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APEC conference expensive in light of budget cuts: PNG opposition

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister says opposition politicians should not politicise the APEC conference to be held in Port Moresby in 2018.

Campaigners vow to fight on after court quashes tax exemption ruling

There has been outrage in Solomon Islands following the overturning of a High Court decision on the issue of tax-free salaries for MPs.

Malaria scientists study immunity in some PNG children as they search for a vaccine

As scientists continue their search for a malaria vaccine, and concern rises over drug resistant strains of the malaria parasite, researchers from the Burnet Institute in Melbourne are investigating a strange phenomenon in Papua New Guinea.

Vanuatu MPs jailed for corruption may walk free due to constitutional loophole

The 14 MPs serving jail time for bribery and corruption in Vanuatu still haven't given up hope of having their convictions overturned.

Equal pay campaigner honoured at PNG Outstanding Women awards

Female leaders in Papua New Guinean public and private sectors have been recognised at the annual Westpac Outstanding Women Award.

Young Pacific Islanders over-represented in Australian prisons

Young people of Pacific origin continue to be over-represented in Australia's prisons.

Barramundis on top of the world after one-day double over Namibia

Back to back one day wins for Papua New Guinea over Namibia in Port Moresby have lifted the Barramundis to the top of the World Cricket Challenge with three rounds to go next year.

Australian teams sweep the board at Central Coast Sevens

For the second in a year, Australian teams have swept the board at the Central Coast Sevens, as many of the players on show tuned up for of the next World Series which kicks off in Dubai in December.

UPNG student leaders exclusions lifted but accommodation refused

The student leaders at the University of Papua New Guinea may be allowed back to classes, but the saga continues.

Water in Fiji village claimed to have healing properties

In Fiji hundreds of people are flocking to the village of Natadradave in Dawasamu, Tailevu to be bathed under water that is said to contain miraculous healing qualities.

Fiji MP says diaspora voters in Aust/NZ are significant

Another Fijian politician has been visiting Australia this week, the third to do so in the last two months.

South Sea Islanders group push for recognition

Australian South Sea Islanders say they are are still struggling for proper recognition.

Medical ship embarks on 8-month mission in southern PNG

The medical ship MV YWAM PNG is about to take off on another 8-month mission around Papua New Guinea's southern region and Huon gulf, providing medical assistance to remote communities.

Refugee advocates claim 'win' as government lifts ban on speaking out about conditions on Manus and Nauru

The Australian Goverment has quietly lifted its ban on health professionals airing their concerns about abuse at the Australian-funded immigration processing centres on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island and Nauru.

Public opinion against ending Vanuatu's income tax free status starting to shift

There was plenty of opposition when the Salwai government first announced its plan to introduce personal income tax in Vanuatu by July 1 next year to be followed by corporation tax in 2018.

Big crowds expected at Central Coast Sevens to see Olympic winners in action

There could be a lot of gold on show at the annual Central Coast Sevens here in Australia this weekend, with players from the winning Australian women's and Fijian men's Olympic teams set to take part.

PNG cricketers eyeing off a leap to the top of world one day ladder

After their 199 run win over Namibia in the Intercontinental Cup earlier in the week, Papua New Guinea will be looking to follow up with two one day wins that could take them to the top of the World Cricket Challenge.

Cook Islands community rocked by prisoner escape that ended in tragedy

A manhunt in the Cook Islands has ended tragically after the deaths of three people.

Fiji TV host apologises over racially insensitive statements

A producer at Fiji's FBC TV has issued an apology over what's perceived by many as racially insensitive statements.

Fiji Sugar boss steps down, NFP demands inquiry

A Fiji opposition party wants the former executive chairman of the Fiji Sugar Corporation to face an inquiry into his handling of the organisation.

Papua New Guinea starts APEC 2018 preparations

The Papua New Guinea government is starting preparations to host the APEC Summit in 2018.

Lethal Fruit Fly traps perfected by Australian scientists a "World-First" for farmingLethal Fruit Fly traps perfected by Australian scientists a "Worl

It is hoped that a new system for eradicating fruit fly without harmful toxic chemicals could soon be available for farmers in the Pacific.

Landmark study on rheumatic heart disease in East Timor brings hope for early intervention

A team of Australian cardiologists and other medical specialists have embarked on a landmark study into the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease among young people in East Timor.

Virtual reality film brings Bougainville conflict to life

A film with a real difference to be screened in Port Moresby this weekend will be a first for the PNG Human Rights Film Festival.

Tonga RU still on track for first home test since 2009 against Wales next June

It's been seven years since Tonga last played test match rugby in Nuko'alofa, but there are plans for Ikale Tahi to return home at last next June to take on the touring Welsh team in the National Stadium.

USP deregistering private students for non-payment of tuition

The University of the South Pacific in Fiji has announced that it is deregistering private students who have failed to pay their tuition fees.

Youth activist wants USP to rescind decision to deregister non-paying students

The move by the University of the South Pacific to deregister private students who have not paid their fees has angered members of the Fiji political opposition, who are calling for the Vice Chancellor and Acting Vice Chancellor to step down.

Calls for Tuvalu Chief Justice to step down after declaring MP's seat vacant

There are calls for a Chief Justice in Tuvalu to step down after he declared a former prime minister and opposition MP's seat in parliament vacant, on the basis that he had served jail time.

PIANGO says new UN boss may help solve West Papua issue

The Pacific Islands Association of Non-government Organisations believes the new United Nations Secretary General could help resolve the West Papua issue.

90% of Melanesian languages to be extinct by end of the century, academics say

Melanesia is home to a multitude of Indigenous languages, but academics are predicting that up to 90% of them will be extinct by the end of the century.

Limited international funds for Pacific nations to tackle climate change: Oxfam

Developing countries are being promised access to a fund of 100 billion US dollars a year to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Search for two men missing after deadly floods in PNG's Bulolo district

The emergency authorities in Papua New Guinea say it's feared that seven people have died in flash flooding in a mountainous part of the country.

