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April, 2017


Energy and transport talks end on high note

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NUKU’ALOFA-April 28: 5pm (Nuku’alofa Times): The week-long 3rd Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers’ Meeting ended in Nuku’alofa this afternoon with delegates and Ministers agreeing to push issues forward to the highest level possible.

Pacific to sign MOU on Flag States Implementation

The Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) has helped 1.5 million Pacific Islanders  access formal financial services (Photo: PINA)

By Pita Ligaiula  NUKU’ALOFA-April 27: 3:43pm(PACNEWS): Pacific Island Countries are expected to sign an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) this week on Flag States Implementation. IMO senior deputy Director Cooperation Division, Juvenal Shindu said the goal of setting up the Pacific MOU system is to ensure that ships that sail to or within the waters of Pacific Island states meet minimum safety standards and to prevent sub-standard ships from operating in the region. He said the system will hopefully minimise the occurrence of maritime casualtiesRead More

Olympic gold-winning coach Ben Ryan joins board of Pacific Rugby Players Welfare

Former Fiji Sevens Coach, Ben Ryan, calling on all Fijians to support Baber.

LONDON, UK-April 27: 3:39pm(SPORTS.COK.UK):Olympic gold-winning coach Ben Ryan has joined the new-look board of Pacific Rugby Players Welfare (PRPW), as the organisation targets research into links between supplement use and kidney failure. Chairman Dan Leo will convene PRPW’s inaugural AGM on Sunday, with raising funds to commission medical research among the group’s top aims. Former Fiji Sevens coach Ryan has been named among the non-executive directors, while England stars like Manu Tuilagi and Mako Vunipola have thrown their weight behind the organisation.

Forum Compact review underway in Samoa


APIA, Samoa-April 27: 3:31pm(SPC): Country consultations to inform a review of the Forum Compact began this week in Samoa.  Consultations will also be held in the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau and Papua New Guinea over the next three weeks.  “Samoa welcomes this review and the review team,” said Peseta Noumea Simi, Chief Executive Officer, Samoa Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Samoa tops Pacific in press freedom index

(Photo: Google images)

APIA, Samoa-April 27: 3:21pm(RNZI):Samoa is ranked highest among Pacific Island countries in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index. Reporters Without Borders places Samoa on 21st place, followed by Tonga on 49th place and Papua New Guinea on 51st. The lowest ranked Pacific country is Fiji on 67th place.

Fiji wants to renegotiate PACER Plus

Fiji's Trade Minister Faiyaz Koya talks to business people in Pacific Harbour Photo: RNZ / Alex Perrottet

SUVA,Fiji-April 27: 3:14pm(RNZI): Fiji’s trade minister Faiyaz Koya says Fiji will approach Australia after missing out on last week’s conclusion of the PACER Plus talks in Brisbane. The trade and development deal was finalised without Fiji and Papua New Guinea, which are the biggest Pacific Island countries. The agreement is due to be signed in Tonga in June.

Mercury study prompts warning over Pacific fish diet

Tuna on the deck of a Pacific fishing vessel. Photo: RNZI/Giff Johnson

MAINE, USA-April 27: 12:01pm(RNZI): People in the Pacific are being advised to avoid certain fish after a study revealed high levels of mercury in hair samples from the region. The Biodiversity Research Institute and the UN Environment Programme were involved in the research on women of child-bearing age in four Pacific countries over the past year. Mercury exposure can cause damage to the nervous system and kidneys and it’s particularly harmful to foetuses.

SPC opens renewable energy centre in Tonga

Photo: SPC

NUKU’ALOFA-April 27: 11:51am(RNZI):Increased access in the region to modern, affordable and reliable energy is the aim of a Pacific Community office launched in Tonga. The Pacific Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency was opened in Nuku’alofa today and will eventually house ten staff. The CEO for Tonga’s Energy Ministry, Paula Ma’u, said the office would provide training and research opportunities for the sector. Mr Ma’u said it was a recognition of his country’s work around sustainable energy. “It started from 2010 when we had our TERM orRead More

Tongan sea-goers told to be better prepared

Tupouniua Veamatahau was found after three days at sea Photo: Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

NUKU’ALOFA-April 27: 11:44am(RNZI):The Tongan police have urged fishers and boat owners to make sure they have the necessary safety gear, including communication tools in case anything goes wrong at sea. This follows the successful search for a fisherman who went missing for three days after setting off on Saturday from Manuka. The man Tupouniua Veamatahau was found on Tuesday after an international search involving New Zealand.

New trade deal could divide Pacific – NZ MP


WELLINGTON, New Zealand-April 27: 11:22am(RNZI):A new Pacific trade deal could prove divisive in the region according to NZ Green Party MP Barry Coates. The veteran of the aid and development sector is critical of the PACER PLUS agreement involving New Zealand and Australia and 12 island countries that is set to be signed in June. But missing from it are the two biggest economies among the island nations, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.