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Whale watching okay if you know what you're doing, says expert

Tomorrow is World Whale Day, and with whale numbers on the rise, and more tourists flocking to the Pacific, there's more demand for whale watching trips.

Fiji human rights groups welcome UN Commissioner's comments

There's been a positive reaction from human rights groups in Fiji to strong statements by the visiting United Nations Human Rights Commissioner.

Launch of AFLX a potential shake up for Rugby 7s

The international success of Twenty20 cricket, rugby sevens and Fast5 netball, has prompted the AFL to join the party, with their own short form version of Australian Rules Football called AFLX.

'Lack of awareness' about ship limitations still an issue across the Pacific despite efforts to improve

Investigations continue into Kiribati's latest maritime disaster, the sinking of MV Butiraoi, with more than 90 people presumed to have died.

PNG's Chief statistician urged to co-operate with police over fraud allegations

Anti-corruption organization Transparency International are urging senior bureaucrats in Papua New Guinea to make themselves available for questioning over fraud allegations.

Alarm in Fiji over police investigation into Islands Business

Journalists with Fiji's Islands Business magazine were taken in for a second round of questioning by Police detectives today.

Concerns about PNG women turning to abortions to stop 'unwanted' pregnancies

This week Pacific Beat has explored some of the issues around family planning in the Pacific, and particularly, the questions of where and how modern contraceptive methods, like the implant, fit in with PNG's culture and religion?

Tongan residents urged to rebuild 'cyclone resilient' homes in Gita's aftermath

With early government estimates suggesting that around half the houses on Tonga's main island of Tongatapu have been damaged or destroyed, there are already calls for people to rebuild 'cyclone resilient' homes.

Mobile phone communications under pressure as Tongatapu recovers from #CycloneGita

As Tonga struggles to recover from Cyclone Gita, both phone networks on the main island of Tongatapu - TCC and Digicel - were down yesterday and overnight.

Tonga to appeal for more foreign aid for Cyclone Gita recovery, says deputy PM

Around half the houses on Tonga's main island of Tongatapu have been destroyed or damaged by Cyclone Gita.

Tongan sporting community at rock bottom after Cyclone Gita

After Cyclone Gita struck with a vengeance, could the Tongan government's decision to abandon hosting the Pacific Games next year come back to bite the country, as the recovery effort continues?

"I thought coaching was a men's job": Soccer coach breaks new ground in PNG

With two rival soccer factions competing over who should run the national soccer competition in Papua New Guinea, the recent appointment of a woman to coach a newly-formed club in the National Soccer League, appears to have flown under the radar.

Cyclone Gita: Relief supplies and military aid on its way to Tonga

International aid is quickly being pledged to Tonga, with Australia and New Zealand sending emergency relief supplies, including temporary shelter and hygiene kits.

PNG's Catholic health clinics accused of 'wasting' family planning items

The PNG Government is being called on to reconsider its contracts with the Catholic Church, with concerns that certain Catholic-run health clinics aren't providing the full family planning services they're obligated to.

Remote Fiji islanders make contact: Cyclone Gita destroys crops and some homes

As Cyclone Gita moves out of Fiji waters, it's been upgraded to a category five storm and is now heading towards Vanuatu's most southern islands and New Caledonia.

Speaking the vibrant languages of the Pacific the best way to access education

With more languages being spoken in the Pacific than in any other region in the world, there are questions about whether education should focus instead on national languages like bislama or tok pisin or even international languages like English or French.

Fears that Tonga's dengue outbreak may get worse after #CycloneGita

Police in Tonga's capital Nuku'alofa have confirmed one man died when Cyclone Gita slammed into the main island of Tongatapu, causing widespread destruction.

Cyclone Gita: Tongan diplomats divided over early plans to rebuild parliament

The full extent of the devastation caused by Cyclone Gita in Tonga is still to be established, but the question of what happens to the seat of government now that the parliament building in Nuku'alofa has been levelled is one that has to be dealt with soon.

Small Fiji islands brace for strengthening Cyclone Gita

Weather experts say Cyclone Gita shows no signs of abating, as the storm continues to head towards Fiji's southern islands.

UN Human Rights Commissioner urges independence of Fiji Gov institutions

The UN's top Human Rights figure is urging the Fiji Government to ensure its institutions are independent, while he's also calling for this year's elections to be free and fair.

PNG women raise concerns about implant contraceptives but experts say side-effects minimal

There are growing concerns among a small group of women in Papua New Guinea that they're experiencing serious side effects from implants - a modern contraceptive which experts say is growing in popularity since it arrived in the country around seven years ago.

Islands Business journalists questioned by police over ATS magistrate article

Police in Fiji have detained and questioned three journalists after they published an online article about the magistrate who ruled in favour of Air Terminal Services workers when they were locked out for a month over an industrial dispute.

Food and water shortages a serious concern on Tongatapu

In the wake of Cyclone Gita, there are concerns there will be severe food and water shortages for tens of thousands of people living on Tonga's main island Tongatapu. More than 300 members of Tonga's military have been clearing the roads around the capital Nuku'alofa since dawn.

Tonga's Cyclone Gita described as the most frightening storm ever experienced

Disaster officials and locals alike in Tonga are describing Category 4 Cyclone Gita as the worst storm they've ever experienced.

Tonga disaster authorities say Cyclone Gita has impacted tens of thousands

Tongans have endured a night of horror, as Cyclone Gita brought winds topping 200 kilometres an hour, ripping off roofs, bringing down trees, while heavy rain has left many streets of the capital Nuku'alofa underwater.

Cyclone Gita: Tonga braces for category five storm

A state of emergency has been declared in Tonga as the country prepares for the arrival of what could be the strongest cyclone to ever hit the country.

PNG promises Human Rights Commission

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister is promising to set up a Human Rights Commission.

Investigating the case for Family Planning in the Pacific

The world's population stands at around 7.6 billion people, but it literally grows each and every second.

Cyclone Gita due to hit Tonga with Category Four force

Tens of thousands of people on Tonga's main island are preparing for the worst as Cyclone Gita bears down with Category Four force, bringing very destructive winds and storm surges.

Samoa in recovery mode after Cyclone Gita stopover

The cleanup continues in Samoa, after Cyclone Gita hit there early on Saturday, causing widespread flooding and forcing around 300 people to evacuate their homes.

PNG villagers at Kokoda demand major review into track administration

Papua New Guinea's Kokoda track remains blocked off by local landowners, who are ramping up their calls for a total review of the organisation tasked to manage the famed tourist attraction.

"Making a bad situation worse": Kiribati reacts to journalists coverage of ferry disaster

The Government of Kiribati says media reports that it prevented foreign journalists from reporting on last month's ferry disaster are misleading.

Social media changing business in Pacific but high costs still restrictive

The internet, including social media, is changing the way business is conducted right across the world, and experts say the Pacific is no exception.