Cook Islands big push to climb the rankings and qualify for next Rugby World Cup

Since their first rugby international against Western Samoa back in 1971, test matches have been few and far between for the team from Cook Islands.

From Apia to Zurich, world football's top woman administrator keen to give back

The rise of former Samoan soccer international, Sarai Bareman, to the very top of the administrative tree has been a dizzy one.

New allegation of Fiji Police beating suspects

Fiji Police are investigating claims some of its men brutalised suspects on the side of the road near Pacific Harbour.

Tongan Noble MP wants King to keep appointment powers

A row appears to be brewing in the Tongan parliament over who gets to appoint key public officials.

Employees of Samoa's largest private employer face uncertain future

The employees of Samoa's largest private employer Yazaki EDS, are facing an uncertain future after the announcement was made about the closure of its operations for 2017.

Russian Federation pledges US $7.5 million for Pacific disaster resilience

The United Nations Development Programme is partnering with the Russian Federation to launch a disaster resilience project.

1960s Pacific language tapes digitised

Original tape recordings of Pacific languages made in the 1960s have been donated to an Australian based archive.

East New Britain culture on display at Queensland Art Gallery's exhibition of PNG art

The Number One Neighbour exhibition of PNG art now on at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane features a specially commissioned work called A Bit Na Ta or the Source of the Sea.

American Samoa's "forgotten islands" set to enjoy diesel-free power by year's end

There's mounting excitement among the population of Manu'a in American Samoa ahead of the commissioning of a solar power system later this month.

Sir Gordon Tietjens raring to go as new coach of Samoa Sevens squad

There's mounting excitement among the population of Manu'a in American Samoa ahead of the commissioning of a solar power system later this month.

Noted academic says West Papua issue could split the Melanesian Spearhead Group

There's been a muted reaction since Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare announced that West Papua would be admitted into the Melanesian Spearhead Group by the end of the year.

Lower skilled workers from Pacific microstates targeted for jobs programme in Australia

A pilot programme for workers from three Pacific microstates - Nauru, Tuvalu and Kiribati - is up and running with the first group arriving to take up jobs in Australia's Northern Territory.

Kase: no downsizing of PNG Dept of Health

Papua New Guinea's secretary for the Department of Health, Pascoe Kase, says claims that the department will be downsized are incorrect.

No charges over public meeting attendance for opposition figures in Fiji

But first, five prominent opposition figures in Fiji who were arrested and questioned after attending a meeting to discuss the country's constitution won't be charged.

Pacific ocean garbage patch plastic much worse than previously estimated

Scientists have conducted the first ever aerial survey of the notorious Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and have found the scope of the problem is much worse than they expected.

Fiji puts a focus on trade to diversify its economy

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has told a trade and investment symposium in Sydney, that the relationship between Fiji and Australia has entered a 'new era' under the Turnbull government.

Uncertain future ahead for hundreds of cannery workers in American Samoa

The news of Tri-Marine's decision to suspend operations at its tuna processing plant in American Samoa in December is still filtering down to those most affected, the 800 strong local workforce.

Dispute over senate numbers threatening to compromise Palau election

A legal wrangle over the size of the new Congress after next month's elections in Palau is threatening to disenfranchise the country's overseas voters.

PNG captain Assad Vala leads from the front as wickets tumble around him

Captain Assad Vala was the star of the show for Papua New Guinea on the opening day of the team's four day match against Namibia in Port Moresby, PNG's first official four day game to be played on home soil.

Samoa A end Americas-Pacific challenge on a positive note

The Americas-Pacific Rugby Challenge has wrapped up with Samoa A defeating Canada A by 27 points to 22 to claim third place overall.

Medical mercy mission saves eyesight of a Papua New Guinea teenager

An Australian eye surgeon has saved a 17-year-old boy's eyesight through his work as a volunteer with humanitarian organisation Youth With a Mission Medical Ships.

Vanuatu rugby league team puts two-year break behind them to beat Solomon Islands

For the first time in more than two years, Vanuatu's rugby league team was back in action in an international test match.

Trade symposium in Sydney as Fiji opens up for business

Frank Bainimarama has heralded symposium Fiji Trade and Investment Symposium as part of the concerted efforts of the Fiji government to open up the country's trade with the rest of the world.

Fiji PM hails "new era" of relationship with Australia

The Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has addressed the Fiji Trade and Investment symposium in Australia, declaring the two countries had embarked on a "new era" in their relationship under the Turnbull government.

Issues faced by LGBTI people in the Pacific region

Today the LGBTI Youth Forum wraps up in Sydney after three days of discussion and workshops attended by delegates from around the Pacific.

Special permit for New Zealanders to address Rarotonga skills shortage

The Cook Islands capital, Rarotonga, is facing a shortage of skilled workers.

Bougainvillean artist's work among PNG art featured in Brisbane exhibition

A major exhibition of Papua New Guinea art has opened at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane.

Rugby Sevens supercoach Sir Gordon Tietjens to take the reins in Samoa

The most successful coach in the history of rugby sevens, Sir Gordon Tietjens, has agreed to come out of retirement and take charge of the Samoan squad.

Tri Marine to suspend canning operations in American Samoa, causing significant job losses

One of American Samoa's major private employers has announced the indefinite suspension of its canning operations at Samoa Tuna Processors from December.

Morocco offers to foot the bill for Pacific Island leaders heading to Marrakech for COP22

The Kingdom of Morocco is offering to pay the travel expenses of Pacific Island leaders and their delegations who are planning to attend the climate change talks in Marrakech next month.

Rate of tuberculosis in PNG and neighbours threatening entire Asia Pacific region: RESULTS Australia

A report by the World Health Organisation says tuberculosis remains the world's top infectious killer.

