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Fijian Drua squad named

Fijian Drua Head Coach Mick Byrne has announced his line-up for Friday’s Round 7 home match vs NSW Waratahs at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast. Kaliopasi Uluilakelpa (1) reverts to his loosehead prop position this week with Samuela Tawake (3) returning as the run-on tighthead prop. Flying Fijians hooker Mesulame Dolokoto (2) also returns to the starting line-up...

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat committed to bringing Micronesia back on board

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is looking at building more consensus and cohesion around its processes in the hopes of appeasing member countries. The assessment is an effort to heal the rift within the regional body that has seen Micronesian countries pause their membership last year. New Zealand Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta has already said that regional solidarity is a key...

FijiFirst will win 2022 General Election says PM Bainimarama, People’s time ‘coming’: Opposition

The FijiFirst Government will win the 2022 General Election. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama did not mince his words on Sunday when he made the declaration and called out People’s Alliance Party leader Sitiveni Rabuka. Speaking on the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation Radio Fiji One Nai Lalakai programme, Bainimarama said: “FijiFirst won in the 2014 and 2018 elections, and we will win again...

New Zealand giving ‘green light’ to sea bed mining in ungoverned Pacific waters

The New Zealand Government is being accused of taking a weak stance at an international meeting to finalise the rules for mining the deep sea. By participating in drafting regulations, New Zealand is helping to ‘green light’ the emerging industry, marine conservationists say. They argue the extraction of valuable polymetallic nodules will cause “unprecedented environmental destruction” to the Pacific Ocean. And the...

NZ pledges paediatric Pfizer vaccines for Fiji

50,000 doses of pediatric Pfizer vaccines will be provided to Fiji with the support from the New Zealand government. At the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, visiting New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta announced that her cabinet has approved to provide the vaccines to Fiji. Mahuta said for many Pacific countries including Fiji, responding to COVID wasn’t easy. She said one...

Marshall Islands breaks away from Micronesian bloc to back Puna for top Forum job

The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Henry Puna, has been given a lifeline after the Marshall Islands broke ranks from the Micronesian bloc of countries to support the Cook Islanders' tenure in office. It's the first public sign of disagreement between Nauru, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Palau, and Marshall Islands since they began withdrawing from the...

Marshall Islands considers ‘expelling’ Russian ships on registry, as complex yacht ownership schemes face scrutiny

The Marshall Islands may expel Russian yachts and boats on sanctions lists from its ship registry as a response to the war with Ukraine. “We also are one of the largest ship registry programmes for flagged ships throughout the global shipping industry,” Foreign Minister Casten Nemra said at a press conference in Taiwan. “We are also looking into expelling any Russian...

Solomon Islands PM says China security deal ‘ready for signing’

The Solomon Islands' prime minister said Tuesday that a contentious security agreement with Beijing was “ready for signing”, denying reports that his country had been pressured to allow a Chinese naval base to be built in the Pacific island nation. In an impassioned speech to parliament, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare offered little detail on the shape of the final deal...

Australia urged to ramp up Pacific security funding to counter China

Australia has been told it must increase investment and look at establishing a military presence in the Pacific to counter China’s influence in the region after Solomon Islands confirmed it was close to signing a security deal with Beijing. Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Tuesday defended the proposed deal as he denied his country has “picked a side”....

New Zealand must send strong signal to Pacific over China – Defence Minister Peeni Henare

New Zealand will need to send a strong signal to other Pacific Islands after China's overtures to Solomon Islands, Minister of Defence Peeni Henare says. After visits with counterparts in Fiji and Australia last week, the minister says maintaining a cooperative Defence Force presence in the region - and not solely for humanitarian aid - is a priority for New...

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Fiji Opposition leader Seruiratu urges Australia to slow fossil fuel output

Fiji’s Opposition leader Inia Seruiratu says Fiji should also be able to raise concerns about some of Australia’s decisions such as its ongoing production...

PNG Opposition: Vote of no confidence still alive

It is up to Pangu Pati to remain intact, says Social Democratic Party leader Powes Parkop, as a vote of no confidence looms at...

Rediscovering the lost Kulawai: Fiji’s effort to save a vanishing bird

In the lush forests of Fiji, the Red-throated Lorikeet (Charmosyna amabilis), known locally as the ‘Kulawai’, was once a familiar sight. This small, shy bird,...