New cable expected to cut cost of internet in half for Samoa

It's a historic day for Samoa today, as its new submarine telecommunications cable is being officially launched - bringing with it the promise of cheaper and quicker phone and internet connections.

New Zealand TV crew shocked by treatment from Kiribati authorities

Immigration officials in Kiribati have ordered a New Zealand news crew to delete interviews they'd shot with survivors of a ferry sinking that's claimed around 90 lives.

Tongan economist wants donors to back rugby as a 'tradeable commodity'

A Tongan economist is calling for more investment in the development of grass roots rugby in the Pacific, with the aim he says of making the sport a tradable commodity.

Kiribati ferry disaster: Government criticised for blocking overseas journalists

The government of Kiribati says it doesn't want foreign journalists entering the country to report on the fallout from the ongoing ferry disaster until the incident has been investigated.

PNG lands department under fire as Manumanu files go missing

Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International PNG says Papua New Guinea's lands department can't be trusted after it lost crucial files for controversial lease deals.

Pacific Island stars to lead the Melbourne Rebels in 2018

Ahead of the new Super Rugby season, and the inaugural Super W season for women's teams, the Melbourne Rebels have chosen two captains with strong Pacific Islands heritage.

Fiji's star batsman recruited by local Melbourne cricket club

While Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu both have big overseas tournaments to look forward to in the next few months, the state of cricket in Fiji is not quite so healthy, as the national side look to find their way back up the world ladder.

PNG tourism authority confident Kokoda Track shutdown can be quickly resolved

Government authorities in Papua New Guinea is holding an emergency meeting this morning after land owners of part of the Kokoda Track closed it to trekking, saying the PNG Government isn't delivering promised funding.

Call for Pacific authorities to enforce maritime safety powers after another ferry disaster

As Kiribati authorities investigate the capsize of an inter-island ferry with more than 90 people missing, there are questions about whether some Pacific ferry operators are taking safety seriously.

Trip to the Torres Strait goes bad for PNG fisherman

Officials from Australia's Border Force say a group fisherman from Papua New Guinea who were rescued after spending six days stranded in the Torres Strait are lucky to be alive.

Fiji rugby league CEO doubts player boycott will eventuate

The head of rugby league in Fiji is questioning the authenticity of reports that Fiji Bati players are threatening to boycott their next Test - over claims they haven't yet been paid their share of prize money for making it to last year's semi final of the world cup in Australia.

PNG's Kokoda track blocked off by protesting landowners

The Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea has been shutdown by traditional landowners, who say they're being "exploited" and "suppressed" by both the PNG and Australian governments.

Fiji's Anti-Corruption body overloaded with complaints, says ANU report

The performance of Fiji's Independent Commission Against Corruption has received a mixed review from an academic study in Australia.

Calls for a PNG women's political party ahead of next election

Papua New Guinea's political scene is known for being unpredictable, and after a chaotic election last year that resulted in no women MP's and a weak Opposition, many critics are calling for change.

Aunt of teen missing from Kiribati ferry says operators "gambling with people's lives"

One family member looking for those answers is Wanita Limpus, who now lives in Australia and is the founder of the Kiribati Australia Association.

Seven Kiribati survivors healthy but traumatised as they arrive in Tarawa

A huge crowd lined the dock at Kiribati's capital Tarawa to welcome the seven survivors of the ferry that sank more than a fortnight ago - as they finally set foot on land again.

Talented Sevens newcomer Alasio Naduva helps a resurgent Fiji to Hamilton win

Fiji has thrilled their many fans who travelled to Hamilton in New Zealand to win their first tournament of the World Rugby Sevens Series.

Relentless rain leads to grave safety concerns on PNG's main highway

The Highlands highway is the economic backbone of Papua New Guinea, connecting several rural provinces to the cities of Lae, Madang and Goroka.

New Zealand a potential model for resolving land disputes in PNG

As Papua New Guinea grapples with the problems of trying to unlock the economic potential of communally owned land, could there be useful lessons from New Zealand?

Fiji government struggling to keep hold of secretaries

The departure of senior expat civil servants working for the government of Fiji is becoming a regular occurrence.

Calls to decriminalise sex work in PNG to combat high HIV rates

Health workers are calling for PNG to update its sex services and homosexuality laws to counter HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections, which they say are threatening to spread into the wider community.

A focus on the seven Kiribati ferry survivors due to arrive soon in Tarawa

Seven survivors from the Kiribati ferry disaster are due to arrive in the capital Tarawa on Saturday, almost a week after they were rescued.

Kiribati and Fiji authorities suspend aerial search for missing ferry's life-raft

Emergency authorities have suspended the aerial search for the missing Kiribati ferry that sank with 88 people onboard more than two weeks ago.

Former president calls for independent inquiry into Kiribati ferry tragedy

A prominent politician in Kiribati has called for a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the sinking of a ferry with around 90 people on board.

Proposal to give PNG security guards police powers to help cut crime

In a place deemed to be one of the world’s most dangerous cities, the Governor of Papua New Guinea's capital city wants private security guards to carry out police work.

Health worries for Vanuatu island that had entire population evacuated because of erupting volcano

Two months on from the mass evacuation in Vanuatu that saw more than 11 thousand people forced off their home island, there are concerns the whole exercise may have longer term impacts on their food security – and even their diets and health.

Government plans to recruit foreign workers gets mixed response in Fiji

The Fiji government is attracting both praise and criticism over plans to import foreign labourers to help cut sugar cane and do construction work.

Young PNG girl accused of sorcery relocated and recovering well

The six year old Papua New Guinea girl who was tortured with hot knives on suspicion of being involved in sorcery is recovering well more than two months after the incident.

Cheap imports might dampen benefits of Vanuatu's plastic bag ban for basketmakers

Vanuatu's ban on single-use plastic bags is expected to have flow-on effects for the local handicraft sector, when it begins to take effect from tomorrow.

Heavy rainfall battering PNG and Solomon Islands

Heavy rainfall is causing chaos in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, with highways blocked, rivers bursting and hundreds of children being sent home from their flooded schools.

Call for national prayers as authorities reveal Kiribati's ferry toll could reach 100

The Kiribati Government has declared a week of prayer in memory of the passengers on a ferry that sank last week as it's revealed there may have been more than 100 people onboard.

Search continues for dozens missing from Kiribati ferry

As seven people were rescued after drifting for days in a wooden dinghy in Pacific waters off Kiribati after their ferry sank - and dozens more remain missing - questions are being asked about the way the search operation has been handled.

High-tech solution to tracking Pacific tuna from 'bait to plate'

The ground-breaking technology behind crypto-currencies like Bitcoin is being used to trace tuna caught in the Pacific to stop illegal and unsustainable fishing.

