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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.

Special: Fiji weekend arrests in focus

Six of Fiji's senior Opposition figures detained on the weekend have been released by police, without charges being laid. We talk to four of them: former prime minister and Fiji Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry; former Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka; trade unionist Attar Singh and chairman of the NGO Pacific Dialogue, Jone Dakevula. We also talk to interim chair of Fiji's NGO Coalition on Human Rights, Michelle Reddy. ,

Religious groups pray to support the Pacific's battle against climate change

Followers of different religions across 22 countries, including Australia, New Zealand and the United States, have heeded a call to Pray for our Pacific, as a mark of solidarity in the fight against climate change.

Fiji opposition figures still facing charges, despite release

Five opposition figures in Fiji have been released after being detained over a discussion about the country's constitution.

Fiji's Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola loses portfolio during Pacific Islands Forum

One of the more peculiar moments at the Pacific Islands Forum in Pohnpei was a role change for Fiji's Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

New Caledonia, French Polynesia admitted to Pacific Islands Forum

The Pacific Islands Forum drew to a close in Pohnpei at the weekend, with the regional grouping having expanded to include French Polynesia and New Caledonia.

Marshall Islands to roll out TB screening, treatment program

In Marshall Islands a mass tuberculosis screening and treatment program for people in Ebeye island is due to begin next month.

Last four at OFC U-20s to battle for two FIFA World Cup places

The OFC under-20 soccer championship is down to the last four with host nation Vanuatu, tournament favourites New Zealand, New Caledonia and Solomon Islands through to tomorrow's semi-finals.

PNG children suffer abuse and violence at alarming rates, report finds

A report on the scale of child abuse in Papua New Guinea has found that children are experiencing unacceptably high rates of violence, neglect and exploitation.

Fiji withdraws from PACER Plus

Fiji says it has withdrawn from the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations or PACER Plus.

Squatters' homes demolished to make way for new development on Efate

In Vanuatu, the police and paramilitaries have forcibly removed squatters from the village of Tanoliu in north Efate, and bulldozed their homes.

Wallis and Futuna communities pledge to tackle health issues

The Pacific Community's public health team have been in Wallis and Futuna with representatives from the World Health Organisation on a mission to assist the French territory tackle the problem of non-communicable diseases.

Fiji's vaccination program a model for reducing Pacific child mortality

Around the world rotavirus is the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis and diarrhoea in infants and young children, and in developing countries it has a disproportionate impact on child mortality rates.

Refugee's cartoons about life on Manus win international award

A young Iranian refugee has won an international award for his cartoons reflecting his life in detention on Manus Island for the last three years.

Crunch time for title holders Fiji at the OFC under twenty championship

It's a crucial day for defending champions Fiji at the OFC under 20 championship in Vanuatu, where they need to beat Papua New Guinea in their final group match tomorrow and hope that the hosts defeat New Caledonia if they're to reach the semi-finals.

Civil society groups achieve breakthrough with Pacific Islands Forum leaders

Civil Society leaders have emerged from a meeting with Pacific Prime Ministers and Presidents delighted that they have had their views heard.

NGO questions need to acquire permits to hold meetings in Fiji

The Fiji police action in requiring a permit for a dialogue meeting on the country's sugar industry this week is being questioned.

Mass movement of PNG people accused of sorcery to Australia unlikely

A Papua New Guinea organisation set up to help victims of sorcery related violence has welcomes a decision by the Australian Refugee Review Tribunal to give a PNG man asylum because he feared violence at home over witchcraft accusations.

Commonwealth women's ministers meet in Samoa

The problem of violence against women has been one of the focuses of Commonwealth Women's Affairs Ministerial Meeting in Samoa this week.

New Zealand pressured to condemn Indonesia over West Papua

A group of New Zealand opposition MPs have tabled a petition in parliament calling on the government to condemn Indonesia for what they describe as the state sanctioned torture and killing of West Papuans.

Nauru Minister gets greater powers to cancel passports

The government of Nauru has passed amendments to the country's passport laws giving the Border Protection minister greater powers to cancel travel documents.

Australia's love of coal out of touch with Pacific neighbours

Wesley Morgan, a lecturer in Politics and International Affairs at the University of the South Pacific says Australia has been undermining Pacific demands in climate negotiations at the United Nations for the last 25 years.

Technology helping keep local Nkep language alive in Vanuatu

New technology is playing an increasingly important role in keeping at least one local language alive in Vanuatu, even when villagers head off to the city to find opportunities for work.

