scoring two second half goals including a 92nd minute winner to beat Tahiti's AS Venus 2-1 and send his side to the playoffs.
13 February 2018
The Red Cross says several houses have already been destroyed in Tonga, with the full force of Cyclone Gita yet to hit. The storm was expected to be upgraded to a category five in the early hours of the morning. It was moving west northwest and expected to move slowly away from Tonga through the night and head towards the southern part of Fiji.
12 February 2018
Some parts of Samoa are still under water following Tropical Cyclone Gita as emergency services struggle to clear roads and put back power on. Cyclone Gita wrought significant damage in both Samoa and American Samoa. Niue was spared the full force of Gita when it curved around Niue Saturday night. The Samoa government announced that schools will be closed for the next few days because of the flood major damage caused by Gita.
12 February 2018
Tonga's sole representative at the Winter Olympics is not feeling any added pressure to perform in Pyeongchang. Pita Taufatofua will compete in the men's 15 km freestyle in cross-country skiing on Friday, little over a year after putting on a pair of skis for the first time.
22 January 2018
Pita Taufatofua has become just the second Tongan athlete ever to qualify for the Winter Olympics. The 34-year-old admitted to a big feeling of relief after he booked his ticket to Pyeongchang in the final race of his cross country skiing qualification campaign in Iceland over the weekend.
21 December 2017
Linden Estate Winery Leader of the Year Winner - Caren Rangi (Ei Mua Consulting) The recipient of this award has achieved and contributed more than many accountants twice her age. She contributes an astounding number of hours through her service on various governance boards and combines her passion and considerable expertise to add value to Pacific communities, the local Hawkes Bay community and the wider New Zealand community.
21 December 2017
The Papua New Guinea Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government have announced several resolutions ahead of the vote on independence in 2019. The governments last week held a meeting of the Joint Supervisory Body, which is charged with helping implement the Peace Agreement. The resolutions include appointing an internationally recognised person as the chair of the Bougainville Referendum Commission.
12 December 2017
Samoa has appealed to the International Weightlifting Federation after one of their lifters tested positive for using a banned substance. Iuniarra Sipaia won a bronze medal in the women's over 90kg category at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan in September but was subsequently suspended for using triamcinolone acetonide.
11 December 2017
New Caledonia begins the second week of competition at the Mini Games with a commanding lead atop the medals table. Les Cagous added six more gold medals to their tally on Saturday to take their total haul to 24. The French territory won a further three gold medals in karate, the women's doubles in table tennis and the men's and women's individual titles in golf.
6 December 2017
Fiji and Solomon Islands are both demanding improvements from their players in today's men's football clash at the Mini Games in Vanuatu. The Fijians thrashed Tuvalu 8-0 in Saturday's opening round, while Solomon Islands racked up the same scoreline against Tonga. Fiji coach Christophe Gamel said despite the lopsided scoreline they made a number of big mistakes, which they couldn't afford to repeat against the Bonitos.
4 December 2017
Papua New Guinea is determined to defend their Pacific Mini Games title this month, having topped the medal count in Wallis and Futuna four years ago. 93 athletes will compete for Team PNG across 10 sports in Vanuatu, including sprint queen Toea Wisil and Commonwealth Games weightlifting champion Steven Kari.
30 October 2017
The Black Caps have fallen agonisingly short of claiming New Zealand's first one-day series win in India, after they were beaten by six runs in a thrilling third and final match in Kanpur. New Zealand needed 15 runs off the final over to chase down a 338-run victory target, but a nerveless Bumrah conceded only seven while picking up his third wicket of the match to help India prevail in the runfest.
24 October 2017
The All Black winger Rieko Ioane is a finalist in the world rugby awards having been nominated in the breakthrough player of the year category. The other two finalists are Argentina winger Emiliano Boffelli and French centre Damian Penaud. All Blacks winger Nehe Milner-Skudder won the award in 2015. Ioane made his test debut last November with a try against Italy and has gone onto make his mark in the test arena with eight tries in as many starts.
19 October 2017
The NZ First leader says deals with National and Labour are pretty much finalised. Earlier, Bill English says he's satisfied with the agreement National has reached with New Zealand First but "we'll have to wait and see" who Winston Peters chooses. National MPs are meeting in person at Parliament ahead of this afternoon's announcement from Winston Peters, who is poised to reveal which party he'll support.
16 October 2017
Vanuatu and Fiji have won gold in the Oceania Intercontinental Hockey 5s, with comprehensive victories over Samoa in the men's and women's grand finals in Sydney. Vanuatu thrashed the Samoan men 11-1, with captain Hiro Namu bagging five goals, while Lora Bukalidi scored twice as Fiji ran out comfortable 5-1 winners. Solomon Islands outclassed Tonga 6-1 in the men's bronze medal match, John Levo and Jason Ifua scoring two goals apiece.
