On air highlights

More from Pacific Beat

Changes to Fiji's Public Accounts Committee not best practice, says PAC expert

Fiji's opposition came back into parliament this morning, and staged a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

PNG govt calls for more foreigners in police force

Papua New Guinea's police minister says he wants to recruit more outsiders to the country's police force after an Australian was made a deputy commissioner.

PNGUT Vice-Chancellor concerned over limited university places

Wealthy parents in Papua New Guinea are buying their children places in universities.

Pacific fishing observer safety measures to be made mandatory

Being an independent observer on board tuna vessels can prove to be a dangerous job.

Vava'u tour operator doesn't want too many visitors

The whole country of Tonga needs to change its attitude if it wants to attract and retain the new tourists a direct air link with Fiji is going to bring.

Plotting a course for the future of rugby in the Pacific

Delegates from the eight leading rugby playing nations in the Pacific have been meeting in Fiji for the second Oceania Rugby Superweek.

New Vanuatu PM pledges unity

The new Prime Minister of Vanuatu is promising change for the country, and after half a dozen leadership changes in five years, he's also pledging unity within his government.

Fixing Vila airport runway makes it on new Vanuatu government's 100 days list of priorities

Prime Minister Salwai is promising to release a list of policy objectives for his government's first 100 days of office, with fixing the airport runway amongst those priorities.

New Vanuatu cabinet a 'changing of the guard'

Prime Minister Salwai's cabinet is a mix of the old and new - with veteran Joe Natuman appointed as Deputy Prime Minister as well as Trade Minister.

Suggestions alternative political systems should be explored for Pacific countries to improve stability

Across the Pacific, constant horse-trading has often created governments more accountable to MPs than the voters, prompting some to ask if there are alternative systems.

Fiji opposition stage parliamentary walkout

Fiji's opposition SODELPA party staged a walkout from Parliament Thursday afternoon over amendments to Parliament's standing orders, that allow the government to chair the Public Accounts Committee.

Drought strikes Palau as El Nino conditions spread north

The El Nino weather pattern affecting Melanesia is now starting to bite in Palau, with fears of a worsening drought over the next couple of months.

Health system in PNG not ready to respond to medical pandemic: researcher

A team of researchers have raised concerns about Papua New Guinea's ability to cope with a medical pandemic, comparing its health system to those in Liberia and Sierra Leone, the two countries at the centre of the recent Ebola crisis.

Vanuatu's new parliament elects Charlot Salwai as 11th prime minister

After a tumultuous few months in Vanuatu politics, the country has elected its 11th Prime Minister - the 8th since 2011.

Cyclone Winston forecast to become category 2 storm in the Pacific

A tropical cyclone has formed between Vanuatu and Fiji but is not expected to bring destructive winds to either country at this stage.

Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce welcomes CCTV cameras

Papua New Guinea's Police Commissioner says a stalled project to combat crime around Port Moresby with security cameras will be restarted.

Pacific offer to US on tuna dispute creates optimism says leading US academic

A leading American academic says the Pacific's compromise offer to the United States over its unpaid tuna fishing days has created optimism that some middle ground can be found.

Sofrana stops concession freight rate for shipping medical equipment

Shipping companies across the Pacific are being called on to help distribute donated life saving medical equipment and technology across the region.

Vava'u tourist operators excited at direct Fiji air link

Tourism operators in Tonga's northern Vava'u island group are extremely happy that a new direct international air service is starting soon.

Thousands of dead fish washing up on Fiji beaches

There's a warning that extreme temperatures are causing fish to die from heat stress, with thousands washing up on beaches in several countries across the Pacific.

Vanuatu electoral commissioner calls for voting reforms, as country awaits new government

As the people of Vanuatu await news of their new prime minister and new government when parliament sits this morning, the country's electoral commissioner has pronounced himself satisfied with the way last month's snap general election was conducted.

Vanuatu airport repairs could be complete in March: World Bank

Vanuatu's new parliament sits this morning, and apart from establishing a new government and electing a new Prime Minister, one of the the first orders of business will likely be to move forward on emergency works for the country's airport runway.

Solomon Islands looks to make tough decisions on ethnic violence prevention

The government of Solomon Islands says it remains committed to reforms aimed at preventing another outbreak of ethnic violence.

Pacific fisheries agency yet to hear if US will accept fishing compromise

The fishing nations of the Pacific are waiting to hear if the United States' fishing fleets will accept a compromise deal on access to the region's tuna fisheries.

Survey finds Australian budget cuts put aid program at risk

A survey of almost 500 aid professionals has found they believe the quality of Australian aid has declined in the past two years.

Plans to raise lawmakers' pay in American Samoa undermined by people power

Observers say people power may have won out American Samoa, after a number of public protests against plans to raise the salaries of government legislators and senators by $US 20,000 a year.

Coach predicts 'best to come' for PNG sprinter Toea Wisil ahead of Rio Olympics

Last year was an emotional one for Papua New Guinea's queen of the track, Toea Wisil, as she took out four gold medals in front of her home fans at the Pacific Games in Port Moresby while mourning the loss of her father and brother.

Fiji govt urged to abandon Fiji Sun advertising contract

A regional grouping of journalists is calling on the Fiji government to scrap its exclusive advertising contract with one of the country's two daily newspapers.

Universities under strain from rising graduation rates at PNG high schools

High school graduates in Papua New Guinea could miss out on university places, despite having high grades.

NZ Pacific nuke test veterans question destruction of records

The New Zealand government wants to destroy hard copy records of navy veterans who have died in the decades since they were exposed to radiation at atomic bomb tests in the Pacific in the 1950s.

Pacific nations to lure US back with new fishing proposal

After two days of tough negotiations in Fiji, a deal has been reached that could soon see a US fishing fleet back in the Pacific.

Fiji and Vanuatu could see cyclones this week: Nadraki

Weather forecasters are warning a cyclone affecting Fiji and Vanuatu could form by the end of the week, and may just be the first of several in coming weeks.