Young Fijian set to complete rapid rise from local rugby to the Wallabies

Three years ago a promising young player from the Fijian island of Ovalau arrived in Melbourne to play rugby for local club side Box Hill Broncos as part of the Island Breeze programme.

Policy set to change after PNG's first National Sports Conference in two decades

Sports administrators from all around Papua New Guinea have gathered in Port Moresby for the first National Sports Conference in nearly 20 years.

Hosts FSM join Small Island States group at Pacific leaders summit

Presidents and Prime Ministers of the Small Island States group have welcomed a new member into the fold, with host nation FSM being admitted at the summit in Pohnpei.

Australian asylum seeker group says PNG sorcery case is significant

A decision by an Australian tribunal to grant a PNG man asylum because of fears he could be attacked as a suspected sorcerer back home is a significant one.

Traditional apology planned for family of PNG rugby violence victim

A man from PNG's Western Highlands province is organising a traditional apology to the family of a man who was killed when a brawl at a rugby league match spilled onto the streets of Port Moresby.

NGOs to ask Pacific Forum leaders to put West Papua on the UN agenda

West Papua is an issue that can no longer be ignored by Pacific leaders according to a delegation of civil society organisations that will meet Pacific Leaders at a special breakfast tomorrow morning.

Tourism set to benefit from increasing trade between China and the Pacific

As Chinese aid and trade with the Pacific grows so too are the number of Chinese tourists visiting the region and Chinese investment.

Fiji woman imprisoned for begging

The imprisonment of a woman for begging in Fiji raises the question of why people need to beg at all.

NGO meeting on Fiji sugar industry halted by police

A meeting between various non-government and other organisations in Fiji to discuss the plight of the sugar industry has been halted by the police.

Papua New Guinean writers take part in Brisbane Writers Festival

Four Papua New Guinea writers will be taking part in the Brisbane Writers Festival later this week, the first time PNG has been represented at the event.

Small Islands States meet ahead of Pacific Islands Forum

The annual gathering of the Pacific Islands Forum opens in the Federated States of Micronesia today, with the Small Islands States holding their own summit ahead of the full forum meetings later in the week.

Running for rape survivors across the Pacific

In 1999 Claire McFarlane was raped and left for dead on the streets of Paris.

Fijiian Olympic gold medallist touches down in Australia ahead of NRC debut

One of Fiji's Olympic gold medal winning heroes, Vatemo Ravouvou, has arrived in Australia after making the switch from rugby sevens to the fifteen-a-side game with the Western Sydney Rams.

International review highlights impact of ocean acidification

The International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress continues in Hawai'i has just released a comprehensive review on the impact on humans and marine life of ocean warming, calling it one of this generation's greatest hidden challenges.

Vanuatu on track for historic place at next year's FIFA U-20 World Cup

The host nation Vanuatu are into the semi-finals of the OFC under 20 championship, with their sights set firmly on securing what would be an historic place at the under 20 World Cup in South Korea next year.

NRI researcher says PNG government's rice policy is unfair

PNG's National Research Institute has added it's voice to the growing chorus of criticism surrounding the government's so-called rice policy.

New figures reveal Chinese aid to the Pacific outstrips traditional partners

China has overtaken Australia as the biggest source of aid to Fiji, and soon will be outstripping Canberra's contributions to Samoa and Tonga as well.

Fiji Constitution Day holiday labelled a sham by NFP

Fiji's inaugural Constitution Day holiday has been criticised as a meaningless exercise by an opposition politician.

Long-term bans handed down after Digicel Cup finals violence

The Papua New Guinea NRL has passed down a series of severe punishments on players and officials after the violent scenes that followed Mount Hagen Eagles' Digicel Cup finals defeat to the Rabaul Gurias.

OFC U-20: Cook Islands performing well despite disruptions, new coach says

It's Matchday Two in the OFC under 20 championship in Vanuatu, with the host nation taking on Papua New Guinea, while the other game in Group A will feature defending champions Fiji taking on New Caledonia.

Australia and New Zealand must step up Pacific climate efforts: Oxfam

Oxfam is warning that Australia must do more to help Pacific Island countries deal with the impacts of climate change.

Consistency still an issue for Barramundis after final Sunshine Coast match

Another batting collapse has cost Papua New Guinea dearly in the final match of their three match series on the Sunshine Coast against three of Australia's state teams.