Support for Fiji Electoral Commission's decision to not use number 666 on ballot papers

When Fijians head to the polls this year - at a date yet to be announced - they won't be able to vote for a candidate with the number 666.

Fiji's Olympic champions under pressure to perform at Sydney Sevens

The World Rugby Sevens carnival has rolled into Sydney for what will be round three of the men's series and round two for the women.

PNG government's lack of funding blamed on rising sorcery beliefs

Researchers studying the escalating rate of violence against people accused of sorcery in Papua New Guinea say it's largely being caused by the failure of the national government to commit funds.

Calls for Australia Day date change issue that resonates with Pacific people

As calls for a change in the date of Australia's national day grow, Australian/PNG musician, Airileke says it's an issue that resonates with the people of PNG and the Pacific, given their own colonial histories.

Indonesia government accused of ignoring Papua as dozens of children die from measles

Indonesia is under fire for its slow response to a severe measles outbreak in the province of Papua that has claimed the lives of dozens of children.

PNG human rights advocates accused of supporting sorcery

Papua New Guinean human rights advocates are putting their lives in danger to stop violence against people accused of practising sorcery.

Solomon Islands called out for not doing enough to stop smacking of children

The Solomon Islands has been called out for failing to outlaw the physical punishment of children in its schools, and at home.

PNG advocacy group calls plans allowing banks to take customary land as loans security a 'land grab'

A push to make it easier for traditional land owners in PNG to access loans and mortgages, by having PNG banks accept customary land titles as security loans, is being described by critics as "another land grab".

Anote's Ark brings the ravages of climate change reality to Sundance audiences

A documentary tellling the story of the fight to save Kiribati as rising seas threaten to swamp its low-lying atolls, has been well-received at the Sundance Film Festival in the United States with sell-out audiences at its premiere this week and followup screenings.

PNG police blame lack of resources to help tackle sorcery-related violence

PNG police are planning to charge villagers who attempted to torture a man they accused of using sorcery to kill rugby league star Kato Ottio.

PNG government gives mobile phone users another 3 months to register sim cards

There'd been fears that more than a million people in PNG may have had their mobile phone service cut off this time tomorrow., after a deadline to register phone sim cards was due to have kicked in.

PNG sorcery beliefs: why and how people claim to prove witchcraft exists

In PNG, there are reports four policemen were injured when they rescued a man being tortured by villagers who accused him of using sorcery to cause the death of rugby star Kato Ottio.

Solomon Islands crocodile threat prompts call to lift ban on selling their skins

Community leaders and police concerned about the growing number of crocodile attacks in Solomon Islands want the ban on exporting their skins lifted, so it is lucrative for communities to kill them. Police in West Guadalcanal are hunting a saltwater crocodile that attacked and killed a 20 year-old man last week while teams in Central and Western Provinces have killed three crocs since mid-January - one of them five-and-a-half metres long, as Wendy Everett reports.

Tonga's first-ever male cross country skier qualifies for Winter Olympics

The Pacific has its own "Cool Runnings" story: Tonga is heading to this year's Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Sanguma: The belief behind a rising number of murders in Papua New Guinea

Nearly 100 men face are likely to be sentenced to life in prison in PNG - and possibly even face the death penalty - after a court convicted them of murdering seven people over allegations of sorcery in a remote area of the Madang Province.

Hospital stands by treatment of PNG rugby star Kato Ottio

The Port Moresby hospital which first treated PNG rugby league star Kato Ottio, who died last week from suspected heat stroke, is defending its handling of the situation.

Fiji's Coral Coast Sevens helping to find the next generation of Olympians

The former USA rugby sevens captain, Brian Hightower, calls it the hardest domestic tournament to win in the world: it's Fiji's Coral Coast Sevens in Sigatoka.

Relocations continue amid concerns of more volcanic eruptions off PNG's north coast

Relocations are continuing from an island off the north coast of PNG after a volcanic eruption caused

Pacific nations quiet so far on Aus/China dispute over its aid to region

There's so far been little reaction from Pacific governments to the diplomatic crisis between Australia and China over loans and aid.

Heat stroke likely to have killed PNG rugby star Kato Ottio

Massive crowds are expected to turn out for the funeral of Papua New Guinea's rising rugby league star, Katio Ottio who died suddenly this week, aged just 23.

Death of seasonal worker sparks questions about program

The death of a Tongan seasonal worker in Queensland has raised questions about the way the Pacific seasonal worker program is operating.

Plans to permanently resettle those from PNG's Kadovar Island

The Papua New Guinea government will resettle around 2,000 people displaced after a volcano erupted in East Sepik province.

Senior PNG politician calls for AFP to help with "breakdown in law and order"

A senior PNG politician is calling for Australian Police to once again be allowed to carry out investigations and help local officers address what he says is a "breakdown in law and order".

West Papuan resistance figure to face trial

A West Papuan youth activist is set to go on trial today in the town of Timika, after nearly eight months in custody without charge.

The difficulties of deportees: Samoans sent back after committing crimes posing problems for the government

Samoa is a small country dealing with a big problem: an influx of Samoans deported from the United States, Australia and New Zealand after committing crimes.

Papua New Guinea's Tumultuous Year

Pacific Affairs Correspondent Liam Fox is joined by PNG correspondent Eric Tlozek and producer Bethanie Harriman to discuss the events of the last 12 months and what lies ahead for Papua New Guinea in 2018.

Tati Mangi, Paulini, and Airileke: The Pacific artists who made a statement in 2017

Sean Mantesso takes a look back at the Pacific's music scene in 2017 - from fresh talent, to favourites that made a comeback, and a couple of controversies along the way.

Trauma, conflict and climate change: Pacific filmmaking goes to new heights in 2017

Bindi Bryce takes a look at Pacific filmmaking in 2017 - from an Oscar nomination for the Vanuatu film Tanna, to international praise for a short film about grief in New Zealand's Samoan community.

Pacific Health in 2017: Headway made amid funding setbacks

2017 saw more progress made in the fight against the Pacific's high rates of cervical cancer, as Vanuatu slowly implements the oral health survey with the help of some dedicated volunteers. Meanwhile Papua New Guinea's doctors pushed for more funding and better access to safe surgery and anaesthesia. Pacific Beat's Lauren Beldi looks at some of the successes and setbacks of the campaign to improve healthcare in the Pacific in 2017.

Rugby League comes of age in the Pacific

Pacific Beat's Richard Ewart takes a look back at landmark year for rugby league in the Pacific, a year in which the PNG Hunters won the Intrust Super Cup for the first time, while the Kumuls played World Cup pool matches in front of sell out crowds in Port Moresby. Fiji made it to their third World Cup semi-final in a row, and only a controversial refereeing decision stopped Tonga from joining their Pacific rivals in the last four.