Cook Islands women told to delay pregnancy amid Zika fears

Health authorities in Cook Islands are warning women to delay pregnancies, amid global fears the mosquito-borne Zika virus could be linked to birth defects in babies.

Flood-damaged Oro province gets help from Australian business

Recent flooding in Papua New Guinea's Oro Province swept away temporary bridges, and shut down access roads to Girua airport in the main town of Popondetta.

As waste builds up in the Pacific, the message of reduce, reuse and recycle is key

On small Pacific island atolls, finding space for waste can be extremely challenging, particularly as their communities experience changing lifestyles and growing populations.

Fiji out to wipe smirk off Canadian faces in Cricket World Cup showdown

At the under-19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh, the very young Fijian team have one more game to play, going up against Canada.

PNG to take a more low-key approach at Rio Olympics, with focus on Tokyo in 2020

After the golden success of the Pacific Games in Port Moresby last year, Papua New Guinea is taking a much more low-key approach to this year's Olympic Games in Rio.

A push for girl surfers in Vanuatu will see them ride Australian waves

A squad of Vanuatu's best girl surfers will be travelling to Newcastle in Australia for the 2016 Surfest High Schools Challenge, to be held later this month.

PNG police calls for public help in combating sorcery-related killings

The Provincial Police Commander in Papua New Guinea's Simbu province is urging people in Gumine district to make a citizens arrest of seven suspects in the recent sorcery-related murder of an entire family.

Calls for PNG government to combat sorcery murders

The murder of an entire family in Papua New Guinea, has renewed calls to end the horrific practise of witch hunting.

Coalition bloc in talks to nominate Vanuatu's next PM

Vanuatu's next prime minister could be confirmed as early as Wednesday as a bloc of MPs from various parties continue talks on forming a coalition, following last month's election.

PNG hit by share market volatility and ratings on ExxonMobil

Sharemarket volatility continued on Tuesday, February 9, with $A42 billion dollars wiped of the value of companies listed on the Australian stock exchange.

Fiji opposition MPs wear black to mourn state of democracy

Opposition MPs in Fiji symbolically protested what they call the death of democracy in the country at the opening of parliament on Monday

Fiji's Opposition NFP wants suspension lifted

Lawyers for Fiji's National Federation Party have asked the registrar of political parties to withdraw his suspension order.

Vanuatu flights suspension unlikely to be repeated in Pacific, says PASO

The Pacific Aviation Safety Office says it's unlikely the suspension of international flights to Vanuatu will be repeated elsewhere in the region.

Funds on the way to fight drug-resistant tuberculosis in PNG

Papua New Guinea's health authorities have finally received some of the extra money they need in the fight to stop the spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Tongan MP says PM trying to ignore constitution

The Prime Minister of Tonga has been accused of ignoring parliament and sidelining checks and balances.

World Food Program says PNG food aid in certain drought areas is insufficient

As drought continues in Papua New Guinea, efforts are being made to deliver food supplies to the people of Western Province, where some affected communities say they have received very little aid from government.

Tonga on course to meet IOC demands and restore funding

The national Olympic committee in Tonga, TASANOC, is on track to be welcomed back into the Olympic family, more than six months after the IOC suspended all financial assistance to the country.

PNG FA under fire again, this time over NSL rule changes

The Papua New Guinea Football Association is facing more criticism over its decision to restructure the National Soccer League, half way through the competition.

Australia's immigration department denies Nauru rape allegations

The country's highest immigration official has contested allegations a five-year-old was raped on Nauru and lashed out at media reporting on the issue.

Australian Greens criticise NFP party suspension from Fiji parliament

An Australian Greens Senator intends to raise the suspension of Fiji's National Federation Party with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

PNG opposition says food aid is too politicised

Papua New Guinea's opposition leader wants the distribution of drought aid moved away from the Prime Minister's Office and back to the National Disaster Management Office.

PNG government criticised for capping funded university places

The Papua New Guinea government has sparked outrage with the announcement that it will only be funding four-thousand, seven-hundred students to attend university this year.

Sorcery-related violence getting worse, says former PNG minister

The MP for Sinasina-Yonggamugl in Papua New Guinea's Simbu Province has urged the national government and all sectors of society to work together and control sorcery related killings in country.

Australian government to increase Seasonal Workers program

Despite issues with exploitation and suspect labour hire practices for foreign workers, the Australian Government is expanding its Seasonal Workers program to help deal with labour shortages

Nobel Peace Prize nomination for former Marshall Islands foreign minister Tony de Brum

The former Foreign Minister of Marshall Islands has been nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in bringing lawsuits against nine nuclear-armed countries.

Nomination may not sway mixed public opinion of Marshalls nuclear challenge

The idea of the small Pacific nation of Marshall Islands taking on nuclear powers in the courts might appeal to an international audience, but it doesn't have universal popularity back in the islands.

Fiji back on top after Sydney leg of World Rugby Sevens series

After four rounds of the World Rugby Sevens series, Fiji sits at the top of the standings, tied on 69 points with South Africa and New Zealand.

Ok Tedi to resume operations next month after El Nino suspension

Papua New Guinea's Ok Tedi mine is set to start production again, after operations were suspended several months ago because of the impact of the El Nino drought.

Pressure mounts on Palau's special prosecutor to stand down over misconduct row

A political storm in Palau surrounding the interim Special Prosecutor, Melissa Simms, and her pursuit of Vice President Antonio Bells has persuaded senators to call for a special hearing.

Cyclone Pam victims asked to stump up school fees as promised government assistance lagging

Parents living in parts of Vanuatu devastated by Cyclone Pam last year are being asked to cover the costs of their children's school fees, despite being promised they'd be eligible for exemptions.

Banning unhealthy foods not necessarily the answer

Pacific governments are being advised to resist the urge to interfere in people's choice of food and drink, at a time when Niue is considering imposing restrictions on the sale of drinks with a high sugar content.

What is ahead for talks on the collapse of the US Tuna Tuna Treaty

The nine Pacific countries with the richest tuna resources are expecting to take a leading role in talks in Fiji this week, which will aim to come up with a response to the United States' decision to withdraw from its Tuna Treaty with the region.

