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New Vanuatu Police Commissioner appointed

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Vanuatu President Obed Moses Tallis, has appointed Colonel Robson Iavro as the Commissioner of Police. The instrument of appointment was signed by the President on 11 June. Order No. 75 of 2021 stated that the President made the appointment in exercise of the powers given to him to undertake such task under the Police Act (CAP 105). Colonel Iavro is a...

Australian Defence Force to fund $175 million major upgrade for PNG’s naval base on Manus Island

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An Australian company has been awarded a multi-million-dollar contract to redevelop Papua New Guinea's main naval base on Manus Island. Clough was announced as the head contractor for the Lombrum Naval Base upgrade, which is expected to cost up to $175 million(US$134 million). The head of Papua New Guinea's Defence Force, Major General Gilbert Toropo, said the upgrade would significantly improve...

PNG National Fisheries Authority ready to implement Pacific Marine Industrial Zone

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The Papua New Guinea Government is ready to implement the giant economic Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) Project that ‘will transform PNG as a coastal state to a fully-fledged fishing State. Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Dr Lino Tom convened a meeting in Madang recently to present to the Treasury Department and the Madang Provincial Government the fisheries potential...

Vanuatu Education minister Seule Simeon resigns to become speaker

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The Vanuatu Parliament has elected Seule Simeon as the new speaker just hours after Gracia Shadrack resigned from the position. To stand as candidate for speaker, Simeon resigned his education portfolio in the government led by Bob Loughman. Simeon was elected with 32 votes against 16 votes for the opposition's Ephraim Boereve. Shadrack had been locked in a dispute with the government...

Fiji records 116 new COVID-19 cases, one death confirmed

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One death and a record 116 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Fiji. The Health Ministry said Tuesday night a 73-year-old patient at the country's main hospital in the capital Suva is the fifth person to die from the virus. The staggering positive infections take the total number of active cases in isolation to 943. The ministry said 93 of...

PNG records 63 new COVID-19 cases – total at 16,791

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Papua New Guinea recorded 63 new COVID-19 cases on Monday further increasing PNG’s total to 16,791 cases including 165 known deaths. The new cases were reported in six provinces with Manus reporting the highest with 29 cases, followed by both Western Highlands and East New Britain with 12 cases each, Milne Bay reported eight, Hela and the NCD recorded one...

Samoa’s FAST wins first disputed seat of April election

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Former Associate Minister of Revenue, Sooalo Umi Mene was granted leave by the Supreme Court to withdraw his petition against FAST winner, Vaele Paiaaua Sekuini. His lawyers Lucy Sio Ofoia and Arthur Lesa confirmed before the Court on Tuesday the application to withdraw and publication of intention to drop the electoral petition. In response Vaele filed a motion to withdraw his...

A New Zealand chapter of Greta Thunberg-linked climate movement disbands itself for being ‘racist’

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In September 2019, the streets of Auckland, New Zealand were a sea of protesters. Across the globe, several million people were marching as part of the “School Strike 4 Climate” youth movement sparked by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg. But few demonstrations were more sweeping than the one in New Zealand’s largest city, where up to 80,000 marchers filled the streets. Less...

Amid dispute with government, Vanuatu speaker resigns

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The Speaker of Parliament of Vanuatu Gracia Shadrack has resigned today amid a dispute with the government of the prime minister Bob Loughman. Last week, Shadrack declared the seats of the prime minister, the deputy prime minister and 16 other government MPs vacant for missing three sittings of parliament. The government challenged the move and a hearing of its constitutional application...

Bougainville independence date set

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Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama has set 01 September, 2025, as the tentative date for the declaration of independence for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. He told the House of Representatives that the Bougainville position had been tabled at the Kokopo consultation which detailed a five-year timeline from this year to 2025. “Each year comprises a number of key milestones to be...

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Calls on Pacific leaders to stand in solidarity against deep sea mining

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By Pita Ligaiula in Lisbon, Portugal Chair of the Pacific Parliamentarians Alliance on Deep Sea Mining (PPADSM)has called on Pacific nations of Nauru, Cook Islands,...

Tonga recognises the importance of science, and transfer of marine technology to SIDS

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By Pita Ligaiula in Lisbon, Portugal The Tongan government has joined other countries in the call for the adoption of the “Declaration for the enhancement...

Alliance launched against deep sea mining

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By Pita Ligaiula in Lisbon, Portugal The Pacific nations of Palau and Fiji announced Monday their strong opposition to deep-sea mining and the launch of...