11 October 2017
The Fiji netball team are treating a series of heavy defeats as a valuable learning experience. The Pearls were beaten by Scotland 52-34, Wales 61-40, Northern Ireland 58-46 and England 94-31 in successive days at the European Championships in Cardiff.
10 October 2017
Fijian language week is being celebrated across New Zealand this week. This year's theme is 'my language, learn it, speak it, live it' with the language considered a core component of Fijian culture. University of Auckland's teaching fellow, Tarisi Vunidilo, said with the consistent growth of the Fijian community in New Zealand, it is important for New Zealanders to also embrace the week.
10 October 2017
The Organising Committee for the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu have donated to the thousands of people forced to evacuate Ambae Island.
6 October 2017
The Fiji Pearls have been outclassed 52-34 by Scotland in their opening match at the Netball Europe Open Championships in Cardiff. The eighth ranked Fijians trailed 15-5 after the opening quarter, 26-14 at half-time and 41-23 heading into the final period against the 12th-ranked Thistles. The Pearls lost two home tests against South Africa last month and will also face Wales and England over the next two days.
6 October 2017
The Solomon Islands men's team and New Zealand women's team continue to set the pace after two days of competition at OFC Youth Futsal Tournament in Auckland. Solomon Islands edged New Caledonia 3-2 on Thursday morning, in a top of the table clash, before thrashing Samoa 8-0 to make it four straight wins. Baby Kurukuru coach Stanley Puairana was excited to secure another six points but has already turned his focus on his team's last day of matches.
4 October 2017
Former Australia and Fiji rugby league international Lote Tuqiri believes the upcoming World Cup could be the most competitive yet. The 38-year-old made his name in the 13-a-side game, winning NRL titles with the Brisbane Broncos and South Sydney Rabbitohs at both ends of his career and starring for Queensland, the Kangaroos and Fiji Bati, either side of an equally impressive stint in rugby union.
2 October 2017
Tuvaluans in New Zealand are celebrating their fifth annual language week this week. The theme for 2017 is 'fano ki mua kae sa puli tou iloga' meaning 'progress to thrive not forgetting your roots'. For Pacific Media Network's Tuvalu programme producer Fala Haulangi, that is something she stands by having moved from her island of Nanumea to Nauru and then to Auckland in the 1980s for better opportunities.
29 September 2017
The Pacific Games Association of Samoa says it intends to appoint an Organising Committee for the 2019 Pacific Games as soon as possible. Samoa was announced as the Games host four weeks ago, after Tonga pulled out in July, citing financial concerns. President of the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee, Patrick Fepuleai, said a lot needs to be achieved in a short space of time.
26 September 2017
Opinion - The Māori Party has endured a miserable election, ousted from Parliament with the loss of the Waiariki seat - but the party's venture into Pacific politics is a story which shouldn't be overlooked. A group of aspiring Pacific politicians approached Māori Party and its president Tukoroirangi Morgan earlier this year and a deal was subsequently brokered. Under the banner One Pacific, they committed to contest some general electorates as part of the Māori Party.
25 September 2017
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters he will be talking to colleagues "over the next few days" about which party he will support. On last night's results, National, with a likely 58 seats, and Labour-Greens with 52 seats between them, would need Mr Peters to form a government. Both National and Labour parties are starting attempts to form a government.
25 September 2017
The New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker has held onto his WBO belt. Parker has scored a majority points decision over Briton Hughie Fury in their 12 round title fight in Manchester. Two judges had Parker winning 118-110, while the third had it 114-all. All of the rounds were even with Parker unable to land the knockout blow while Fury spent the fight on the back foot to keep out of trouble. He did however stay in contention with his jab.
22 September 2017
With the New Zealand election being held this weekend political parties have outlined their Pacific-related policies. The major parties are focusing on education, immigration and the relationships with Pacific governments. National's spokesperson for Pacific People's Alfred Ngaro says he is proud of the work his government has done for Pacific people's health and education and he is promising more of the same.
20 September 2017
The Oceania Sevens Championships will remain in Fiji for the next three years. The men's and women's tournaments were hosted at ANZ Stadium in Suva last December and will both return to the Fijian capital until at least 2019. A record 21 teams are set to contest the 2017 Championships, including 13 men's teams and eight women's sides. New Zealand will also enter teams in both the men's and women's competition for the first time in three years.
20 September 2017
Fiji Airways says it may have to look into cancelling or diverting some flights as jet fuel supply problems spread. General Manager Shaenaz Voss said passengers travelling to and from Auckland may experience disruptions and delays to their flights due to restrictions on fuel at Auckland Airport. A shortage was triggered by the closure of a pipeline supplying fuel to Auckland Airport. The line was shut over the weekend after a leak was discovered on Thursday.
18 September 2017
Oceania Football Confederation hopes to broaden knowledge of the sport in the region with the launch of the OFC Education Centre. The centre is launching in the Cook Islands and Tonga next week. OFC said the Oceania-wide programme would provide each member association with an educational institute where people could learn and share knowledge, skills and experience in football.
