Pacific

Australia promises the Pacific a new look

In a message addressing the region on Monday, Wong set the tone for Australia's renewed priorities for its island neighbours.

Wong said Australia recognises climate change is 'central to the security and well-being of the Pacific.'

She said the Labor government has heard the Pacific and will act to address the climate crisis.

NZ govt commits to Pacific broadcasting in the region

RNZ Pacific broadcasts into the wider Pacific on shortwave 24 hours a day, collaborating with 22 broadcasting partners across the region.

Its current primary transmitter is nearing end of life, and its other transmitter has in effect already been retired.

The announcement was made as part of New Zealand's Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi's plans for the new public media entity which is set to operate next year.

Our Ocean Conference opens in Palau

Palau and the United States are co-hosting the conference which was seen as a key global event for countries, civil society, and industry to commit to concrete and significant actions to protect the ocean.

This is the seventh year of the conference and the first time it's been held in the Pacific region.

Security around the venue was tight with roads around the conference site closed.

The conference was opened by Palau's president Surangel Whipps Jr and the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.

Milestone in Pacific tourism post-Covid

The organisation's CEO Christopher Cocker announced the partnership at the SIDs Global Business Network Forum in Palau.

Mr Cocker said it's a working group that can share best practices and information, which are important for Pacific nations considering opening their borders.

"To me it's a milestone because moving forward in terms of Covid recovery, no man's an island, we need to collaborate. And I've heard this week of how vital strategic partnerships are."

Cocker said the SIDs tourism sector faces a number of unique challenges right now because of the pandemic.

Dan Carter takes on 24-hour kickathon for charity

Returning to Eden Park to launch his dedicated fundraising platform in association with UNICEF, the DC10 fund, Carter is taking on a 24-hour kickathon.

He is aiming to knock 1598 kicks between the posts in a period of 24 hours - matching the total number of points the first-five notched in his All Black career.

Funds raised from the event will be put toward UNICEF's water sanitation and hygiene programme for children in the Pacific.

     

‘A blessing, not a burden’ a Pacific parent on autism

It's World Autism month, and the condition is thought to impact one percent of people, but is under-diagnosed in Pacific communities. 

Rachel Tuisaula six-year old has autism, which she calls his “special power”. 

“I never say “disorder”, I never say “special needs”, because my spiritual belief is that that Silas is wonderfully and fearfully made, he sees the world differently to how we see.

“The word “naughty” is the misconception but I don’t blame people because they’re not educated. So you use your mouthpiece to educate those who don’t have an understanding.” 

NZ to donate more vaccines to COVAX

The Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said the latest donation to COVAX will also support vaccination programmes in developing countries, including in parts of the Pacific and in Africa where immunisation rates are low.

New Zealand is contributing a further 7.3 million vaccines to COVAX including 5.8 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and 1.5 million doses of Janssen vaccine.

Through New Zealand's Advance Purchase Agreement (APA) with Pfizer, paediatric vaccine doses are also being provided to countries in Polynesia.

Vaccine inequity in the Pacific: 'We need to support our neighbours'

People in developing nations are generally missing out due to accessibility issues, a slow roll out of vaccines, difficulties getting to remote areas, a lack health of resources and misinformation resulting in vaccine hesitancy.

But ChildFund director of programmes Quenelda Clegg said developed countries need to support the Pacific and also stop hoarding vaccines.

The organisation has been raising awareness about vaccine inequity and the issues happening in the Pacific.

Tongan tsunami felt around the Pacific

The series of volcanic eruptions were also heard in Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, and Cook Islands.

Multiple communities in Fiji experienced surges soon after the tsunami and warnings were generated following the eruption again of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai seamount volcano.

Video footage from Samoa and the Cook Islands showed similar activity.

Tonga remains the hardest hit with destruction of homes, vehicles and infrastructure.

Parts of New Zealand were under tsunami advisory after the violent eruption of the underwater volcano.

Pasifika critical of proposed changes to kava regulation

The food and drink regulator is calling for public comment on proposed changes to the food standard regulating kava use which it said would clarify the original intent of the kava standard, and limit its preparation and consumption to traditional use.

A kava health expert in New Zealand Apo Aporosa said the regulator's proposed changes are just the latest in a long list of questionable regulatory requirements for kava.