The Pacific Year in Soccer - the year the world took notice of the talent in the Pacific islands

2017 was the year in which the rest of the world took notice of soccer in the Pacific, after Vanuatu scared the life out of Mexico and Germany at the Under 20 World Cup. Meanwhile the domestic split in PNG saw the formation of a breakaway Premier League, Fiji set out on their World Cup Mission 2026, and Kiribati won a place in the alternative World Cup, the 2018 CONIFA World Cup. Richard Ewart is joined by the founder of the Football in Oceania website Ola Bjerkevoll to mull over the big talking points of the year.

Tonga in 2017: A snap election, but no Pacific Games

2017 proved an eventful year in Tonga - from controversially pulling out of hosting the Pacific Games to a snap election after the King dissolved parliament. Bruce Hill speaks to Tongan journalist Kalafi Moala about the events that shaped Tonga this past year.

Vanuatu threats of 2017: volcanoes, income tax and votes of no confidence

We take a look back at the year that was in Vanuatu - from the mass evacuation of all 11,000 people from Ambae island amid fears the Manaro volcano would erupt, to the threat of the income tax and how the people of Vanuatu responded to the Government's attempts to increase its revenue. We also discuss the legacy of the late President, Father Baldwin Lonsdale after his shock death, and the hype of Hollywood; despite missing out on a win, the film, 'Tanna' continued to make history for Vanuatu when it was nominated for an Oscar.

Facing an uncertain future in 2018: Solomon Islands without RAMSI, Samoa with rugby in the doldrums

After 14 years of support from the billion-dollar regional intervention RAMSI, Solomon Islands and new prime minister Rick Hou have just a year before national elections will test the foundations of its rebuilt society that still needs generations of peace-building. As the main players take us through the story of 2017 in Solomon Islands, Pacific Island Studies Associate Professor Dr Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka gives his analysis of politics and culture. While in Samoa, changing the Constitution to declare the country a Christian state could be considered less controversial than the issues Samoan rugby is facing . We hear insights from journalist and rugby patriot Keni Lesa.

Rise of the PNG Orchids caps off a big year for women's sport in the Pacific

Bindi Bryce takes a look at the year of women's sport throughout the Pacific - from the cracking start to the year for women's rugby in Papua New Guinea to Samoa's first Olympic medal finally awarded for Ele Opeloge's performance at the Beijing games.

Mining at Panguna put on hold indefinitely

Mining at Bougainville's troubled Panguna copper mine - one of the world's biggest - is being put on hold indefinitely.

Courting controversy: the legacy of famous Australian photographer Frank Hurley's 1922 expedition to PNG's Lake Murray

Just under one 100 years ago, the seemingly wild and relatively unexplored island to Australia's north - known now as Papua New Guinea - was a particular drawcard for explorers and anthropologists, with many regions still to be discovered, even just 100 years ago. One of these self-proclaimed adventurers was one of Australia's most famous photographers, Frank Hurley, who wanted to make contact with tribes he'd heard were headhunters, living in the upper reaches of Lake Murray - near the border with Indonesia. It was a controversial voyage at the time, when Hurley and his crew were accused of stealing artefacts. But as Catherine Graue discovered, the photographer's legacy is continuing to generate controversy nearly a century on.

Lawyer and activist question use of Fiji's sedition laws

Fiji's Director of Public Prosecutions says the country's sedition laws are not being used to prosecute people for voicing political dissent.

More than 500 people forced to evacuate as volcano erupts off PNG

PNG authorities are working to help more than 500 people forced to evacuate from their small island, after a volcano began erupting there in spectacular fashion at the weekend.

Calls for proper recognition of WWII's Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels

There are calls for the contribution of the legendary Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, Papua New Guineans who came to the aid of Australians in the Kokoda campaign, to be properly recognised.

Food security concerns remain for Vanuatu's Ambae islanders after volcano

It's been two months since residents of Vanuatu's Ambae island returned home after the mass evacuation -- which was prompted by predictions the island's volcano would erupt with devastating consequences.

English language school planned for Fiji's Kiribati community

While most kids are enjoying their school holidays, a woman from Kiribati who's now living in Fiji is raising funds for an ambitious plan to set up an English language school for her community.

Fiji: A look back at 2017

From cyclone recovery to the COP 23 presidency - Joe Yaya takes a look back at the big stories out of Fiji in 2017.

Vanuatu bans plastic bags from February

Single-use non-biodegradable plastic bags will be banned in Vanuatu from February, as the government there tries to control a growing plastic waste problem.

Hopes for Tongan dialysis clinic in 2018

Last month we brought you the story of a crowdfunding effort for a Tongan international rugby player stranded in Romania, unable to return home because of his need for dialysis treatment that's not easily available in Tonga.

Pacific countries cautious in UN vote on status of Jerusalem

An overwhelming majority of countries voted in the United Nations overnight in favour of a resolution calling for the United States to drop its recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, despite President Donald Trump threatening to cut aid to those who voted yes.

Anti-violence activist calls for better investigation into girl's torture

No arrests have been made yet over the torture of a six year old Papua New Guinea girl suspected of involvement in sorcery.

New data reveals domestic violence impacts broad cross-section of PNG women

The family support service, Femili PNG, have uncovered evidence that suggests the problem of family and sexual violence affects all levels of Papua New Guinea society, including the most educated.

A Happy Christmas on Fiji's Koro Island as local kids get ready for school

When Cyclone Winston struck Fiji in 2016 the villages on the island of Koro were devastated, homes and schools were destroyed, and for many in the local community life ground to a halt.

Donations flow for Tongan rugby player stuck in Romania with kidney disease

An appeal has been launched to raise funds for former Tongan rugby international, Sione Vaiomo'unga, whose career has been cut short after he was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure.

Big expectations for Fijian Rugby after solid year all-round

The Flying Fijians will end 2017 in 10th place on the World Rugby rankings, after a year in which they have qualified for the 2019 World Cup and had wins over two tier one nations.

PNG historian hails WWI submarine discovery

The discovery of the wreck of World War One Australian submarine AE1 after 103 years is a significant event for Papua New Guineans as well as Australians.

East Timor faces political crisis

East Timor looks set to return to the polls, just five months after the country's first elections without United Nations supervision.

Calls for tighter monitoring in the Torres Strait amid reports of dugong poaching from PNG

Internal documents from a top law enforcement agency in Australia suggest that hunters from Papua New Guinea may be poaching dugong in the Torres Strait in breach of a longstanding treaty on marine management.

Dismay among aspiring university students with UPNG tuition fees set to triple

Students at Papua New Guinea's largest university are warning of a mass exodus next year, following the announcement of a huge fee hike.

Future looks bright for Rugby League in PNG

Even for a country where it's the national sport, 2017 has been a momentous year for rugby league in Papua New Guinea.

