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Friday, March 24th, 2017


Pacific Roundtable Meeting between Government and Civil Society at Commission on the Status of Women 61st Session

pacific islands forum secretariat (photo:

NEW YORK, USA-March 24: 5:24pm(Nuku’alofa Times): It has been a Pacific tradition to meet as a group in the margins of the Commission on the Status of Women. This year the Forum Chair convened the gathering at the New Zealand Mission and it was well-attended by Forum island missions, ambassadors, and a diverse group of civil society from the across the region.  Pacific Roundtable Chair and Federated States of Micronesia Ambassador H.E Jane Jimmy Chigiyal encouraged open and frank dialogue on issues affecting Pacific women and girls.

The Role of Regionalism in Financing Development in the Pacific

Dr Raymond Prasad (photo: Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat)

By Dr Raymond Prasad, Economic Adviser, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat SUVA, Fiji-March 24: 5:16pm(PIFS): Last week, Ambassador Peter Thomson, current Chair of the United Nations General Assembly, spoke in Suva and provided a broad overview of the development challenges in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ambassador Thomson highlighted that achievement of the SDGs is reliant on development finance as a means of implementation, and that they are intrinsically linked to the Addis Abba Action Agenda on Financing for Development, COP negotiations on Climate Change and Sendai Framework for Disaster RiskRead More

Proposed mine in Australia would be catastrophic for Pacific

(photo: TES)

QUEENSLAND, Australia-March 24: 1:50pm(RNZI): An umbrella group for Pacific environmental organisations says a proposed multi-billion dollar coal mine in Australia would be catastrophic for the Pacific’s small island states. The proposed Carmichael mine in central Queensland would become the country’s largest mine, and is supported by both the Queensland and Australian governments. But there is opposition from indigenous and environmental groups, who say it would have devastating environmental consequences, including for the fragile Great Barrier Reef.

Tonga v Wales: June Test to be played in Auckland

Tonga celebrate beating Italy in Padua in November, 2016 (BBC)

CARDIFF, Wales-March 24: 11:39am(BBC News): Wales’ summer Test match against Tonga will be played in Auckland after concerns raised by the Welsh Rugby Union over the suitability of the stadium in Nuku’alofa. World Rugby assessed facilities in Tonga and has confirmed the match has been moved. It will be played on Friday, 16 June, a day earlier than originally scheduled.

Tongan USP students among high achievers

One of the students being acknowledged (Nuku'alofa Times)

SUVA, Fiji-March 24: 11:15am(Nuku’alofa Times): Three Tongan students were recognised as high achievers among the Australia Awards Pacific Scholarships students at the University of the South Pacific in Suva this month. Kalolaine Tatafu and Grace Taufalele who are pursuing Bachelor of Education degrees, and Mona Taumoefolau, studying for a Bachelor of Commerce, received the awards among other high achievers from Vanuatu, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

Under aged driver charged for crash

NUKU’ALOFA-March 24: 10:51am(Nuku’alofa Times): A 17-year-old under-age driver has been charged after his vehicle crashed into the Tanoa International Dateline Hotel fence on the waterfront on Saturday March 18. Tonga Police alleged that inexperience in driving might have been a contributing factor to the crash. The incident occurred just after 2:00am. The driver, a male, has been charged with reckless driving and driving without a licence.

New Zealand National Judo champion ready for Tonga

National judo champion Cristyn Jones performs an arm lock on Nippon Judo head coach Johan Boshoff. (Stuff NZ)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand-March 24: 9:41am(Stuff NZ): It can be tough juggling school, training, competitions and friends and family, but Cristyn Jones has it down pat. The 16-year-old Orewa College student has set her priorities straight and is now a national judo champion. Cristyn has been practicing judo at home, at the Auckland Judo Association, and Nippon Judo Club for the past two years and has made it into the New Zealand Judo team. After being selected for the team last year and again in January, Cristyn is off to Tonga toRead More

London attack victim was in UK for wedding anniversary

Kurt Cochran, left, was killed in the London attack and his wife, Melissa, was seriously injured. (Photo: "AFP / The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints / Handout courtesy of Payne family)

WESTMINSTER, UK-March 24: 9:30am(RNZI): An American on holiday in Britain with his wife to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary and a 43-year-old London woman were two of the three people killed by the London attacker. The assailant, named as old Kent-born Khalid Masood, ploughed a car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge before fatally stabbing police officer Keith Palmer inside the gates of parliament.

Adele concert ‘best ever’, say fans

Adele won gold at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in February. (Photo: AFP)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand-March 24: 9:16am(RNZI): The reviews are in and according to her fans, Adele’s show last night was the “best concert” ever. The British star “sang her heart out” according to one of 40,000 fans at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium. During the sold-out show the London-born singer made an emotional tribute to the victims of the Westminster terror attack.