Sorcery claims gain PNG man asylum in Australia

A ruling that a Papua New Guinea man can claim asylum in Australia over accusations of sorcery could mean a mass movement of people across the Torres Strait.

Three ni-Vanuatu plead guilty over Florence Lengkon kidnapping

Three men have pleaded guilty in Vanuatu over the kidnapping of tourism worker Florence Lengkon in March.

Asian Development Bank to double funding to the Pacific

The Asian Development Bank will more than double its loan and grant funding to the Pacific over the next 5 years as it sharpens its focus on policies designed to help countries improve their economic prospects, cope with climate change and grow their information and communications technology capability.

Rare PNG-produced film set to premiere

It's not often that a new locally made movie screens in Papua New Guinea but that's what will happen later this week when Lukim Yu premieres in Port Moresby.

Fiji SODELPA party wooing overseas supporters

A former Fiji cabinet minister living in Melbourne says the opposition SODELPA party is forming support networks among overseas Fijian communities to generate funding and political support ahead of the 2018 election.

Samoa rugby CEO insists Olympic failure not sole reason for sevens coach's dismissal

The chief executive of the Samoa Rugby Union says the decision to sack Damian McGrath as sevens coach was not based entirely on the team's failure to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

Smaller Island States keen to have a louder voice at PIF annual gathering

Prominent political figures from across the region are heading to Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia to attend the 47th Pacific Islands Forum leaders' meetings.

Solomon Islands tries to attract history tourists to Guadalcanal WWII sites

Solomon Islands is looking to attract more military history enthusiasts to Guadalcanal, which is famous as the battleground for the allied offensive against the Japanese during World War Two.

Bad result for Hunters, but showpiece a boost for PNG RL's reputation

The PNG Hunters' hopes of a Grand Final place have been dashed for the second year a row, after they suffered a shock loss against the Sunshine Coast Falcons in front of a packed house in Port Moresby.

Samoa Rugby Union opts to start again, sacks sevens coach Damian McGrath

The sudden dismissal of Damian McGrath as coach of the Samoan sevens team, in his words has come as a bolt from the blue.

Host nation off to perfect start at OFC youth championship in Vanuatu

Host nation Vanuatu are off to a winning start at the OFC under 20 soccer championship after a 1-0 win over the defending champions Fiji.

Sir Michael Somare mentioned in Singapore laundering trial

In Singapore yesterday Lim Ai Wah and her American husband Thomas Doerhman were sentenced to jail after being convicted of falsification of accounts and transferring the benefits of criminal conduct.

Man dies from injuries in aftermath of PNG rugby league brawl

A man has died after he was hit in the head with a brick when a brawl at a weekend rugby league match in Port Moresby spilled onto the streets. The brawl was sparked when an official from the Mt Hagen Eagles punched a referee after the team lost to the Rabaul Gurias at Sir John Guise stadium, prompting Eagles fans to swarm onto the field and attack Gurias players and fans.

Rabaul Gurias attend haus krai for man killed in PNG rugby league brawl

Rabaul Gurias team members have visited the home of Joe Pidik who died in hospital after sustaining injuries during a brawl at a Digicel Cup rugby league match in Port Moresby.

Fiji lawyer sceptical of police ability to investigate torture case

The lawyer for a Fijian man who was allegedly tortured by police says he's not confident with their ability to investigate the incident.

Danish MPs leave Australia after failing to gain entry into Nauru detention centre

A delegation of Danish MPs has left Australia after unsuccessfully trying to visit the Australian-run offshore detention centre on Nauru.

Pacific leaders meeting in Hawaii heralds greater US attention

US President Barack Obama has signalled a greater engagement with the Pacific Islands.

Bougainvilleans still hope to find bodies of the missing

Many people on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville are still hoping they may one day find bodies of their loved ones who disappeared during the civil war.

UN looking to keep pushing on with Bougainville Peace Agreement

President of the Autonomous region of Bougainville, John Momis called on his people to unite at this weeks 15th anniversary of the Peace Agreement.

UPNG looking to turn over a new leaf at reconciliation ceremony

The University of Papua New Guinea is holding a "reconciliation ceremony" this morning between students and staff ahead of classes resuming next week.

Co-operation hailed as the way forward for disaster response in the Pacific

The organisation dedicated to improving the response of Pacific Island countries to natural disasters has been meeting in Brisbane.

