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Fiji government addresses plan to rip up reef

The Fijian government has made clear it won’t approve any proposal that damages the environment following a Newsroom investigation that exposed a New Zealand-registered company’s plan to excavate 2.5 hectares of coral reef at a Fijian island group to improve surf waves. The World Wave Project proposes to dig up sections of coral reefs off the remote Qamea and Taveuni...

Tourism to help Pacific growth rebound in 2022, says ADB report

The economies of the Pacific are set to rebound in 2022, according to the latest issue of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Pacific Economic Monitor (PEM) launched today. While the ADB report downgraded the Pacific region’s growth forecast to -0.6 percent in 2021, the subregion is forecast to have 4.7 percent growth in 2022 as wider vaccination against the coronavirus...

First local female CEO of Solomon Telekom Company

Solomon Telekom Company Limited has confirmed the appointment of Christina Lasaqa as its new chief executive officer. Lasaqa, a Solomon Islands national from Gwou’ulu, Lau lagoon, Malaita Province is the first ever local female chief executive officer of Solomon Telekom Company Limited. Lasaqa graduated in 2017 with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. She...

New Caledonia referendum result rejected

New Caledonia's pro-independence umbrella organisation says it doesn't recognise the legitimacy and validity of the third and final referendum on independence from France. The statement by the organisation grouping seven parties and unions is the first since 96.5 percent of voters rejected independence from France. Sunday's vote was boycotted because of France's refusal to postpone it to next year to consider...

Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Committee preliminary statement on New Caledonia referendum

The Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Committee to New Caledonia observed the 2021 New Caledonia referendum on independence held on 12 December 2021. It deployed to the Northern and Southern Provinces and observed the referendum opening, polling, closing, and the count. “The Committee was pleased with the overall arrangements made for polling day and congratulates the people and Government of New Caledonia,...

Unsuccessful premiership contender Tu‘i‘onetoa expresses bitterness at being abandoned

Tonga interim Prime Minster Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa has complained about being dumped by his own interim Cabinet Ministers, saying he just found out after the general elections that their unity in the past four months was fake. Tu’i’onetoa said their union was heart-warming and they worked side by side. He described the basis of their unity as a pledge and sacred oath...

China offers increased fisheries presence, IUU cooperation to Pacific island nations

A senior Chinese official recently told a meeting of Pacific island fisheries officials that China wants to increase its fisheries presence in the region. During a recent meeting of the China-Pacific Island Countries Fishery Cooperation and Development Forum, held in Guangzhou, China, Ma Youxiang, the deputy minister of fisheries at China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said China stands...

U.S Ambassador to Solomons warns of aid that goes to ‘one bank account’

The U.S Ambassador to the Solomon Islands has warned Pacific Islands against “aid that benefits one person, one party and one bank account” - remarks that come after the Solomons were beset with riots last month blamed in part on discontent with China. Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was accused last week by the leader of the opposition in...

New Caledonia faced with uncertainty over Noumea Accord exit

A law professor in Noumea says New Caledonia is now faced with a period of high uncertainty, be it political, economic or institutional. Mathias Chauchat said referendum voters were made to believe that with yesterday's no vote, the provisions of the 1998 Noumea Accord had become void. The Noumea Accord lapsed with yesterday's third referendum on full sovereignty. However, Chauchat told Caledonia...

Solomons police investigating armed threat on the capital

Police in Solomon Islands say they are investigating reports of an armed group threatening an armed attack on the capital Honiara. Responding to local media reports of a group threatening to “unleash a second wave” on the already damaged city police commissioner Mostyn Mangau said investigations were already underway and that the threat is being treated as a matter of...

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COVID19 a wake-up call for Pacific countries to strengthen social security systems

The COVID19 crisis was a wake-up call for many Pacific Island Countries to enhance their social security systems. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB),...

‘End the licences’: Vanuatu oil rig registry sparks concern amid climate advocacy

Thousands of kilometres away from the Pacific, an oil rig in the North Sea operates under the flag of Vanuatu. In the Black Sea, a...

Pacific Defence Ministers to meet in New Caledonia

Defence ministers from several Asian and Pacific States are scheduled to meet in New Caledonia for two days during the first week of December,...