13 September 2017
The Pacific Games Council has executed the host agreement for the 2019 Pacific Games with the Pacific Games Association of Samoa or SASNOC and the government of Samoa. The Council President Vidhya Lakhan joined SASNOC President Patrick Fepuleai and Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, in signing the games host agreement at the government building complex in Apia.
11 September 2017
The Papua New Guinea Hunters have reached the grand final of Super Cup for the first time after defeating the Redcliffe Dolphins 6-4 at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby. A packed home crowd inspired a massive defensive effort from the Hunters who kept the Dolphins tryless despite the visitors putting first points on the board.
11 September 2017
Pacific people in south Auckland share different priorities when it comes to voting in the 2017 election. Some of their concerns include housing, mental health, climate change and education. However, some voters are still undecided, like Keith* who is enrolled to vote in Papatoetoe. "I'm tossing up between Labour and the Greens. I think the biggest issue for me would be youth employment."
7 September 2017
The Baby Flying Fijians have been beaten by Portugal 16-13 in their final pool game at the Under 20 Trophy, in Portugal. Down 13-0 at half time, the Fijians mounted a comback early in the second half with a try to second-five eighth Filimoni Savou and two penalties to Jamie Kotz. But the stalemate was broken in the 70th minute when Portugal kicked a penalty to give them the lead which they protected until full-time.
7 September 2017
The 48th Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting opened in Apia last evening with a traditional Ava ceremony at the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum. The President of the Federated States of Micronesia Peter Christian passed on the baton to coming chair, Samoa Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi. Tuila'epa called on the leaders and member countries to stand together and implement decisions the leaders endorse at this year's summit.
5 September 2017
Police in Solomon Islands have beefed up security in Honiara today for the second leg of the football World Cup qualifier against New Zealand. The deputy police commissioner Gabriel Manelusi also called on the public to accept the result of today's game in the spirit of good sportsmanship.
5 September 2017
The secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum Dame Meg Taylor wants to put more effort into empowering women leaders. The PACNEWS agency reports Dame Meg, whose first term in the role finishes in December, says she hasn't done enough to empower women in the Pacific. She said if she got another term she hoped to rectify this. Dame Meg said the Pacific is not an easy place for women leaders and the region is way behind in terms of political representation.
5 September 2017
Solomon Islands football coach Felipe Vega Arango has lamented the gap between New Zealand and the rest of Oceania. The All Whites thrashed Solomons 6-1 in the first leg of a World Cup qualifyer in Auckland on Friday. Vega Arango said the game between the two strongest teams in the region was a mismatch.
30 August 2017
The Fiji Under 20s rugby team have opened their Junior World Trophy campaign win a comfortable 26-7 victory over Hong Kong in Montevideo. The Baby Flying Fijians led 7-0 at halftime thanks to a seventh minute try from lock and captain Temo Mayanavanua, converted by first five Fabiano Navabale. Hong Kong levelled the scores with a try eight minutes into the second half but were reduced to 14 players when Gregor Ramage was sent to the sin bin.
29 August 2017
The victorious Black Ferns have landed back in Auckland, after reclaiming the Rugby World Cup. In a thrilling final in Belfast last Saturday, the women in black defeated the defending English side 41-32. The five-time world champions touched down about 10.30am today, carrying their trophy into Auckland Airport. The players said they were happy to be home. Proud family members and friends gathered around the arrivals hall, excited to see their loved ones.
28 August 2017
New Zealand's main opposition party has promised to review Pacific migration policy and recognise the five main Pacific languages in the education system, if elected. Labour's Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Aupito William Sio, said the migration policy will be reviewed for small Pacific nations like Tuvalu, Tokelau and Kiribati which feel the brunt of climate change.
28 August 2017
Samoa and Guam are in a two-horse race to host the 2019 Pacific Games after a lack of government support ruled Tahiti out of contention. The Pacific Games Council has visited Samoa and Guam in the past fortnight to evaluate their bids but said with no government support forthcoming in Tahiti their initial expression of interest cannot be evaluated further.
24 August 2017
Papua New Guinea's rival football factions have been in discussions. The PNG Football Association's National Soccer League playoffs were cancelled earlier this month after PS United pulled out of their semi final match-up against Madang. Only six teams completed the NSL season, while 12 took part in the National Premier League run by Football Federation PNG, which is not recognised by Oceania Football or FIFA.
24 August 2017
The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce is calling on the government to quickly resolve issues delaying the installation of a high speed internet cable. The Solomons currently relies on expensive satellite bandwidth for its internet, and a proposed submarine cable between Sydney and Honiara has been fraught with controversy. Most of it is linked to the government's selection of Chinese company Huawei to instal the cable.