Despite loss, Hunters trial match against Penrith Panthers hailed a success

PNG Hunters officials say while the 20-12 loss to the Penrith Panthers in their trial match in Port Moresby at the weekend wasn't the result they wanted, it was a successful event overall.

Warriors put on the style to highlight their Free West Papua campaign

In their first ever international game, the West Papua Warriors hammered the development side, the Philippines Admirals in Sydney at the weekend.

Former NZ Foreign Minister Winston Peters concerned at Fiji opposition's suspension

The speaker of Fiji's parliament has written to the opposition National Federation Party saying its three MPs cannot attend parliament, or be paid as MPs, during its period of suspension.

Lawyers for Fiji's suspended NFP opposition says certainly 'a political aspect to this'

As we heard earlier, the speaker of Fiji's parliament now says the three National Federation Party's MPs cannot attend parliament, or be paid as MPs, during the party's period of suspension.

Vanuatu tourism group looks to sue Air New Zealand over cancellations

A tourism association in Vanuatu is threatening to take legal action against one of the airlines involved in Vanuatu's international runway fiasco.

Vanuatu's majority coalition sets up in isolation camp

Vanuatu's small island of Pele, north of Efate, is hosting the 36 MPs of a coalition that hopes to form government in the coming weeks.

Aid group urges PNG government to accept help in coordinating drought relief

An Australian aid group says it would like to be able to distribute food to people in Papua New Guinea, along with the assistance it's already providing.

Education the key to increasing the welfare of Pacific domestic animals

The mistreatment and lack of proper care for domestic animals and pets across the Pacific is a continuing problem, one that drove Fijian Leilani David to study veterinary science.

How king of citrus pomelo is praised during Chinese New Year

The pomelo harvest in Australia's Northern Territory has arrived just in time for Chinese New Year on Monday.

Vanuatu airport troubles spark concerns for other countries' runways

As international carriers continue to boycott Vanuatu's main airport because of concerns over the state of the runway, questions are being raised about the state of the landing strip at other airports in the Pacific.

Fiji's turn to Russia challenges Australia's influence in the region

A leading security analyst says Australia needs to re-invest in its Pacific maritime security program, after Fiji turned to Russia for military support.

Rural Fijian diets healthier when women are empowered: study

Research has found that the quality of diet in rural parts of Fiji is often determined by womens' empowerment and whether the families produce their own crops, as opposed to their level of income and education.

Pacific delegation builds contacts at US trade show

This week four small Pacific businesses have been selling their wares at a huge trade show in New York, with the aim of exposing Pacific cultural goods to the international market.

Book on Bougainville conflict aims to plug historical gaps

There have been a number of books written about the Bougainville Civil War over the years, but the latest work from journalist Veronica Hatutasi aims to plug a gap in the history of the conflict that raged for nearly ten years.

Shy Solomon Islands teen 'excited' about her global success with her reggae cover of Adele's 'Hello'

With millions of views on YouTube and tens of thousands of shares on social media from all around the world; the reggae cover of British singer, Adele's "Hello" has catapulted a Solomon Islands teenager into the international spotlight.

West Papua Warriors prepare to make their international debut after visa delays

The rugby league team brought together in Papua New Guinea to raise awareness for the liberation movement in West Papua are in Australia to play their first international match against a Philippines development side.

Fiji & Samoa to meet in opening encounter of World 7s Round 4

World champions Fiji and arch-Pacific rivals Samoa will lock horns in the opening match of the Sydney 7s this weekend, which is round four of the world series.

Injury woes and early morning flights hamper Samoa's World 7s preparations

The Samoan squad's build-up to Sydney wasn't helped by their official travel plans, that forced them to fly out of Wellington in the middle of the night and then crash out on the floor at their hotel which wasn't ready to receive them.

Hunters out to bring down the Panthers at PNG's new national football stadium

The new Queensland Cup rugby league season is just a month away and the PNG Hunters' preparations will be stepped up this weekend, when they play a trial match against NRL side Penrith Panthers in Port Moresby.

Tongan government confirms Zika epidemic

Tonga has declared a Zika epidemic in the country, after confirming five cases of the mosquito-borne virus.

New report reveals alarming impact of immigration detention on children

As Australian ministers consider how to respond to the High Court judgement which, on Wednesday, gave them the green light to again send asylum seekers to offshore detention on Nauru, the expert opinion of two paediatricians who've examined some of the children affected should weigh deeply upon them.

FICTU critical of Fiji labour law agreement

One of Fiji's peak trade union bodies has criticised the agreement on labour laws recently reached between the government, employers and the Fiji Trades Union Congress.

Fiji blitzes competitors to dominate Pacific Island trade

The most comprehensive report ever produced on trade by Pacific Island nations has revealed Fiji's strategy of focusing on exports to its neighbours has been so successful that it now accounts for 96 per cent of trade within the region.

Betel nut chewing exacerbating PNG's struggle with oral cancers

Health authorities in Papua New Guinea say they face a major challenge in controlling the high levels of oral cancers due to betel nut chewing because it is now seen as a business for most people.

Former Vanuatu Lands Minister 'available' for PM position after 36 MPs sign coalition agreement

The former Lands minister Ralph Regenvanu says he's available for the position of Vanuatu's next Prime Minister.

Independent audit of Vanuatu airport concludes runway is safe but needs repairs

Air Vanuatu says an independent assessment by Australian civil engineers has found that even in its present state, the runway at Bauerfield Airport in Port Vila is safe.

Nauruans look to challenge new election candidacy laws

An opposition MP in Nauru says he wants to launch a challenge in the courts against new laws that impose restrictions on public servants who want to stand for election.

Poor information and services impacting youth sexual health: UNFPA

A report by the United Nations Population Fund says the absence of contraception options is having an impact on the sexual and reproductive health of girls in the Asia Pacific.

Politician pay raise sparks protests in American Samoa

A proposed salary rise of up to 50 per cent for politicians has sparked street demonstrations in American Samoa, with around 100 people turning out for the latest protest.

Online database one stop shop for Pacific statistics now include French territories

Getting accurate and up to date information and data about Pacific island countries can often be a challenge.

New national soccer coach impressed with local talent in PNG

There were some encouraging signs for men's soccer in Papua New Guinea at the Pacific Games in Port Moresby last year when the team won bronze, making it PNG's first medal in the football tournament since 1987.

Barramundis make Ireland work hard for their I-Cup win in Townsville

A winning target of 346 proved too much for Papua New Guinea in their Intercontinental Cup match against Ireland, but the Barramundis made the Irish work hard for their win.

Extended feature: Reactions to Australian court decision that Nauru-hosted detention is lawful

Australia's High Court has cleared the way for the government to send 270 asylum seekers, brought to Australia for medical treatment, back to Nauru.

Papua New Guinea offers Tonga help in hosting 2019 Pacific Games

Awarding hosting rights for the Pacific Games to smaller island countries that may not be able to afford it is an issue that needs to be addressed, says Papua New Guinea Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko.

Fiji begins Zika awareness campaign in nation already hosting mosquito

Authorities in Fiji say there's a high risk of the Zika virus spreading into the Pacific island nation.

PNG businesses also have trouble getting paid by government: Chamber of Commerce

The CEO of the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce says a New Zealand company owed more than one million kina by the Papua New Guinea government is probably right to be upset.

Kimbe residents unveil monument to victims of MV Rabaul Queen

The Governor of West New Britain Province in Papua New Guinea has urged the national Government to strengthen its sea transport services in order to avoid another disaster like the sinking of MV Rabaul Queen in 2012 which saw the deaths of 171 people.

Manus locals indifferent to High Court detention decision

The High Court in Canberra is set to hand down a judgement today that could determine the future of Australia's offshore detention policies, and the Australian run centres on Nauru and on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

Foreign companies warned against doing business in PNG unless paid upfront

A New Zealand company owed more than K1 million by the Papua New Guinea government says despite political pressure and a court ruling in their favour, PNG officials have still not paid the debt.

Reduced hours and layoffs for Vanuatu tourism workers: union

Hundreds of workers in Vanuatu's tourism sector are facing the prospect of reduced hours and lay-offs as the suspension of international flights starts to bite.

Alleged election bribery could have cost key votes: unsuccessful Vanuatu female candidate

Newly-elected MPs in Vanuatu are scrambling to make deals and form alliances before the new parliament sits in eight days time.

PNG on high alert to keep Zika virus out of the country

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea has ordered health and immigration officials to be on high alert in an effort to prevent the mosquito-borne Zika virus from entering the country.

SPREP looking forward to moving climate change agenda forward in 2016

Nearly two months on from the historic UN climate change summit in Paris, work on implementing the outcomes of the Paris Agreement will be at a key priority for SPREP this year.

New partnership set to see Kiwi volunteer numbers to the Pacific rise

The flow of volunteers from New Zealand into the Pacific is expected to increase, after the Pacific Community and Volunteer Service Abroad signed off on a three-year partnership in Wellington.

Hunters' star Kato Ottio set for NRL career in Canberra after fairytale rise

Two years ago Kato Ottio had never played rugby league, but now the player who was discovered by the PNG Hunters, is poised to sign on with the Canberra Raiders for the 2016 season.

PNG chasing 346 to defeat Ireland in Intercontinental Cup

Papua New Guinea go into the fourth and final day of their Intercontinental Cup match against Ireland in Townsville needing another 296 runs to win the game.

Leader of Fiji's main opposition SODELPA shocked at NFP suspension

The leader of Fiji's main opposition SODELPA party says the suspension of the smaller National Federation Party is a high handed bullying tactic by the government.

Fiji NFP MPs do not lose positions despite suspension: constitutional expert

A constitutional law expert says the suspension of Fiji's opposition National Federation Party does not mean that its three elected MPs cease to be members of parliament.

Tongan-Australian actor speaks movingly against visit of rape advocate

The Tongan-Australian star of the hit series television Marco Polo has joined the chorus of people condemning the visit to Australia by the leader of a group that promotes the legalisation of rape.

Australian government's detention regime on Nauru set for High Court result

Hundreds of asylum seekers brought to Australia's mainland from Nauru for medical treatment may be be sent back as early as next week.

Sustainable aims for restored PNG sea cucumber fisheries

The sea cucumber industry could be game-changer for the lives of some Pacific islanders, according to a researcher on Australia's Sunshine Coast.

French Polynesian doctor satisfied with Zika virus link to birth defects

As the World Health Organisation declared the mosquito-borne Zika virus a global health emergency, French Polynesian health authorities have confirmed their investigations suggest there is a link between the mosquito-borne disease and the extremely rare Guillain Barre syndrome.

Nauru's public servants to resign months before standing for election

The state of Nauru's democracy is once again being called into question, with the government passing laws that restrict who can stand for parliament.

Vanuatu coalition could be announced a day after official results released

A possible coalition government could be announced today in Vanuatu, just one day after official election results were handed down.

Cook Islands PM's nephew arrested over student loans

Cook Islanders are continuing to debate the arrest of the Prime Minister's nephew in New Zealand over an unpaid student loan.

Crowdfunding to give go-ahead to Kiribati feature film on climate change

A crowdfunding campaign for a film documenting the impacts of climate change on Kiribati has nearly ended, with the movie billed as the first feature made in Kiribati.

Vala's unbeaten century gives PNG hope in battle with Ireland in Townsville

Papua New Guinea remains in the contest in its Intercontinental Cup match against Ireland, after an unbeaten century from batsman Assad Vala.

Samoa's Kiwi FC all set for another crack at the OFC Champions League

After qualifying for the final stages of the OFC Champions League, the players from Samoa's Kiwi FC are unlikely to be all together again until a few days before the big kickoff in New Zealand in April.

Fiji's opposition National Federation Party suspended

Fiji's opposition National Federation Party has been suspended for thirty days, with the Registrar of Political Parties having written to the party saying it has contravened the Political Parties Decree of 2013.

Coalition building begins as official Vanuatu poll results in even more factions

It's now ten days after Vanuatu's snap election, called after the extraordinary corruption case that wiped-out half of the Sato Kilman government in 2015, and the official results are in.

Air Vanuatu welcomes 737 that it hopes to replace capacity lost to suspension

Air Vanuatu's new Boeing 737-800 touched down at Bauerfield International Airport this morning amid the suspension of services by Air New Zealand, Qantas and Virgin Australia due to the condition of the runway.

Medicines withdrawn by Australia-run Manus refugee centre to encourage relocations

Refugees on Manus Island are now being told to buy their own medicines to encourage them to leave supported accommodation and resettle in Papua New Guinea.

Workers' rights delegation to Fiji issues confusing press release

A delegation from the International Labour Organisation has finished its visit to Fiji, but what it's achieved, if anything, is unclear.

Fiji unions, employers and government reach deal

The threat of an International Labour Organisation inquiry into Fiji's labour laws appears to have been lifted with the signing of an agreement in Suva.

Pasifika filmmakers seek competitive funding to boost industry

In the past decade the award-winning Pacific film industry has come of age with new short films and television dramas telling the stories of the people of the region.

Papua New Guinea, Australia and China seek to align techniques in tackling malaria

Malaria is a major health issue in the Pacific, with thousands of people suffering its long term effects and administrations seemingly powerless to stem it.

Vanuatu election results due today, but a coalition could take time to form

Official results from the snap general election in Vanuatu are expected today, with the re-counting of votes going on around the clock over the last few days.

Nauru minister warns refugees against protesting as High Court decision looms

The government of Nauru is warning that some refugees on the island are planning protests and civil unrest this week, to coincide with the country's Independence celebrations and a pending Australian High Court decision.

Busy weeks ahead for new Marshall Islands president

Marshall Islands new President will officially take office on Friday and she's expected to name her cabinet later this week.

Solomon Islands diarrhoea outbreak far from over: UNICEF Pacific

Health authorities in Solomon Islands are investigating several deaths believed to have been caused by a recent outbreak of diarrhoea.

Title holders Fiji slip to second on World Sevens series standings after round three

It seems New Zealand just love playing on home ground after winning the Wellington leg of the World Sevens series for the third year in a row and the fifth time in six seasons.

Pacific companies see some success at New York trade show

For the first time, four small Pacific businesses are showcasing their goods at a massive trade show in the United States' biggest city, New York.

Palau moves to ban transhipments as part of Marine Sanctuary plan

As Palau moves to bring a permanent end to commercial fishing in its waters as part of the President's Marine Sanctuary plan, the government is keen to ensure that fish caught by domestic fleets remains in Palauan hands.

Missionary ship brings health services to PNG coastal villages

The Christian missionary organisation Youth With A Mission is sending a fully equipped medical ship to Papua New Guinea.

PNG tourism could take a hit after alleged Kokoda attack

An economist who studies Papua New Guinea's tourism industry says negative publicity about an alleged attack on the Kokoda Track could reduce visitors to the country by 10%.

No clear favourites as Rugby 7s returns for 2016 with Wellington 7s

The battle for the Rugby Sevens World Championship resumes this weekend after the Christmas and New Year break, with the teams gathered in Wellington.

Pacific's first female president hopes to inspire other regional women

Hilda Heine made history this week by becoming the Marshall Islands, and the Pacific's, first female president.

Pacific health authorities warned to be vigilant as global Zika virus threat heightens

Pacific health authorities say there have been no confirmed cases of Zika in the region this year, as fears grow of a link between the mosquito-borne virus and thousands of babies born with abnormally small brains, particularly in Brazil.

Virgin Australia suspends flights to Vanuatu over runway issues

Vanuatu's airport woes continue with Virgin Australia announcing it will suspend its flights to the capital Port Vila.

Indonesia spying on West Papua supporters overseas: activists

West Papuan independence activists say Indonesia's state intelligence agency is spying on them in other countries, including Australia.

PNG's financial management poor and worsening says report

A report on public financial management in Papua New Guinea says the situation is poor and getting worse.

Highlands villagers loot drought food after distribution blunder

Hungry villagers in PNG's Western Highlands have looted a district hub, grabbing 2000 bags of emergency rice which had lain undistributed for months.

PNG Hunters secures long term sponsorship deal worth 3.5 million AUD

After the PNG Hunters took the Queensland Cup by storm in their first two seasons, they'll go into their third with their major sponsor SP Breweries on board for another five years.

Samoa rugby 7s coach confident of momentum

Samoa's coach Damian McGrath is confident his team's momentum in this weekend's Wellington 7s won't have been slowed after the long break.

PNG cricket team faces Ireland in 'home game' in Townsville

The battle to be top dog among world cricket's leading nations, outside the test arena, resumes in the Queensland city of Townsville this weekend, with Papua New Guinea taking on Ireland in round 3 of the Inter-Continental Cup.

Pacific films make it big on Australian TV with 'Cinema Pasifika'

The success of the popular Vanuatu-made drama 'Love Patrol' on Australia's overseas television network Australia Plus, has opened the door for a much wider group of Pacific film-makers.

Kokoda Track under review after alleged attack

The Papua New Guinea Government is reviewing the operations of the Kokoda Track Authority in the wake of an alleged attack on two trekkers.

Many Chinese shopkeepers should not be in PNG says academic

Many Chinese shopkeepers in Papua New Guinea are in the country illegally and should not be operating food stores.

Senior Fiji policeman flees to Australia in fear for his life

A former Assistant Commissioner of Police in Fiji, Henry Brown, has fled to Australia in fear of his life.

Pacific El Nino droughts spread to Micronesia

The El Nino driven drought that has led to widespread food and water shortages in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu is spreading north, with the UN warning of moderate to severe drought in Micronesia.

Port Vila airport upgrade loan still an option: World Bank

The World Bank says it remains committed to its multi-million dollar loan to Vanuatu to upgrade the country's international airport.

Australian MP disappointed no women in Vanuatu parliament

The Australian government has congratulated Vanuatu on its snap election last week, with the Minister for the Pacific Steve Ciobo saying that initial reports suggest it was a peaceful and orderly affair.

PNG rates poorly on annual corruption index

Papua New Guinea has rated poorly on this year's annual Corruption Perception Index from the NGO Transparency International, ranked 139th out of 168 countries.

Name change for the Secretariat of the Pacific Community

Nearly 70 years after it began work as the region's principal scientific and technical organisation, the South Pacific Community has quietly become the Pacific Community.

Tupapa and Kiwi FC set for OFC Champions League showdown

The first round of matches in the OFC Champions League preliminary round produced big wins for the teams from Samoa and host nation Cook Islands.

Amicale going all out to topple OFC Champions league title holders Auckland City

The champion club of Vanuatu, Amicale, are on an overseas recruiting drive as they seek to build a team capable of taking the OFC Champions League title off long time title holders Auckland City.

Lawyer claims some Fijians afraid to return home

A Fiji lawyer says some Fijians living overseas are afraid to return home because of what he calls a climate of fear.

PNG people starving and dying from drought

A food security researcher says an increasing number of people are dying from starvation in drought-affected parts of Papua New Guinea.

New independent 'Tracker' website for Aussie Aid

The Australian National University's Development Policy Centre launched a website called Australian Aid Tracker.

Candidates bribed voters in Vanuatu's outer islands: Transparency

Transparency International Vanuatu says the country's general election campaign was not clean and it has evidence that voters were bribed.

Tonga's electoral commissioner says Efate polls were free, fair and peaceful

There was a host of international observer groups in Vanuatu in the lead up to the elections on January 22nd, including a delegation from the Pacific Islands Forum.

World Health Organisation says more research needed on Zika virus

There have been several large outbreaks of the Zika virus in the Pacific in recent years, particularly in French Polynesia where the World Health Organisation says at least 11 per cent of the population was affected by the outbreak in 2013.

Casten Nemra loses Marshall Islands presidency after one week

Marshall Islands president Casten Nemra has been toppled just one week after his inauguration, making his the shortest presidency in the country's history.

Catholic church delivers aid to remote PNG villages

Aid agencies in Papua New Guinea say many people in drought-hit districts are missing out on Government food deliveries.

Young Fijians in upbeat mood ahead of their World Cup debut

The under-19 Cricket World Cup starts for Fiji in Bangladesh, with the team from the Pacific playing their first ever World Cup match against England.

PNG Sports Foundation EO: "We can create world champions"

After Papua New Guinea secured a record haul of 90 gold medals as host of the Pacific Games last year, there are big plans to take sport in PNG to the next level.

Giving performing artists from the Pacific a collective voice

The entertainment industry has a reputation for being brutal, particular to artists who are not clued up on the pitfalls, or who don't have a strong support network around them.

Travel warning issued for Samoa amid Zika virus concerns

Australia has followed New Zealand's lead and issued a warning to people, especially pregnant women, travelling to Samoa, amid growing global concerns about the mosquito-born Zika virus.

Former Vanuatu PM predicts next government could be 'even more unstable'

A former Vanuatu prime minister, who's hoping to be part of the country's next government, is warning that it could be even more unstable than that of previous years.

Sols PM rejects ex-militant payments allegation

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has rejected claims his government paid one group of ex-militants, in exchange for their political support to keep his government in power.

Calls for consultation with State dept as tuna lock-out has 'devastating' impact in American Samoa

American Samoa is calling for more consultation from the US State department over the potentially disastrous economic consequences of the dispute between the United States and Pacific Island nations over fisheries access.

PNG governor's anti-foreign shops campaign criticised

The governor of Papua New Guinea's Oro Province, Gary Juffa is making waves with his campaign against foreign-owned shops.

PNG governor Juffa unapologetic for campaign against food shops

The governor of Papua New Guinea's Oro Province, Gary Juffa has defended himself against claims he has been aggressive in his campaign against shops selling poor quality food at high prices.

Fiji unions say country risks rogue nation status with ILO

Fiji's trade union movement believes Fiji risks becoming a rogue nation, if the International Labour Organisation (ILO) decides it labour laws aren't in line with international standards.

PNG Sports Minister slams national women football team's visa bungle

Papua New Guinea's sports minister says PNG Football officials have failed their country by not getting New Zealand visas for the national women's team.

Vanuatu air officials agree to Bauerfield Airport strategy

In Vanuatu, some progress has been made after interested parties met to consider how to resolve safety concerns at Port Vila's Bauerfield Airport after the surprise decision by Air New Zealand to suspend its flights to the capital.

Virgin Australia decision to continue Vanuatu flights good for tourism

The all-important tourism industry is set to bear the brunt if flight suspensions to Vanuatu are prolonged.

West Papua independence leader supports proposed Indonesia talks

The Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, says he will fly to Jakarta in an attempt to persuade the Indonesian government to meet a delegation from the umbrella group representing West Papuan independence activists.

Urgent need for food in PNG's highland communities

Aid agencies say recent rain in parts of Papua New Guinea has done little to alleviate the suffering of people affected by drought.

Testing times for Marshall Islands' new president

It's been a rough ride for Casten Nemra since he was voted in as President of Marshall Islands barely three weeks ago, and inaugurated only last week.

Road to Gold - rugby fans in Fiji urged to contribute what ever they can

The rugby sevens world champions Fiji resume the defence of their title in Wellington this weekend, at the start of a year which they and their fans hope will end with an Olympic gold medal in Rio.

Putting PNG soul into the top of the Australian music charts

Australia Day could be memorable for Ngaiire Joseph, the Papua New Guinean-born soul singer whose star is on the rise after a highly successful 2015.

Solomon Islands PM wants direct Indonesia-West Papua talks

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says he will fly to Jakarta in an attempt to get the Indonesian government to agree to meet with a delegation of West Papuan independence activists.

