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Calls for better regulation of Fiji's 'cowboy builders'

The Consumer Council of Fiji says it's received 202 complaints about building projects totalling $2.7 million, in a country of fewer than a million people.

Melbourne man's 'labour of love' arms Vanuatu cricket team with new bats

When the Vanuatu players head to the crease against Jersey on Sunday in World Cricket League Division Four, they'll be armed with bats that have been specially restored for them at a workshop in Melbourne.

Vanuatu chiefs offer new land to 11,000 Ambae islanders

Disaster authorities in Vanuatu say they are inching closer to securing land on neighbouring islands for the 11,000 people who the government wants to evacuate from Amabe island because of the erupting Manaro volcano.

Meth use in Tonga a 'growing disaster'

There are warnings that Tonga is facing a rising tide of methamphetamine abuse after police seized a significant amount of the drug in a recent bust.

Tourism Fiji apologises after its promotional video mistakes 'church' for 'toilet'

Fiji's main tourism body admits outsourcing of work is to blame for a marketing blunder this week saw it post a promotional video that incorrectly translated the word for 'church', instead using the word for 'toilet' in the local i-Taukei language.

Labasa gets new development

Could a new shopping mall for Fiji's northern island of Vanua Levu help encourage vital economic development outside the national capital? And are there lessons for other Pacific countries to be learnt? A senior economist says more rural parts of Fiji, like some of its other Pacific island neighbours, have traditionally suffered economic neglect, which can encourage mass urban drift to places like Suva and Nadi, as young people search out employment opportunities. But the Vanua Levu town of Labasa is now being promised a multi-million dollar shopping centre and cinema complex - as Bruce Hill reports.

Australian Minister defends ANZAC Day attendance at Bomana

Australia's Minister for International Development and the Pacific has defended the government against charges they didn't send a federal MP to the ANZAC Day dawn service at the Bomana War Cemetery in Port Moresby this year.

Debate over use of Samoa's sacred customary lands sparks call for constitution change

Former Prime Minister, Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi, has weighed into the debate raging in Samoa over the use of customarily owned land.

Vanuatu's government clarifies Ambae evacuation plans as the country tops new list of world's most disaster-risk countries

Vanuatu's government has confirmed thousands of villagers living on Vanuatu's Ambae Island will be evacuated again, as the Manaro volcano continues to erupt, releasing ash that's killed crops, made water unsafe to drink and is destroying traditionally built homes.

Disputes continue despite agreement reached to extend Chinese consulate's lease

French Polynesia politicians are being accused of bowing to pressure from China, in the latest incident that some observers say is an example of its growing influence in the Pacific.

ANZAC dawn service held on Bougainville for the first time since before civil war

For nearly 30 years, the role Bougainville played in the Pacific Campaign of World War Two hasn't been marked with any Anzac dawn services.

The rich ANZAC history of PNG's East New Britain

PNG's place in the history of World War II is best remembered for the Kokoda campaign and the conflict on the mainland between Australian and Japanese forces, but the outer islands also have a rich military history.

Row over Chinese consulate in Tahiti draws more concern on Beijing's influence in the Pacific

French Polynesia politicians are being accused of bowing to pressure from China, in the latest incident that some observers say is an example of its growing influence in the Pacific.

New board for young ni-Vanuatu surfer after online photo goes viral

A young boy from Vanuatu who captured online attention after excelling into the final stages of a local surfing competition with an old, duct-taped surfboard, has been gifted a new board from a fellow surf enthusiast in New Zealand.

Vanuatu's Olympic Committee in a stoush with the government over Commonwealth games funding

The National Olympic Committee of Vanuatu, VASANOC, are urging the Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, to order a commission of inquiry to find out what happened to nearly fifty thousand dollars of government money that was supposed to have gone to the team at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

American Samoa and Niue to compete for 2025 Pacific Mini Games hosting rights

When the Pacific Games Council sits down in June, to vote on the location for the 2025 Pacific Mini Games, they will be faced with an upfront bid for hosting rights from American Samoa, and a much more low key proposal from Niue, the smallest member of the Pacific Games family.

Fiji makes history on international green bond market

Fiji has made history by being the first Pacific country to list a Sovereign Green Bond on the London Stock Exchange.

PNG woman returns home after being held in Australian detention

Health authorities working in Australia's far north, right near the maritime border with Papua New Guinea, say they're worried Australian officials are cracking down on PNG nationals coming down seeking life-saving medical attention.

New Caledonia tensions heat up ahead of Macron visit

Indigenous Kanak leaders in New Caledonia have called for France's President to recognise the early days of that country's colonisation as a 'crime against humanity' when he visits the territory early next month.

Inclusive talks on Vanuatu's Ambae Island heading in the right direction say disaster officials

In Vanuatu, the process is underway for a negotiated decision on the future of thousands of Ambae Islanders whose homes and food gardens are being destroyed by volcanic ash and acid rain from the Manaro Volcano.

Early plans for a British embassy in Tonga sparks mixed reaction

In the leadup to Boris Johnson's announcement that Tonga is one of the three Pacific nations where a diplomatic post will established after Britain leaves the European Union, Prime Minister Alikisi Pohiva offered to return to the British Government their former seafront headquarters in Nuku'alofa until their High Commission was closed in 2006.

New female CEO to drive Fiji's NSW Rugby league bid

Another piece in the jigsaw of Fiji's attempts to follow the footsteps of the PNG Hunters and join an Australian rugby league competition, has been put in place, with the appointment of their first chief executive.

‘People may die’: Stark warning from Papua New Guinea amid HIV drug shortage

One of Papua New Guinea's 44,000 people estimated to be living with HIV has warned people will die if critical anti-retroviral drugs used to treat the virus don't make their way to clinics soon.

Fans launch crowdfunding campaign for PNG singer George Telek after cancer diagnosis

Family, friends and fans of one of PNG's most famous musical exports, George Telek, are rallying around him after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Vanuatu's opposition leader criticises the government response to Ambae's erupting volcano

The Vanuatu Opposition leader is among those asking for answers from the government as the Manaro Volcano continues to make life on Ambae Island untenable for many hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

Vanuatu PM assures his Australian counterpart there will be no Chinese military base

Vanuatu's Prime Minister has assured his Australian counterpart his country has no plans to allow China to build a military base there.

PNG Government demands answers on Facebook's role in society

The social media platform Facebook is used by millions of people around the world, but lately it's been in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Second Ambae island response to be an uphill battle for the Vanuatu government

One of Vanuatu's senior aid partners says the government is unlikely to order another mass evacuation of Ambae even though ash and acid rain from the Manaro volcano is making the island unliveable.

PNG's business community welcome new trade agreement with China

Papua New Guinea has joined Fiji on China's list of Free Trade Agreements under Consideration, after discussions between the two countries' Foreign Ministers.

Growing number of Solomon Island parents sending childrens school fees over the phone

Getting school fees paid on time is a struggle that many parents across the Pacific can relate to, but a mobile phone payment scheme in Solomon Islands is helping to ease some of that pressure.

Calls for clarification on possible mass evacuation from Vanuatu's Ambae island

Police and members of Vanuatu's mobile force are expected to arrive on Ambae in the country's north today; to help with what may become another mass evacuation off the island.

Rapid urbanisation a 'time bomb' and blamed for Madang's recent violence

A recent outbreak of deadly violence in PNG's coastal town of Madang is being described as much more than just a policing issue or law and order problem.

Ambae Islanders in limbo with national and provincial authorities at odds about the future of the volcanic island

The national government and provincial authorities in Vanuatu are at odds about what to do with 11,000 people on Ambae who are facing a bleak future with their island choking in ash and acid rain from the Manaro Volcano which is active again.

Stranded in Romania, Tongan rugby player Sione Vaiomounga recovering well from kidney transplant

Tongan rugby player Sione Vaiomounga, who has been stranded in Romania since he was diagnosed with kidney failure, is continuing to make a good recovery in hospital after a successful transplant just a few days ago.

'They need to pay up': Leaders in PNG's quake-affected Hela province call for more government funding

Leaders in Papua New Guinea's Hela province say they're going into debt while they wait for national government disaster funding they've been promised, forcing critical service providers such as helicopters to withdraw until they've been paid.

Ambae blanketed in ash, smoke after wind change

People living throughout Vanuatu's Ambae Island are suffering from a barrage of volcanic ash, after a change in wind direction from Cyclone Hola spread the reach of harmful smoke from the rumbling Manaro volcano.

Tonga's Leiti community fights for visibility

The gender diverse 'leiti' community in the conservative Kingdom of Tonga has taken its fight for visibility to the global stage, as a film about their lives premiered in London.

Fiji's rugby sevens leave the Commonwealth Games with silver

After a scorching win in the Hong Kong World Series just one week ago, Fiji's Rugby 7s team is leaving the Commonwealth Games with a silver medal.

Lake Murray's hard-fighting black Papuan bass a lure for eco-tourists to PNG from around the world

The study details that PNG gets more than half its tourists from Australia and the Kokoda Track is the most popular product with 25 per cent of travellers visiting it.

Latest figures show PNG tourist potential relies on developing adventure, cultural and historical experiences

New research shows that Papua New Guinea could bring in more than $115 million (K300m) in extra revenue every year if it developed niche tourist markets.

Tonga's Ski Federation slams accusations Pita Taufatofua cheated his way to the Olympics

The President of the Royal Tongan Ski Federation says they are considering legal action over an online article published in New Zealand that claims Pita Taufatofua cheated the system to get to the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

PNG police under criticism after journalist shot in the leg

A television journalist is recovering after being shot by police in the Western Highlands city of Mt Hagen while she was covering a story.

PNG earthquake: Authorities and aid agencies rushing to deliver healthcare for women

A team of medical outreach specialists who have just returned from the epicentre of Papua New Guinea's highlands earthquake say conditions almost two months later are dire with women and children most vulnerable.

From the village to the magazine: How the portrayal of Pacific women has evolved

If you do a Google search for photos of Pacific Island people from the 19th and early 20th century chances are you'll notice a common theme - exotic women and men in the classic noble savage pose, when the reality was often far different.

Former PNG Deputy PM deflects blame over 2012 constitutional crisis

Papua New Guinea's Former Opposition Leader Belden Namah says he's been unfairly singled out and punished for his role in the constitutional crisis that gripped the country in 2011 and 2012.

Marshall Islands 'entire future' on the line at international shipping negotiations

Time is running out for world leaders to reach a consensus on a strategy for achieving dramatic reductions in emissions produced by the global shipping industry.

Cyclone Keni: Thousands of people on Fiji's Kadavu in need of food and water

Emergency authorities in Fiji are planning to send urgent supplies of food and water to Kadavu, south of Suva which was battered by a severe hit from Cyclone Keni on Tuesday afternoon.

Vanuatu's PM stresses the governments opposition to a Chinese military base

Vanuatu's Prime Minister Charlot Salwai says his government will fiercely oppose any attempt to build a military base in the country.

Still plenty of uncertainty among earthquake-hit communities of PNG's highlands

An Australian doctor who has just returned from PNG's Highlands says his team saw lots of evidence of violence in the area following February's deadly earthquake.

Frustration in Solomon Islands over the Government's budget priorities

The Solomon Islands bureaucracy is in for a big shakeup with the government set to make huge cuts across the board in its 2018 budget, which passed parliament this week.

Vanuatu beach volleyballers on the hunt for bronze after scaring Aussies in their semi

Vanuatu's beach volleyball duo have missed out on their chance of winning a Commonwealth Games gold medal, after going down to the Australians last night on the Gold Coast.

Quotas and internships could help Australian Pacific Islanders too in workplace

There are calls here in Australia now for discussions about diversity targets for workplaces, after a new report found there's a "dismal" lack of cultural diversity at the top of Australian companies, institutions and government departments.

Back-to-back cyclones in Fiji highlight role of women in natural disasters

Fiji is now cleaning up from two cyclones that have hit the country in under a fortnight.

Huge cleanup in Fiji after Cyclone Keni brings more heavy rain and flooding

The Country Director for Oxfam in Fiji, Jovesa Saladoka, says parts of the country have endured a double disaster, with Tropical Cyclone Keni bringing more heavy rain and flooding to the western division where communities were still mopping up after the previous deluge caused by Cyclone Josie.

ADB urges Pacific to be economically prepared for climate change and extreme weather

Its been a rocky start to the year for the Pacific and with multiple cyclones causing havoc, more volcano drama on Ambae in Vanuatu, and a major earthquake in Papua New Guinea, the Asian Development Bank are calling on island nations to be more prepared financially for big disasters.

Rebranding Manus Island as a tourist destination

Manus Island is, for many Australians, synonymous with the detention of hundreds of refugees in detentions centres.

PNG government to sue BHP Billiton over alleged environmental damage

Papua New Guinea's government says it will sue Australian mining giant BHP Billiton for alleged environmental damage in the Western Province when the company was operating the country's largest copper mine in the 1990s.

Vanuatu denies reports of plans to host Chinese military base

The Vanuatu government says it will never allow China, or any other foreign power, to establish a military base in the country.

More weightlifting gold for Samoa after hot favourite Laurel Hubbard pulls out

The head coach of the Samoan weightlifting team at the Commonwealth Games, Jerry Wallwork, has vowed to fight on with his campaign to prevent transgender athletes from taking part in the sport.

"All of Vanuatu is very proud": Javelin thrower Kwevira wins bronze medal

History was made during the night session in the main stadium last night, where Vanuatu's Friana Kwevira won her country's first ever Commonwealth medal, taking bronze in the F46 javelin throw.

Commonwealth Games: Samoa wins gold after transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard withdraws because of injury

The final day of action in the weightlifting hall at the Commonwealth Games turned out to be an extraordinary one for the Pacific, with Samoa collecting two gold medals, and Fiji one.

Concerns in Fiji over prices of Meningococcal vaccines

There are concerns people in Fiji may not be able to protect themselves against the potentially deadly Meningococcal disease because of a huge mark-up of the vaccine in pharmacies.

Reports of Chinese military proposal in Vanuatu 'causing concern in Canberra'

Reports China has approached Vanuatu about building a military base in Vanuatu are "creating a lot of anxiety in Canberra in the security community," according to the Sydney Morning Herald's political and international editor, Peter Hartcher.

Reported talks of Chinese military base in Vanuatu would 'increase China's shadow' in the Pacific

There are reports China has approached Vanuatu to build a permanent military presence on the island nation.

David Chung's exit prompts OFC investigation

The Oceania Football Confederation has ordered an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing surrounding plans for a new headquarters in Auckland, as the fallout from president David Chung's resignation continues to cause a stir in the global soccer community.

Impressive performance from Sanele Mao as weightlifter secures gold for Samoa

On the last day of the weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Samoa have finally won their first gold medal, after coming agonisingly close earlier in the competition.

Melbourne forum approaches Pacific climate change from a different angle

Rising sea levels caused by climate change are an obvious threat to low-lying Pacific islands - along with major weather events like Tonga's Cyclone Gita - which are happening with increased frequency.

Powerful quake rocks already shaken PNG

Authorities in Papua New Guinea fear a new, powerful earthquake that struck the country's highlands over the weekend could have caused more damage and taken more lives.

PNG looks to learn from Australia on disaster management

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister says his country is looking to draw on Australia's expertise to better respond to natural disasters in future.

Pressure mounts for David Chung to resign as President of PNG Football Association

Papua New Guinea's Vice Minister for Sports Wesley Raminai has called for David Chung to resign as President of the PNG Football Association after he abruptly quit as a Vice President for the sport's world governing body, FIFA.

History made as Solomon Islands win first ever Commonwealth Games medal

PNG Steven Kari has become the first athlete in the country's history to win two Commonwealth Games gold medals, after he retained the 94 kilogram title that he won in Glasgow four years ago.

Prince Charles to visit Vanuatu where his father Prince Philip is revered as a spiritual leader

Local chiefs from Vanuatu's Tanna Island plan to meet Britain's Prince Charles when he pays a flying visit to Port Vila to pay their respects to the son of a man they revere and honour, 96 year-old Prince Philip.

Detention island to be a holiday destination as Australian Government helps fund Manus tourism study

The Australian Government is helping develop a tourism industry on the Papua New Guinean island where it detained asylum seekers, funding a study to review and assist the sector on Manus.

PNG veteran weightlifter Dika Toua thrilled with silver at #Commonwealth2018

At the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Papua New Guinea have doubled their medal tally but once again they've had to settle for weightlifting silver.

Viral Tongan Olympic sensation sets sights on climate change; eyes third sport

Viral Tongan Olympic sensation Peter Taufatofua has set his sights on another Olympic-sized challenge: raising awareness about climate change.

Pacific athletes unite to promote the power of sport

April 6 marks the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, a day described as a celebration of the contribution that sport makes to community development around the world.

Focus on growing geostrategic competition for allegiances in the Pacific

A conference on enhancing security in the Pacific heard that many nations are now heavily indebted to China and with China pushing the boundaries of the international order, Defence Minister Marise Payne said Australia wanted to ensure that Pacific nations turn to it first, whether for disaster assistance or dealing with security.

Taking the complexities of sport in the Pacific to the top rugby table

Schoolgirls in Tonga are back playing rugby again, after the Education Minister imposed a controversial ban, claiming that the sport was not part of the female culture in the country.

Calls for whistleblower protections in PNG grow louder as ICAC faces fresh delays

One of PNG's few whistleblowers has accused the country's politicians of intentionally delaying the introduction of an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

Commonwealth Games history beckons for Vanuatu

Vanuatu's sporting hopes have been pinned on the country's much-loved women's beach volleyball team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Pacific-flagged ships blacklisted over North Korea smuggling links

It's been revealed that two shipping companies with links to the Pacific have been blacklisted by the United Nations, accused of helping North Korea get around international sanctions and smuggle oil and coal.

PNG emergency head describes Hela tribal fighting as "out of control"

The Papua New Guinea government has sent in the military to Hela Province to counter tribal fighting that it says is threatening the safety of communities, who are trying to recover from February's deadly Highlands earthquake.

'The great wall of China blinded our vision to Russia': Academic warns Australia is ignoring Russia's rise in the region

One of Australia's foremost thinkers on Russia has warned the government in Canberra has been blinded to Russia's reach into Asia and the Pacific.

Call for Fiji authorities to keep waterways clear of debris after devastation of Cyclone Josie

There's been a call for Fiji's Government to give urgent priority to dredge rivers and creeks and keep drains clear of debris so the kind of torrential rain dropped by Cyclone Josie at the weekend doesn't back up and flood as severely as it did.

Tongan PM denies making statements on PACER Plus trade deal

There's been growing confusion around Tonga's commitment to the PACER Plus regional free trade agreement.

Cook Islands harassment puts Pacific tourism sector on alert

The Pacific's tourism industry is on alert after a new report detailed cases of sexual harassment within the Cook Islands' hospitality sector.

Complacency left people vulnerable in Fiji's deadly floods

A massive clean up is underway in Fiji after torrential rain from Cyclone Josie brought flooding to much of the country's Western Division, killing at least four people.

Solomon Islands has made 'development history,' but is it ready?

Solomon Islands is one of four countries on track to graduate from the United Nations Least Developed Countries list.

Australia sends medical team to PNG's quake affected highlands

Australia has sent a team of medical doctors and nurses to PNG's highlands to help local authorities deal with the ongoing health needs since the region's deadly earthquake late last month.

Crowd funding for 13-year-old with suspected brain tumour highlights Pacific's medical needs

The family of a 13-year-old girl with a suspected brain tumour in Solomon Islands has been forced to turn to crowd funding to determine what's causing her illness.

Compromise reached on New Caledonia referendum question

A meeting between New Caledonian leaders in Paris has decided on the wording for the crucial question in November's independence referendum.

Plans underway in Vanuatu to permanently resettle Ambae villages struggling with volcano ash fall

Vanuatu's Council of Ministers have endorsed a proposal by the chiefs of Ambae Island to relocate permanently communities affected by the erupting Manaro Volcano.

Australia under pressure to take action on rising rates of teen pregnancies in the Pacific

The humanitarian aid agency Plan International is busy lobbying leaders in Canberra this week on the need for greater investment in young girls in developing nations following the release of their report Half a Billion reasons.

Vanuatu's cricket coach comes out of retirement ahead of Malaysia tournament

The coach of the Vanuatu cricket team, Shane Deitz, has been selected to play for the team at the World Cricket League Division Four tournament in Malaysia at the end of next month.

PNG's cash-strapped government admits it needs foreign financial assistance for quake recovery

The Papua New Guinea government says it will have to rely on international financial assistance to continue funding relief efforts to areas affected by last month's magnitude 7.5 earthquake.

Australia lobbied to ramp up financial assistance for tuberculosis R&D

Pressure is mounting on countries like Australia to ramp up their financial assistance to the global fight on tuberculosis, with concern it's a health crisis that's long been underinvested and neglected.

Growing concern about rape and sexual assault laws in Solomon Islands

The Director of Public Prosecutions in Solomon Islands has defended his country's laws and courts after a call for stronger measures to protect vulnerable girls following two cases of rape.

Economist's back cash transfers to Pacific countries when natural disasters strike

The use of cash payments to help victims of natural disasters has gained regional prominence in recent years.

Pacific cricket nations facing uphill battle to get to the World Cup

The International Cricket Council is under fire again for restricting the growth of the sport by reducing the size of the World Cup.

Teenage pregnancy on the rise in the Pacific

A global report on teenage pregnancy by Plan International has the Humanitarian aid agency urging the Australian government to rethink its foreign aid strategy after it found the Asia Pacific is the only region in the world where teenage birth rates are actually increasing.

Ocean plastic set to rise: reports

Two recently released studies have given a glimpse of just how much plastic is in the world's oceans, and just how much more there might be in the future.

Numbers of homeless children on the rise in PNG

Papua New Guinea's Government and charities have said urban drift is leading to an increase in the number of homeless children.

Increased calls for permanent relocation of Ambae villages amid ongoing volcano crisis

There's been a strong reaction to a recommendation by a local government leader in Vanuatu that the only way to deal with the crisis in West and South Ambae caused by eruptions from the Manaro Volcano is to relocate villagers, possibly off the island.

Warnings that PACER Plus could jeopardise efforts to encourage healthier lifestyles in the Pacific

Concerns have been raised about the potential health impacts the PACER Plus free trade agreement could have on Pacific island countries.

Concerns thousands in PNG's quake zone still drinking contaminated water

Aid groups in Papua New Guinea's Hela Province says people affected by the major earthquake which struck four weeks ago today, are still drinking contaminated water.

Condemnation in Solomon Islands over rape allegations involving young girls

There's concern in Solomon Islands that authorities and the country's laws are failing to protect young girls from being sexually assaulted.

Samoa pushes for compulsory voting

Samoa looks set to become one of a handful of countries where voting in every election is mandatory.

Electricity restored in Tonga, almost six weeks after Cyclone Gita

Power authorities in Tonga are celebrating restoring full power to the main island less than six weeks after the electricity grid was destroyed by Cyclone Gita.

Authorities issue warnings throughout Ambae as Manaro volcano flares up again

Provincial authorities in Vanuatu are warning communities who live close to the Manaro Volcano on Ambae Island to beware of the risks and take action to protect themselves.

Cook Islands rugby thrown a lifeline

Rugby union in Cook Islands suffered a hammer blow in 2017, when the national side were knocked out of World Cup qualifying by Tahiti.

Still chaos in PNG: Australian doctor

The head of an Australian medical team sent to PNG says earthquake-affected areas face a significant risk of disease outbreaks, while local health workers have already been pushed to their limits.

"It's really unfair": Solomon Islands Premiers outraged at proposed budget cuts

The backlash against the government in Solomon Islands is intensifying after it proposed a string of heavy cuts to the budgets of the nine provinces.

Warnings over cryptocurrencies in Samoa; Central Bank worried they're a new 'pyramid schemes'

As we've seen elsewhere in the Pacific, and the world, the popularity of cryptocurrencies has been on the rise in Samoa.

"No-one seems to know what they're doing": Plenty of confusion in the PNG highlands

A humanitarian aid doctor who's just returned from Papua New Guinea's highlands has described the chaos as aid agencies and emergency authorities try to help the half a million people affected by last month's massive earthquake.

The extinction of Asian Tiger mosquitoes on Palmyra Atoll

Island communities across the Pacific would love to be rid of mosquitoes, because at best they're a nuisance, and at worse they can carry diseases like dengue and malaria.

Public holiday on International Women's Day touted as SODELPA policy

Fiji's opposition SODELPA Party has promised to make International Women's Day a public holiday if they are elected.

Shipping business hopes to be missing link in Pacific's recycling woes

Agreement's been reached between one of the largest shipping companies servicing the Pacific and the region's key environmental organisation, SPREP, for it to export the region's recycling material, for free.

Can you ship away the Pacific Islands’ waste problems?

Pacific islands, many of them tiny atolls with little space to spare, have long faced serious challenges dealing with their growing piles of waste.

"This can't be real": Tonga's government under fire over ban on girls playing rugby in public schools

There is still plenty of confusion about the Tongan government's ban on girls playing rugby at schools, but that hasn't stopped the news from going viral and provoking widespread outrage and bewilderment.

How green is Marshall Islands digital currency plan?

The government of Marshall Islands have made international headlines with their plan to become the first in the world to establish a digital currency as legal tender.

Evacuating from Ambae volcano 'worst-case scenario'

Vanuatu's Manaro volcano on Ambae island is showing signs of increased activity, just four months after all 11,000 people returned home after a forced evacuation.

Warnings a generation may miss out on school after PNG quake

School-aged children in some areas hit by Papua New Guinea's magnitude-7.5 earthquake are being told they won't be able to return to school for the rest of the year.

Life on Vanuatu's Ambae island disrupted again by Manaro volcano

Vanuatu has raised the volcano alert level on Ambae island from two to three, meaning the Manaro volcano is in what is called a 'minor eruption state.'

Solomon Islands government slashes CDF funding to the provinces

Solomon Islands' nine provinces have appealed to the national government to reconsider its decision to cut their funds by 90 percent but maintain money used by MPs in their constituencies.

Professional contracts on offer for six of the Pacific's brightest Rugby stars

Hot on the heels of World Rugby's decision to change the age regulations for the annual Pacific Challenge, they've introduced what's being described as a world first initiative to open a pathway for more players from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga to secure a professional contract.

Vatican removes Guam Archbishop, says 'guilty of certain accusations'

The group that helped expose a widespread child sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church in Guam says their experiences can be a lesson for others in the Pacific region.

PNG PM orders 'lessons to be learnt' from Australian emergency management

As Australians right across the country deal with a variety of natural disasters, from a cyclone in the north, to bushfires on the east coast - a large part of the emergency response has been carried out by volunteers.

Australian seismologists investigate deadly PNG earthquake

Two Australian seismologists have travelled to PNG to monitor ongoing aftershocks in the highlands region, and they say to debunk myths that the magnitude 7.5 earthquake was triggered by the oil and gas companies' work in the area.

Disappointment among staff at Fiji's largest hospital as government cracks down on fundraising campaign

A women's charity says it's been ordered by Fiji's Ministry of Health not to raise badly-needed funds to rebuild the bathrooms at the maternity unit of the country's biggest hospital.

Search underway in Kiribati for missing fishermen

New Zealand has joined the search for two fishermen who have been missing for five days off the Kiribati coast.

FFA policy revamp to help domestic violence victims at work receives widespread support

One of the biggest organisations in the Pacific, the Forum Fisheries Agency, has launched a new policy that allows them to provide immediate financial assistance to workers who are victims of domestic abuse.

Fiji Warriors take out Pacific Challenge Cup as World Rugby tighten age restrictions

World Rugby says new age elibility rules for the Pacific Challenge rugby tournament in Fiji is about attracting, and keeping, young players in their respective home countries.

Australia resists push to allow kava imports

Vanuatu's Agriculture Minister and leading members of the country's kava industry have renewed a call for Australia to remove its ban on kava imports.

Vanuatu's deputy PM given two year suspended sentence for conspiracy, but will he step down?

Vanuatu's Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman has been given a suspended two year sentence for conspiring to pervert the course of justice four years ago when he was prime minister.

Fiji government moves to introduce prison terms for harmful online behaviour

Fiji's opposition says new laws to promote online safety need to be considered carefully to ensure they don't suppress freedom of speech on the internet.

Settlement expected by June for Guam's Catholic Church abuse scandal

A lawyer in Guam says around 160 cases of child sexual abuse related to the Catholic Church have now been filed - in a scandal that's implicated more than a dozen priests and even a bishop and archbishops.

Calls for Catholic Church to give equal justice to overseas, including PNG, abuse victims

The Australian Catholic Church is being challenged to take responsibility and deal with crimes carried out by its Church officials overseas, in countries that include Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

How do you quake-proof a country that straddles the Ring of Fire?

As Papua New Guinea undergoes a rapid period of urbanisation, with thousands continuing to flock to the major towns, there are fears that buildings aren't being constructed to a standard that would survive a strong earthquake - which could result in large numbers of casualties.

Kava Industry Pushes back against Vanuatu proposal to export tudei kava

The head of Vanuatu’s Kava Industry Association says allowing exports of so-called “two-day” kava would send a very bad message to overseas customers and local farmers.

Government scrambling to fund aid effort to PNG Highlands

The Papua New Guinea government is scrambling to raise money to continue transporting relief assistance to parts of the highlands devastated by a massive earthquake several weeks ago.

PNG earthquake: Leaders warn more lives are on the line without clean water

PNG leaders from areas affected by the highlands earthquake almost three weeks ago say people will die if they don't get reliable supplies of clean drinking water soon.

State of emergency extension in Tonga not welcomed by local businesses

Tonga's Prime Minister has this week extended the state of emergency that has been in place since Tropical Cyclone Gita tore through the country in February.

Genetic studies shed light on history of migration to Vanuatu

From the earliest settlers making their way out of southeast Asia to the current day population, researchers are filling in the gaps of the Pacific's genetic history.

Heavy rain to heighten risk of landslides in earthquake ravaged PNG highlands

Weather forecasters in Papua New Guinea are warning that the country can expect significant rain and flooding in the next few weeks until the end of the monsoon season.

Heated debate in Vanuatu on the future of kava exports

Vanuatu's biggest kava exporter says the heated debate about which varieties of the crop are more suitable for export is hurting the country's kava industry.

PNG earthquake: Angry highlanders call on relief agencies to sidestep the government

People in earthquake-affected areas of the Papua New Guinea highlands have asked international agencies to bypass the national government when providing relief.

Big growth in Rugby 7s fuels hope for Solomon Islands future on the World circuit

While Fiji and Samoa are still the big guns of sevens rugby in the Pacific, Solomon Islands believe they have what it takes to fight their way into the World Series core group over the next few years.

Research findings on land expansion in Tuvalu criticised by Sopoaga government

People living in the low-lying island nation of Tuvalu have long been nervous about rising sea levels, but New Zealand researchers have concluded that the country's landmass has actually got bigger over the past four decades.

Kava debate heats up in Vanuatu

Kava is drunk all around the Pacific for its relaxing effects but in Vanuatu it's been a source of heated debate.

PNG's counselling hotline reaches out to quake survivors

In the wake of the deadly earthquake that shook the PNG Highlands a fortnight ago, those affected have been seeking help wherever they can - including via the mobile phone.

PNG Church group overwhelmed by donations towards earthquake relief effort

The Catholic Bishops Conference in Papua New Guinea is calling for donations to help rebuild dozens of schools, health clinics and churches after the massive highlands earthquake two weeks ago.

Fijians use social media to campaign for repairs on maternity ward toilets

Photos of the poorly-kept toilets at a Fiji hospital are being shared far and wide on social media in a bid to raise money to fix them.

Three years on from Cyclone Pam and Vanuatu has come a long way

Three years after the strongest cyclone to ever hit Vanuatu devastated the archipelago, there's a sense that the recovery is moving ahead and people are getting on with their lives.

'Slavery' on the high seas: murder case sheds light on fishing crew mistreatment

The International Organisation of Migration says the case involving 6 Indonesian who murdered the captain of their Vanuatu-flagged fishing vessel, is not isolated.

Indonesian fisherman convicted by Vanuatu court of murdering captain says easier access to help needed

The case of a group of Indonesian fishermen who murdered their Chinese captain back in 2016, and now face 18 years behind bars in Vanuatu after their appeal was dismissed, has highlighted what industry insiders say is part of a much bigger issue: the poor treatment of foreign crew on fishing boats.

Hand scanners to help accountability in PNG's public service

The PNG government is stepping up its efforts to stamp out widespread absenteeism and unproductive behaviour in the public service.

PNG's Oro Governor Juffa cracks down on illegal logging operation

A group of foreign workers has been arrested and heavy equipment seized after authorities shut down an illegal logging operation in Papua New Guinea's Oro province.

Rugby 7s: In-form Fiji close the gap on South Africa in World series

With just four rounds of the World Rugby Sevens series to go, Fiji are on the march, becoming the first team to win two rounds of the current season.

Fiji to announce it's host city for Rugby Sevens World series bid

It's been over a week since Fiji submitted a bid to World Rugby to host a leg of the World Sevens series in 2020, but which major town, Suva or Nadi, would play host if the country is successful with its bid?

'Worst decision we ever made': Why you should think twice before buying a slice of Pacific paradise

Australian's interested in buying retirement homes in the Pacific islands are being warned to be very careful in order to avoid losing their money.

Free legal service for domestic violence victims in Tonga now open

Tonga's first legal aid centre focused on helping survivors of domestic violence has opened today in Nuku'alofa.

Concerns for long-term mental health issues for PNG quake victims

While the immediate health priorities for PNG's earthquake victims are clean water and food, a Red Cross health worker says she believes there will be long term mental health issues for a large number of people.

PNG authorities admit weaknesses in quake response but say lessons are being learnt

It's 2 weeks today since PNG's highlands region was hit by the magnitude 7.5 earthquake, and yet there are still communities which haven't yet received critical aid relief.

US anthropologist says bones found on remote Kiribati island are Amelia Earhart's remains

A US anthropologist is the latest person to claim to have solved the mystery of what happened to famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart.

Upset parents demand an apology from PNG Police after school teargas incident

Parents in Port Moresby are angry after tear gas deployed by police drifted through a primary school and caused some students to collapse and left others panicked and struggling to breathe.

Increasing tensions in New Caledonia as countdown looms for Independence vote

There are two key votes on Independence due in the Pacific in the next year or so: Bougainville has a target date of June 15th 2019 for its referendum on whether to separate from PNG.

#PNG earthquake: MAF disaster response team says tens of thousands in dire need

One of the key organisations helping deliver aid in Papua New Guinea's earthquake-devastated highlands paints a picture of a region where normal life and business has been suspended as entire districts wait for help.

'Tree of life' under threat in Solomon Islands amid efforts to tackle the deadly Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle

Agricultural authorities in Solomon Islands fear the march of a beetle lethal to coconuts is inevitable now it's been found in the largest plantation in the southern hemisphere.

What do ni-Vanuatu women think about reserved seats for female MPs?

The rate of female participation in politics across the Pacific has long been a concern for observers, with most island nations only having a few women MP's, and some like PNG having none at all.

Calls for urgent action on maternal mortality rates across the Pacific

One of the big barriers for many women in the Pacific region is still basic access to healthcare, especially for mothers and babies.

PNG facing a very long road to recovery after highlands earthquake, says PM

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill says it's going to take several years before his country fully recovers from the devastating earthquake in the Highlands, which authorities estimate has claimed over a hundred lives.

Why are there so few women politicians in the Pacific?

The rate of female participation in politics across the Pacific has long been a concern for observers, with most island nations only having a few women MP's, and some like PNG having none at all.

What's in a name? Candidate in Fiji elections takes on her ex-husband over her moniker

An incident involving a female candidate planning to run in Fiji's election this year is getting a lot of attention - because she's chosen to run using her former husband's name.

Seismologist predicts PNG aftershocks to continue for months, "even years"

Strong aftershocks have continued to shake PNG's highlands region, more than a week after the deadly magnitude 7.5 quake, but seismologists say that's entirely normal - and predict the aftershocks could continue for several more months, possibly even years.

Where is the census data on ethnicity in Fiji?

Questions are being raised about the reasons being given by Fiji's government statistician for not releasing census data on ethnicity.

PNG sprinter Toea Wisil looking to bounce back from rocky 2017 performances

When the Papua New Guinea team marches into the stadium at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony here in Australia next month, there will be one notable absentee - the track queen of the Pacific, Toea Wisil.

Gusty winds and heavy rain in Vanuatu as Cyclone Hola passes through

Authorities in Vanuatu say Tropical Cyclone Hola has caused some damage as it crosses the country but it's too early to say exactly how much.

As severe aftershocks rattle PNG's highlands, data collection teams quantify damage from 7.5 earthquake

Papua New Guinea's Highlands have been rocked again this morning by a magnitude-6.8 aftershock, one of six strong shakes since midnight.

PNG earthquake: Australian military aircraft helping to clear blocked roads in the highlands

Authorities in Papua New Guinea have begun clearing blocked roads in the earthquake affected parts of the PNG highlands.

PNG's Prime Minister pushes for a first-past-the-post system at the next election

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister says the current voting system used during national elections is too costly and takes too long to produce a result.

Opinion poll says one-third of Fijian voters are undecided ahead of general election

A huge proportion of Fiji voters still can't say which political party they will vote for this election year.

PNG government pitches a student loan scheme like Australia but can it afford it?

Papua New Guinea's government says it wants to follow the lead of Australia and introduce a student loan scheme, to help young people who may be struggling with their university fees.

Demands for clarity over Fiji's ethnicity data

The Fiji Government is being called on to clarify what data on ethnicity was collected in last year's census, with both opposition politicians and a leading NGO saying the information is needed to better target the needs of specific community groups.

Tongan Minister arrested ahead of Parliament's first sitting since Cyclone Gita

Tonga's parliament sits for the first time today since Cyclone Gita destroyed the country's historic Parliament House last month, but it seems Tonga is on the verge of a political storm too.

Archbishop of Canterbury challenges wealthy nations to make up for climate change mistakes

Climate change was at the top the agenda for the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, the church's most senior bishop, during his visit to Fiji at the weekend.

Honiara's Chinese community in shock after businessman stabbed

An elderly Chinese businessman in the Solomon Islands is recovering after being stabbed in a botched robbery attack.

Men and women leaders in Vanuatu celebrated on National Chiefs Day

Today is national Chiefs Day in Vanuatu, and while this special holiday is about saluting the heads of the villages, who are overwhelmingly male, women leaders at the local level are gradually getting more recognition.

Planning for a new Court of Appeal in Nauru sparks heated argument between leaders

Nauru's former Chief Justice has described as complete nonsense the government's claim that the country's judicial system was "open to corruption and cronyism".

Call for PNG emergency authorities to tackle the potential crisis posed by 'quake lakes

A geo-hazards specialist is calling for an international effort to avert what he says is a potential crisis as massive landslides caused by last week's 7.5 earthquake create dams that could break and flood in the rainy season.

Helicopter pictures of PNG's highlands 'quake show extent of the landslide damage

A helicopter pilot whose extraordinary video of the massive landslides that buried a major river during PNG's highlands earthquake hopes the online reaction will prompt international help for communities still in shock from the quake and its aftershocks.

Disappointment in Australia over limited coverage of PNG earthquake

Now it's becoming clear just how bad the damage is from the Papua New Guinea earthquake, some people in the country are asking why there seems to be relatively little interest from much of the Australian news media.

PNG earthquake: Plenty of relief fundraisers in Port Moresby this weekend

Authorities in Papua New Guinea's capital city are organising fundraising events to assist in relief efforts for three highlands provinces devastated by Monday's Earthquake.

Communities in Malaita band together to build a future without logging

The logging industry is huge in Solomon Islands bringing in millions of dollars to the economy each year, but the environmental destruction its caused has many communities in recent years questioning whether it's the right path for them.

Former Tonga PM Lord Tu'ivakano arrested by police

Tonga Police have arrested a former prime minister and charged him with numerous offences relating to passport fraud, bribery and money laundering.

Can media freedom in the Pacific improve when journalists and governments have different agendas?

In the final of Pacific Beat's week-long series on media freedom in the Pacific, Bruce Hill looks at the issue of the sometimes awkward relationship between journalists and Pacific governments and asks whether it can be improved.

Pacific journalists say media freedom ideals aren't being helped by the excesses of social media

The impact of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, podcasts and alternative media on the internet is affecting the Pacific as it is the rest of the world.

Growing concern PNG's quake was caused by oil and gas extraction but experts reject that

In the aftermath of this week's powerful earthquake in PNG, there's been renewed concern that the country's oil and gas operations in the highlands region may have triggered the quake.

NZ Foreign Minister urges Australia not to forget the Pacific

New Zealand's Foreign Minister has issued a stark warning that Australia and New Zealand's influence in the Pacific is waning as China flexes its muscles.

Oil and gas companies in the PNG Highlands offer their help in earthquake recovery effort

The Papua New Guinea government is yet to announce what measures it will take to help people in the remote regions of the highlands worst hit by the quake.

PNG villages in still in shock after deadly highlands earthquake

Stories continue to emerge about the devastation Monday's earthquake caused in small villages throughout the Papua New Guinea highlands.

Fiji election hopeful claiming to be a former US congressman yet to produce proof of his credentials

In Fiji, the political future of a man claiming to have been a US Congressman is uncertain, as he has been unable to prove it.

Solar powered 3D printers make a difference in Solomon Islands

3D printing has taken the world by storm in recent years, and the futuristic technology looks set to make a big impact in the Pacific.

Highlands communities in PNG rattled after devastating earthquake

A full picture of the devastation caused by Monday's powerful earthquake in the Papua New Guinea highlands is slowly coming into focus.

Fiji's Human Rights Commission pledges to investigate claims of police torture

Fiji's Human Rights Commission head says claims by nine men that they were tortured by Police will be investigated by his office.

Media freedom in the Pacific: Policing of journalists an ongoing problem in Fiji

While there have been instances of reporters facing difficulty doing their jobs around the Pacific recently, possibly the most challenging environment for journalism in our region is Fiji.

Samoa PM says improving radio emergency warnings is a priority

Local media in Samoa reports an 8-year-old boy has died after being electrocuted by live broken powerlines, which were downed by Cyclone Gita earlier this month.

Fiji 'in with a good chance' for World Rugby Sevens bid

It's the last day for applications for the 2019-2020 World Sevens Series and Fiji is one of 19 countries that's vying for a spot.

PNG government to hold emergency meeting as quake toll expected to rise

PNG officials say at least 14 people have died after Monday's powerful earthquake, although there are unconfirmed reports that the death toll could be as high as 30, with details of extensive damage slowly emerging.

Dengue and fresh water among health challenges for Tongan authorities

Emergency authorities in Tonga say they're winning the battle to supply fresh drinking water to the tens of thousands of people on the main island of Tongatapu trying to rebuild after the onslaught of Cyclone Gita two weeks ago.

Political career of Joe Natuman in jeopardy as Vanuatu Deputy PM pleads guilty to conspiracy

Vanuatu's Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman has pleaded guilty to conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Nurses in Solomon Islands issue 28 day strike notice over allowances

Hundreds of nurses across Solomon Islands are threatening to strike, in response to a lengthy delay from Ministry of Health in delivering on their promise for a new a pay agreement.

Cricket: PNG Barramundi's gear up for the biggest game in their history

The Papua New Guinea cricket team begin its World Cup qualifying campaign in Zimbabwe later today when they take on Scotland in the a warm-up match.

Samoa PM says urgent need for easier access to climate change finance

Samoa's Prime Minister says it remains a challenge for Pacific islands nations to access global funds which are meant help countries like his adapt to climate change and natural disasters; and it's an issue which he says is exacerbated by a lack of local capacity in small island nations.

Balancing media responsibility with free speech rights in the Pacific

Free speech, including media freedom is considered to be a fundamental right - and is recognised as such by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

#CycloneGita rebuild chance to cyclone-proof Tonga: Aust High Commissioner

Australia's High Commissioner to Tonga says the reconstruction of hundreds of buildings destroyed by Cyclone Gita is a chance to ensure the country's infrastructure is cyclone-proof as climate change causes stronger storms in the Pacific.

Engineer says an explosion at PNG LNG project is possible, but unlikely, after 7.5 quake

Several oil and gas operations have been suspended in the PNG highlands' region after yesterday's 7.5 magnitude earthquake.

Solomon Islands police reach peaceful resolution with visiting Bougainvilleans

A group of 29 men are back in Bougainville after making headlines in neighbouring Solomon Islands following their sea crossing to Western Province where they got themselves arrested and then broke out of jail.

Vanuatu all-rounder Patrick Matautaava makes bid for slice of cricket's Big Bash action

The last 12 months have been remarkable for the Vanuatu cricketer, Patrick Matautaava, who almost gave the game up, then starred in an international tournament in South Africa, and now has been recognised as one of the best 11 players in the world, outside the test playing nations.

"We should have been invited": Local leaders denounce PNG meeting on illegal logging

A high-level meeting in Port Moresby between Asia-Pacific countries on illegal logging has been slammed by community leaders from at least one part of Papua New Guinea that's faced the issue for years.

PNG rocked by strong magnitude 7.5 earthquake

Papua New Guinea's central highlands have been shaken by a significant 7.5 magnitude earthquake this morning.

Tahiti fails to break Ukulele band world record

Tahiti has failed in its attempt to reclaim the world record for the largest band of ukulele players.

Veteran ABC Pacific reporter Sean Dorney optimistic despite diagnosis of motor neurone disease

For more than 40 years, Sean Dorney covered the big stories in the region as the ABC's Papua New Guinea and Pacific correspondent, and made himself a household name in the process.

How free is the Pacific's media?

There's been series of incidents recently across the Pacific that have seen journalists at the centre of stories; rather than simply reporting on the news themselves.

PNG Government plans to toughen gun laws

The PNG government aims to crackdown on people using guns illegally, by announcing its plans for strict new laws that include penalties of up to 10 years in jail and fines as high as K10,000 (around $AUD 4000.

Divided loyalties for PNG rugby fans as Brisbane Broncos touch down to play the Hunters

It was a sea of maroon in the PNG capital when the Brisbane Broncos arrived in Port Moresby ahead of this weekend's historic clash against the much beloved PNG Hunters.

Alarm in Fiji after allegations of police torture

A Fiji Human Rights lawyer, Aman Ravindra-Singh, is accusing Police of torturing nine men.

Tonga's political leaders in talks to rebuild flattened parliament

The future of Tonga's Parliament remains uncertain in the wake of the total destruction of the old Parliament House during Cyclone Gita.

Pacific nations urged to be cautious as China flexes its muscles in the Maldives

Pacific nations are being warned if they accept too much Chinese loan money they may end up like the Maldives.

Samoan PM makes plea on climate change action as new research predicts Paris Agreement targets not enough to stop sea levels rising

New research shows that sea levels will continue to rise over the next two centuries; even if governments around the world commit to, and meet, the ambitious targets of the Paris Agreement, which aim to reduce carbon emissions.

Anger after cruise ship refuses to dock at PNG port after anthrax scare that authorities say is confined to pigs

The tourism community in Madang on PNG's northern coast is blaming social media for inflaming details about an outbreak of the bacterial disease, anthrax, on a nearby island to such an extent a cruise ship cancelled its long-scheduled visit, leaving hundreds of locals very disappointed and out of pocket.

Warning issued to would-be PNG investors of digital currencies

Around the globe, there's been a rise of digital currencies, with 'bitcoin' the most famous.

UNICEF's school-in-a-box brings classrooms to village schools destroyed by #CycloneGita

As the remnants of Cyclone Gita cause damaging winds and significant flooding in New Zealand, more aid is arriving in Tonga to help communities on the main island of Tongatapu recover from the category four storm.

PNG Minister's proposal for tougher gun laws gets mixed response in Enga

Gun violence has long been a problem in Papua New Guinea, and after a recent shootout at a shopping mart in the capital, a debate over the need for a nation-wide firearms ban has been reopened.

"They should be at one with the people": Questions over Tonga's politicians during Cyclone Gita recovery

Tonga's government needs to be seen to be leading the country as it recovers from Cyclone Gita according to the Tongan political scientist in New Zealand Dr Malakai Koloamatangi.

Plenty of #Pacific potential for micro businesses hosting home-stay tourists

Would you invite strangers you've only met online, into your home?

Power and clean drinking water a priority in #Tongatapu one week after #CycloneGita

One week after category four Cyclone Gita slammed into Tonga's main island with a direct hit on the capital Nuku'alofa, most people now have safe drinking water although 4,500 people are still living in evacuation centres after 1500 homes were destroyed.

PNG uni Vice Chancellor considers legal action after Unitech sacks him over certificate copy

The Papua New Guinea University of Technology council has sacked its Vice Chancellor, saying he failed to produce original certificates to authenticate his qualifications.

Solomon Islands: More than a hundred endangered birds in rehabilitation

Authorities in Solomon Islands are working to rehabilitate a local population of endangered birds, after a large flock were illegally captured and only narrowly avoided being sold overseas.

Huge decrease in yaws on PNG's Lihir Island gives hope for global eradication

A groundbreaking strategy tackling a long-standing skin disease in a Papua New Guinea island community has been endorsed by the World Health Organisation.

Volunteer donors put their hands up to help Sione Vaiomounga

There's encouraging news about Sione Vaiomounga, the Tongan rugby player who's been marooned in Romania after being diagnosed with kidney disease.

Shelter still an issue almost a week after #CycloneGita hit #Tonga's capital

A shortage of adequate shelter remains a major issue in Tonga nearly a week after Cyclone Gita battered the country.

Do we need more categories for bigger cyclones?

Cyclone Gita was the most powerful storm on record to hit the Tongan capital, and coming after two more record breakers, Cyclone Winston in Fiji and Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, Neville Koop, from the Na Draki Weather Service says the impacts in recent years have been alarming.

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

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

Fiji human rights groups welcome UN Commissioner's comments

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

Launch of AFLX a potential shake up for Rugby 7s

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

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

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

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

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

Alarm in Fiji over police investigation into Islands Business

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

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

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

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

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

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