Questions remain over PNG finance inquiry

The Chairman of Transparency International PNG says the quashing of an arrest warrant for the Prime Minister does not mean questions cannot be asked about the results of the recent finance inquiry.

Peace Corps volunteers eager to learn about Fiji's climate struggle

A new batch of Peace Corps volunteers from the United States has been commissioned in Suva, and will spend the next two years serving in rural Fiji.

Fiji terminal workers reject government demands in industrial dispute

Air terminal workers in Fiji have rejected a government demand that they return to work and admit they were on strike.

Deep sea miner rejects claims PNG project will damage environment

Nautilus Minerals, the company behind the Solwara 1 deep sea mining project in PNG, says claims there will be a significant environmental impact are wrong.

Vanuatu government reshuffles cabinet ahead of no confidence motion

A motion of no confidence put forward against Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai's government has been defeated 37 votes to 13.

PNG fisheries yet to consult government about proposed changes

Papua New Guinea's fishing industry is yet to consult with the government about its decision to end the discounted fishing licence system and require foreign fishing fleets to process tuna caught in its waters in local factories.

Akilisi Pohiva re-elected as Tonga's PM

The King of Tonga has confirmed Akilisi Pohiva is the new Prime Minister.

World Rugby usher in rule change to 'reinforce integrity'

World Rugby are making another change to player eligibility rules, which Vice-Chairman, Agustin Pichot, says will ensure players are devoted to the countries they represent, while Chairman, Bill Beaumont, says the aim is to reinforce integrity.

Pastor calls for action on sorcery accusation violence

A Church Pastor in Papua New Guinea's Enga province says he is frustrated by the continuing sorcery accusation violence which is happening on a weekly basis.

Former general questions academic's influence in West Papua

A retired senior Indonesian general has accused an Australian academic of being behind a recent increase in violence in West Papua.

Communities demand information on deep sea mining

Legal proceedings have been launched in PNG to obtain documents relating to the Solwara 1 undersea mining project off the coast of New Ireland.

Pacific Games Council pursues Tonga over damages for cancelled 2019 Games

The Pacific Games Council is set to pursue a damages claim against the Tongan government for at least five million US dollars over the cancellation of the 2019 Games that were due to be hosted in Nuku'alofa.

PNG offers foreign fleets incentive for local tuna processing

Papua New Guinea is to reward foreign fleets that process tuna caught in its waters in factories onshore as it ends a discounted fishing licence system that is being abused.

Vanuatu praised for successful Pacific Mini Games

The organisers of the Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila are reflecting on a highly successful event for Vanuatu, that saw their team collect a record number of 76 medals, including 22 gold, to lift the country to fourth place on the final medal table, behind only the powerhouse nations of Fiji, PNG and New Caledonia.

Pacific Beat Mornings Wrap

Solomon Islands report finds abuse and neglect of children is widespread, Vanuatu's deputy PM to face court next year on charges of allegations of perverting the course of justice, and Banaba Islanders mark 72 years since they were relocated to Fiji.

Honiara's Chinese Association cautious of restrictions on foreign ownership of small businesses

Honiara Mayor Andrew Mua's proposal to ban foreigners from running Kai bars and bus operations in the Solomon Islands capital is getting a mixed response among members of the Chinese community.

Getting a NZ-style ban on smacking children an uphill battle in Samoa

There's been renewed debate in Samoa about the issue of smacking children after a senior Judge called the practice assault - so, given that, what might be learnt from New Zealand's experience?

PNG Orchids eyeing chance to play in new Womens National Rugby League

A number of women who played for PNG in the recent Rugby League World Cup are putting their hands up to be considered for Australia's new women's competition, which was announced last week.

Athletics drama at Vanuatu Mini Games sparks outrage from the Fiji camp

Officials at the Pacific Mini Games are maintaining their position on Fiji sprinter Aaron Powell, who was disqualified earlier this week for allegedly breaking before the race started.


Health concerns remain for Manus asylum seekers; reports that only half of the PNG governments allocated funding to the provinces actually gets there; and a former Hunters captain gets dropped for missing training.

Concerns grow for freedom of speech in Fiji after MP questioned by police comments in Parliament

The questioning of a Fiji opposition MP by police over statements he made in a parliamentary session has been described as contempt of parliament by a constitutional expert.

Australia's Lowy Institute reflects on PNG's tumultuous year

It's been a tumultuous year for Papua New Guinea - with the controversial elections providing a snapshot of how difficult it is to deliver democracy to such a complex nation.

Church health services facing shutdown because government fails to pay salaries

Churches in Papua New Guinea say they will soon be forced to shut down rural health services, because the government hasn't paid the salaries of their staff.

Pacific leaders call for strong global effort to reduce ocean plastics

With the world's oceans facing a future where they contain more plastic than fish within a few decades, an international summit in Kenya looked finding ways to stop that outcome as well as making commitments clean up the earth.

Marshall Islands blacklisted by the European Union over its ship registries

Government leaders in Marshall Islands are unhappy about being blacklisted as a tax haven by the European Union, especially because they were in the process of working with them to fix the issue.

Sprinters step up at the Mini Games as athletics gets underway

New Caledonia continues to lead the medal tally at the Mini Pacific Games, with 28 gold, while Fiji is still in second place with 16, followed closely by PNG and Samoa.

Cook Islands netballers soar above expectations in Singapore tournament

The Cook Islands team have returned from Singapore after pulling off a shock win at the Nations Cup Netball Tournament.

New 3x3 basketball format delights the crowds in Port Vila

The sport of three-on-three basketball has made its debut in the Pacific Mini Games, with nine teams competing in the men's event, and seven in the women's competition.

Samoans called upon to stop smacking their kids in order to reduce family violence

A senior Samoan judge is calling for parents to stop disciplining their children by smacking them, an act which he says is nothing more than assault.

Rival companies ramp up battle to reopen controversial Bougainville mine

The Bougainville Government is set to hold what's called a mining warden's hearing later today at the abandoned Panguna copper mine which was the spark that provoked a decade-long armed insurgency against the Papua New Guinea Government between 1988 and 1998.

Big weekend at the Vanuatu Mini Games as Tonga find success in Rugby 7s

After Sunday's rest day, the team from New Caledonia will start the second week of the Pacific Mini Games on top of the medal table with 24 gold, nine more than Fiji in second place, and ten ahead of Samoa and Papua New Guinea, while the host nation Vanuatu are in fifth spot with eight gold medals.

Fiji and Samoa below their best at Cape Town 7s

After two rounds of the new World Rugby Sevens series, New Zealand are on top of the standings, two points clear of title holders South Africa, and 13 ahead of Fiji in third, while Samoa are off the pace back in ninth spot.

LNG Landowners says deadline for royalty payment looming

Landowners from Papua New Guinea's liquefied natural gas project say the government has just two more days to pay them millions of kina in royalties.