PNG Barramundis keen to impress their fans as four day cricket comes to Port Moresby

The Papua New Guinea cricket team will take to the field in Port Moresby on Sunday, at the start of what will be their first ever official four day international on home soil.

Vanuatu rugby rugby league team ready for action after a two year break

The rugby league progamme in Vanuatu was literally blown off course 19 months ago when Cyclone Pam battered the country.

Lutheran pastor killed in PNG over suspected sorcery

But first, there are reports from the Papua New Guinea Highlands that a Lutheran Pastor has been killed at a remote village.

Calls for Nauru government to allow fmr President to seek medical help

Former Nauru president Sprent Dabwido has been discharged from hospital following a collapse last week.

Contestant in Miss Solomon Islands beauty pageant criticised for her part-european heritage

A contestant in the Miss Solomon Islands beauty pageant says she's been villified online for having mixed heritage.

Former Australian High Court judge says Pacific nations dragging the chain on LGBTI issues

A forum in Sydney is bringing together 40 young people from around the Pacific to advance the rights of the region's lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex communities.

Ni-Vanuatu women leaders organise whole communities in face of disaster: CARE report

Research on the recovery from category five Cyclone Pam, which struck Vanuatu 19 months ago, has shown that the communities which fared the best were those where women had been included in disaster preparedness training.

PM's motives questioned as he raises doubts over Tonga's Pacific Games readiness

The President of the Pacific Games Council, Vidhya Lakhan, is playing down comments from Tonga's Prime Minister, Akilisi Pohiva, who has told parliament that he doubts his country will be ready in time to host the 2019 Games.

Fiji Warriors get the better of Samoa A in South American showdown

At the World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge in Uruguay, the battle of the Pacific giants has ended in a win for the Fiji Warriors over Samoa A by 39 points to 26.

PNG Boxing keen to build a stronger future and maintain its Pacific dominance

After being run for years by voluntary administrators, the Papua New Guinea Boxing Union wants to move towards a more professional model by getting corporate sponsors on board.

Pacific meteorologists focus on improving community warnings ahead of natural disasters

Meteorologists from around the Pacific region have gathered to consider ways to improve their forecasting, particularly at times when communities need rapid and accurate information ahead of major weather events.

Solomon Islands confident West Papua will be MSG member by December

Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare says he's confident West Papua will be granted full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group before the end of the year.

Samoa's largest single private employer set to close in 2017

After 25 years, Yazaki Samoa, the country's largest single private employer has announced it will be shutting down next year.

Health experts call for action to tackle Pacific obesity rates

As countries marked World Obesity Day this week, health experts are calling for action to tackle the rise of the health issue.

New Caledonia president in discussions with Canberra on economic integration

For the first time in seven years, the president of New Caledonia is in Canberra for talks with the Australian government.

Kaleidoscope Australia forum aims to connect with LGBTI Pacific islanders

The Human Rights Foundation, Kaleidoscope Australia, is playing host to some 40 LGBTI leaders, advocates and supporters at a Pacific Youth Forum which opens in Sydney tomorrow.

30 percent of Nauruan girls victims of sexual abuse, UN report

The plight of children in detention on Nauru has been raised on many occasions and continues to be raised, amid persistent claims of widespread abuse.

Battle hardened Samoa A ready for Fiji Warriors in Americas-Pacific Challenge

At the World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge in Uruguay, Samoa A are preparing for a show down with arch rivals Fiji Warriors tomorrow.

A very personal journey for skier planning to represent Tonga at the Winter Olympics

The remarkable story of the Tongan Winter Olympics team continues to unfold, as skier Kasete Naufahu Skeen prepares to embark on an intensive training program after giving up his job as operations manager with Opera Holland Park in London.

With rising sea levels, Malaita's coastal communities desperate for salt-free land to grow food

Rising sea levels linked to climate change pose a threat throughout the Pacific, but that threat has been brought into sharp focus in the village of Radeaekoa in Solomon Islands' Malaita province.

PNG art exhibition delights with colour, sculptural forms and humour

A major exhibition showcasing half a century of visual art from Papua New Guinea opens in Brisbane this weekend.

PNG Barramundis improving year on year in SACA Premier League

The weather brought Papua New Guinea's run in the SACA Premier League to a disappointing end, just as they were homing in on victory in their two-day match against Western Grit in Adelaide.

OFC Champions League awards hosting rights to clubs based on bidding

Hosting rights have been awarded for the pool round of the new look OFC Champions League, with two groups to be based in New Caledonia, one in Tahiti, and one in New Zealand.

Pacific LGBTI community condemns Alotau killing

The death of a PNG man at the hands of members of his own family, allegedly because he was gay, has sparked plenty of discussion.

Friend of PNG gay man faces backlash for condeming his killing

A PNG woman who spoke out after a friend of her was killed, allegedly for being gay, has received death threats.

Call to heed traditional Tongan attitudes towards mental illness

A Tongan academic in New Zealand says traditional Pacific cultural attitudes towards mental illness should be taken into account when treating Pacific patients.

MP Ronny Knight says some Manus refugees are breaking the law

There are explosive claims about illegal behaviour by asylum seekers and refugees at Papua New Guinea's Manus Island detention centre.

Former Samoa Sevens coach breaks his silence, hits back at claims that he failed

Former Samoan rugby sevens coach, Damian McGrath has been snapped up by the Canadian Rugby Union to coach their sevens team in the 2016/2017 World Series.

Pacific Link medical ship to treat hundreds of patients in East Sepik Province

The Pacific Link medical ship is working out of East Sepik Province in Papua New Guinea for the first time.

First ever test match in Apia a landmark for rugby league in the Pacific

Rugby league fans in Samoa had waited 30 years to see their national team in action on home soil, and after 20 minutes of the first ever test match in Apia, it looked like celebrations were on the cards.

Fiji Golf International set to continue its growth on the world circuit

The American golfer Brandt Snedeker has won the 2016 Fiji International Tournament at Natadola Bay.