Fa'Fafafine celebrated at Samoan transgender beauty pageant

Healthy eating will be theme of the annual transgender beauty pageant, Miss Fa'afafine tonight, with contestants from across the country as well as several from expat Samoan communities in Australia, New Zealand and American Samoa expected to attend.

Same again will do nicely for PNG Hunters in elimination final

It's do or die for the PNG Hunters in the Intrust Super Cup this weekend when they take on the Sunshine Coast Falcons in an elimination final in Port Moresby.

Vanuatu under 20 soccer squad set their sights on World Cup place

The progress of Pacific soccer on the world stage means there will be more to play for than usual when the OFC under 20 championship kicks off in Vanuatu tomorrow.

Australian test legend Geoff Marsh keen to spread the word about PNG cricket

The cricket legends are in town for the annual 20/20 Big Bash match in Port Moresby, promoting the 'don't drink and drive' message, and this year the players are also throwing their weight behind the campaign against domestic violence.

Obama praises efforts by Pacific leaders in combating climate change

US President Barack Obama has paid tribute to Pacific Island leaders for their efforts to secure the global agreement on climate change at the UN convention in Paris last year.

Rights groups raises concerns over whistleblower assault

A Fiji internet café owner is claiming he was beaten up, bound and had a plastic bag placed over his head by Police.

PNG govt criticised for inaction over SABLs despite landowners court victory

Landowners in Papua New Guinea's East New Britain province have won a court battle to overturn controversial leases covering 35,000 hectares that were issued to an palm oil producer.

Pacific trade with China doubles amid environmental concern

In just one year, two-way trade between China and the Pacific has almost doubled.

Senior NZ Maori figure found guilty of fraud

A prominent New Zealand Maori leader, Sir Ngatata Love has been found guilty of defrauding the iwi, or tribal organisation, he once led.

PNG domestic violence helpline reports surprising client base

The operators of Papua New Guinea's first domestic violence helpline have had to deal with demand from an unexpected group of people - men.

Pacific trade officials who negotiated PACER Plus should be sacked, says trade expert

One of the region's most experienced economists says Pacific parliaments should NOT ratify the proposed PACER Plus trade deal with Australia and New Zealand, instead they should stick with the existing agreement known as SPARTECA.

Forthcoming Disney movie to feature Pasifika Voices

The soundtrack for the forthcoming animated Disney movie, Moana, will feature Pasifika Voices, the choir at the University of the South Pacific.

What makes coral reef "bright spots" so bright?

Many coral reefs around the world are struggling to cope with the impact of human activity and climate change, but there are some bright spots, 15 of them in fact.

Vanuatu all-rounder turning heads on English cricket scene

The Vanuatu all-rounder Patrick Matautaava is making a big impact over in the UK, where he's been playing club cricket for Tynedale in the north of England.

PNG rice policy raises concerns

A proposed change of government policy in Papua New Guinea is causing some rumblings in Australia's rice industry.

Australia, PNG at loggerheads over rice trade

Exports to one of Australia's biggest rice markets are at risk, because of a change of government policy in Papua New Guinea.

Australia reaffirms benefits of PACER Plus deal

Across the Pacific, debate continues on the pros and cons of the proposed PACER Plus trade deal with Australia and New Zealand.

Efforts underway to unite anti-sorcery violence groups in Enga province

An upsurge in attacks against suspected witches in PNG's Enga Province is prompting extra efforts to form an anti sorcery violence committee in the province.

Pacific tuna industry raises fears over new marine conservation plan

Pacific nations face potentially devastating financial loses if a new conservation measure which proposes the closure 30 per cent countries exclusive economic zones is approved.

British MPs to investigate Australian takeover of Norfolk Island

A fact-finding delegation of British MPs are in Norfolk Island to investigate the way Australia has cancelled the island's self-governing status.

Founder of charity helping Fiji rebuild says taxes are hampering response effort

People in villages destroyed by Cyclone Winston after it hit Fiji six months ago say a shortage of building materials has prevented them from rebuilding their damaged homes.

New sea wall in Tuvalu will help atoll withstand severe weather events

The impact of one of the other biggest cyclones ever to hit the Pacific, Cyclone Pam, is still being felt 18 months after the event.

Samoa holds 2nd Pacific Agribusiness Conference

Pacific island growers and manufacturers are meeting in Samoa for the 2nd Pacific Agribusiness Conference.

More women targeted in PNG sorcery related violence

A number of attacks on women suspected of involvement in sorcery occurred in Papua New Guinea's Enga province over the last few days.