Partnership tackles Pacific tourism's internet absence

The Pacific is a choice tourism destination for people around the world - but an agency that focuses on boosting business in the region says many of its tourism operators don't recognise the importance of being online.

Oxfam calls on PNG govt to step up its funding to fight sorcery accusation-related violence

A report by Oxfam Australia into gender-based violence and sorcery accusations in Papua New Guinea is calling on the PNG government to commit more funding for family shelters.

DNA modification of mosquitoes a possible breakthrough for Pacific malaria problem

Scientists at the University of California Riverside campus are using gene editing to change the DNA of mosquitoes.

PNG Governor Juffa blames government lockouts on laziness from public servants

Public servants at another two government departments in Papua New Guinea have been locked out of their offices as their landlords seek to recoup some K14 million in unpaid rent, that's around $AUD6 million Australian dollars.

Ni-Vanuatu workers returning for annual asparagus harvest show successful side to seasonal worker program

The parliamentary year in Canberra has ended with a government committee tabling a report that calls for a comprehensive suite of new laws to stamp out modern day slavery.

Sorong Samarai: PNG artist Airileke giving strength to the Pacific's indigenous voices

Stars of the Melanesian music scene are increasingly taking on roles as activists, with artists such as PNG's Airileke choosing to speak out about some of the controversial issues affecting the Pacific.

Vanuatu gets behind their beach volleyballers at the Mini-Games

After three full days of action at the Pacific Mini Games, the team from Papua New Guinea are still on top of the medal table with 14 gold, but Samoa with 13 and Fiji with 11 are hard on their heels, while the host nation Vanuatu are still ninth with two gold, two silver and four bronze.

Rugby 7s rivals set to clash in Cape Town

Round two of the new World Rugby Sevens series kicks off in Cape Town tomorrow, and the draw has pitched arch rivals against one another in the pool round.

Public servants locked out of offices after rent unpaid

Public servants at another two government departments in PNG have been locked out of their offices over unpaid rent - reportedly valued at 14 million kina, nearly 6 million Australia dollars.

PNG Lands Minister calls for ineffective public servants to be sacked

PNG's Lands Minister is calling for the sacking of Finance Department staff responsible for processing government office rental payments.

Australian delegates discuss same-sex marriage at civil society meeting in Fiji

As we go to air today, Australian Parliament is on the cusp of passing same-sex marriage into law.

NRL Sharks sign MOU with Sydney Wantoks

The NRL club the Cronulla Sharks and the Sydney Wantok Association are partnering up in a new relationship they hope will strengthen ties between PNG and Australia.

West Papua: ULMWP's new headquarters in Vanuatu draws outrage from Indonesia

The last ten days have been momentous for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, with long time campaigner Benny Wenda being elected as their new leader, while the government of Vanuatu has donated a building which will become the movement's headquarters in the Pacific.

Climate change and extreme weather likely to influence economic growth in the Pacific

The Asian Development Bank's latest look at the Pacific economies has been released this week.

Talk of change in Rugby Union as Pacific players look to their home nations

The performance of the Pacific nations at the Rugby League World Cup seems to have struck a chord with many players from both rugby codes who have a Pacific heritage.

Ni-Vanuatu athletes bring in their first gold medals of Pacific Mini-Games

It turned out to be a great day for the host nation on day two of the Pacific Mini Games, with Vanuatu winning their first gold medals, and their soccer team racked up another impressive win.

RAMSI declared magazine's "Entity of the Year"

Well it may have officially wrapped up earlier this year to much celebration, but the legacy of RAMSI is still very much on the minds of many in the Pacific - especially when it comes to reflecting on the successes of 2017.

Female lawyers work to change legal community's response to sex crimes

Female lawyers in Fiji say they're committed to changing the way the country's legal community addresses sexual offences.

Fiji plays host to Civil Society Week

Climate change, inequality, gender and conflict - a meeting in Fiji is attempting to tackle all the big issues as advocates and NGOs from across the world get together for this year's Civil Society Week.

PNG government funding lag for action on sorcery accusation-related violence a setback for advocates

The Papua New Guinea government is still witholding the K3 million it promised to fund a Sorcery National Action Plan when it was set up three years ago.

Reporting on HIV/Aids and domestic violence no easy task for PNG's women journos

The President of the Media Council in Papua New Guinea, Neville Choi, has commended five women journalists who have been recognised for their coverage of gender-based violence and HIV/Aids.

PNG's star weightlifters lead a gold medal charge at Mini Games

After the first full day of action at the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea are leading the way at the top of the medal table with nine golds, followed by Fiji and Marshall Islands on three golds apiece.

PNG Barramundis looking to bounce back against Hong Kong

The Papua New Guinea cricket team are back in action this afternoon, as they take on Hong Kong in Dubai in the first of two matches in the last round of the World Cricket League Championship.

Transport union calls for better wages for Fiji bus drivers

Fiji's Transport Workers Union is taking action to improve what it calls the "lousy" pay and conditions of the country's bus drivers.

Largest conservation area in PNG welcomed by landowners

An environmental group in PNG says more landowners are wanting to protect their land from large-scale activities such as logging, oil palm and mining, after the country's biggest conservation area was officially declared last week.

Sunday School program to tackle gender issues in Vanuatu

A Sunday school program in Vanuatu is hoping to tackle attitudes that and behaviours that can lead to gender-based violence.

"It's in my village": More PNG women speaking up on sorcery accusations

A woman leader from Enga province who stood in this year's general election is calling on the churches in Papua New Guinea to set up safe houses for the victims of sorcery accusation-based violence.

Push to prevent overfishing in the Pacific at major fisheries meeting in Manila

The latest data suggests that Pacific stocks of skipjack and bigeye tuna are in a healthier position than was previously feared, but conservation groups, including Pew Charitable Trusts, are still pressing for a new strategy, in their words, to prevent overfishing before it can begin.

Huge sigh of relief for Mini Games organisers at vibrant opening ceremony in Vanuatu

The Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Charlot Salwai, has officially opened the Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila at the end of a three-hour ceremony in Korman Stadium.

More female board members at World Rugby to drive development targets for women

Chairman Bill Beaumont has described the move to appoint 17 women to the World Rugby Council, the game's governing body, as historic, but how will this power shift work in practice?

Civoniceva, Hayne thrilled as Fiji prepare to enter NSW Rugby League

Another successful tournament for Fiji at the Rugby League World Cup, where the Bati made it to their third semi-final in a row, would seem to have sealed a place for a Fijian team to join the New South Wales Cup competition in 2019.

Port Moresby Governor defends "Walk 4 Life" program after attacks

The governor of PNG's capital district, Powes Parkop, is defending his 'Walk 4 Life' initiative and maintains it is a safe event, despite several violent attacks yesterday.