Marshall Islands parliament introducing record number of bills

The Marshall Islands parliament has introduced 52 bills since the beginning of January this year, addressing issues that have long been ignored by the government.

Lawyer accuses PNG foreign minister of contempt of court

The lawyer for some of the refugees and asylum-seekers on Manus Island says he's taking the Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato to court for failing to obey a court order closing the facility.

Manus MP angry that not all detention centres will be closed

The MP for Manus province, Ronny Knight, says the PNG Supreme Court ruling that asylum-seekers' detention there is unconstitutional means both facilities on Manus Island should be closed.

Foreign dignitaries attend state funeral for Fiji's former vice president Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi

Fiji's former Vice President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi has been farewelled at a state funeral on Bau island - the place of his birth.

Call for passport return so former Nauru president Dabwido can access vital medical treatment overseas

Colleagues of former Nauru president Sprent Dabwido are appealing to the country's government to return his passport so he can travel overseas for urgent medical treatment.

Renewable energy from the oceans needs to be culturally compatible: Commonwealth Secretariat

There are renewed calls for fundamental changes to the way the world's oceans, seas and coastal areas are managed.

French Polynesian political scientist says large powers in Pacific overshadow smaller nations

A French Polynesian political scientist has raised questions about how the interests of the large powers in the Pacifc - Australia, New Zealand and France - overshadow those of smaller nations.

Toa Samoa to clash with Fiji Bati in first test match

Huge crowds are expected in Apia for the first test ever in Samoa this weekend between Toa Samoa and Fiji Bati.

Man travels through Asia and Europe by solar tuktuk to promote clean energy

A young Indian/Australian engineer has recently completed an ambitious journey across Asia and Europe by solar-powered tuktuk.

New study shows remarkable result of pneumonia and rotavirus vaccines in Fiji

A new study has revealed the remarkable impact of a recent vaccine program in Fiji, with hospital visits for pneumonia dropping by almost 50 percent.

International Court of Justice throws out nuclear cases brought by Marshall Islands

The International Court of Justice in the Hague has thrown out cases brought by the Marshall Islands against Britain, India and Pakistan for their alleged failure to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.

Tahitian says France acknowledges link between nuclear testing and cancer

Among the petitioners at the United Nations Special Political and Decolonization Committee, which is currently meeting in New York, was Tahiti resident Yves Conroy.

French Polynesia and New Caledonia put forward case for independence

Delegations from French Polynesia and New Caledonia have fronted a United Nations committee to put their cases for and against independence from France.

Endangered sharks and stingrays to be protected by CITIES listing

Species of sharks and sting rays are to be protected after nations at the CITES forum in South Africa voted overwhelmingly in favour of listing.

Rugby sevens coaching jobs up for grabs in Samoa and Fiji

Applications for coach of both Fiji and Samoa's rugby sevens teams have closed, but speculation continues on who will take on the roles.

Fiji International Golf Tournament bigger than ever before

The 2016 Fiji International Golf Tournament starts on Thursday and it is expected to be the biggest so far, co-sanctioning with the European tour for the first time.

PNG man allegedly killed for being gay

A man from Papua New Guinea's Milne Bay province has been killed, and friends fear it was because he was homosexual.

PNG Opposition says Lorengau detention centre on Manus must close

Papua New Guinea's Opposition says it plans to take the government's plans to keep the Lorengau asylum seeker centre on Manus Island open to court.

Australian Greens slam PNG government over Manus detention centre

The Australian Greens are the latest to question the PNG government's decision to maintain one asylum seeker centre on Manus Island.

PNG foreign minister says West Papua stance remains unchanged

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato says his country's position that West Papua is an integral part of the Republic of Indonesia remains unchanged.

Former Vanuatu prime minister says MSG ineffective without PNG-Fiji support

A former prime minister of Vanuatu says the Melanesian Spearhead Group is becoming ineffective because of games being played by Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

Chinese investors join PNG in business discussions

China's presence in the Pacific continues to be felt strongly, as a wide range of businesses look to establish themselves in the region.

Booming Pacific kava industry still long way from meeting regional standards

The traditional Pacific Islands drink of kava is becoming increasingly popular in the west, particularly in the United States.

Climate change causing tropical fish to search for new home

A team of international scientists has found tropical fish along the Great Barrier Reef are searching for cooler waters as ocean warming increases at unprecedented rates.

American Samoa police arrest a man who fled Tonga in his yacht

An American man who dramatically escaped from a police station in Tonga and fled the country on his yacht last week has been arrested in American Samoa.

PNG to keep part of Manus asylum seeker centre open

Papua New Guinea says it's keeping one of its asylum seeker facilities on Manus Island open, while closing another.

Human rights lawyer disputes Pato's stand on Manus detention centre

A prominent human rights lawyer in Australia says the comments made by PNG's Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato about the Manus island detention centre are incorrect.

Study reveals Asian ancestry of modern day Pacific Islanders

A new study published in the science journal Nature details how the first people to settle in the Pacific were actually from Asia.

PNG Foreign Minister says support needed to resettle refugees on Manus

The men's future has been in limbo since April when PNG's Supreme Court ruled the Australian Government-funded facility was both illegal and unconstitutional - and both nations vowed to shut it down.

Diabetes still an issue in Pacific, despite inaccurate data

Recent research suggesting diabetes rates in some Pacific countries may be inflated has been met with some scepticism in the region.

PNG anti-logging campaigner wins prestigious international environmental award

It's a long way from the remote Pomio district in Papua New Guinea's East New Britain province, but a car-part salesman and anti-logging campaigner is in New York to receive a major international award.

PNG anti-logging campaigner wins prestigious international environmental award

It's a long way from the remote Pomio district in Papua New Guinea's East New Britain province, but a car-part salesman and anti-logging campaigner is in New York to receive a major international award.

Tonga's winter sports team to forego the chance to compete at Asian Winter Games

The fledgling winter sports team from Tonga will not be taking up the opportunity to compete at the Asian Winter Games in Japan next February.

Tonga's winter sports team to forego the chance to compete at Asian Winter Games

The fledgling winter sports team from Tonga will not be taking up the opportunity to compete at the Asian Winter Games in Japan next February.

Pacific Island players shine in the National Rugby League grand final

Players from the Pacific made their mark at the rugby league grand final with the Shark's winning try scored by former Tongan International Andrew Fifita.

Pacific Island countries show their support for West Papua with speeches at UN

Human rights in West Papua have been brought to the attention of the world at the recent United Nations General Assembly with no less than six Pacific Island nations raising the issue in prepared speeches in front of their international audience.

West Papua activist: PNG government position not reflected by community sentiment

While several Pacific nations raised their concerns for the first time at the United Nations, Papua New Guinea held its traditional position, that West Papua remains a part of Indonesia with Foreign Affairs Minister, Rimbink Pato, re-stating the country's position.

While New Zealand enacts an asbestos ban, other Pacific countries lag behind

There's been a call for a Pacific-wide ban on asbestos after New Zealand joined a growing number of countries to ban imports of items that contain the deadly fibre.

Fijian operation bids to take over commercial telecoms in American Samoa

The Fijian company ATH appears to be making a major push to control a larger slice of the telecommunications market in the Pacific, with a near $US80 million bid for American Samoa's Bluesky.

International cocoa buyers eye produce from Bougainville

A group of international cocoa buyers is in Bougainville in Papua New Guinea to try out the local produce.

Former Fiji sugar farmer many many times more after switching to pineapples

Seven months on from Cyclone Winston, many farmers in Fiji are still struggling to re-establish their crops.

Fiji MP says suspension has only increased her support

A suspended Fiji opposition MP says being kicked out of parliament has increased her supporter base.

Fiji crackdown on opposition likely to create trouble says academic

A Pacific Studies expert in New Zealand says that while the suspensions of three opposition MPs from Fiji's parliament are technically within the letter of the law, it seems to be applied selectively.

New Australian parent visa welcomed by PNG community

The proposed introduction of a new Australian visa which would let overseas born citizens and permanent residents bring their parents to live here is being welcomed by members of the Papua New Guinea community.

Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi leaves mixed legacy as Nauru's Chief Justice

The sudden death of former Fiji vice president and current Chief Justice of Nauru, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi has left a hole in the political and legal landscapes of both countries.

Brothers-in-law prepare to fight it out for the presidency of Palau

Absentee ballots are still to be counted after the presidential primary in Palau, but the incumbent Tommy Remengesau Jr looks to have a secured a substantial majority over his closest contender, Senator Surangel Whipps Jr.

Guam Catholic Church may face 'hundreds' of sexual abuse cases

The government of Guam recently passed legislation to remove the statue of limitations on civil cases involving crimes of sexual abuse.

U.S formally recognises Native Hawaiian community

The United States government has moved to bring Native Hawaiians into line with other indigenous groups in America, by signing off on a rule that formally recognises the Native Hawaiian community.

Social housing corruption needs to be addressed, says Vanuatu Minister

The recent eviction of more than 200 people living in a squatter settlement in Tanoliu, has prompted calls for the Vanuatu Government to build more social housing.

Honeycreepers on Hawaiian island face extinction in decades

Scientists in Hawaii are warning that most of the native honeycreepers on the island of Kauai are on a course to extinction.

Fiji made to fight before taking out Oceania Youth Netball Championship

The Baby Pearls from Fiji have been crowned champions of the Pacific after beating Cook Islands in the final of the Oceania Youth Netball Championship in Auckland.

Sentences handed down to MPs in conspiracy case

In Vanuatu, sentences have been handed down to the eleven MPs and one lawyer that were found guilty last month of conspiring to defeat the course of justice.

Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, former Fiji vice president, dies

Former Fiji vice president and current Chief Justice of Nauru, Ratu Jone Madraiwiwi has died.

Another Fiji opposition MP expelled

Another opposition MP in Fiji has been effectively expelled.

Fiji opp'n party to turn down increased allowances

Fiji's opposition National Federation Party will refuse to accept increased allowances for MPs.

Former Vanuatu President says caution needed on tax reform

The government in Vanuatu is coming under fire for what it's calling its case for revenue reform and modernisation.

PNG police concerned illegal guns being stockpiled ahead of 2017 National Election

Papua New Guinea is no stranger to political violence and the police are concerned about the potential of communal violence ahead of the upcoming 2017 National Elections.

New Pacific environmental guidelines to address rising tourism and deep-sea minning

Pacific island calls for stronger environmental systems have been heeded, with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, SPREP, launching new guidelines for environmental impact assessment at its annual meeting last week.

What makes a storm a 'cyclone'?

Residents of the Pacific Islands are no strangers to cyclones, but they rarely hit South Australia.

Cook Islands out to topple unbeaten Fiji in Oceania Youth Netball Final

The teams from Fiji and Cook Islands will go head to head later today in the final of the Oceania Youth Netball Championship, knowing that each already has a berth in next year's World Cup safely secured.

PNG Minister praises increasing links with China

In Papua New Guinea the Minister for Sports and National Events, Justin Tkatchenko, is emphasising his country's growing relationship with China.

Australian researchers find new vaccine strategy to fight malaria

Australian reseachers have discovered a new vaccine strategy against malaria - by stopping the parasites that cause the virus in the liver before the infection spreads to the blood.

Samoan leaders salaries published by newspaper

Social media users in Samoa are arguing about the publication of the salaries and allowances of the country's senior officials.

Vanuatu set to introduce controversial income and business tax

The Salwai Government in Vanuatu has started public consultations about introducing income tax for people earning a reasonable wage along with a new tax on business.

Runner returns from raising sexual abuse awareness in the Pacific

A campaigner for ending violence against women says there is a clear need for more support services in Solomon Islands.

Winning Warriors keep on spreading the message about West Papua

The West Papua Warriors have returned to Port Moresby after winning the Queensland PNG rugby league nines in Brisbane.

Samoa off the mark at Oceania Youth Netball Championship

At the Oceania Youth Netball Championship in Auckland, the team from Samoa are off the mark, after a comprehensive win over Tonga, 70 goals to 29.

Australian minister outlines proposed parent visa and Tonga visit

Australia is looking at introducing a new visa which would let overseas born citizens and permanent residents bring their parents to live here.

Fiji aims to be released from the shackles of aid dependency

Fiji wants to reduce its reliance on overseas aid.

Polynesian Macbeth a big success in New Zealand

A Polynesian version of Shakespeare's play Macbeth was put on in Auckland recently, and it was a big success.

Explosive remains of World War II cleared in the Solomon Islands

Up to 70 items of unexploded ordnance from World War II have been recovered in Solomon Islands as part of Operation Render Safe.

Asaro Mud Men from PNG visiting Sydney

The Australian Museum is hosting a visiting group of Asaro Mud Men from the PNG highlands this week.

Crowdfunded lawyers arrive in Nauru to represent former MPs

A team of lawyers from Sydney have flown into Nauru to represent a group of former MPs and their supporters, who were arrested following an anti-government protest outside parliament 15 months ago.

Australia fails to dismiss Timor-Leste maritime boundary case at international tribunal

The long running battle between Australia and East Timor over their maritime boundary will be fought out at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague.

Social media creating space for political debate in the Pacific

Social media websites like Facebook and other forums are playing an increasingly central role in lives of young people across the Pacific.

American Samoa keen to follow French territories into Pacific Islands Forum

The government of American Samoa is checking with the US Departments of State and the Interior, to see if there are any legal instruments that would prevent the territory from pressing ahead with moves to join the Pacific Islands Forum.

Competition heats up at Oceania Youth Netball Championship

At the Oceania Youth Netball Championship in Auckland, five Pacific Island teams are competing for three places at the Youth World Cup in Botswana next July.

Guam removes statute of limitations for child sexual abuse claims

In Guam the statute of limitations for crimes of child sexual abuse has been lifted which means that victims can file civil lawsuits against their abuser, regardless of how long ago the crime took place.

State-owned enterprise subsidies weigh down Marshall Islands budget

Marshall Islands latest budget comes as the new international statistics reveal the Marshalls has the highest poverty rate in the Pacific.

Fiji fishing industry struggle to recover from Cyclone Winston

The aftermath of Cyclone Winston continues to be felt in Fiji, and has cost the economy more than earlier estimates.

International Criminal Court adds land grabs to 'crimes against humanity'

The International Criminal Court has opened the way for people accused of land grabbing and environmental destruction to stand trial for crimes against humanity.

Report says Pacific diabetes data inflated

The scourge of NCDs, non-communicable diseases, across the Pacific has been well documented, with all the island countries struggling to drive down high rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Is the criticism of Disney's Moana movie getting out of hand?

The premiere of Moana, the new animated feature from Disney is still three months away, but criticism of the movie is mounting.

PNG Prime Minister's XIII reflect after tough loss to Australia

The PNG Prime Minister's XIII has endured a tough, tough night in the annual encounter against the Australian PM's team, losing the match by 58 points to nil.

Fiji opposition sceptical of teacher free speech memo withdrawal

Fiji's main opposition party doesn't believe the government's explanations about why an education department memo restricting the rights of teachers to speak on public was sent out.

MWH pulls out of Fiji citing non-payment of bills

Global engineering firm MWH has terminated its contract with the Fiji Roads Authority citing non-payment of invoices.

World-first genome study confirms PNG as home to oldest living cultures

The most comprehensive genomic study of modern Indigenous Australians, confirmed them as descendants of the first people to inhabit Australia, but what have the results revealed about Papua New Guinea?

Pacific Island nations making voices heard on the world stage

There has been no shortage of Pacific voices heard at the UN General Assembly this week, all part of what's being called a fundamental shift in the way the Pacific Island states are engaging regionally and on the world stage.

Pacific state-run companies underperforming says Asian Development Bank

A report assessing the performance of state-owned enterprises in eight Pacific countries has found them to be performing well below expectations.

Rugby league showdown in Port Moresby is a sell-out

Excitement is mounting in Papua New Guinea ahead of the big rugby league weekend of the year, with the Australian Prime Minister's XIII in town to take on PNG Prime Minister's XIII in Port Moresby tomorrow night.

International crime organisations targeting the Pacific

An assessment of transnational organised crime in the Pacific has found increasing vulnerability in the region to illicit drug trafficking, smuggling of migrants and the movement of illegally-obtained natural resources.

Campaigning crescendo ahead of Palau primaries

The four candidates set to contest the Primary Election in Palau next week are preparing for a last minute push to win popular support, but the incumbent Tommy Remengesau Jr remains the favourite to win, and to go on and retain the presidency.

Rules restricting Fiji teachers from speaking in public withdrawn

The Fiji government has withdrawn a controversial set of restrictions on teachers just after issuing it.

Australian support helps Fiji Red Cross prepare for disasters

Staying in Fiji where the Red Cross Society has been given 640 thousand Australian dollars by the Australian Government.

Rising tides threaten the islands and culture of the Takuu Atolls

240km northeast of the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville lies the remote and tiny Takuu atoll group.

Samoan artists take centre stage in Melbourne

Samoan theatre is set to take centre stage in Melbourne this weekend as Pacific Island Creative Arts Australia are putting on their biggest shows yet.

Fiji PM says re-evaluating "friends to all" foreign policy

The Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama, has delivered a keynote addressed the UN General Assembly, during which he detailed plans for a major foreign policy shift.

Paris climate accord comes into force, but long way to go

The number of countries that have ratified or intend to ratify the Paris Agreement on Climate Change has passed the key number of 55 needed to bring the pact into force.

Fashion Designers in PNG aim for New York

The colourful style of Papua New Guinea will be on display next month at the Pacific Runway Fashion show in Sydney, as the country's home-grown designers look to catch the eye of the fashion world.

Efforts to tackle asbestos across Pacific

Until the old Gizo hospital in Solomon Islands caught fire in July, no-one knew that the building contained asbestos.

Oceania Football Confederation set to have a bigger say in key FIFA decisions

The smallest voice in world football will get a little louder this weekend when an OFC Extraordinary Congress in Auckland meets to vote for two new regional representatives who will set on FIFA's Executive Council.

Pacific Beat farewells one of its founding members

Today, the Pacific Beat team bids farewell to one of our founding members, Jemima Garrett.

Calls to rewrite the rules for backpackers and seasonal workers in Australia

The debate continues over Australian government plans to tax backpacker workers at 32 percent, a move which growers and farmers say will impact negatively on their supply of seasonal labour.

Big-name energy companies taking more notice of PNG

International investment continues to flow into Papua New Guinea's burgeoning energy industry.

Samoa sevens star reconsidering his future after coach's sudden dismissal

Rugby sevens superstar Phoenix Hunapo-Nofoa says he is waiting to see who takes over as coach before committing himself to Samoa for the next World Series.

Pacific warned against being exploited by seabed miners

Researchers are warning that the Pacific risks becoming an experimental test centre for seabed mining if regional nations don't adopt proper policies.

More territories could seek membership at PIF

The Pacific islands Forum may have created future challenges for itself by allowing the French Pacific territories to join.

Pacific nations look to Tokyo to build on Rio Performance

The Paralympic games have come to a close and while Pacific athletes were not among the medal winners, there's plenty of optimism for the Tokyo games.

Women's football in Samoa receives a confidence boost from FIFA

Day 2 of the National Women's Soccer College Competition in Samoa has wrapped up with Leififi College from Apia taking the trophy.

Calls for a more flexible approach to seasonal workers in Australia

The Australian government is understood to be considering scaling down its planned tax on backpackers who are employed on working holiday visas.

Welfare service provider has no plans to extend its contract on Nauru

The company that provides welfare services to refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru has confirmed it won't re-tender for a new contract.

Speculation over coach's whereabouts as FFA and Frank Farina part company

The Fiji Football Association is understood to be looking for a new national coach after terminating the contract of Frank Farina who led the team at the Rio Olympics.

China to assist Vanuatu in boosting Pacific Mini Games medal hopes

The government of Vanuatu is clearly determined that it will do well as host of next year's Pacific Mini Games, with plans to send more than 200 athletes to China for five months training.

No regular fuel service to Vava'u for at least six weeks

A shortage of fuel on the northern Tongan island of Vava'u may last another six weeks.

NZ Police participate in Tongan Language Week

In New Zealand, police have taken part in Tongan Language Week in New Zealand.

Fiji NGO insists constitution dialogue was within the law

The organisation behind a discussion on Fiji's constitution which led to six opposition figures being detained and questioned insists they did nothing illegal.

Fiji deports two expat executives, opp'n wants answers

Fiji's opposition is seeking answers from the government over the deportation of two expatriate executives recently.

Forgotten history of New Zealand 'Blackbirding'

The history of 'Blackbirding' in 19th century Australia is well-documented, after tens of thousands of Melanesians were taken mostly from Vanuatu and Solomon Islands and put to work as bonded labourers in Queensland's sugarcane fields.

Papua New Guinea's Highlands tribal culture on display in Goroka Show

Back in the 1950s, many of the tribes in Papua New Guinea's Highlands were still living in isolation from the rest of the country, never mind the rest of the world.

UN Sustainable Development goals meet with local priorities in Pacific

A year has passed since world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Develoment, and the mantra 'no one left behind'.

Vanuatu looking ahead to FIFA U20 World Cup

Hosts of the Oceania Football Confederation Under 20 soccer championship Vanuatu, went down 5-0 to the favourites New Zealand in the final.

Tonga's Vava'u island group running out of fuel

There are concerns that Tonga's northern Vava'u island group is running out of fuel.

Fijian convicted of human trafficking in NZ

Auckland's High Court has convicted a Fijian national of human trafficking.

Australia watching events in Fiji closely after detentions says Minister

Australia's Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, says Australia values freedom of speech and freedom of association as key aspects of democracy.

West Papuan band The Black Brothers make comeback

A famous West Papuan band is making a comeback in Port Moresby tonight.

Flag controversy heats up PNG Independence Day

Papua New Guinea is marking 41 years as an independent nation today with celebrations around the country.

UK announces Pitcairn Islands to become world's second-largest marine reserve

The United Kingdom government has announced the creation of the world's second largest marine reserve -- 830,000 square kilometres in the waters surrounding the Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific.

Global marine protection still falling short

While the past 18 months have seen more ocean put aside for conservation than at any time in history, only around 3 percent of the ocean currently has strong protections.

UN to gather on climate change as Paris Agreement ratifications continue

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change will be back in the news again next week, as nations gather at the United Nations in New York for what's being billed as a special event.

Spreading word of Solomon Islands at the FIFA Futsal World Cup

Solomon Islands will today step on to the court in the Colombian city of Bucaramanga to take on Argentina in the FIFA Futsal World Cup.

Fiji says it has not withdrawn from PACER Plus trade negotiations

Fiji's Trade Minister says his country has not withdrawn from the PACER Plus trade negotiations, despite the media reports last week.

Sugar gangs wait for pay as FSC cheque is dishonoured

A cheque issued by the Fiji Sugar Corporation was dishonoured, leading to sugarcane team leaders - or 'sardars' - having to wait for their pay.

Cast of Tanna talk of love, kastom and the impact of movie-making

The movie Tanna is about to debut in the US, just three weeks after it was nominated as Australia's entrant in the foreign language section of the Oscars.

Reflections on democracy in PNG from Dame Carol Kidu

Papua New Guinea will have its national elections next year, but there are concerns about the state of democracy and the country's capacity to hold free and fair elections.

Pacific exporters showcase island produce at Melbourne food expo

Pacific island exporters are showcasing their products this week at Fine Foods Australia in Melbourne.

Investigation into government finances may be behind Fiji crackdown

A former Fiji academic now living in Australia says the recent crackdown on opposition figures in Fiji was partly caused by concerns about investigations into government finances.

International Commission of Jurists 'alarmed' by Fiji opposition arrests

The International Commission of Jurists has described the weekend arrest of key opposition figures in Fiji as "chilling".

Continuity a theme throughout Solomon Islands' RAMSI period

A group of Pacific and Australian scholars contend that Solomon Islands is at a critical juncture in its history, as it deals with the aftermath of civil conflict and comes to terms with the country's colonial past.

Waterproof guide to help fisheries management

Two years in the making, a waterproof fish identification guide produced by the Pacific Community could play a significant role in improving fisheries management standards across the region.

Rule changes set to make Pacific rugby league teams stronger at 2017 World Cup

The long running debate over player eligibility in international rugby league may have been resolved at last, with new rules coming into force on October 1st.

Top ranked women's rugby team in the Pacific out in the cold

The inaugural Oceania Rugby Championship for women will feature just two teams, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, who will meet in a one off game in Suva on November 5th.

Human rights group says Nauru government behaviour 'alarming'

The government of Nauru has been accused of becoming increasingly totalitarian after introducing strict new passport laws that take control away from the courts.

Security measures at UPNG worry returning students

University classes in Papua New Guinea have resumed after protests against Prime Minister Peter O'Neill brought a premature end to the academic year.

Niue receives training to manage environmental impacts from tourism

New regulations governing environmental impact assessments on Niue are to be introduced soon.

Jubilation after Vanuatu reaches a FIFA World Cup finals series for the first time

There were emotional scenes after Vanuatu scored a late semi-final win against Solomon Islands to reach the OFC under 20 championship final, but more importantly they also qualified for the under 20 FIFA World Cup in South Korea next year.

How better internet in the next 5 years will improve jobs and government services

Internet and telephone connections are set to make a big improvement to service delivery in the Pacific thanks to a big boost in funding by the Asian Development Bank. Earlier this month, the Asian Development Bank announced it will more than double its funding to the region over the next five years. Until now much of the ADB's focus on Information and Communications Technology has been in helping to hook countries up to the submarine fibre optic cables that make it possible to reduce the cost of internet. The ADB's Emma Veve says in the next 5 years ICT will improve the delivery of government services making people's lives better in everything from education and health to the responsiveness of government.

Australia funds Commonwealth youth leadership group

Australia has given significant funding to a Commonwealth youth program. Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott Despoja, gave the 340,000 Australian dollar grant to the Commonwealth Youth and Gender Equality Network while she was at the Commonwealth Women's Affairs Ministerial Meeting in Samoa last week. She says the money will be used to promote youth leadership and gender equality in the Commonwealth.

Fiji crackdown likely caused by fear

The reasons behind the recent Fiji crackdown were fears about potential moves against the government by groups opposed to it. That's according to Dr Steven Ratuva, Director of the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of Canterbury. He says the government of Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama probably acted to ensure that the rumours did not become reality.

Pro-independents hit out at New Caledonia's admission to Pacific Forum

The admission of the French territories to the Pacific Islands Forum has angered pro-independence parties in New Caledonia. Roch Wamytan is the president of New Caledonia's pro-independence coalition. He's published a strongly worded open letter to the Forum's Secretary-General Dame Meg Taylor. In the letter, he says that by admitting a non-autonomous country, the forum has effectively granted full membership to the colonial power, namely France. To shed more light on reaction to New Caledonia's admission to the Pacific Islands Forum, reporter Suzie Raines spoke to Anita Planchon, the former Australian Consul-General to New Caledonia.

Amnesty condemns Fiji arrests

There's been international condemnation of the arrest of six leading politicians, activists and trade unionists in Fiji over the weekend. All were taken into custody to be questioned about their role in a forum about Fiji's constitution. Grant Bayldon is the Executive Director of Amnesty International's New Zealand office. He says there's a climate of fear in Fiji and despite talk of democracy, freedoms are being stamped out.

NZ Labour Party says Fiji crackdown won't affect re-engagement

New Zealand's main opposition political party doesn't believe the latest crackdown in Fiji will cause any great change to the policy of re-engagement. Labour Party spokesperson on foreign affairs, David Shearer, warns that the detention and questioning of the opposition figures will have a negative impact on the relationship.

Review of Pacific Islands Forum to focus on PACER Plus, West Papua and new members

Now that the Pacific Islands Forum annual gathering is over for another year, regional political analysts Tess Newton Cain and Matthew Dornan are publishing a blog, examining the most significant developments to emerge from Pohnpei.

Non-binding aspects of PACER Plus forced Fiji's withdrawal, says economist

The New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay has pulled out of a visit to Fiji after his Fijian counterpart signalled that his government was withdrawing from the PACER Plus trade talks.

PNG prison kicks off human rights film festival

The PNG Human Rights Film Festival is now in its seventh year, and this year its opening weekend took place at Bomana Prison.

Kurukuru fly the flag for the Pacific at the FIFA Futsal World Cup

Many months of hard work went into Solomon Islands preparations for the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia, where they're playing in a group alongside Costa Rica, Argentina and Kazakhstan.

History in the making for Pacific soccer at the OFC under-20 championship

By the end of play today in the Oceania Football Confederation under-20 soccer championship, one Pacific Island team will be revelling in the prospect of competing at a FIFA World Cup for the first time.

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