23 August 2017
Tonga rugby league coach Kristian Woolf says a number of players are racing against time to be fit for the World Cup, which kicks off at the end of October. Backrowers Patrick Kaufusi and Tony Williams are likely to miss the global showpiece after both were injured in Tonga's 26-24 Pacific Test win over Fiji in May. Hooker Siliva Havili came through unscathed against the Bati but has since had undergone surgery after rupturing his pectoral.
23 August 2017
The auction of the Olympic torch from the Sydney 2000 Games has raised over 12,000 US dollars towards the Vanuatu athletes competing in the Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila in December. Up to 225 people attended the Carbine Club luncheon and auction earlier this month at the Warwick Le Lagon Hotel in Port Vila.
22 August 2017
Over 70 per cent of tickets for the upcoming Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu will cost less than four US dollars. More than 35,000 tickets will go on sale to the public next month. Vanuatu 2017 Pacific Games CEO Clint Flood says there are over 25 different types of tickets available, including a Games pass that can be shared by family or friends or a single day ticket.
21 August 2017
Opinion - Fresh off a very unusual off-field week for the All Blacks came news that the greatest one of all was gone: Colin Meads, All Black, died on Sunday aged 81. Meads, the man who has a lock on the title of greatest player of all time. Meads, the tight forward who ran down the field clutching the pill like some kid making do with a pencil case for a lunchtime game. Meads, the player who sorted things out the old-fashioned way and became a legend for it.
21 August 2017
Papua New Guinea's prime minister says he's looking to revive a proposal to reserve 22 seats in the country's parliament for women. No women were elected in recent elections, making Papua New Guinea one of the few countries with no female representation. According to the newspaper, The National, Peter O'Neill told a business breakfast in Port Moresby last week he found this result disappointing.
21 August 2017
A collection of work touching on the personal experiences of New Zealand-born Pacific artists will feature in a new exhibition in New Zealand's Waikato region. 'The Cold Islanders: Art on the Pacific Spectrum' has 29 artists on board, exploring a range of mediums, from photography, video and painting. Curator Leafa Wilson said the idea of 'The Cold Islanders' came from Pacific people migrating and adjusting to the cooler climates of Aotearoa.
8 August 2017
Defending champions Fiji are claiming underdog status at the Men's Under 19 Cricket World Cup qualifiers, which get underway in Samoa today. The Baby Blues swept their East Asia Pacific rivals two years ago to qualify for a maiden World Cup appearance in 2016, where they finished in last place. Fiji have three players returning who took part in the previous qualifying and World Cup campaign.
7 August 2017
Tahiti kept alive their Rugby World Cup qualifying hopes after beating the Cook Islands 13-9 in Rarotonga to win the Oceania Cup. In wet and windy conditions, the French territory scored two unanswered tries and kept the Cookies scoreless in the second half. The test was marred by ill discipline, with Tahiti prop Martin Taeae, winger James Tekurio and Cook Islands centre Samuela Longo Leuta sent off amid a flurry of eight cards.
7 August 2017
The President of Samoa's Olympic Committee said his country is ready and waiting to host the 2019 Pacific Games. Last week Guam joined Samoa and French Polynesia in bidding for the right to host the games after Tonga belatedly pulled out because of a lack of government support. SASNOC's Fepuleai Patrick Fepuleai said he welcomed the competition, and everyone has the right to do what they feel is right for their own country.
3 August 2017
AFL New Zealand is backing its Aussie rules team to come out on top at the International Cup. The New Zealand Hawks, formally the Falcons, are amoung the favourites of the 18 men's teams taking part in the two week Melbourne tournament that starts this weekend. AFLNZ's chief executive Robert Vanstam said the Hawks' toughest opponents would be Ireland and the defending champion Mosquitos from Papua New Guinea.
3 August 2017
The World Bank says it is working closely with Tonga's government to investigate missing cyclone funding worth over 600-thousand US dollars. The Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva ordered an investigation into the funds which were meant to go towards the rebuilding of homes on Ha'apai. The island group was hit hard by Cyclone Ian in 2014, leaving thousands homeless, but the reconstruction effort had been plagued with delays and 75 homes still need to be rebuilt.
2 August 2017
After two years without a Test match, the Fiji Pearls netball team will play five international fixtures over the next three months but will miss this year's Mini Games. The Test schedule was announced on Monday by Fiji Netball and begins with two Tests against South Africa in Suva on September 6 and 8. Tests against Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland follow, to be played in Cardiff from October 5-8.
2 August 2017
Niue's premier Sir Toke Talagi has been receiving medical treatment in Auckland for more than a month. So far the government has not made public the state of Sir Toke's health or when he will return. It is expected that he will be back in time to pass the Budget. Sir Toke was very ill in 2016, when he required medical evacuation from the island on two occasions. The acting premier is Dalton Tagelagi.
1 August 2017
Guam has joined Samoa in expressing interest to host the 2019 Pacific Games after Tonga pulled out of staging the event. Guam last hosted the Games in 1999 in Santa Rita and previously in 1975 at Tumon The Pacific Games Council said French Polynesia would also bid to hold the games after Tahiti missed out on winning hosting rights to Tonga.
31 July 2017
Tongan international and Highlanders prop Siosiua Halanukonuka has signed to play for the Glasgow Warriors. Subject to visa and medical approval, the 30-year-old will join Glasgow in October at the end of his season with the Tasman Makos in New Zealand's provincial rugby competition. The 120kg prop made his debut for Tonga in 2014, appearing off the bench in a 23-9 win over Georgia.
31 July 2017
Cook Islands language and culture is being celebrated in New Zealand this week. Te epetoma o te reo Māori Kuki Airani or Cook Islands Language Week celebrates the languages spoken by the people of the Cook Islands.
21 July 2017
Gary Monk’s love affair with the Pacific region started over four decades ago, and it is still going strong, with his recent appointment as Chairman of Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited (PBCL) in April 2017.
21 July 2017
A returning officer working in Papua New Guinea's election in Morobe province is reported to have taken refuge in police custody in fear of his life, following an upset result. Finschaffen district's returning officer, Essing Ulam, has told local media that tensions have risen around the declaration of the electorate's new Member-elect Renbo Paita yesterday.
21 July 2017
New Zealand have had plenty to celebrate so far at the OFC U19 Championship. They are 90 minutes away from sealing qualification to next year's FIFA Under 20 Women's World Cup, while Papua New Guinea lead the chasing pack going into the penultimate round of matches at the OFC Under 19 Championships in Auckland.
21 July 2017
Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited’s (PCBL) recent inaugural Media Exchange Programme (MEP) has been an eye-opener for Cook Islands Television Programming and Presentation Manager Temo Sukanaivalu (pictured).
21 July 2017
After three years at the helm of Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF), Laulu Mac Leauanae has been appointed as Chief Executive of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP). State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes officially announced Mac’s three-year appointment recently, and warmly welcomes Mac to the Public Service.
21 July 2017
Broadcasters from various organisations based around the Pacific have had a golden opportunity to gain invaluable skills and knowledge from their New Zealand peers. Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited’s (PCBL) inaugural Media Exchange Programme (MEP) got underway in May, with the initial four broadcasters arriving in Auckland for a two-week placement, at either TVNZ or Mediaworks.
13 March 2017
From the creative minded guys that bought you 7 Days, now bring you their debut feature film, Gary of the Pacific! Starring Josh Thomson, Megan Stevenson, Dave Fane, Matt Whelan and Dominic Ona-Ariki, and the new face on screen - Taofi Mose-Tuiloma!
30 November 2016
The downpour again affected the area near Houilaou where last week eight people were killed in mudslides and flooding. People from Gouareu et de Ouakaya, which were the worst hit villages last week, were moved to a boarding school. The rain prompted many schools in the northern half of the main island to close yesterday and will remain closed for days. The government released $US18,000 to the Red Cross to help last week's victims.
30 November 2016
Samoa's suspended Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil, through his lawyer, is seeking a court decision to grant him him access to police evidence needed to build his defence against 259 charges. The prosecution has been given time by the court to file a response to the application, which will be heard next Monday. Meanwhile the case against the suspended police commissioner has been adjourned without a plea to 12 December to allow police to finalise all the charges.
11 October 2016
New Zealand is "highly likely" to host Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama for a state visit the week after next, Prime Minister John Key says. Mr Bainimarama will be in New Zealand to attend an All Blacks match, and Mr Key says they will probably have a formal meeting as well. Mr Key visited Fiji in June, the first visit by a New Zealand prime minister in a decade.
11 October 2016
Fiji rugby league coach Mick Potter has praised his side's defensive effort after the Bati recovered from sizeable deficit to defeat Toa Samoa 20-18 in Apia at the weekend. Bulldogs prop Sam Kasiano inspired Samoa to a fast start, barging over for the opening try after just four minutes. Lively Warriors winger Ken Maumalo crossed on the right hand side to extend the home side's lead and bagged his second four minutes later to give the Toa a commanding 18-0 lead.
7 October 2016
This weekend's historic rugby league test between Toa Samoa and the Fiji Bati in Apia shapes as a big opportunity for fringe players to put themselves in the selection frame for next year's World Cup. Toa Samoa have called up six new caps: New Zealand Warriors quartet Mason Lino, Ken Maumalo, James Gavet and Bunty Afoa, Castleford Tigers back Denny Solomona and David Nofoaluma from Wests Tigers.
4 October 2016
The Papua New Guinea government says it will be following up on discussions with Australia and New Zealand this month for visa-on-arrival to be granted to PNG citizens. PNG's foreign minister, Rimbink Pato, said this followed talks that both he and the prime minister had with the foreign ministers of Australia and New Zealand No further details about the negotiations have been given.
26 September 2016
Native Hawaiians can now choose whether to form a unified government, which could eventually enter into formal government-to-government relations with the United States. The Hawaii State Capitol is the official statehouse or capitol building of the U.S. state of Hawaii. Photo:Supplied It would be the first time the Native Hawaiian community had their own government since their kingdom was overthrown in 1893, a move that led to US annexation in 1898.
