- Business News : Fiji accedes to the agreement on port state measures [14/02/2019 - Italy]
- Sports News : Tahiti concerned about Pacific Games accommodation [14/02/2019 - Samoa]
- News Feature : A rising China and the future of the “Blue Pacific” [14/02/2019 - Fiji]
- Business News : $503.73 million in remittances top Samoa foreign exchange earner [14/02/2019 - Samoa]
- Business News : Vanuatu export breakthrough to New Caledonia [14/02/2019 - Vanuatu]
- Business News : PINA head cites importance of content sharing [14/02/2019 - New Zealand]
- Business News : Pacific Islands government should consider seabed mining impacts [14/02/2019 - Fiji]
- News : Beijing intensifies lobbying of Pacific nations to recognise Taiwan as part of One China [14/02/2019 - Fiji]
- News : American Samoa, Guam, Samoa added to EU blacklist, Vanuatu removed [14/02/2019 - Luxembourg]
- News : TSI: money the focus of elections, Police arrest a man in Honiara for alleged electoral offence [14/02/2019 - Solomon Islands]
- News : Fiji Immigration will extend or renew expiring passports to another 10 years [14/02/2019 - Fiji]
- News : Solomon Islands election chief appeals to citizen not to break the law [14/02/2019 - Solomon Islands]
- Sponsored : Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC)
Tokelau's Fakaofo atoll will boycott a new ship New Zealand is providing, a leader says.
The purpose-built ship is set to be delivered in January to provide a dedicated transport link between Tokelau's three atolls.
Alehana Teao, a member of the Fakaofo Taupulega, or council of elders, said the new boat was too small and unsafe.
“Especially in recent times with the climate change, we can see that the winds are getting stronger, the ocean is angrier, so it gives me great concerns.
“In my personal view, I would not have my people travel between atolls. The sick patients would not travel on this boat from Fakaofo to anywhere. It is not safe.”
After seeing a presentation on the ship, the leader had raised his concerns with New Zealand but was ignored, Teao said.
The Fakaofo Taupulega was united in its opposition to the inter-atoll vessel and their preference for air services to Tokelau, which were controversially put on hold in 2016 after two helicopters were bought without proper approval, he said.
“I cannot see how this vessel can deliver anything that improves the quality of life for our people in the villages or travelling between the atolls," said Teao, who claimed to be an experienced seafarer.
Backers of the new ship had argued it would improve access for the other two atolls to Nukunonu where the national hospital is based, he said.
But with Fakaofo's new hospital nearly complete, Teao said patient access to Nukunonu would no longer be necessary and that medical evacuations direct to Samoa would become a priority.
In 2016, the then opposition Labour party argued another New Zealand commissioned ferry for Tokelau, Mataliki, was not fit for purpose.
Now in government, Labour's Civil Defence Minister, Kris Faafoi, said the Fakaofo Taupulega did not raise its concerns about the new ferry with him during a trip to Tokelau earlier this month.
“We heard overwhelming support for the inter-island atoll ferry,” Faafoi said.
“As far as I'm concerned that's a project that will change lives for the communities here in Tokelau,” he said.
SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media