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Moana Pasifika Super Rugby licence confirmed

Moana Pasifika has been granted an unconditional licence to join an expanded Super Rugby competition next year. New Zealand Rugby awarded the franchise a conditional licence in April to join a revamped competition, alongside five teams from New Zealand, five from Australia and the Fijian Drua. Confirmation was expected last month but complications over finance, the competition format and getting buy-in...

Vaccinations key to recovery: PIF

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretary-General has appealed for people in the region to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic in order for some form of normalcy to return to the islands. Henry Puna made the appeal during his opening remarks at the Forum Trade Officials Meeting where he emphasised that due to the unprecedented times brought on by the...

Solomon Islands PM caution citizens to be wary of delta variant

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the Government is cautious of the imminent threat of the ‘delta variant of COVID-19’ in neighbouring Fiji. Speaking during his nationwide address in Honiara, the Prime Minister said the delta variant is highly transmissible and has been described by WHO as the ‘fittest and fastest’ variant of COVID-19. The Prime Minister said the situation...

Application for appeal in case against Cook Islands PM and Forum SG Puna

A case involving Prime Minister Mark Brown and Pacific Forum Secretary General Henry Puna was dismissed in March this year by a High Court judge, but could be brought back to life as lawyer Norman George and Paul Allsworth of Citizens Against Corruption (CAC) apply to appeal the matter. Chief Justice Sir Hugh Williams QC in March dismissed charges levelled...

How to manage a $1.6 billion debt and other challenges?

By Samantha Magick Pacific finance and trade leaders will have critical meetings this week to discuss how they can rebuild the region’s economies following the economic devastation wrought by COVID-19. Managing increasing debt burdens will be high on the agenda. “We sure live in some very challenging times. The last 18 months have been, perhaps, one of the toughest periods for...

ADB launches transport strategy for Pacific

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has launched a new strategy to help ADB’s Pacific developing member countries (DMCs) improve connectivity and tackle other core development challenges across the Pacific over the next 5 years. The Transport Sector Assessment, Strategy, and Road Map 2021–2025 reviews transport sector performance, summarises development constraints, and articulates the rationale and strategic direction behind ADB’s support....

COVID-19 vaccine booster doses as Delta variant rips around the world shows ‘disappointing inequality’: WHO

The COVID-19 Delta variant is travelling around the world at a “scorching pace” driving a new spike in cases and deaths, but it’s exposing a ‘hugely uneven and inequitable’ global gap in vaccine supply, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday. “We’re in the midst of a growing two-track pandemic where the haves and have-nots within...

Fiji’s positive Covid-19 cases spike to 873; minor among reported deaths

Positive COVID-19 cases have spiked yet again for Fiji with 873 new cases and three deaths reported for the island nation Monday. Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary Dr James Fong said the first death is a 56-year-old woman from Vatuwaqa in Suva who died at home. Dr Fong said the woman’s family reported that she had been feeling...

Vaccination remains important part of Fiji response to COVID: Dr Morris

Fiji's Ministry of Health is preparing for increased numbers of severe COVID-19 cases. The Australia and New Zealand medical assistance team( that is working with the Ministry Fiji is also preparing for inevitably more deaths due to the virus. New Zealand Health Specialist Dr Wayne Morris said the team is also optimistic of Fiji’s response to the outbreak so far especially...

PNG Special Parliamentary Committee to table Gender-Based Violence report

Papua New Guinea Special Parliamentary Committee on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) will table a report for the August session of parliament which will include concrete, practical recommendations for action aimed at reducing levels of GBV across the country and improving responses for GBV survivors. Chairman Charles Abel said that there has been a lot of public support following the hearings on...

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Sustainability of Pacific fisheries is compromised by the impacts of climate change: Forum Chair

By Pita Ligaiula in Seoul Forum Chair and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown says the sustainability of Pacific fisheries is compromised by the...

Solomon Islands distance itself from Korea – Pacific Islands Forum Summit Declaration

Solomon Islands expressed reservations on an element of the outcome Declaration of the Korea-Pacific Islands Forum Summit in particular the reference to competing Strategy...

North Korea Nuclear programme direct threat to international peace and security

By Pita Ligaiula in Seoul The Korea – Pacific Islands Summit shares the view that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear and...