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Some Pacific nations won’t reach target vaccination rates until 2026: Lowy Institute research

Slow vaccine take-up among Pacific nations will dramatically hamper regional COVID-19 recovery efforts with some countries not expected to reach high rates for another five years, new research shows. It comes as Australia has began to open up its international borders to nearby neighbours, New Zealand and Singapore, as part of its slow reopening to the world. But the rate of...

Fiji is slowly transitioning to normalcy

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Fiji remains on track to welcome back tourists in less than one week. Speaking on Radio Fiji One’s – Nai Lalakai programnme, Bainimarama says it’s pleasing to note that 90 percent of Fijians are fully vaccinated. He said Fiji is one of the most highly vaccinated countries in the world and this is good news...

Cook Islands PM repeats calls for international recognition of climate

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...

No women elected in Tonga: time to change the story

By ‘Ofa-Ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki As in 2008, 2010 and 2014, none of the female candidates standing in Tonga’s 2021 general election were successful. Out of a total of 38,500 votes, 34,198 were cast for the male candidates and only 4,352 were cast for the 12 female candidates, down from 14% of total votes in 2017 to 11% in 2021. The only female...

Crunch time for rugby’s eligibility laws

The World Rugby Council will consider a proposal this week to change the sport's eligibility rules to make it easier for players to switch their international allegiance, following a three year stand-down. Under the current regulations, once a player has represented one country at international level they cannot turn out for another, unless they utilise an unintended sevens loophole. Former Tonga...

Flying Fijians held by a tough Georgian side in Spain

Vodafone Flying Fijians were held 15-all by a tough Georgian side in its final Northern tour test match in Madrid, Spain. The Lelos made a perfect start in the first half and proved too strong for the Flying Fijians in every aspect of the game. Their forwards were on the right track, outplaying the visitors in the majority of the...

‘Can’t keep them all’: Cleary resigned to Kikau’s pending exit

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary said Canterbury's big-money pursuit of Viliame Kikau made it difficult to keep the Fijian powerhouse beyond next season but he expects him to stay on in 2022. A photo of Kikau in Bulldogs colours next to Phil Gould and Trent Barrett emerged on Friday with the Panthers back-rower posting to Instagram later in the evening citing...

New faces in Tonga Parliament, no women elected

Surprises were the order of the day as the 17 Peoples' Representatives for the new Tonga parliamentary session were announced last night. Tonga has elected an all-male parliament, with nine new faces making up the 17 People's Representative seats. No women were elected. This follows voting around the Kingdom Thursday. Supervisor of Elections Pita Vuki confirmed the official results at the Tonga...

Abortions and same sex marriages not on Samoa Government’s agenda – PM Mata’afa

Samoan Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa has clarified that her government will not change the laws only to satisfy some of the recommendations by the United Nation’s recent Human Rights Report. Some of the fundamental rights central to the UN report included rights to abortion, same sex marriages and euthanasia. These were raised in the Universal Periodic Review of Samoa’s state...

Some positives were achieved in COP26: UN

United Nations Resident Coordinator to Fiji Sanaka Samarasinha says it is important to note that there were some successes achieved at the COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. Samarasinha's comment comes after some Pacific leaders were upset with the outcomes of the meeting. He said while the spotlight was on the failure of developed nations to completely phase out coal usage, one major...

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