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PNG election in danger of failing says Australian expert

An Australian expert on PNG's budget says the election process is in chaos and it's in danger of failing.

Port Moresby businesses upset at vote delay after already giving staff time off

Some businesses in PNG's capital, Port Moresby, are annoyed at the delay in voting in the city until Friday.

Gov't must address underlying causes of violence in Solomon Islands: Veke

The Premier of Guadalcanal in Solomon Islands believes successive governments have failed to address the underlying causes of the ethnic violence that led to the RAMSI intervention.

Fiji opposition activist released by police without charge

The Fiji opposition party activist detained by special branch after staging a silent one man protest against torture in Suva on Tuesday has been released from custody.

West Papuan activist inspired by Fiji one man protest

A West Papuan independence activist has welcomed the one man silent protest by a Fijian opposition member, Jope Koroisavou, on Monday.

PNG Electoral Commission under fire for chaotic start to polling

Papua New Guineans are calling for the Chief Electoral Commissioner Patilius Gamato to be sacked after a disastrous start to the country's general elections.

"No excuse" for election turmoil in Port Moresby, says NCD Governor Powes Parkop

Port Moresby residents who took time off work to cast their vote have expressed their anger at having their time wasted after polling in National Capital District was postponed at the last minute.

Question of financial consequences for Tonga's withdrawal from Pacific Games still unanswered

With just two days to go before the June 30th deadline set by the Pacific Games Council, parliament has had what would appear to be the final say on Tonga's hosting of the 2019 Games by voting 12 to 9 in favour of Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva's decision to pull out.

"There's still a lot of stigma": Fiji's albinism community calls for more understanding

Government departments in Fiji are being urged to help break down the barriers faced by people who are living with albinism.

Coach anoints teen weightlifter as Fiji's next Olympic medallist

The coach of Fiji's newly crowned World Junior Weighlifting silver medallist says she will be a contender for gold at the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in three years' time.

NCD election deferred after strikes, officials arrested

Voting in PNG's National Capital District which was meant to go ahead today, has been deferred until Friday after some staff went on strike and several electoral officials were arrested.

Three ni-Vanuatu men killed in QLD crash

There are calls for seasonal workers in Australia to be given more help adjusting to local driving conditions.

Frustration in the Highlands as some Papua New Guineans miss out on voting

The national election in Papua New Guinea has hit a number of hurdles in the highlands, where voting in the provinces of Chimbu, Hela and Eastern Highlands has been delayed, in some cases by more than six hours.

PNG elections "a work in progress" says Commonwealth election observer

Just three days into Papua New Guinea's elections and bad weather, long delays and missing names on the national roll have led to much frustration across the country.

Mixed feelings about the future among Solomon Islanders as RAMSI prepares to depart

Farewell celebrations are underway for the the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, 14 years after soldiers, police and civil advisors arrived to help stabilise the country reeling from five years of deadly ethnic clashes.

Environmentally-friendly palm oil growing technique touted as a good option for the Pacific

A team of researchers from Australia, Papua New Guinea and France have developed a new technique that could reduce the impact of oil palm cultivation on the environment, and optimise the production of palm oil, which meets about thirty per cent of the global demand for vegetable oil.

Chaos in Tongan parliament as Pacific Games debate continues

The Tongan parliament has resumed, with MPs continuing an extremely heated debate on whether to abandon hosting the 2019 Pacific Games, in line with the decision taken by Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva and his Cabinet.

PNG athletes become champions for global development goals

The United Nations in Papua New Guinea has joined forces with the PNG Olympic Committee to appoint what they're calling their five champions of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Palau's biggest sporting event goes on despite strong political objections

The annual Belau Games in Palau have gone ahead despite 14 of the country's 16 state governors calling for them to be postponed.

Voting delayed in several provinces in PNG

Voting in Papua New Guinea's election has been delayed in several provinces after allegations of irregularities in the electoral roll and concern about the independence of polling officials.

Fiji opp'n activist arrested after one-man demonstration against torture

A Fiji opposition activist has been arrested by police while staging a one-man protest to coincide with the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Global campaign to keep Pacific Games in Tonga

global campaign to get the Tongan government to reconsider its decision to not host the 2019 Pacific games has seen support from as far away as Norway.

Australia accused of not wanting some New Zealand migrants

Australia is being accused of treating New Zealanders poorly because of its increasing numbers of Maori and Pacific islanders.

Election headaches across PNG as voting gets underway

The fate of Peter O'Neill will be decided over the next two weeks as Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister seeks a second term in office in the face of deep economic problems and social unrest.

Ni-Vanuatu from cyclone hit-Torres reject local food in favour of white rice and noodles

The Vanuatu government has back-tracked on a plan to send healthy, locally-produced food, to islands in the cyclone-hit Torres group in the face of local protests and now they're supplying white rice, noodles and tinned fish instead.

Fiji torture video case still dragging on after five years

The human rights group, Amnesty International, is marking International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, by raising the long running case of an escaped Fijian prison inmate who was assaulted by police and soldiers.

PNG Hunters win ugly to stay ahead of the pack

The PNG Hunters are hanging on to top spot on the Intrust Super Cup ladder, after another close fought victory, this time over Northern Pride by 18 points to 14 in Cairns.

Tonga the next big challenge for in-form Flying Fijians

The Flying Fijians will take a breather now before their World Cup qualifier against Tonga in Nuku'alofa on July 8th, after a hard fought win over the touring Scotland team in Suva.

Plenty to build on as Fijiana complete best-ever World Series season

They made hard work of it, but Fijiana claimed fifth place at the final round of the Women's World Rugby Sevens series in France, and end the season in fourth on the standings, their best ever performance.

Country on edge ahead of Manu Samoa's World Cup clash with Tonga

The Manu Samoa head into their crucial World Cup qualifier in Tonga this weekend on the back of a thumping by the All Blacks, and then an agonising two point loss to Wales in front of their own fans in Apia.

Rising number of diabetes related amputations strain resources

So many diabetics in Pacific nations are having limbs amputated that medical charities cannot keep up with the demand for wheelchairs, crutches and assisted walking devices.

RAMSI success a whole-region effort, PIF Secretary General says

The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Dame Meg Taylor has visited Canberra for high-level discussions with the Australian government on climate resilience.

Solomon Islands to review search and rescue system after boat tragedy

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has announced a major review into the country's search and rescue systems.

Healthy Learner, Healthy Fiji aims to prevent diabetes

A new program is teaching Fijian children healthy attitudes, and helping Australian university students develop their practical knowledge in health promotion.

Solomon Islands' wantok system could help facilitate development

Life in the Solomon Islands today is still very much influenced by the deeply-ingrained wantok system, which stretches into almost all aspects of life.

"PNG politics is not for faint-hearted": Analysts expecting plenty of election drama

Campaigning in Papua New Guinea's national election ends at midnight tonight before voting for 111 seats starts tomorrow.

Pacifika inspiration resounds in Melbourne theatre show

To an outsider, it may be a bit of a stretch to have a connection between an ancient Greek story and Pacific cultures and storytelling.

Manu Samoa looking to give a Wales a good contest in front of the home fans

After a 78-0 drubbing at the hands of the All Blacks a week ago, Manu Samoa, will need to bounce back quickly if they're to get anything from the test match against the touring Welsh team in Apia tonight.

Fijiana with one final chance in France to move up in the 7s ranking

The 2016/2017 Women's World Rugby Sevens series will be completed in France this weekend, where New Zealand will be crowned champions in succession to Australia, barring a highly unlikely set of results.

Top spot on ladder on the line for the Hunters in Northern Pride matchup

After their surprise loss to the bottom side Tweed Heads last time out, the Intrust Super Cup ladder leaders, PNG Hunters, are in Cairns this weekend to take on Northern Pride.

Fiji Labour Party concerned at Pakistani company involvement in elections

Fiji's opposition Labour Party has called for the termination of the contract for a Pakistani organisation involved in organising next year's election.

Fiji opposition united in calling for electoral system changes

All five of Fiji's opposition parties have jointly released a document calling for electoral reform.

Taskforce to review maritime safety in Solomon Islands after boat tragedy

The Solomon Island's prime minister says last week's deadly boat capsize is a 'wake up' call for both authorities and the general population.

NZ Pacific chef wins prestigious Kea Award

New Zealand Pacific chef Robert Oliver has won a prestigious award for his contribution to the culinary industry, through the promotion of Pacific culture.

"He stood up and made his own decisions": Long-time friend pays tribute to Baldwin Lonsdale

Baldwin Lonsdale's firm leadership and his conduct while President of Vanuatu have drawn admiration, both at home and across the Pacific region.

Touching scenes in Port Vila as Ni-Vanuatu come together for President Baldwin Lonsdale's farewell

President Baldwin Lonsdale's death has gripped Vanuatu, with thousands of people attending his funeral or lining the route his cortege took to the airport and those who couldn't attend following the proceedings on Facebook.

East New Britain marks 75th anniversary of the WWII Montevideo Maru tragedy

In Papua New Guinea's East New Britain province, the Rabaul Historical Society is holding a commemorative service this afternoon to remember the lives lost when the Japanese prison ship, the Montevideo Maru, was torpedoed 75 years ago.

Maroons back to their best in Origin II as Blues crumble

It was the Maroons who came out on top in Origin II against the Blues in Sydney with a storming second half comeback, and as usual rugby-mad Papua New Guinea was glued to the action.

Former Samoa sevens star has one eye on Rugby League World Cup

This time last year Phoenix Hunapo-Nofoa was reflecting on an eventful season with Samoa on the World Rugby Sevens circuit, during which he was nominated for World Rookie of the Year.

People of Vanuatu say their final goodbye to the late President Baldwin Lonsdale

Vanuatu's capital came to a standstill today, with thousands of school children and other citizens lining the streets to farewell the country's late President, Father Baldwin Lonsdale, who died at the weekend from a suspected heart attack.

Pakistani organisation involved in Fiji election accused of corruption and ballot stuffing

A Pakistani organisation which was contracted to implement an election management system in Fiji has been accused of corruption, ballot stuffing, tampering with voter registration and giving ID cards to terrorists.

Appeal to respect PNG media after reports of intimidation and threats against journalist

The head of police in PNG's Manus Province is appealing to all supporters and candidates running in the election to respect journalists and other media personnel.

Concerns kids stunting could have major economic and social impacts for PNG

Researchers are warning that terrible rates of childhood malnutrition could cripple Papua New Guinea's future economic growth.

Survey results show Australians feel 'rather warm' towards PNG and Solomon Islands

Australia's best friend is New Zealand, we feel 'quite warm' towards PNG and Solomon Islands and would have little hesitation in providing military or humanitarian support to our Pacific neighbours, if the need were to arise.

Hotline set up for PNG voters to report corruption concerns

Transparency International PNG wants to hear from anyone who witnesses corrupt behaviour during polling for the national elections.

Vanuatu's capital Port Vila comes to a standstill for the funeral of President Baldwin Lonsdale

In Vanuatu's capital Port Vila, hundreds of people stood in silence in the rain this morning as police escorted the body of President Baldwin Lonsdale to his funeral service at Parliament House.

"Maybe we would have saved more": Malaita Premier criticises authorities response to boat tragedy

The Search and Rescue authorities in Solomon Islands are under fire for their response after a boat carrying 23 people capsized in rough seas between Malaita and Guadalcanal.

Unique survival equipment to benefit the Pacific in times of disaster

Inflatable solar lights, flat pack water tanks and modular tents are among the winners of the Australian government's Humanitarian Supplies Challenge.

Solomon Islands to freshen up tourism appeal through "eco-tourism" approach

The Solomon Islands government is firmly behind the push to expand the country's eco-tourism sector.

Unchanged Blues in box seat for State of Origin Two

The Maroons from Queensland and the Blues from New South Wales lock horns again in Sydney tonight, for game two of this year's State of Origin series, and for the first time in what seems like a very long time, the Queenslanders are very much on the back foot.

Fijiana coach searching for solutions ahead of World Series final round

The final leg of the Women's World Rugby Sevens Series will be played out in France this weekend, and Fijiana are hoping to have a full squad to choose from as they look to regain fourth spot on the standings, and make it their most successful campaign ever.

"Not just a tin shed with relics": big plans for Vanuatu war museum

Plans are gaining momentum in Vanuatu to build what's billed by its creators as possibly the world's largest ever museum.

PNG coffee growers advised to learn to live with berry borer beetle

Coffee growers in PNG will have to learn to live with the coffee berry borer pest, according to Fairtrade Australia New Zealand.

Pacific Islands Forum election observers arrive in PNG

The first group of election observers from the Pacific Islands Forum has arrived in PNG ahead of voting, with the polling period officially beginning on Saturday.

Vanuatu's Torba Province prepares to farewell the late President Father Baldwin Lonsdale

The people of Vanuatu's remote Torba Province are remembering the country's late President, Father Baldwin Lonsdale as a role model leader.

Coral bleaching event over, but US scientists warn against complacency

The latest research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States indicates that the global bleaching event affecting coral reefs throughout the Pacific is over, at least for now.

Marshall Islands unfazed as Panama cuts diplomatic ties with Taiwan

The decision by Panama to cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan means there are just 20 countries left that recognise the island nation officially, ahead of China's wishes, and one of those countries is Marshall Islands.

Tonga rugby union recruitment drive not a "rebuild"

The long, long wait for rugby fans in Tonga is nearly over, with tickets on sale now for the two World Cup qualifiers against Samoa and Fiji in Nuku'alofa next month.

"A truly great moment" - Fiji to be focus of weightlifting world

The government of Fiji has pledged its full support after the country scored a first for the Pacific in securing hosting rights for the Junior World Weightlifting Championships in 2019.

Vanuatu leaders pay respects to President Baldwin Lonsdale

Vanuatu is mourning the death of its much-loved President Baldwin Lonsdale.

PNG opposition leader concerned at lack of info on polling places

Papua New Guinea's opposition leader says he is worried about the lack of information about polling places in the election which officially begins on Saturday.

Former senior Fiji civil servant says travel bans should be lifted

A former senior Fiji civil servant says the opposition SODELPA party is correct to say they will remove travel bans imposed on both Fiji citizens and non-citizens if they win power.

Polling details to be published just days before voting begins in PNG

PNG's Electoral Commission has confirmed that polling details will be published in one of the two daily newspapers later this week.

Baldwin Lonsdale remembered for strong stance on corruption in Vanuatu

A week of national mourning has begun in Vanuatu following the sudden death the country's highly-respected president, Baldwin Lonsdale.

Vanuatu mourns the loss of their "universally loved" President Lonsdale

Around Vanuatu, flags have been lowered to half mast, and hundreds of family, friends and members of the public gathered outside the hospital to stand vigil for Baldwin Lonsdale on Saturday.

"The world needs to learn from his leadership": ULMWP pays tribute to Vanuatu President Lonsdale

Tributes have been flowing from leaders and groups around the world for Vanuatu's late President Baldwin Lonsdale, including members of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua who have described him as 'an inspiration'.

Alarm in Solomon Islands as number of children with stunted growth continues to rise

Solomon Islands has overtaken Kiribati as the Pacific country with the highest rate of stunting amongst children under five.

Plenty of excitement in Suva as Flying Fijians narrowly edge Italy

On a busy weekend of test rugby for the Pacific nations, the only winners were Fiji, who managed to squeeze past the touring Italian team at ANZ Stadium in Suva by 22 points to 19.

PNG Hunters cling on to top spot despite shock home defeat

The PNG Hunters are still on top of the Intrust Super Cup ladder, despite being beaten 14-10 at home by the bottom club Tweed Heads Seagulls.

Vanuatu politicians rush through legislation saving the country from being blacklisted

Vanuatu MPs have managed to keep the country off an international blacklist that would have likely left it facing serious financial impacts.

More than a dozen people in Solomon Islands missing at sea, feared dead

Solomon Islands authorities say hopes are fading for the lives of 15 people still missing at sea in Marau on the eastern coast of Guadalcanal Island.

Australia partners up with NGOs to help Pacific with disasters

The Australian government has announced a new partnership with six prominent non-governmental organisations to reduce the impact of disasters and humanitarian crises, particularly in the Pacific.

Pacific countries push for nuclear weapon ban at UN talks

Pacific island governments are this week joining historic talks at the United Nations that should result in an international treaty that bans nuclear weapons.

PACERPlus trade deal may still attract non-signing Pacific nations in the future

Pacific nations which haven't signed the PACERPlus trade agreement could still decide to do so at a later date, according to Shiu Raj the Pacific Island Forum's Director of Economic Governance.

Survey reveals sexual offences the most common charge for prisoners in Vanuatu

A survey of inmates serving jail time in Vanuatu has found that more than six out of ten have been convicted of sexual offences, and many of them are repeat offenders.

Vanuatu's judges accused of being too lenient in rape and incest cases

The Vanuatu government recently toughened the sentencing laws for sexual offences, leaving open the possibility of life imprisonment in the worst cases, but judges continue to be criticised for being too lenient.

PACER Plus focus not the right one for the Pacific

The ink has just about dried on the PACER Plus trade deal, hatched over eight long years of negotiating, and in the end Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Vanuatu couldn't be convinced that it was in their interests to sign up.

Top v bottom as PNG Hunters take on the Seagulls in Moresby

Complacency could be the PNG Hunters biggest enemy this weekend when the Intrust Super Cup ladder leaders take on the bottom side, Tweed Heads, at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby.

Tonga coach thinks Wales are there for the taking

At the start of a big weekend of test match rugby, Tonga take on Wales in Auckland as part of a Pasifika double header, with Ikale Tahi yet to register a win in seven previous meetings.

Claims PNG Immigration Minister is behind attempted deportation of missionaries

A church leader in PNG claims internal church politics is behind an attempt to deport two American Lutheran missionaries from the country.

PNG Immigration Minister denies bias in missionary deportation

PNG's Immigration and Foreign Affairs Minister says he has no personal stake in attempts to deport two missionaries from the country.

Hagen hospital staff warn town residents of drugs shortages

Doctors and nurses at PNG's third busiest hospital this week took the unprecedented step to stage a public awareness drive, informing Mt Hagen residents of the major drugs shortage they're facing.

Massive backlog behind deadly jail escape: PNG remandees wait up to 9 years before going to court

A team of investigators have found a serious backlog of court cases was partly to blame for last month's deadly mass jail break out in PNG, with some people spending up to 9 years behind bars without having had their case ever heard in court.

Nearly twelve thousand signatures on petition urging Tonga's King to save the Pacific Games

The sporting community in Tonga are facing an anxious wait before they find out how King Tupou will react to a petition calling on him to intervene and save the 2019 Pacific Games.

Do drones have what it takes to deliver vaccines to remote islands?

The Government of Vanuatu has launched what's thought to be the first drone trial in the Pacific, with the aim of finding out how effective and efficient they might be in delivering life saving vaccines to remote and inaccessible parts of the country.

Embracing local produce the key to reducing malnutrition in the Pacific

Delegates at the Research for Development Impact Conference in Sydney have been hearing that tackling malnutrition in the Pacific is no easy task, because imported processed foods like white rice and sugary drinks are a common part of the diet.

Solomons' government to buy land to try end land dispute

The Solomon Islands government is looking at purchasing land in the capital Honiara to end a long-running dispute between settlers and a development company.

PNG government's deportation of Catholic missionary questioned

A senior Archbishop has questioned the PNG government's sudden deportation of missionary and lawyer Doug Tennent.

Australia talks up PACER Plus free trade deal

It's taken a decade of negotiating and has lost the biggest Pacific economies along the way, but the Pacer Plus free trade agreement has finally been signed.

Tonga parliament to debate motion on 2019 Pacific Games

Tonga's parliament will reconvene on Thursday after it was adjourned for 2 days, to give the Prime Minister time to respond to a motion that's trying to order the government to recommit to hosting the 2019 Pacific Games.

Australian government agrees to pay $70m to Manus detainees in class action settlement

The Australian government will pay $AUD 70 million to almost 2000 detainees held at the Manus Island detention centre in PNG, in an out-of-court settlement.

Vanuatu in hot water over delay in anti-money laundering bills

MPs in Vanuatu have just a few days left to pass thirteen money bills or risk further international sanctions for failing to implement measures to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Tonga's Pacific Games supporters to petition King Tupou

The sporting community in Tonga haven't give up all hope of their country hosting the 2019 Pacific Games yet, and they're going ahead with plans to petition King Tupou tomorrow.

Solomon Islands secure their spot in OFC World Cup qualifying final

A 2-1 win over Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby means it will be Solomon Islands who take on New Zealand over two legs in late August and early September, in the OFC World Cup qualifying final.

Solomon Islanders still harbouring illegal weapons: Guadalcanal Premier claims

The Premier of Guadalcanal province in Solomon Islands believes there are still illegal firearms in the community despite the recent effort by police to get people to surrender them.

Pacific Games Council legal threat a bluff says Tongan minister

Tonga's Minister of Justice says the Pacific Games Council's threat to take legal action over the country pulling out of hosting the 2019 Games is a bluff.

Search called off for fishermen missing after boat capsized near Port Moresby

Authorities in Papua New Guinea have suspended their search for three men, including an Australian, who went missing after their boat capsized on Saturday.

Solomon Islands police force confident of maintaining peace after final gun amnesty

The police in Solomon Islands say a three-week gun amnesty has been a success, with more than a dozen firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition being surrendered.

Calls from Torba for Vanuatu government to decentralise its provincial funding

The government of Vanuatu is being urged to consider decentralising its financial structure, and send local funding direct to the constituencies.

Identity and belonging for Pacific Islanders explored in ReHaivaiki musical in Melbourne

Life for young people away from their island homelands is the theme of the show, ReHavaiki, the first Pacifika musical to be staged in Australia.

Solomons coach relaxed about his team's World Cup chances

The team from Solomon Islands will go into their FIFA World Cup qualifier against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby later today knowing that a draw will be enough to see them through to the OFC final against New Zealand to be played over two legs in late August and early September.

Coach believes PNG Kapuls can complete their mission impossible

The Papua New Guinea coach, Flemming Serritslev, was bitterly disappointed at his side's failure to hang on for at least a point, having come back from 2-0 down in their FIFA World Cup qualified in Honiara.

Pacific to come off worst if IOC delivers on threat to ban weightlifting

The sport of weightlifting is on the brink, with the International Olympic Committee giving it six months to clean up its act, or risk being thrown out of future Olympic Games.

PNG Hunters still leading the Intrust Super Cup ladder

The PNG Hunters remain on top of the Intrust Super Cup ladder for the third week in a row after defeating Souths Logan Magpies in Port Moresby.

Marine action plan backed at close of UN Ocean Conference

The first-ever United Nations Ocean Conference has ended with all 193 member countries backing an action plan to restore the marine world to health.

NGO ready to help countries deliver on Ocean Conference commitments

Scientists and diplomats have praised the 1,300 Commitments to Action made during the first-ever UN Ocean Conference.

Repairs to Vanuatu's Bauerfield Airport may be delayed till August

It appears runway repairs at Vanuatu's main Bauerfield Airport may not begin until August as a result of logistical problems.

Charting Vanuatu's climate history through mud at Lake Emaotul

Mud from the bottom of a lake in Vanuatu is being used to piece together the country's climate history.

Digital 'warehouse' to help Vanuatu respond to natural disasters

Vanuatu is considered the world's most at-risk country for natural disasters, but despite this regular experience, relief supplies do not always make it to where they are most needed.

Flying Fijians' coach keen to stamp out costly slow starts

The Flying Fijians are on a mission to regroup after going down 37-14 against Australia in Melbourne, in the first of five test matches over the next month that will culminate in World Cup qualifiers against Samoa and Tonga in July.

New opposition coalition forms in Papua New Guinea

A new coalition has been formed by opposition party leaders in Papua New Guinea, and they say they are confident it will muster the numbers to form a government.

Illegal 'double endorsements' worry PNG's Electoral Commission

There's confusion ahead of PNG's elections after the Electoral Commission published two different candidate lists.

Fiji bans entire villages after seasonal workers misbehave

They say a few bad apples can spoil the rest, and in Fiji, entire villages are now paying the price of the bad behaviour of a certain individuals taking part in the Season Workers Schemes in Australia and New Zealand.

PNG Doctors hold off on strike action after police brutality talks

PNG's National Doctors Association has met with police leaders in Port Moresby to discuss the issue of police brutality.

UN Ocean Conference draws on star power to step up environmental action

The United Nations Ocean Conference is beginning to wind up at the General Assembly in New York.

'No cause for alarm' as Solomon Islands PM asks UN for support to build sustainable peace

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, has led a delegation to New York to ask the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission to support his government's efforts towards sustainable peace and stability.

Pacific Games pullout will damage Tonga's prospects as future event host

The President of the Oceania National Olympic Committees, says if Tonga stick to their decision to pull out of hosting the 2019 Pacific Games, then their prospects of ever staging the event in the future will be slim.

USP says new cybersecurity diploma much needed in the Pacific

Cyber crime features frequently in international headlines, and the Pacific is not immune to the impact of hacking, online scams and identity theft.

Queensland Cup ladder leaders PNG Hunters in buoyant mood

For the third weekend in a row, the PNG Hunters will be the hunted, as Souths Logan Magpies set out to succeed where Townsville and Norths Devils failed, and knock Michael Marum's team off the top of the Intrust Super Cup ladder.

Kapuls and Solomon Islands to fight it out on the Road to Russia

Reaching the next stage of FIFA World Cup qualifying in Oceania will be the objective for both sides when Solomon Islands host Papua New Guinea later today.

Critics claim PNG Police Commissioner trying to kill off investigation into Prime Minister

There are concerns in PNG at the Police Commissioner's latest legal manoeuvre against the defunct anti-corruption body Task Force Sweep.

Vanuatu to delay signing PACER Plus agreement

Vanuatu has announced it will not sign the PACER Plus trade deal next week.

Calls not to abolish PNG's free education policy despite declining in quality of education

Free education has been spruiked as a major success by PNG's prime minister, Peter O'Neill - as he travels across the country this election campaign.

2012 election of PNG governor declared illegal on eve on 2017 poll

The election of Hela Province's governor Francis Potape has once again been declared null and void by a court in Papua New Guinea.

Fiji government says asbestos risk contained

A senior Fiji government official has defended authorities' handling of the recent incident, where asbestos materials were found during renovation work at the Suva Civic Centre, in the heart of the city.

Could Tonga's King overrule his government on cancelling the 2019 Pacific Games?

Technically the window of opportunity for Tonga won't close until the end of this month, but to all intents and purposes the 2019 Pacific Games in Nuku'alofa are dead in the water, with Prime Minister, Akilisi Pohiva, insisting that his cabinet's decision to withdraw government support for the event is final.

"Their issues have not been addressed": Young Papua New Guineans reflect on student shootings

A year after the police opened fire on students protesting against the Papua New Guinea government, there has been no investigation into the events of that day and Prime Minister Peter O'Neill remains in power.

Election campaign back on track in Mt Hagen as police shutdown airport threat

The police commander in PNG's Western Highlands Province, Martin Lakari, says his officers have security under control and he's confident there will be no further disruption from protesting candidates in the Hagen open seat during the remainder of the General Election campaign.

One day polling for PNG elections draws criticism in the Highlands

Voters in the Papua New Guinea Highlands have been told they will have just one day to register their preferences when voting begins the General Election later this month.

Former stars working hard to raise welfare standards for Pacific rugby players overseas

The Auckland Blues have pulled off a huge shock, defeating the British and Irish Lions by 22 points to 16 in Auckland, to become the first Super Rugby team to topple a touring Lions team.

2019 Pacific Games dead in the water as PM Pohiva refuses to negotiate

The Pacific Games Council plans to sue the Tongan government for breach of contract, now that Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva has refused to back down on his decision to pull his country out of hosting the 2019 Games.

Warnings PNG faces a health 'catastrophe' amid drug shortages

There are warnings Papua New Guinea faces a health "catastrophe" as hospitals and remote aid posts in different parts of the country report they are facing a shortage of medication and medical supplies.

National Doctors Association takes PNG police to task over brutality

Doctors in Papua New Guinea are giving police one week to respond to their demands over cases of police brutality, which they describe as being at 'endemic' levels.

Not much to celebrate ahead of PACER Plus signing

The PACER Plus trade deal is to be signed off and finalised next week, after almost of a decade of negotiations.

FASANOC President urges Tonga not to throw away Pacific Games hosting rights

As the Pacific Games Council hold emergency talks with Akilisi Pohiva in Nuku'alofa, there have been moves by frustrated MPs in the Tongan Parliament to impeach the Prime Minister, after he took the unilateral decision to abandon hosting of the Games in 2019.

New Zealanders show their disapproval of Trump administration as Tillerson visits Wellington

It was a frosty welcome on a number of levels; the weather was bad, and the greetings from locals were less than friendly, when the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, touched down in New Zealand.

More protected marine reserves needed to mitigate climate change, says scientist

A study by an international team of scientists has found evidence that protected marine reserves can play a significant role in tackling the worst effects of climate change.

Letter from FIFA sheds new light on the fight for control of PNG soccer

There's been a new twist in the battle for control of soccer in Papua New Guinea, with the President of the breakaway Football Federation PNG, John Kapi Natto, now saying he was deliberately excluded from last year's PNG FA national congress, when in fact he had every right to be there.

Too late for PNG, as Oceania Rugby presses on with constitutional reform

Oceania Rugby is pressing ahead with its plan to overhaul the constitutions of all fifteen of its member unions, in an effort to avoid any further crises of governance.

Kava ceremony opens UN Oceans Conference

The United Nations Oceans Conference is underway in New York, the first ever UN conference to cover issues affecting the seas.

PNG-flagged cargo ship banned from Australian ports

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, AMSA, has banned a Papua New Guinea-flagged cargo ship from using Australian ports for three months after detecting scores of deficiencies in several areas including safety, maintenance and crew conditions.

Buimo jail break investigation begins in PNG

Nearly four weeks after 17 prisoners were shot dead during a mass jail breakout in PNG, an investigation is about to get underway.

Lae police track suspects after attempted airport robbery

Police in Lae are continuing their investigations into an attempted robbery at the city's airport, in which one of the suspects was shot dead by police.

Sunrise clean-up and paddle in Suva to mark World Oceans Day

Paddlers in Fiji will take to their outrigger canoes for a sunrise clean up of plastic pollution in Suva harbour.

PGC out to change Tonga PM's mind on hosting 2019 Pacific Games

The President and Chief Executive of the Pacific Games Council, Vidhya Lakhan and Andrew Minogue, are in Nuku'alofa for talks with the Prime Minister, Akilisi Pohiva, when they will try to persuade him that hosting the 2019 Games is affordable.

Pacific leads the agenda at UN Oceans Conference in New York

The struggles that Pacific nations face tackling rising sea levels have been at the forefront at the UN Oceans conference, especially in light of Donald Trump's announcement that he will be pulling America out its commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Benefits of nuclear science can drive development in the Pacific

The Pacific Community has reached an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency to work together in promoting and fostering sustainable development in the Pacific region.

Two-year mission aims to seek out PNG's sports stars of the future

In such a far flung country with a large and fast growing population, it's long been suspected that Papua New Guinea is highly likely to have pockets of hidden sporting talent.

Civoniceva calls for patience as Fiji's NSW Cup bid inches along

Rugby league great, Petero Civoniceva, is still confident that the bid by a Fiji team to join the New South Wales Cup competition will succeed in the end.

Hela police defend actions after hostage situation

Police in the PNG highlands have defended their decision to meet the demands of locals who had taken a female employee of Exxon Mobil hostage.

PNG faces a condom shortage due to unpaid storage bill

A stoush between different arms of the PNG government over outstanding storage fees has left the country facing a condom shortage.

Trump's climate decision has galvanised the world: PICAN

The Pacific Islands Climate Action Network has said US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement has galvanised the rest of the world's commitment to fighting climate change.

Nauru changes leave entitlements for subpoenaed public servants

The Nauru government has passed a bill changing the leave entitlements for public servants asked to act as witnesses in court.

'Ghost gear' on the agenda ahead of UN Ocean Conference

Discarded fishing nets, lines and traps pose a huge problem for the world's oceans and the animals that call them home.

Doctors recommend palliative care for Bongre Peter

Supporters of a young PNG boy with what medical experts say is an incurable tumour on his eye have said his case highlights the dire gaps which remain in children's health care.

Marshall Islanders make their disappointment clear on US withdrawal from Paris climate agreement

President Donald Trump's announcement the United States will pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement has been met with condemnation across the Pacific, especially from leaders of island nations that have direct ties with America.

Fierce debate in American Samoa on US climate withdrawal

In American Samoa, the US territory's Republican Congresswoman, Aumua Amata, has put out a statement delivering a robust defence of President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Change agreement.

Admirable but unrealistic - the Pacific push on renewable energy

An energy specialist in the Asian Development Bank's Pacific department, says those island nations that are committed to a 100 percent network of renewable energy are justified in their ambition, but such a target is unrealistic.

Plenty of pride after a big weekend for rugby in Samoa

At the Under 20 Rugby World Cup in Georgia, Samoa have lost narrowly to Australia, going down 33-26 in a match which was in the balance right up to the final whistle.

PNG Hunters still on top after another crushing win

The PNG Hunters have cemented their place on top of the Intrust Super Cup ladder, with another thumping win, this time by 40 points to 18 over Norths Devils in Brisbane.

Pacific leaders express disappointment over US decision to withdraw from Paris climate deal

There's widespread disappointment in the Pacific to President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Concern at lack of information on Suva asbestos issue

There's concern that Fiji authorities were too slow to act when asbestos was discovered during renovation work at the Suva Civic Centre building, in the heart of the city.

Expert says asbestos incident in Suva has potential to be serious

So what is asbestos, why is it potentially dangerous, and how serious could the incident in Suva be?

Attitudes need to change to help Solomon Islands' Western Province tackle plastic bag problem

Authorities in the Solomon Islands' Western Province are moving closer to finalising a roadmap that would see plastic bags banned.

Disappointment across the Pacific as US President Trump pulls the plug on Paris agreement

The United States president Donald Trump's announcement that he is pulling his country out of the Paris Climate Agreement, has been greeted with dismay throughout the Pacific.

Indigenous Reconciliation Week: What can the Pacific take away from the Uluru talks?

It's National Reconciliation Week in here in Australia, seven days celebrating the rich culture and history of the country's First Nation peoples.

Queensland Reds keen to make Apia trip a regular fixture

After the All Blacks travelled to Apia two years ago for the land mark test match against Manu Samoa, more history will be made in the Samoan capital tonight when the Queensland Reds and the Auckland Blues lock horns to compete for Super Rugby points.

Task master Marum urging PNG Hunters to rise to the next level

The PNG Hunters' position at the top of the Intrust Super Cup ladder could come under threat this weekend when they take on one of only two teams to beat them so far this season, the Norths Devils from Brisbane.

Demolition work shut down at Fiji work site to improve asbestos removal

The Fiji government is urging Suva locals not to panic after demolition work at the Suva Civic Centre was stopped amid concerns about the way asbestos materials were being removed.

Fight against TB in PNG gets big financial boost

A new effort in the fight against tuberculosis in Papua New Guinea hopes to provide new treatments to people suffering from the drug-resistant form of the disease.

Seats in parliament for overseas Tongans seen as problematic

The idea of setting aside seats in the Tongan parliament to represent Tongans living overseas sounds good on paper but might have some negative effects as well.

PNG female entrepreneurs making their mark but still want more government support

Are women in Papua New Guinea more entrepreneurial than their male counterparts?

PNG aid agencies planning speedier Highlands response ahead of possible El Nino

As government officials and humanitarian agencies in Papua New Guinea prepare for a possible El Nino weather event this year, delegates at a planning conference in Port Moresby have been hearing how poor coordination hampered the distribution of emergency relief when frost and drought struck in late 2015.

Honiara housing crisis: Displaced families ponder their future

The ownership of land, and access to it, continues to be a source of tension in Solomon Islands, two decades after land disputes were the catalyst for several years of bitter ethnic violence.

Questions asked over Palau govt's handling of dengue epidemic

The republic of Palau has declare a dengue fever epidemic, with nearly 200 confirmed cases since late last year, and three deaths.

The Flying Fijians call in the coaching cavalry to plot Australia's downfall

The Flying Fijians have marched into camp in Suva to prepare for three test matches this month, starting with the showdown against the Wallabies in Melbourne on Saturday week.

Giant American iguanas invade Fiji

When you think of invasive animals, pests like rats, rabbits and cane toads come to mind. But in Fiji authorities are trying to eradicate intruders of a different kind; giant American iguanas. The iguanas have been found on four islands in the country's north and were recently spotted on the country's second largest island Vanua Levu. Monika Devi, a veterinary biologist with the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji, says the giant American iguanas are rapid breeders and they compete with native endangered iguanas for food. She says they even cause landslides.

Australia called on to take lead role in fight against TB

The Australian government is being called on to take on more of a leading role in fighting tuberculosis, or TB, in the Asia Pacific region. Despite being entirely preventable and treatable, each year, more than half of the estimated 1.8 million TB deaths, happen right here in our region. PNG not only has one of the highest TB infection rates in the world, it's also faced with the growing threat of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, which is centred on the island of Daru, only kilometres from Australia's north coast. Australia last year increased the amount of money it gave the Global Fund which mobilizes billions of dollars each year to fight not only TB but also malaria and HIV. Dr Eric Goosby is the UN Special Envoy on Tuberculosis and he's currently in Australia to meet with the government. He says while the Australian government should be commended for its financial contributions, it can play a bigger role in helping Asia Pacific countries strengthen their response to fight TB.

India forges greater links with Pacific

The government of India is making its presence known in the Pacific by offering a wide range of assistance including renewable energy initiatives, medical assistance, and IT services. An India-Pacific sustainable development conference in Suva this month, hosted by the Pacific Islands Development Forum, saw the signing of eight agreements with various Pacific countries. The Indian High Commissioner to Fiji, Vishvas Sapkal says the initiative began in 2014 when the Indian Prime Minister visited Fiji to forge links with the Pacific.

Disaster relief agencies prepare for looming El Nino

As government officials and humanitarian agencies in PNG prepare for another possible El Nino weather event this year, delegates at a planning conference this week have heard that poor coordination between provinces and disaster authorities in the last such event disrupted food relief supplies and led to conflict over food distribution.

NZ politicians support West Papua self-determination vote

A handful of New Zealand politicians have shown their support for the people of West Papua to be able to hold a vote on self-determination. Earlier this month, a total of 11 MPs from 4 political parties signed the 'Westminster Declaration' which is essentially a petition, calling for West Papua's right to self-determination, to be legally recognised through an internationally supervised vote. Among those MPs was Chester Borrows, the only MP from New Zealand's ruling National Party to sign it.

What do Ni-Vanuatu think about the government's income tax proposal?

Parliament resumes in Vanuatu on Thursday and the Salwai Government's proposal to introduce income tax will be back on the agenda after months of public consultations.

Rugby union in PNG in disarray as battle for control of the game continues

There's less than a week left for the warring parties vying for control of rugby union in Papua New Guinea to accept the latest terms being offered for arbitration after many months of deadlock.

State of Origin great Civoniceva predicts a close contest in series opener

After dominating State of Origin for more than a decade, Queensland are being painted by some as the underdogs going into tonight's series opener in Brisbane, with a band of key players retired, overlooked or out through injury.

World Multiple Sclerosis Day: An inspiring story from PNG

Jonathan Ila was born into a great sporting family.

MP questions the cost benefit of hosting Pacific Games

A Samoan MP has raised doubts about his country's ability to replace Tonga as host of the Pacific Games in 2019. The Pacific Games Council has given Tonga's organising committee just one month to resolve its financing issues and win back the support of the Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva. Meantime, Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, has said his country is eager to host the event instead. But one member of Samoa's parliament, Olo Fiti Vaai, has spoken against that bid, saying hosting the games would be a waste of money. Keni Lesa from the Samoa Observer says despite questions about the financial benefit of hosting the games, his country is ready.

MSG observers to scrutinise PNG vote

The leader of the Melanesian Spearhead Group team to observe the Papua New Guinea National Elections, Sir Francis Billy Hilly says observing the PNG elections will be a huge challenge. He says the MSG observer team will be in PNG from June 19th, and will be observing the elections until the final results are declared after polling closes on July 8th. Sir Francis says his team will be travelling throughout PNG to ensure the elections are conducted in accordance with PNG electoral laws and processes. He says the MSG observers did not find any irregularities during the Vanuatu elections last year, and they are hoping they won't see any in PNG.

Lack of fuel and technical faults blamed for Lae black-outs

Papua New Guinea's electricity provider is blaming a lack of fuel supply and a technical fault in its power-generating machine for the long power cuts in the country's second largest city over the weekend and on Monday. The government recently purchased and installed a general electric gas turbine to boost power supply in Lae but this clearly did not help the black-out situation. Joy Kisselpar says power was restored on Monday.

Disaster authorities in PNG getting on the front foot ahead of another possible El Nino

Humanitarian agencies in Papua New Guinea are taking no chances as they prepare for a possible El-Nino weather event which is forecast to hit the country in August.

Pacific fisheries to show achievements in fighting illegal fishing at UN Oceans conference

The fight against illegal fishing will be at the forefront for Pacific fishing interests who are heading to United States for the UN Oceans Conference.

Proud coach predicts a bright future for Vanuatu's U-20 World Cup heroes

If the football world didn't know where Vanuatu was, then they certainly do now, after they gave first Mexico, and then Germany, the fright of their lives at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup.

Best and worst of Fijiana on show, as NZ take a stranglehold on Womens World Sevens series

The fifth leg of the Women's World Rugby Sevens series has ended in a fourth tournament victory of the season for New Zealand, and barring an astonishing collapse in the sixth and final round in France, the Black Ferns will be champions.

Largest ever single purchase of PNG bilums

There's been what's thought to have been the largest ever purchase of bilums, hand weaved bags, by a single buyer in the history of PNG.

Former Fiji Foreign Affairs boss wants Aust/NZ to raise human rights and democracy concerns

Fiji's former permanent secretary of Foreign Affairs wants Australia and New Zealand to increase pressure on his country over human rights issues.

Academic says Australia and New Zealand likely to listen to advice of former Fiji Foreign Affairs boss

Dr Matthew Dornan from the Australian National University says the fact that Robin Nair has served both Australia and Fiji as a diplomat means he is uniquely placed to provide insight into the relationship.

Kiribati president on climate change finance: "a day waiting is a day too many"

The President of Kiribati says his country is in dire need of money to help it combat climate change.

Pacific Games Council still hopeful of salvaging games for Tonga

The 2019 Pacific Games in Tonga are still alive, but the organising committee has just a month to reconcile their differences with the government over financing, and persuade Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva to get back on board.

Eighty years on, Vulcan Island eruption remembered for reshaping Rabaul

Today marks 80 years since a violent volcanic eruption off the town of Rabaul killed 500 people and caused thousands more to flee their homes.

World Menstrual Hygiene Day: CARE Vanuatu embarks on campaign to distribute sanitary products

The aid group CARE Vanuatu is marking World Menstrual Hygiene Day by embarking on a campaign to distribute reusable sanitary pads, and to educate girls about how to manage their periods.

Trailblazing medical researchers call for Papua New Guineans to get involved in improving health outcomes

Two trailblazing medical researchers from Papua New Guinea are calling on more young people to pursue careers in health and medicine.

Fijiana struggle to find form at World Rugby Sevens in Canada

At round five of the Women's World Rugby Sevens series in Canada, Fijiana will play off for ninth place after failing to make the quarter-finals for the first time this season.

Tuvalu frustrated with delays in climate funds and has to use its own money

The government of Tuvalu has been forced to spend its own money on building coastal walls to protect the country from rising seas, because it is still waiting for assistance from the Green Climate Fund, nearly two years after it asked for help.

Glitz and glamour at Fiji's Fashion Week that's trying to promote Pacific fashion globally

It's been a week of glitz and glamour in Fiji: there's been bright lights, models on the catwalk - and fashion designers from right across the Pacific showing off their work.

Has Australia intentionally turned a 'blind eye' to the Pacific?

Australia has had a long involvement in the Pacific across the fields of aid, development and defence, but what is its broader vision for the region?

PNG population doubling in 18 years is unsustainable: PM and experts

An Australian sustainability scientist says Papua New Guinea's population is likely to double in the next 18 years, leaving the country struggling to feed itself.

Hundreds of police deployed to PNG's highlands ahead of next month's election

A major security operation has been launched in Papua New Guinea's Western Highlands ahead of next month's National Elections - but it will cover all of the highlands' provinces.

Future of the 2019 Pacific Games to be decided in Brisbane as council holds emergency meeting

The Pacific Games Council's executive board will go into emergency session in Brisbane later this morning, in an effort to find a way forward after Tonga's Prime Minister, Akilisi Pohiva, told the world his country was pulling out of hosting in 2019 because it can no longer afford it.

Rhinoceros beetle causing headaches for coconut and palm oil farmers in Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands has declared as an emergency pest, an imported beetle that is a threat to the country's vital coconut and oil palm industry.

PNG Hunters on top as captain Ase Boas revels in his new role

As the Intrust Super Cup heads into round 12, it's the PNG Hunters who are on top of the ladder, a point clear of the Sunshine Coast Falcons, and six points clear of the fifth team, Norths Devils.

Coach pleased with new look Fiji after hard-fought draw against Solomon Islands

The first of two friendly soccer internationals between Fiji and Solomon Islands has ended in a 1-1 draw, with both goals in Suva coming in the first half.

Fijiana out to break Australia hoodoo on World Sevens circuit

After the men's World Rugby Sevens series came to the end of the road for another season in London last Sunday, this weekend the spotlight is on the women, with New Zealand in pole position to seal the title in Canada.

Death of PNG's youngest-ever MP puts politicians' health in the spotlight

There's shock in Papua New Guinea, as news spreads that the country's youngest ever MP has died suddenly, aged just 28, in the middle of the election campaign.

Locals lash out at candidates on PNG's campaign trail

Papua New Guinea's election campaign has hit the half-way point this week, and by all reports it's been more subdued than in past years.

Intelligence-sharing key to dealing with 'blue boats'

While Pacific island nations have been experiencing a spike in illegal fishing by boats from Vietnam, they're not alone.

Refugees in Pohnpei kept on leaky boat for almost one year

Four Nepalese refugees have spent almost one year living on a leaky boat at the port at Pohnpei, in conditions one former Attorney-General says are not even fit for prisoners.

Solomon Islands' Western Province plans to ban plastic bags

At least one province in Solomon Islands wants to ban plastic bags entirely, and as soon as possible.

Aust Immigration department under fire for conflicting accounts of Manus Good Friday shooting

Australian Greens Senator Nick McKim says there are still many questions to be answered after the Good Friday shooting at Australia's asylum seeker detention centre on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.

Pacific sea level rise from climate change not likely to be uniform: NOAA

New modelling has revealed the impact of rising sea levels on the Pacific's coastline with significant areas at risk of being inundated by the end of the century.

Solomons coach hopes tough love will get the best out of his players

Two months after he took over as coach and technical director of the Solomon Islands soccer team, Felipe Vega Arango, will get the first chance to see his squad in match play later today when they take on Fiji in Suva.

Coach says Fiji's aim to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup is no pipedream

Fiji are out of the FIFA World Cup qualifying picture after losing twice to New Zealand back in March, so now coach Christophe Gamel is concentrating on developing the side for the future.

Push to raise the profile of Australian Rules Football in Vanuatu

The latest move aimed at growing the game of Australian Rules Football in Vanuatu has seen would-be coaches and umpires gather in Port Vila for a level one accreditation workshop.

PNG politician says decision to review Labour Department operations an 'election gimmick'

Questions are being raised about the timing of a PNG government decision to suspend the country's Labour Department head and investigate what's been described as an 'influx in illegal foreign workers'.

Solomons gun amnesty begins in preparation for RAMSI withdrawal

The Solomon Islands government has announced a second amnesty for people to surrender guns and ammunition.

Solomons' police keeping close eye on landowners against bauxite mining

Police in Solomon Islands' far eastern Temotu Province have dismissed reports that they are providing security protection for personnel from an Australian mining company, Pacific Bauxite.

Backing for Manus Island asylum seekers wanting refuge in New Zealand

A number of asylum seekers who are facing deportation from Manus Island after being denied refugee status, have written to Prime Minister Bill English to ask for asylum in New Zealand.

Vanuatu lose heavily at U- 20 World Cup, but president still proud of his players' efforts

After coming so close to an unlikely draw in their first ever match at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup against Mexico, there were fewer heroics from Vanuatu as they lost their second match at the tournament in South Korea to Venezuela by seven goals to nil.

Kapuls warming up in house for World Cup showdown with Solomon Islands

The Papua New Guinea Kapuls are into their first week of camp as they prepare for two vital matches against Solomon Islands that will decide the World Cup fate of both countries.

New look Sydney Sevens tournament to set bench mark for other cities to follow

There are some big changes ahead at the Sydney leg of the World Rugby Sevens series next year, where the men's and women's competitions are to be fully integrated for the first time.

Pacific search and rescue workshop aims to save lives at sea

With more than 70 Pacific islanders dying at sea since in the past two years, 100 delegates from 17 Pacific Island countries and territories have come together at a workshop in New Zealand to focus on finding ways to reduce the death toll.

Justice for customary landowners in PNG

Customary landowners in Papua New Guinea can now seek justice for losing their land to illegal land grabbing, thanks to a new legal framework launched in Port Moresby. The new structure will help landowners take legal action against the developers or the government if their land is taken for so-called development, like the controversial Special Agriculture Business leases or SABL. Many customary land owners are increasingly losing their land through corrupt land deals orchestrated by Government officers and foreign companies involved in logging and mining developments. The framework has been designed by Dr Tim Anderson from the University of Sydney who has been looking into the value of land to landowners and their communities. Dr Anderson worked with "ACT NOW PNG" which is helping people keep their land.

Noble MP opposed to "power grab" by Tongan PM and Cabinet

A Tongan Noble MP says there is strong opposition in Parliament to proposed changes to the constitution giving more powers to the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Lord Fusitu'a says the aim is to take the power to make appointments to several neutral public offices such as attorney general, police commissioner and anti-corruption commissioner away from the Privy Council headed by the King, and give them to the Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister. He tells Bruce Hill this risks politicising what ought to be neutral appointments, describing it as a power grab.

Fiji cane farmer numbers dropping as industry faces bleak future

Five thousand Fiji cane farmers have given up over the last five years, and the President of the Fiji Cane Growers' Association, Attar Singh, concedes the industry is in a precarious state, and in the long run those farmers who remain will have to consider other options. Mr Singh says many Fijians have an emotional attachment to sugar, but he's warning that economist Padma Lal's claim that the industry has no future, may well prove to be right.

Human Rights Watch calls for thorough investigation into "disturbing" prisoner deaths at Buimo Jail

International human rights organisations are calling for an independent inquiry into the recent mass jailbreak in Papua New Guinea, during which 17 inmates were shot dead.

Vanuatu soccer fans wait to see if local TV station can finally deliver live World Cup coverage

Opposition politicians have called for the entire board of Vanuatu's national broadcaster to be sacked, after fans were unable to watch the country's historic debut at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup in South Korea on local television.

Healthier food options for Vanuatu cyclone victims that also benefit local economy

In the wake of natural disasters in the Pacific, governments and NGOs often provide victims with canned fish, rice and noodles to survive on until food supplies return to normal.

PNG media council urges local journalists to follow new code of ethics during elections

Reporting the news in PNG can be fraught at the best of times, but it gets much harder during a national election campaign.

Better understanding needed by Australian authorities of "troubled" Pasifika youth

Young Pacific island people living in Melbourne often get a bad rap in local media with reports linking them to crime gangs, violence and robberies.

Vanuatu out to spring more surprises at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup

After sending shockwaves through the Mexican camp in their first ever match at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup, Vanuatu are back in action against Venezuela.

Former Tongan Finance Minister says no one in Cabinet questioned Pacific Games hosting

The man who was Tonga's Minister of Finance up until two months ago says no one in the cabinet expressed any doubts about the Kingdom's financial ability to stage the Pacific Games in 2019. Tonga Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva has announced his government is pulling out of hosting the games, based on a World Bank Report he says shows the event will be unaffordable. But former Minister of Finance Aisake 'Eke, who was in the job from 2014 until March this year, says Tonga is well able to afford to host the games.

Vanuatu company supplies local food for disaster relief

In the wake of natural disasters in the Pacific, governments and NGOs often provide victims with canned fish, rice and noodles to survive on until they can get back on their feet. But a food manufacturing company in Vanuatu is providing a more nutritional, and locally-grown option to victims of Cyclone Donna in the country's north. Fine Foods produces sealed packs of cooked root crops and meat. They have a long shelf-life and the packaging can even be used to patch a leaking roof. The Anglican Church has already purchased one-point-four tonnes of packs and sent them to affected areas ... and the government has asked for a quote to purchase more. Fine Foods CEO Cynthia Wylie says the packs could also be stored in warehouses and pre-positioned in readiness for the next natural disaster.

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