Enga woman's hand cut off in sorcery attack, say PNG police

Police in Enga province say they are making efforts to crack down on sorcery related violence, but it's not easy.

Panguna dispute: Bougainville govt accuses PM O' Neill of undermining independence push

Bougainville's Mining Minister says moves by PNG Prime Minister Peter O' Neill to donate shares in the Panguna copper mine to landowners is designed to weaken the island's campaign for independence.

Digicel Cup brawl: PNG Sports Minister wants Mt Hagen Eagles suspended

Papua New Guinea's sports minister says the "regionalism" of the country's rugby league fans needs to be addressed to prevent more ugly brawls at matches.

Australia preparing foreign policy white paper

Australia is preparing a foreign policy white paper - the first in some 13 years.

UPNG set to hold reconciliation amid reports of deregistering student leaders

A reconciliation ceremony is being organised for University of Papua New Guinea students, their families and the University Administration on Friday prior to the resumption of classes in an effort to sort out some of their differences and start the shorter school year in a peaceful mode.

Largest marine park on the planet established in Hawaii

The US state of Hawaii can now lay claim to the largest marine park on the planet, after President Barack Obama more than quadrupled the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

Project looks to reduce tomato damage in Fiji

Tomatoes are an important source of income for many Fijian farmers but the tropical climate can make the fruit difficult to store.

Former Nauru president stopped from leaving country for medical treatment

The Nauru government has prevented former President Sprent Dabwido from leaving the country to get urgent medical treatment despite the Supreme Court ordering the return of his passport.

UPNG students leaders receive termination letters

The University of Papua New Guinea is set to return to classes in a week's time after months of protest lead to the cancellation of the 2016 academic year.

Couple stranded on remote Micronesian island lucky to survive, says US Coast Guard

A husband and wife in the Federated States of Micronesia have been rescued after spending a week on a remote, deserted island.

Tonga moving forward with anti-corruption efforts

Tonga's parliament is moving ahead with the appointment of an Anti Corruption Commission and a Commissioner.

NGO calls for domestic election observers in future Fiji elections

A renewed push is on in Fiji for the government to allow domestic observers to monitor the 2018 elections.

Internet booking sites key to boosting Pacific tourism

With so many people planning their holidays and business travel on the internet, a killer website is the key to success for tourism businesses.

Missing victims of Bougainville civil war to be commemorated

The families of people who died during the Bougainville conflict but whose bodies have never been recovered will have a chance to mourn this week.

Court blocks Tongan PM's attempts to remove Pacific Games Chief Executive

It's business as usual for the Pacific Games Organising Committee in Tonga, at least for now, after chief executive Lord Fred Sevele was granted an injunction in the Supreme Court blocking attempts to dismiss him by the Prime Minister, Akilisi Pohiva.

Back to school for Unitech students

Classes are set to start today at the University of Technology in Lae after months of upheaval including sometimes violent protests over student demands that Prime Minister Peter O'Neill answer corruption allegations against him.

Documentary on saving PNG tree kangaroos looks to international audience

One of the Pacific's most remarkable conservation stories has been captured on film for a feature length documentary that's been five years in the making.

Advantage PNG Hunters ahead of finals re-match against the Falcons

The PNG Hunters have ended the Intrust Super Cup home and away season in style, with victory over Sunshine Coast Falcons by 34 points to 4 in Port Moresby.

6 months on, survivors of Cyclone Winston struggle to rebuild

Victims of Cyclone Winston in Fiji are still struggling to rebuild their lives six months after the category five storm devastated large parts of the country.

Helicopter company goes into the fruit and veg business in PNG

Access to some of Papua New Guinea's more remote areas can be difficult and expensive at the best of times.

FijiLeaks says the hacking of its website was a professional job

The fallout from the hacking of the FijiLeaks website has caused a Facebook frenzy, with accusations that people revealed as corresponding with the site are traitors.

Rivalry between China and US intensifies in the Pacific

There's growing interest in China's global ambitions, after an international tribunal ruling in July rejected China's claim over disputed islands in the South China Sea.

Celebrations on hold as Samoa awaits IOC confirmation of its first ever Olympic medal

Two weeks after Fiji struck gold at the Rio Olympics with their men's rugby sevens team, the sporting community in Samoa is waiting nervously for confirmation that, belatedly, it too has won a first ever Olympic medal.

Danish MPs to visit Nauru for offshore resettlement study

A delegation of Danish MPs is preparing to visit Nauru early next week to study the use of offshore settlements for asylum seekers.