Air Vanuatu satisfied with extra safety precautions at Bauerfield Airport

Vanuatu's national airline says it's confident safety is not being put at risk by continuing its operations at the country's Bauerfield International Airport.

Vanuatu tourism sector optimistic about future amid airport runway concerns

While there have been predictions the flight suspensions could seriously hurt Vanuatu's tourism sector, the industry is seeing it differently.

PNG officials negotiating with Australia for long term solution to keep foreign advisers

Papua New Guinea officials say they're negotiating with Australia to find a long-term way of retaining foreign advisers who've been helping the PNG Government.

Melanesian Spearhead Group very 'happy' with Vanuatu elections

As vote counting continues in Vanuatu after the country's snap election on Friday, negotiations are underway to form the next government.

Australian vegetable growers welcome a temporary lift in PNG's controversial ban

Australian vegetable growers have welcomed a temporary lifting of a ban on some vegetable imports to Papua New Guinea.

Viral 'racism and the Australian dream' speech inspires South Sea Islanders

On the eve of Australia Day, a powerful speech on racism and the Australian Dream is going viral, with almost a million views on Facebook.

Challenging the view in Nauru that only men should be leaders

After the snap election in Vanuatu, 2016 is set to be a big year for Pacific politics, with Kiribati, Nauru and Samoa all going to polls.

Safety fears lead to Vanuatu flight suspensions

Unofficial results after Friday's snap general election in Vanuatu are being overshadowed by the news that both Qantas and Air New Zealand have suspended flights to Port Vila.

Vanuatu tourism industry concerned about flight suspensions

There are concerns the air travel suspensions could damage Vanuatu's recovering tourism industry.

No women win seats in Vanuatu's snap general election

No women were elected in Vanuatu's elections held on Friday, with only a small number of women standing for parliament.

Vanuatu's women candidates showed 'courage': Jenny Ligo

There are concerns the nature of the snap election had an impact on women candidates, who found it more difficult to source campaign finance within such a small timeframe.

Politics complicating PNG's drought relief: researcher

An Australian researcher says drought relief in Papua New Guinea is not being distributed according to need in some districts.

Pacific fights back against tuna boats bristling with new technology

Helicopters, drones, satellite and sonar are all being deployed in the Pacific as a technological arms race between tuna fishing companies and the small resource-owning nations ramps up.

Overseas Samoans help Apia market sellers rebuild after fire

Samoans in New Zealand and other countries are raising funds to assist those who have lost their livelihoods after the historic Savalalo Market in Apia was devastated by fire.

Vanuatu votes go ahead smoothly despite minor issues

The people of Vanuatu are going to the polls for an election that voters hope will restore confidence in a political system tarnished by a corruption scandal which ended with 14 government MPs being sent to prison.

PNG Police questioning account of Kokoda tourist attack

Police in Papua New Guinea are raising question marks over claims of two foreign tourists who say they were assaulted on the Kokoda Track.

PNG fruit and vegetable ban on hold for three months

The Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the prime minister's commitment to consultation on the issue of the ban on importing fruit and vegetables.

Will the snap general election herald a new political dawn in Vanuatu?

The people of Vanuatu are going to the polls for an election that voters hope will restore confidence in a political system tarnished by a corruption scandal which ended with 14 government MPs being sent to prison.

US treaty pull out could open door for stronger tuna conservation measures

Greenpeace Australia Pacific says the sudden decision by the United States to withdraw from the tuna fishing treaty with the Pacific nations after nearly 30 years could actually benefit regional tuna conservation efforts.

Manus islanders set to protest over impact of detention on life in their community

The people of Manus will stage a rally today urging the Papua New Guinea government to address their concerns over the operation of the Australian-run immigration detention centre on the island.

PNG women's soccer in the spotlight at senior and junior level

There's a big weekend ahead for women's soccer in Papua New Guinea, with the senior side playing New Zealand in Lae in the first leg of the Oceania Olympic qualifying final on Sunday.

Questions about details of Kokoda Track attack

Questions have been raised about the attack on a British man and an American woman on the Kokoda Track in PNG recently.

Urgent drought relief on the way for PNG's Western Province

Reports of drought-related deaths in PNG's Western Province will be investigated by the Prime Minister's Department, with the government admitting some remote areas have received little-to-no relief supplies since the start of the El Nino disaster.

Problems for New Caledonia in finding new nickel markets

New Caledonia may face problems trying to sell it's nickel ore to new markets.

Rift with US on tuna treaty opens the door for improve aid and conservation

The way the United States is handling access for its tuna fleet to the Pacific is risking Washington's reputation and its influence in the region say experts.

Countdown continues to Vanuatu's snap general election

The campaign period for Vanuatu's general election has now ended, ahead of polling day tomorrow.

Fiji arrive in Bangladesh ahead of U19 Cricket World Cup debut

Cricket Fiji's under 19 squad is out to make history at the World Cup in Bangladesh after becoming the first Pacific side other than Papua New Guinea to qualify for the tournament.

New Caledonia fears impact of Australian nickel refinery closure

The collapse of an Australian nickel refinery could have a big impact on New Caledonia.

Slowing growth in China will affect the Pacific but don't panic say experts

The Pacific is being told there is no need to panic as more economic bad news hits international markets.

Vanuatu electoral roll inaccurate says Electoral Commission

Vanuatu's Electoral Commission has said that the electoral roll being used in Friday's snap election is inaccurate.

Vanuatu's young voters urged to ensure their voice is heard

With two days to go before Vanuatu's snap election, there's concern that many young people will opt out of voting because of their lack of faith in the political system after last year's corruption scandal that ended with 14 government MPs being jailed.

ADB keen to protect PNG from long term impacts of climate change

The Asian Development Bank has signed off on a US$25.25 million grant for Papua New Guinea, with the aim of building resilience to the impacts of climate change in the Pacific country which it says is expected to take the biggest economic hit over the coming decades.

PNG govt urged to dispel myths by funding cancer awareness campaign

The Cancer Relief Society in PNG says many Papua New Guinean women living in remote areas don't recognise the warning signs of cervical cancer, and often blame symptoms on sorcery.