Group convicted of sedition to appeal sentence in Fiji

A Fijian defence lawyer says his clients who've been found guilty of sedition and sentenced by the High Court to more than 2 years in jail each, will appeal the decision - which he says was made on a lack of evidence.

Solar-powered dental clinic opens on Vanuatu island

A solar-powered dental clinic is having a successful opening day on the remote Vanuatu island of Aneityum.

French Prime Minister urges New Caledonia to make inroads towards 2018 referendum

The French Prime Minister, Edouard Phillipe, is calling on New Caledonia to set a date for its independence referendum within the next six months.

Bio-security boosted ahead of Pacific mini games

Vanuatu's office of bio-security is boosting its inspection procedures ahead of next week's Pacific mini-games to prevent the introduction of exotic pests that could be harmful to the country's agriculture sector. Quarantine officials say the bags of every visitor will be checked upon arrival at the airport to make sure no-one brings in plant products, including fruit, vegetables and betel nut. On-the-spot fines will be issued to anyone ignoring the ban. Brenda Daniel spoke to Timothy Tumukon, the Director of the Bio-security Department who's calling on all visitors to respect Vanuatu laws.

Plenty of excitement in Vanuatu ahead of Mini Games Opening

The Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu will be officially opened later today, marking a major achievement for a country that was devastated by Cyclone Pam in the midst of their preparations.

Chinese restrictions on travel to Palau seen as retaliation for Taiwan alliance

China is attempting to ramp up the pressure on Palau over its recognition of Taiwan by preventing Chinese travel companies from booking group tours to the Pacific island nation.

Encouraging start for Fiji in Dubai while South Africa dominate

The new look Fiji team showed plenty of promise at round one of the new World Rugby Sevens series in Dubai over the weekend, but Fijiana had a nightmare and were lucky not to finish last.

Island communities initiate disaster preparedness as cyclone season approaches

Meteorologists are expecting this year's cyclone season to be more bearable compared to recent years, with an incoming La Nina weather pattern likely to bring much cooler conditions across the Pacific.

Downfall in WHO funding for Malaria treatment draws concern from Pacific health experts

The World Health Organization is calling for more funding for its Global Malaria Program, as it seeks to reverse an alarming increase in the number of infections.

Bougainville women share stories to counter sorcery accusation violence

Women leaders in Bougainville, some of whom have had personal experience of sorcery cases, have been sharing their stories at a Women Human Rights Defenders Forum.

Calls for landowner rights to be met in PNG gas fields

The former head of Papua New Guinea's defunct anti-corruption agency, Sam Koim, has weighed in to the standoff over royalty payments from the PNG Liquefied Natural Gas project, as landowners continue to block the roads to gas wells in the Highlands.

Fiji heading towards a paperless and cashless society

The government of Fiji is taking further steps towards replacing cash with electronic payments just two months after it introduced an e-ticketing public transport payment system in October.

Police say election violence in Enga well and truly over

The police commander for Papua New Guinea's Enga province, Epenes Nili, says election-related violence has finally come to an end and it's safe now for people to visit relatives and friends in the region.

Eyes on Dubai for the Rugby Sevens World Series

The rugby sevens international bandwagon is rolling again, with the opening rounds of the 2017/2018 World Series for men and women kicking off in Dubai.

RLWC: can England beat Australia?

The controversial finish to last weekend's Rugby League World Cup semi-final between Tonga and England means tomorrow night's final in Brisbane will be yet another battle of the old guard, as the defending champions Australia take on England.

PNG taxi knife attack sparks call for tighter regulations

The violent attack on a female broadcaster by taxi driver in Port Moresby has sparked calls for more to be done to increase the safety of public transport in the city. TV Wan journalist, Hennah Joku was threatened at knife point by her driver and counts herself as lucky to be alive after struggling free and jumping from the moving vehicle. She spoke to reporter Suzie Raines about her ordeal and her determination to pursue justice.

Queen's Baton arrives in PNG

The Queen's Baton arrives in Papua New Guinea from Tuvalu tomorrow as it continues its journey around the Pacific, before heading to Australia on Christmas Eve, and ultimately to the Gold Coast for the opening of the Commonwealth Games next April. After landing in Port Moresby, the Secretary General of the PNG Olympic Committee, Auvita Rapilla, says the Baton's first port of call will be West New Britain, which is playing host to Papua New Guinea's biggest multi-sports event of the year.

New Torres Strait MP aims to boost relations between Pacific and Australia

For the first time in Australian history a Torres Strait Islander will serve as a member of parliament. Cynthia Lui has won the far north Queensland seat of Cook in the state election. She spent most of her life on Yam Island in the remote northern Torres Strait between the tip of Cape York and Papua New Guinea's Western province, and she tells Bruce Hill she's interested in doing what she can to boost relations between Australia and its Pacific neighbours, especially PNG.

Ambae volcano settles but residents uncertain about future

Life on Ambae is still proving difficult for many of the islanders after the mass evacuation order at the end of September, in the face of a threatened eruption by the Manaro volcano, followed by the all clear some three weeks later.

PNG taskforce to investigate torture of 6 year old girl

The Papua New Guinea Government has announced it will create a police taskforce to investigate the torture of a 6 year old girl in Enga province. The Government's response to the case follows a recent spike in the number of reports of people being tortured and killed after being accused of witchcraft. PNG's Police Minister Jelta Wong spoke with PNG Correspondent Eric Tlozek.

Refugees win recognition at Walkley Awards

The work of two refugees at the now abandoned processing centre on Manus Island has been recognised at the Australian media awards, The Walkleys, at a ceremony in Brisbane.

Think tank questions PNG budget revenue figures

Papua New Guinea's budget for next year - a year when it hosts the APEC Conference - is notable for its one billion kina stimulus package with big spending on agricultural projects as it endeavours to diversify its economy.

PACER Plus deal still without PNG and Fiji

The controversial PACER plus trade deal has reared its head again with the agreement being tabled in the Australian Senate, triggering an inquiry by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.

Marshall Islands demands more help for dealing with US nuclear waste

The United States nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands in the 1940s and 1950s continues to have a dire impact on the residents, but now an additional problem is becoming apparent.

ARIA awards hailed as significant win for Pacific artists

The former host of Radio Australia music program Pacific Break has hailed the acknowledgement of the rock group Gang of Youths at the ARIA awards this week.

PNG Highlands landowners continue LNG protest

Armed landowners in the Papua New Guinea highlands say they've blocked roads to gas wells in protest over outstanding royalties.

Fiji unions seek targeted training for local workers

Trade Unions in Fiji agree with the country's employers that there are problems training the right number of students for the right kind of jobs.