26 September 2016
Papua New Guinea's coffee industry is expanding worldwide with the help of small local growers. Coffee export company Kosem Limited, located in the Jiwaka province, recently sent off its first overseas shipment of raw coffee beans to South Korea. The raw beans were produced by a collection of local farmers.
21 September 2016
Schools in Fiji are set to be rebuilt thanks to international aid and the government's Adopt a School programme. Fiji's Prime Minister with Australia's Pacific Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells. She says new buildings will be built to Category 5 standard. Photo: RNZ / Alex Perrottet The Australian Government's Access to Quality Education Programme has sent out requests for tenders for the design, repair and reconstruction of 85 school buildings in the Western Division.
21 September 2016
A joint military exercise in Solomon Islands has so far recovered more than 50 items of unexploded munitions. It involves personnel from New Zealand, Australia, Britain and Canada. Operation Render Safe is a three-week-long exercise to remove explosive remnants from World War II that can be found scattered over land and sea in the Solomons.
9 September 2016
Countries across the Pacific will receive coverage of the IPC Paralympics Rio 2016 games, as part of New Zealand’s Pacific broadcasting initiative, which delivers a wide range of television programmes from New Zealand to local free-to-air broadcasters in the Pacific.
1 September 2016
A Pasifika choir’s contract to work on the Disney film Moana could highlight the need for music as a secondary school subject. The University of the South Pacific’s choir, Pasifika Voices, secured a contract to sing on the soundtrack for the film Moana...
30 August 2016
It will be a new-look Solomon Islands squad that arrives in Vanuatu for the Oceania Under 20 men's football championship. Defender Richard Raramo and forward Larry Zama are the only two players from last year's national under 17 squad to have made the step up to the next level, while none of the final squad featured for the senior team at the OFC Nations Cup.
25 August 2016
Samoa weightlifter Ele Opeloge is set to win an Olympic silver medal after two competitors failed doping tests from the 2008 Beijing Games. Opeloge initially finished in fourth place in the women's over 75kg division, one kilogram shy of the bronze medal winner. But a re-analysis of samples from eight years ago have found the silver medallist, Olha Korobka from Ukraine, and bronze medallist, Mariya Grabovetskaya from Kazakhstan, tested positive for banned substances.
25 August 2016
Oceania Champions League football holders Auckland City will begin the defence of their title against the Vanuatu national league champions, Papua New Guinea's Lae City Dwellers and the runners-up from the Solomon Islands. The draw for the group stage was made yesterday at OFC Headquarters, with eight-time champions Auckland drawn in Group C in the expanded 16-team competition.
24 August 2016
Residents on Vanuatu's Tanna Island will hold their first 'slow food festival' this week, featuring traditional methods of cooking and preserving food for times of disaster. The festival runs all week in the provincial capital of Tafea province, and is expected to attract representatives from all six provinces including nearby countries including New Caledonia and Fiji, to attend to demonstrate their own food preparation and preservation methods.
22 August 2016
Rio 2016 Olympics - The Rio Olympics have closed after 17 days with a huge Brazilian carnival-like party, despite gusty, wet conditions. Despite a wet evening, 70,000 spectators turned out to see the final act of the 28th Olympics. Rio was hit with strong winds and heavy rain in the hours before, and a power cut hit Maracana Stadium just minutes before the start of the ceremony.
22 August 2016
Tens of thousands of people in Fiji have turned out to welcome home the country's Olympic champion sevens team. The team has been greeted by massive crowds in Nadi and Suva and today is a public holiday in Fiji in honour of their gold medal triumph in Rio. RNZ International's Vinnie Wylie reports.
18 August 2016
Samoa's Jeremy Dodson has missed out on a berth in the 200m semi finals at the Rio Olympics. The 28 year old finished fifth in the opening heat in 20.51 seconds, a race won by Panama's Alonso Edward in 20.19. That mark was well short of his personal best time of 20.07 seconds from 2011 and the 20.2 mark he was hoping to hit to assure himself of a place in the final 24.
17 August 2016
Opinion - With Olympic events happening in the middle of the night, social media has been the best way to keep up with the Games, says Jamie Wall. How are you watching the Olympics these days? Wake up, check phone. Get dressed, check phone. Sit on public transport, check phone. Drive in car, check phone (if naughty). Get to work, check social media on company computer.
16 August 2016
Cook Islands believe their Olympic campaign in Rio has been a success despite missing on most of their targets. Weightlifter Luisa Peters was the country's final athlete to compete on Monday, in the women's over 75kg division. The 23 year old, who was attending her second Olympic Games, had been hoping to break the national record of of 227kg set earlier this year but fell 3kg shy of her previous mark.