US to withdraw from historic Pacific Tuna Treaty

The United States has given Pacific Island nations notice that it plans to withdraw from the South Pacific Tuna Treaty, its most important aid, trade and geopolitical arrangement with the region.

Calls from business to sack PNG's agriculture minister

The Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry is calling for PNG's agriculture minister Tommy Tomscoll to be sacked, as controversy continues to dog the government's ban on vegetable imports.

Fiji's Russian weapons part of pivot away from the West

Fiji is probably sourcing arms and ammunition from Russia because it doesn't want to be too dependent on China.

Diverse group of observers watching over Vanuatu elections

The head of the Commonwealth election observer team in Vanuatu has praised the country's commitment to the rule of law.

Praise for Vanuatu on the rule of law ahead of general election

The head of the Commonwealth observers team in Vanuatu for this week's snap general election says he is full of admiration for the country's stand on corruption and confident that any voting irregularities identified during polling on Friday will be firmly dealt with.

Marshall Islands new president's reign could be over in record time

The new President of Marshall Islands, Casten Nemra, could be thrown out of office less than a month after he was voted in.

Multi-billion dollar investment opportunities to open up for Pacific countries

The Beijing based Trade Commissioner for the Pacific Islands Forum, David Morris, says the launch of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is an exciting prospect for Pacific countries.

Fiji cricket coach puts the record straight ahead of under 19 World Cup

The Australian coach of Fiji's national cricket team, Shane Jurgensen, says he's ready to see out his contract, after resigning late last year and then changing his mind.

Fiji opposition party considers quitting Parliament

An opposition political party in Fiji is considering withdrawing from parliament.

Worst impacts of PNG drought may not be seen until after the rains return

Scientists from the Australian National University are calling for urgent action to assist those areas in Papua New Guinea worst hit by food shortages caused by the ongoing drought and severe frosts.

Anti-corruption campaigner in PNG keen to grow community support

A grassroots anti-corruption organisation is being set up in Papua New Guinea's West Sepik Province.

ACTU keen to stamp out corruption impacting on seasonal Pacific workers

A court action has begun against an Australian recruitment company accused of exploiting workers from Vanuatu.

PIF observers up and running ahead of Vanuatu election

A small team of electoral observers from the Pacific Islands Forum are in Vanuatu to monitor the closing days of the country's general election campaign, polling on Friday, and then the count.

Police team make history at Coral Coast Sevens

Two weeks out from the resumption of the World Rugby Sevens series with round three in New Zealand, many players from the Pacific keen to be involved in that event were in action over the weekend at the Coral Coast Sevens in Fiji.

Arguments for death penalty in PNG revived

The incident this week, where it's alleged two foreign trekkers were raped and assaulted on Papua New Guinea's famous Kokoda Track, has revived the argument over the death penalty.

PNG PM told to 'stop making excuses' over SABL cancellation delay

Activists in Papua New Guinea are urging the government to stop making excuses and speed up the process of cancelling controversial agricultural land leases.

Fiji opposition concerned at secrecy over Russian shipment

Fiji police say there's nothing to hide but the country's opposition has raised concerns over the secrecy of a Russian shipment that's bound for the military.

PNG women's cricket captain sets her eyes on Australian Big Bash League

Women's cricket in Australia took another step forward this year with the inaugural Women's Big Bash Competition.

PNG police to question three men over Kokoda trekker assault, rape

Police in Papua New Guinea are questioning three men over the alleged rape, assault and robbery of two foreign trekkers on the country's famous Kokoda Track.

Growing calls for a more flexible and permanent solution to Pacific and US fishing treaty

As Pacific countries and top fishing authorities race against time to try to resolve an impasse with the US tuna fleet, there are growing calls for a more flexible and permanent solution.

Samoan voters to learn about electoral bribery

With Samoa's election due in March, voter education efforts are increasing.

PNG reputation at risk after international media coverage of Kokoda incident

The story of two foreigners being ambushed on PNG's Kokoda Track made frontpage news on the UK tabloid newspaper, The Sun.

American, Briton attacked on PNG's Kokoda Track

Two foreign tourists have been attacked on the Kokoda Track, one of them, a US woman, was raped.

Vanuatu communities coping after Cyclone Ula

Communities in Fiji affected by Tropical Cyclone Ula, will finally begin receiving food rations; more than a week after the cyclone passed them.

Predictions women will be triumphant in upcoming historic Samoan election

There are predictions that Samoa won't even need to enact its historic temporary special measures, that are set to guarantee that at least 5 women take up seats in the country's next parliament.

Fiji PM's gay marriage comment may be illegal says lawyer

A Fiji lawyer says the country's prime minister may have broken the law when he described gay marriage as rubbish and suggested that same sex couples who do want to get married could go to Iceland to do it -- and stay there.

NZ knocks back calls to resettle refugees on Nauru

New Zealand says it's unable to accept refugees from Nauru this year, despite an appeal from those within the detention centre.

Former head of Solomon Islands' Peace Taskforce critical of ex-militants payout

The Solomon Islands' prime minister is continuing to defend his government's decision to pay out 3 million Solomon dollars to former militants involved in the country's ethnic violence.

Urgent constitutional challenge lodged against Vanuatu Electoral Commission

In 2015, much of Vanuatu's political future was left for the country's courts to decide.

Programs and presenters

Bruce Hill
Pacific Beat Pacific Beat brings you interviews with leaders, newsmakers, and people who make the Pacifi ...

Read more

Join in

Facebook logo
Connect on Facebook

Share your stories and perspectives on a range of topics and connect with people from the Asia Pacific region on our Facebook pages.

Twitter logo
Connect on Twitter

Follow the latest updates from our people and programs and join the conversation on Twitter.

Radio Australia
Asia Pacific

Contact the studio

Got something to say about what you're hearing on the radio right now?

Send your texts to +61 427 72 72 72

Add the hashtag #raonair to add your tweets to the conversation.

Email us your thoughts on an issue. Messages may be used on air.