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Byrne wants the Fijian Drua to drown the Chiefs

The head coach of the Fijian Drua Mick Byrne is looking forward to an improved performance from his band of warriors after being skinned by the Crusaders 3-61 last week at Christchurch’s Orangetheory Stadium when the side clashes with Pita Gus Sowakula’s Chiefs on Saturday at Churchill Park in Lautoka. Byrne said the Drua wanted to bounce back in style...

Foreign Minister Penny Wong tells Pacific nations ‘we have heard you’ as Australia and China battle for influence

The new Australian foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, has promised to treat Pacific island countries with respect, telling an audience in Fiji that Australia is “a partner that won’t come with strings attached, nor impose unsustainable financial burdens”. Wong promised to “respect Pacific priorities and Pacific institutions” and set out an implicit contrast with China, which is pursuing a sweeping...

PM Albanese says Australia needs to step up engagement with Pacific Islands in response to ‘changed environment’ from China

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says Australia needs to step up engagement with Pacific Islands in response to 'changed environment' The Prime Minister took a swipe at the former Morrison government amid a pledge to provide further support and increase its engagement with the Pacific region in response to China's growing dominance and Beijing's plan to secure trade deals with ten...

Fiji AG seeks to play down concern over China’ proposed deal

Fiji’s Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has sought to play down concern over China’s proposed deal with 10 Pacific nations covering policing, security and communications. Former Kiribati president Anote Tong says the deal incorporates action on climate change - the Pacific’s biggest security concern - and has welcomed the Albanese government’s renewed focus on the issue. Sayed-Khaiyum, who is also Fiji’s climate change...

John Rosso sworn in as PNG deputy PM

Another Morobean has been sworn in as the new Papua New Guinea deputy Prime Minister two weeks after the passing of Sam Basil. Minister for Lands and Physical Planning John Rosso was sworn in by Acting Governor General Sir Gibbs Salika at Government House Konedobu Wednesday. Watched on by his wife and two children, the first time MP and Minister took...

Five things we learned about China’s ambitions for the Pacific from the leaked deal

Opinion by Dr Anna Powles Ten years ago, Pacific security thinkers would debate whether Chinese engagement in the Pacific was by default or by design. The leaked draft of the regional and economic agreement China is hoping will be signed by 10 Pacific nations next week answers that question. It reveals the ambitious scope of Beijing’s strategic intent in the Pacific...

Disaster prevention, risk reduction, critical to sustainable future: UN deputy chief

The world will experience 1.5 medium to large-scale disasters every day through the end of the decade, unless countries ramp up action on prevention and risk reduction, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said in Bali, Indonesia, on Wednesday. Mohammed was speaking at the opening of the Seventh Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction - the first international forum on the...

China, Australia launch duelling South Pacific charm offensives

Chinese and Australian foreign ministers will launch duelling charm offensives in the South Pacific Thursday, as Beijing and the West jostle for influence in the strategically significant region. Top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi is expected to arrive in Solomon Island's capital Honiara, kicking off a lengthy, eight-nation regional tour. Australia's recently sworn-in Foreign Minister Penny Wong will meanwhile touch down in...

Egypt says climate finance must be top of agenda at Cop27 talks

Financial assistance for developing countries must be at the top of the agenda for UN climate talks this year, the host country, Egypt, has made clear, as governments will be required to follow through on promises made at the Cop26 summit last year. Egypt will host Cop27 in Sharm el-Sheikh in November. The talks will take place in the shadow...

Pacific Tourism Organisation appoints Petero Manufolau as new Chairperson

The Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Petero Manufolau as its new Board Chairperson. The SPTO Board of Directors endorsed the announcement of Manufolau, CEO of the Tourism Authority of Kiribati, as the new Chairperson at its Board meeting today. Manufolau has previously held senior management positions in both private and regional tourism organisations, specialising in...

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Vuvale partnership renewal boosts Pacific Labour Mobility

Fiji's Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has announced the renewal of the Vuvale Partnership between Fiji and Australia, which aims to facilitate seamless two-way travel...

Glen Jackson appointed Fijian Drua coach

The Board of Fijian Drua has appointed highly respected coach Glen Jackson as Head Coach for the Men’s team. Jackson is currently the Swire Shipping...

French forces launch ‘major operation’ to open route to New Caledonia’s restive capital

French forces launched a "major operation" on Sunday to regain control of a road linking New Caledonia's capital Noumea to the main international airport,...