16 August 2016
Patricia Mallam who was monitoring social media during the Fiji game said the word 'Fiji' topped Google searches within half an hour of the win. She said a lot of people would have been driven to the official Tourism Fiji website and traffic can be converted into marketing campaigns capitalising on the win. Ms Mallam said the way the Fijian sevens team received and celebrated their gold medal was also great for the country.
12 August 2016
First Person - Singing, celebrating Fijians united in pride after their sevens team won the country's first ever gold medal had Juliette Siverten choked with emotion. "Is the airport open today?" a traveller asked outside Nadi Airport. Of course the airport was open - but whether anyone was working was another matter.
11 August 2016
Fiji have beaten New Zealand 12-7 to advance to the semi finals of the Olympic men's sevens tournament, ending the All Blacks Sevens hopes of a medal. The World Series champions opened the scoring with a try to skipper Osea Kolinisau in the second minute of the match in wet conditions at the Deodoro Stadium.
9 August 2016
The Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and American Samoa all began competition at the Rio Olympics on Tuesday. Marshall Islands weightlifter Mattie Sasser finished in 11th place in the women's 58kg division with a combined lift of 199kg, while Jenlyn Wini from Solomon Islands was 15th after lifting 188kg. Lifters from Thailand claimed both the gold and silver medals.
4 August 2016
It's always a bit of a sport with the media, seeing how many potential problems they can expose before each Olympic Games, but I've never known anything like what's gone on in the lead-up to the Rio de Janeiro Games. Brazil is in the midst of political turmoil, with its President, Dilma Rousseff, having been impeached. More locally, the mayor of Rio has said his city faces bankruptcy because of the Olympics.
2 August 2016
Vicki Wilson is already learning on the job after being appointed Fiji netball coach through to the 2019 World Cup. The former Australian Diamonds captain filled the vacancy left by New Zealander Kate Carpenter, who quit as Pearls coach in December after 15 months in charge.
2 August 2016
The brothers have been back in Australia and New Zealand the last couple of weeks before they end the international leg of their 'Music with a Message' tour in Samoa. If you're in Wellington, New Zealand you can catch them at Sacred Heart College Performing Arts Centre tonight (Tuesday, 2nd August) and for our Samoan friends and family they'll be performing in front of the Apia Samoa Government Building on both Friday & Saturday night.
1 August 2016
The General Secretary of the Oceanic Weightlifting Federation says despite outrageous odds, he expects at least two Pacific lifters to make finals at the Rio Olympics. Paul Coffa says despite the natural talent of the Pacific lifters, they will be facing athletes with more resources and also some who have used performance enhancing drugs in the past, which means their task will be extremely difficult.
28 July 2016
The Fiji Rugby Sevens men's team has left for the Olympic Games with the gold medal hopes of a whole region on its shoulders. The top seeded Fijians are favoured to win the Pacific's first Olympic gold medal next month after taking out the past two World Sevens Series titles. Coach Ben Ryan told the FBC he understood what the Rio Olympics meant to fans at home and their support would drive the team. Ryan said the nation would grind to a halt during the Games.
27 July 2016
Auckland baritone Benson Wilson (25) has been named 2016 Lexus Song Quest winner at an award gala in Auckland. The biennial contest is for opera singers and previous winners include Dame Kiri te Kanawa and Dame Malvina Major. It's the award's 60th anniversary this year. Benson Wilson came second in the Quest in 2014 but this time he took the top prize.
26 July 2016
A group fighting for media freedom in the Pacific said election observers need to prioritise free and fair access to the media as they monitor elections in the region. The Pacific Freedom Forum said two groups of observers judged Nauru's recent election free and fair despite a de facto ban on foreign media and curbs on the opposition.
25 July 2016
Retiring veteran Perelini Mulitalo struck the winning runs as Samoa beat Japan by three wickets in the final match of the East Asia Pacific Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier. Both teams were playing for pride in Apia after Papua New Guinea sealed top spot a day earlier. Shizuka Miyaji top-scored with 27 as Japan posted their best total of the week, reaching 135 for 8 from 50 overs.
25 July 2016
Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea will host the Rugby League World Cup tournament, from October 27 to December 2, 2017. The World Cup draw was announced last week with Tonga drawn to play New Zealand, Samoa and Scotland in Pool B.
25 July 2016
The Cook Islands opposition has appointed Rose Brown to lead the coalition - the first female opposition leader in the country's history. Thirty-nine-year-old Ms Brown, a Democratic Party MP, will lead the bloc after the former leader, One Cook Islands MP Teina Bishop, was convicted of corruption last week. Ms Brown is a former member of the governing Cook Islands Party. She crossed the floor last month in an attempted motion of no confidence that was later ruled illegal.
22 July 2016
Unbeaten heavyweight Joseph Parker might not show it, but trainer Kevin Barry says his charge is under more pressure than at any other time in his professional boxing career. Parker steps in the ring against former NRL star Solomon Haumono in Christchurch tonight, knowing a defeat will derail his shot at a world title.
