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Kiribati prolonged lockdown ends work arrangement with German shippers

Hundreds of Kiribati seafarers stranded overseas are pleading with their government to allow them to return home as the country continues to shut its border to international flights. Captain Tekemaua Kiraua is among 165 seafarers who've been in Fiji since March, he says the long wait is affecting their mental health. “It’s frustrating our crew are not good. There's a lot...

Delta variant spreads in PNG

Three Covid-19 Delta cases have been reported in Western Province and Papua New Guinea Health Minister Jelta Wong says the priority now is to ensure provinces are prepared to manage the highly infectious disease. The Delta variant infections were confirmed by the National Control Centre (NCC) in a media conference Tuesday. Presenting the Papua New Guinea health sector report in Parliament,...

Low vaccine uptake makes Delta more dangerous for Pasifika and Maori – expert

A Pacific health expert is advising the Pasifika and Maori community to heed lockdown advice and stay home after more cases of the Delta variant were confirmed on Wednesday in Auckland. Dr Colin Tukuitonga, associate professor of public health at the University of Auckland, said Pasifika and Māori were the most vulnerable to Covid-19 and the Delta variant was “no...

Kuini Vuli: Fijiana have helped us to believe anything is possible

As a match official, Kuini Vuli has appeared in some of the game’s most prestigious tournaments around the world. But, in time, she is hopeful that more Fijian women will follow in her footsteps and go on to scale even greater heights. Vuli was the second Fijian woman behind Elenoa Kunatuba to officiate in top-class matches when, in 2009, she...

Australia’s Pfizer purchase from vaccine-sharing Covax stockpile under fire

Australia’s purchase of 500,000 Pfizer doses from the global vaccine-sharing Covax initiative has renewed debate about whether more Covid-19 vaccines should be reserved for developing countries. On Tuesday Labor and the Australian Council for International Development questioned Australia’s purchase of 500,000 doses from the World Health Organisation-run scheme, which was first announced by the health minister, Greg Hunt, on 06...

Industrial hemp an alternative to illegal marijuana: Fiji Economy Minister

The Fijian government is hoping a study into the potential for industrial hemp will provide an alternative for the illegal marijuana trade in Fiji. Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has told parliament that they are not interested in hemp with a high level of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC which makes people high. “We want it to replace the illicit agriculture sector, but...

Pacific Islands: Economic outlook

By Kishti Sen & Tom Kenny It’s been a tough time for Pacific island economies. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated global supply chain disruptions along, with mobility restrictions, impacted commodity exporting countries while closed borders meant the tourism dependent economies were decimated in 2020. With international borders remaining closed and many local restrictions still in place, economic conditions will be...

Cook Islands quarantine free travel from New Zealand suspended

Cook Islands travel bubble with New Zealand has been suspended after health officials have reported new Covid-19 community cases in Auckland. Four community cases were reported overnight by authorities, including an Auckland hospital worker, bringing total to five. Cases are all linked to Tuesday's first case in Auckland, which is confirmed as Delta variant. “While the epidemiological variance and transmission link for...

Fiji records 590 new cases of COVID-19, 11 new deaths reported

Fiji has recorded 590 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 new deaths Tuesday, increasing the total number of cases to 41,107 and 403 deaths since the outbreak in April. Permanent secretary for Health, Dr James Fong said 420 cases are from the Western division and 170 cases are from the Central division in Vitilevu, Fiji's main island. “There have been 1,304...

SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula wins case

Fiji’s Chief Justice Kamal Kumar Tuesday ruled that the Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem's decision to vacate Niko Nawaikula as a Member of Parliament is null and void. Justice Kumar said the Supervisor of Election’s action in removing Nawaikula’s name from the Register of Voters is unlawful and wrong. He said with this decision, Nawaikula is to be reinstated as a...

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RNZAF delivers Christmas cheer to Pacific in annual operation Christmas drop

The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) is delivering lifesaving aid and supplies across the Pacific as part of Operation Christmas Drop. The annual operation,...

OACPS still relevant despite South Africa’s withdrawal from the organisation: SG Chikoti

By Pita Ligaiula in Luanda, Angola The Secretary General of the 79 member states of the Organisations of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (OACPS), Georges...

OACPS respect South Africa’s decision to withdraw from the bloc

By Pita Ligaiula in Luanda, Angola South Africa has exercised her right to withdraw from the Organisations of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (OACPS) says...