Pacific nations top list of World Risk Index

Vanuatu has again been listed as one of the most dangerous places to live due to vulnerability to natural disasters and food shortages, topping the list of the World Risk Index.

PNG announces more spending cuts, revenue raising to reduce deficit

Papua New Guinea's Government has announced more spending cuts and revenue raising measures in a bid to reduce a deficit blowout.

Fiji Sports Commission presses ahead with 4-year sports plan

Celebrations are still going on in Fiji, after their rugby sevens team struck gold in Rio, but the Fiji Sports Commission is not resting on its laurels.

Teen marriage in Tonga often caused by parental pressure

There are calls for Tonga's parliament to re-examine a 1926 law that allows people under the age of 18 to get married as long as they have their parents consent.

Film shot in Vanuatu could be an Oscar contender

Australia is submitting Tanna, a film made on Vanuatu, as its official entry for best foreign-language film at the 2017 Academy Awards.

Pacific seasonal work talk buoy participants

Talks about the future of seasonal work schemes in the region have ended with recommendations for a wider variety of opportunities in Australia and New Zealand and the continuation of annual discussions.

Calls for labour mobility to be de-linked from PACER Plus

Labour mobility was one of the carrots that brought Pacific nations back to talks for a PACER plus trade agreement during the years when the process was struggling to gain momentum after it all began back in 2009.

Miringtoro: share donation will strengthen peace process

The MP representing Central Bougainville in Papua New Guinea's national parliament says the decision by Prime Minister Peter O'Neill to donate shares in the Panguna copper mine to landowners will strengthen rather than endanger the peace process.

New airline in American Samoa to ramp up competition and push down prices

Customers flying between American Samoa and Samoa can look forward to cheaper fares with a new airline entering the market to take on under fire Polynesian Airlines.

Auckland City FC expect tough match against Lae in OFC draw

The official draw for the expanded OFC Champions has been revealed.

Vanuatu introduces kava standards to combat poor-quality exports

Vanuatu is facing a kava problem that could put its $10 million export market in jeopardy.

SME Centre to help make businesses more accessible

Up to now many small businesses in Papua New Guinea's capital Port Moresby have been operating from home because the cost of renting shop premises is just too expensive.

PNG opposition slams election nomination fee hike

Papua New Guinea Opposition leader Don Polye is stepping up his campaign against the PNG government's decision to increase the cost of nomination fees for candidates wishing to stand in next year's general election by five hundred percent.

NGO's call for pause in PACER Plus talks as Trade mins meet

Pacific Trade ministers are due to meet in Christchurch today with the aim of tying up the final details of the PACER Plus trade ageement, but non-government organisations are calling for a pause amid fresh concerns over the potential impact of a deal on Pacific nations.

Pacific's Chief Trade Advisor on PNG's withdrawal from PACER Plus and more

The Pacific's Chief Trade Advisor, Dr Edwini Kessie, says it is unfortunate that Papua New Guinea has decided not to be part of PACER Plus.

Samoan man in Sydney loses 90 kgs

A Samoan-New Zealand man living in Sydney has halved his weight and he wants to share his success with other Pacific Islanders.

Opponents plan to challenge PNG candidacy fee hike

Papua New Guinea's Opposition leader, Don Polye, has described the government's decision to raise the cost of election nomination fees from two thousand to ten thousand kina - that's more than four thousand Australian dollars - as ridiculous and undemocratic.

Study: Fiji HPV vaccination program shows lower doses can be just as effective

Fiji has one of the highest rates of cervical cancer in the Pacific region, a disease which is most often caused by the human papillomavirus.

FINPAC seeks to improve weather and warning services in the Pacific

Finland is about as far away from the Pacific as you can get, but that country's government is funding a project to the tune of around five and a half million Australian dollars to deliver improved weather, climate and warning services to the region.

Sleeping shelters improve quality of life for people with disabilities in Vanuatu

Nearly 18 months after Cyclone Pam devastated Vanuatu, some people are still living in temporary accommodation.

Coach Dipak Patel signs new contract ahead of Cricket PNG's busiest year yet

Cricket PNG has extended the contract of head coach Dipak Patel for another year.

Olympic experience start of good things ahead for soccer in Fiji

While sports lovers in Fiji were expecting their men's rugby sevens team to do well in Rio, many feared the worst for their soccer team on their debut Olympic appearance.

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