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Pacific Island seasonal workers filling an ‘absolutely vital’ gap, horticulture sector says

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One hundred and fifty seasonal workers have landed from Vanuatu, but New Zealand’s horticultural employers would happily take six times as many. The latest group of workers is in managed isolation in Hamilton, and new groups will arrive each fortnight. Auckland used to host the recognised seasonal employer (RSE) workers for isolation but, from now on, they will isolate in Ibis...

Cook Islands Immigration approves revised policies to ease labour shortage

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration rolled out changes to its immigration policies on Monday and backdated them to 01 July, in a bid to ease labour skills shortages in the Cook Islands. Easing health checks for workers wanting to come in from Australia or New Zealand is among changes made to the country’s immigration policies. Kairangi Samuela, the principal...

BSP and Bank of PNG clash over alleged money laundering warning

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The Bank South Pacific Financial Group Ltd (BSP) has always complied with its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) obligations in Papua New Guinea, says chairman Sir Kostas Constantinou. He mentioned this in a market release Wednesday in response to a letter BSP received from the Bank of PNG’s Financial Analysis and Supervision Unit (FASU) concerning anti-money laundering (AML) allegations...

Bougainville referendum vote must be ratified, says PNG Opposition leader Namah

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Papua New Guinea Opposition leader Belden Namah says the Bougainville referendum vote for independence must be ratified by Parliament. “The vote was taken under the watch of this Parliament (so) this Parliament is duty bound to deal with it,” he said. He said it should not be deferred to the next Parliament. “I have been wanting to speak on this matter in...

UNICEF chief Henrietta Fore resigns ‘with a heavy heart’

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The head of the UN Children’s Fund, Henrietta Fore, announced her resignation on Tuesday, in order to devote herself fulltime to caring for her husband, who is suffering from what she described as a serious health issue. Fore said it had been “a difficult decision”, and in a message to staff, described holding the office of Executive Director as “a...

‘Physicality’s a non-negotiable’: All Blacks pack put on notice by feisty Fijians

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“The physicality’s a non-negotiable of test rugby, and All Blacks rugby.” And with that, Scott Barrett would have had forwards coach John Plumtree at least buoyed that the message is getting through. Now, it’s just about seeing it on game-day. Two words by now must be imprinted in the minds of the All Blacks from last weekend’s first-test win over Fiji in...

Manu Samoa taking nothing for granted after Tongan win

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Samoa are under no illusion that their place in the 2023 Rugby World Cup is already secure. The Manu beat Tonga 42-13 in the first of two qualifying matches, with the overall aggregate winner to seal their spot in France in two years time. Vaovasamanaia Seilala Mapusua's side have a 29 point buffer heading into Saturday's second test against the 'Ikale...

SPREP reaccredited to World’s largest climate fund

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The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme has been successfully reaccredited to the Green Climate Fund as a Regional Implementing Entity. Pacific island Members can apply for GCF funding for climate change adaptation and mitigation projects through SPREP. To renew accreditation, SPREP had to meet strict and extensive fiduciary, governance, project management and other organisational performance standards. “We’re very pleased to...

Vanuatu 19 MPs’ appeal verdict on Friday

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Vanuatu Court of Appeal will rule on the appeal of the 19 Members of Parliament (MPs) against Judge Oliver Saksak ‘s judgment on Friday this week. Judge Saksak had dismissed their Constitutional application on their claim that the Speaker of Parliament had no power to declare the seat of a member of parliament vacant, only the Supreme Court on the...

‘It’s heartbreaking’: Fijians in Australia rally as COVID-19 ravages their homeland

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Just four months ago, Fiji had kept COVID-19 at bay. The Pacific country, which instituted strict border controls and quarantine, had recorded 68 cases between March 2020 and 09 April 2021. A travel bubble with Australia and New Zealand, which would have revived its struggling economy, was on the table. Today, the country is recording daily case numbers of over 700 infections,...

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Tonga says volcanic eruption and tsunami an ‘unprecedented disaster’

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Tonga is facing an “unprecedented disaster” from a massive volcanic eruption that covered the nation in ash and 15-metre tsunami waves that destroyed almost...

Cable repair ship to set sail from PNG to restore communications to Tonga

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Preparations are being made to send a specialist cable repair ship from Papua New Guinea to Tonga to fix breaks in the Tonga Cable...

New Zealand prepares to send support to Tonga

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New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence...