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Flying Fijians coach Vern Cotter says ‘Vaccinate’ jerseys were sprung on players

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Fiji's Kiwi coach Vern Cotter says his players weren't properly consulted about the ‘Vaccinate Fiji’ jerseys revealed days before the All Blacks test, leaving them with little time to resolve the “complex” issues they created within the squad. Fiji wore clean jerseys during the All Blacks tests after ditching the ‘Vaccinate’ messaging at late notice, prompting concern from medical professionals...

Samoa caretaker Education Minister resigns

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Samoa caretaker Minister of Education Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, has agreed to resign from office as a result of a post election challenge filed against him. Loau's resignation has resulted in the petition being dropped but it has also triggered a sixth by-election and reduced the Human Rights Protection Party's (HRPP) numbers even lower. Loau's resignation will effectively reduce...

Weeks of training for contactless delivery of Pfizer jabs to virus-free Tokelau

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The first batch of Covid-19 vaccines for Tokelau will leave New Zealand on Monday, delivered by the naval ship HMNZS Wellington. The 76-member crew underwent weeks of rehearsals to ensure strict safety protocols were in place to protect the islands from Covid-19. The Pfizer vaccine doses will be enough to vaccinate Tokelau’s entire eligible population and can only be delivered by...

Fijian-born soldiers given right to live in UK despite legal battle loss

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A group of Fijian-born soldiers who sued the government after being classified as illegal immigrants have been granted leave to remain in the UK, despite losing their legal battle against the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Home Office. Seven of the group, who claimed they were the victims of serious and systemic administrative mistakes because they were not properly...

Pivotal court hearing today in Samoa

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A Supreme Court hearing in Samoa today will determine if the caretaker prime minister will face criminal contempt proceedings. Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, as well as the attorney general, parliament's former speaker and its clerk are to appear for preventing parliament from convening on 24 May as the court ordered. A substantive Supreme Court hearing today will probe the roles played by...

Vax rule dilemma – Fiji Law society raises concern over PM’s directive

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The manner in which the Fijian Government has enforced directives on people to get vaccinated for COVID-19 is concerning. Fiji Law Society president William Wylie Clarke says there are better ways for Government to address the issue. He was responding to a directive from Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama that people could lose their jobs if they failed to vaccinate to get...

Convene Samoa Parliament: Forum Secretary-General

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The Pacific Islands Forum on Saturday reminded Samoa’s caretaker Government of the Biketawa Declaration, which amongst other guiding principles promotes the peaceful transfer of power and the rule of law in Forum member states. Forum Secretary General Henry Puna, in a statement said Samoa has for a long time been a shining example of self-determination and democracy within our Forum...

Fiji’s COVID-19 crisis: a closer look

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Written by Sargam Goundar, Kim Andreas Kessler Fiji’s COVID-19 story started with the Fijian Government taking action in the form of travel restrictions to Fiji and mandatory border quarantine to keep the virus out. This was largely driven by an anticipation of Fiji’s lack of resilience due to communal living, high NCD (non-communicable disease) rates, a fragile health system,...

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing in the Pacific

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Task Force Oceania’s Pacific augmentation teams recently completed their first rotational tours providing continuous support to Pacific island countries in Oceania demonstrating U.S Army Pacific and U.S Indo Pacific Command’s commitment to our allies and partners in the region. And while the Department of Defence is committed to our allies and partners like the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic...

Commonwealth urges respect for the rule of law in Samoa

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The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, has called on political leaders in Samoa to uphold the rule of law and adhere to the values and principles set out in the Commonwealth Charter. Speaking on the situation, the Secretary-General said: “The Commonwealth is a community that is underpinned by shared values and principles, including democracy, respect for the rule of law and the...

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UN and Forum SG pledges resources to the government and people of Tonga

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The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed his deep concern after reports of a tsunami and ash affecting Tonga following the eruption of an...

Tonga eruption likely the world’s largest in 30 years – scientist

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Early data from Tonga's violent volcanic eruption suggests it is the biggest blast since Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines 30 years ago, volcanologist Shane...

EU could suspend Vanuatu visa-free travel over ‘golden passports’ scheme

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The European Commission has proposed suspending a visa-free travel arrangement with Vanuatu due to concerns about the Pacific nation’s controversial “golden passports” scheme. The proposed...