High hopes for rugby league comeback in Tonga

It's a public holiday in Tonga today, as the nation celebrates the achievements of the Mate Ma'a at the Rugby League World Cup, and a run that ended after the controversial semi-final loss to England, but which many thousands of fans will always believe should've been crowned with a place in the final.

Everything on the line for Fiji and Tonga U-20s rugby teams

Honours are even between Fiji and Tonga, after the first match of two to decide the winners of this year's Oceania Rugby Under 20 Trophy ended in a draw in Lautoka.

PNG Govt challenged to boost revenue and save budget

The PNG government announced a one billion kina stimulus package in the Budget, that includes big spending on agricultural projects, in a bid to diversify the Papua New Guinea economy.

PNG budget released

The Papua New Guinea Government has handed down its highly anticipated budget.

A Tongan lawyer threatens legal action over controversial rugby game

A Tongan lawyer in New Zealand is giving the Rugby League International Federation in London until 4:30pm New Zealand time on Wednesday to respond to a letter he's sent them about the controversial Tonga vs England game at the weekend.

Australia accused of absolving itself of responsibility over Manus refugees

A group of humanitarian workers who've just returned from a fact-finding mission to Manus Island has accused the Australian Government of absolving itself of responsibility to care for the refugees there.

British adventurer criticised over attempt to emulate explorers

British adventurer Benedict Allen has been criticised for using Papua New Guinea as a backdrop for his attempt to emulate earlier explorers.

Tonga coach hails team, predicts successful future

All but six of the Tongan World Cup squad have made the trip to Nuku'alofa, with the missing half dozen, including Andrew Fifita, all staying behind for treatment to injuries.

How digital storytelling is helping fight sorcery accusation violence

A group of Papua New Guineans are taking steps to address sorcery accusation-related violence through digital storytelling focusing on the work of what they're calling 'human rights defenders'

Call for Australian media to honour Manus detainee journalist

Throughout the near month long stand off at the abandoned processing centre on Manus, the Iranian refugee and journalist, Behrouz Boochani, was the voice of the detainees who did not want to leave because they feared for their safety.

Australia to join international anti-slavery fight

The Australian government has agreed to ratify an international treaty to combat slavery.

Sorcery accusations an excuse for everyday violence, says law reformer

The head of the Papua New Guinea Constitutional Law Reform Commission, Eric Kwa, says sorcery-related violence is not about belief, but simply another way of attacking the most vulnerable in a community.

Tongan community anguish over rugby result

The Tongan community in New Zealand is hurting as a result of their team's failure to make it through to the final of the Rugby League World Cup.

No arrests yet in PNG torture case

No arrests have been made so far in the case of the six year old Papua New Guinea girl allegedly tortured with heated bush knives recently.

14 killed in PNG massacre

An investigation is underway into the brutal mass murder of 14 men at a village in the Kainantu district of PNG's Eastern Highlands Province.

Tongans suffered RLWC injustice: Daley

Former Australian rugby league captain, Laurie Daley, is sticking to his claim that Tonga were robbed of a place in this weekend's World Cup final against the Kangaroos, when the referee refused to refer the Mata Ma'a's last minute disallowed try in the semi-final against England for video review.

Stakes high for Fiji and Tonga in Oceania U-20 Trophy

The rising stars of Fijian and Tongan rugby will go head to head in Lautoka today in the first of two matches that will decide the winners of the Oceania Under 20 Trophy for 2017.

Business governance standards the focus of new institute in Suva

Fiji is to host a new business body that aims to boost the performance of businesses in the Pacific region.

Heartbreak and celebration for Tonga rugby league fans

There've been protests on the streets of Auckland and nearly thirty thousand fans have signed a petition demanding an explanation from the referee, after Tonga were knocked out of the Rugby League World Cup in the dying seconds of their semi-final against England.

'It's terrible what we're doing': aid agencies visit Manus refugees

The Australian Council for International Development, the peak body for the country's international aid agencies, is leading another delegation to Manus Island which is due to return from Papua New Guinea later today.

MSF doctors fear for Manus detainees' mental health

A group of Australia's most senior doctors, psychiatrists and surgeons have written an open letter to the Australian Government offering to fly to Manus Island and treat asylum seekers and refugees for free.

Pacific journalists form climate specialist network

A group of Pacific journalists who attended the COP23 climate talks in Germany have decided to form a new network dedicated to reporting on climate issues in their own countries and across the region.

Australia urged to be wary of boosting Fiji military image

It's emerged that the Australian Defence Department sent a team of public relations experts to Fiji earlier this year to train members of the military in what they called "public affairs capacity building".

Concerns about profiling of Tonga rugby league fans in NZ

Tonga fans poured into the streets across New Zealand on Saturday night, proud of how well their team had done.

PNG governor takes action over illegal logging

A Provincial governor in Papua New Guinea says he's cancelled forest clearance authorities he believes were issued improperly.

Pacific joins international campaign against gender-based violence

The United Nations is spearheading 16 days of activism, running from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women tomorrow and ending on International Human Rights Day on December the 10th.

Group of men accused of sorcery and beaten in the Southern Highlands

Several men have been rescued in PNG's Southern Highlands Province, after they were accused of sorcery and attacked by members of their own community.

Calls for police to deal with sorcery-related violence in PNG

An anti-sorcery violence activist in Papua New Guinea says police need to move in and make arrests in the case of the six year old girl allegedly tortured in Enga Pronice recently.

PNG Police maintain Manus operation non-violent

Papua New Guinea police have moved into the decommissioned regional processing centre on Manus Island, in an attempt to end the standoff with an estimated 350 men who refuse to move to new accommodation.

Journalist union demands release of Behrouz Boochani

Manus Island detainee Behrouz Boochani has become something of a spokesman for the others still inside the detention centre.

UN demands Australia take responsibility for Manus refugees

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has renewed calls on the Australian and Papua New Guinean governments to ensure the standoff between the men in the regional processing centre and PNG police is resolved without the use of violence.

Hela landowners at a boiling point over unpaid gas royalties

Landowners in Hela province have confirmed they kidnapped an expatriate worker from the Angore well for several hours as part of their campaign to force the government to pay 43 million kina in royalties generated by PNG's liquefied natural gas project.

PNG dock workers fear job losses as foreign firm takes over port management

Workers in ports around Papua New Guinea are worried they might soon be priced out of a job.

Fears for safety of 6-year-old girl tortured over sorcery accusations

Two anti-sorcery accusation activists are calling for the six year-old victim of the latest attack in Papua New Guinea to be removed from her community for her own safety.

Pacific health experts build a network as drug-resistant diseases gather strength

Health leaders across the Pacific are learning from each other about antimicrobial resistance, as some medicines lose their effectiveness against rapidly evolving diseases.

Election petition against PNG lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko falls short

Justin Tkatchenko, the MP for Moresby South has been given the green light by the Waigani National Court after a petition disputing his election win was dismissed.

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