21 July 2016
A reo Māori song, urging people to speak the language regardless of their ability, has topped the New Zealand iTunes chart. Featuring 12 singers, Maimoatia encourages everyone to speak te reo Māori despite their ability. The waiata released last week knocked Justin Timberlake off the top of the download charts.
20 July 2016
The Vanuatu Lambubu community has used its first internet connection to access four-hundred gigabytes of data browsing Youtube videos and football results. A pilot programme by the satellite operator Kacific and the Vanuatu government set up the service at Lambubu Primary School on Malekula Island earlier this month.
18 July 2016
Media educators and trainers have come together to form a new regional body to address the decreasing number of journalists and educators in the Pacific. Members of the Media Educators Pacific group met today as part of theWorld Journalism Education Congress being hosted by Auckland's University of Technology.
14 July 2016
The standard of media and journalism education in the Pacific will be among the issues addressed at a global journalism conference opening in Auckland today. More than 220 journalism educators and journalists representing 43 different countries will be participating in the 4th World Journalism Education Congress.
13 July 2016
The Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer's Residency at the University of Hawaii has been awarded to a Cook Islands artist for the first time. Miria George is a poet, and writer for theatre, radio and television. An award-winning playwright, her work has toured New Zealand, Australia, Hawai'i, Canada and the United Kingdom.
6 July 2016
The Solomon Islands are spending big to ensure the national futsal team arrives at the World Cup in Colombia as the best prepared Kurukuru team ever. The Solomon Islands retained their Oceania title in February to qualify for a third straight World Cup appearance in September.
4 July 2016
It will be a family affair for two sets of siblings named in the men's and women's rugby sevens teams to represent New Zealand at the Rio Olympics next month. Sonny Bill Williams has been named in the men's squad while his sister Niall will play in the women's team. Also named in the men's squad are Akira and Rieko Ioane who play for the Blues in the Super Rugby competition.
4 July 2016
Fiji's Prime Minister has put his hand up for the country to be given another opportunity to host a Super rugby game. Frank Bainimarama's comments come after his country hosted the first Super rugby fixture in the Pacific last night, with the Chiefs defeating the Crusaders 23-13 at the ANZ stadium in Suva. Mr Bainimarama expressed pride at having hosted the clash between what he called such 'impressive teams'.
30 June 2016
A high-level American Samoa delegation is in French Polynesia to hold talks on airline links, aquaculture and climate change. Lieutenant Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga and the governor's executive assistant Iulogologo Joseph Pereira are attending the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program meeting, which is looking at the environment and protection of ocean resources.
29 June 2016
A Māori artist who painted a tribute wall to the late musician Prince has received a personal invitation to the official memorial service in August. Graham Hoete - also known as Mr G - said he felt inspired to honour Prince by crafting a massive wall mural in Sydney. After the image went viral, he travelled to Minesotta and painted another 8m mural on a wall in Prince's hometown Chanhassen, which was formally unveiled by the city's mayor late last week.
28 June 2016
A British exit from the European Union would have little or no impact on the Pacific, according to a New Zealand academic. In a referendum on Thursday, British people voted to leave the 28-member bloc by 52 percent to 48 percent. The fallout was swift, with financial markets plunging into turmoil and the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, announcing his intention to resign.
27 June 2016
Hollywood actor Cliff Curtis and All Black Nehe Milner-Skudder were honoured at the inaugural Matariki awards - a celebration of Māori talent and achievements. With the stars of Matariki now shining, the cluster - also known as the Pleiades - signals to Māori that a New Year has begun.
22 June 2016
The Cook Islands Parliament has been closed today and no one is permitted entry following a sitting to oust the government yesterday. RNZI's correspondent in Rarotonga reports a security presence is outside the parliament building to prevent the opposition coalition from sitting again. The Clerk of Parliament says the Opposition is doing the work of the devil, causing disunity in the country.
22 June 2016
The Fiji government says intensifying the rebuilding effort after Cyclone Winston and developing enduring climate-change mitigation measures will be its top priorities in the Budget to be announced later today. It's the first budget delivered after the government controversially moved its financial year to start in August. Previously the financial year mirrored the calendar year.
14 April 2016
This lifestyle show is hosted by Stacey Morrison. She has celebrity guests to help her provide some useful tips around cooking, gardening, DIY and family life.
14 April 2016
MediaWorks is pleased to announce from Friday, April 29 2016 it will be extending TV3's 7pm current affairs programme to five nights a week, with the addition of The Friday Story to its schedule. The sister of Monday to Thursday Story, the programme will offer viewers an informative and entertaining introduction to their weekend.
7 April 2016
MediaWorks' multi-platform TV, radio and digital news service, Newshub is taking news to another level. The service will provide the latest news and in-depth analysis, with a dedicated, state-of-the-art app and website and TV and radio news bulletins across MediaWorks’ channels – as well as fuelling news content across other programmes such as Paul Henry.