Pacific

Category 1 cyclone off New Caledonia

According to the New Zealand Met Service, Fehi is moving in a south-southeast direction and is expected to pass to the west of New Caledonia.

It is currently a category one cyclone, according to the Service, is not expected to intensify.

New Caledonia's met service describes the system as a weak low.

It said, however, people in the northern half of the main island and those along the east coast will get up to 200mm of rain and experience gusts of up to 100 kilometres an hour.

Mosquito app could help fight against dengue

This summer there has been a spike in dengue fever cases in Samoa, American Samoa, Fiji, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna, while the region has also experienced cases of malaria, chikungunya and zika.

The free app, which took two years to develop, has successfully been piloted in four countries, including Haiti and Sierra Leone.

Rebecca Levine from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the app logs what's found in traps, letting users know where mosquito populations are concentrated.

Australia's Bishop calls Pacific leaders amid aid row fallout

Last week, international development minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells claimed China was lending on unfavourable terms and constructing "useless buildings" and "roads to nowhere."

The Senator's comments sparked a backlash from Pacific leaders and Beijing, with the Cook Islands finance minister calling them unfortunate, and Samoa's prime minister calling them insulting.

Beijing hit back, and a number of analysts have been quick to point out Australian-funded roads to nowhere and a general lack of attention to the region by Canberra, which has opened the door to China.

Pacific people called on to learn more about kidney disease

Education specialist at Kidney Health New Zealand Carmel Gregan-Ford said many patients don't know they have kidney disease until it's far too late, which is why it's dubbed the 'silent killer'.

Ms Gregan-Ford said Pacific people remain at high risk due to increased rates of diabetes and high blood pressure that often relate to poor lifestyle choices, among other factors.

She urges people to take note of symptoms that are often wide and varied.

Kava craze hits the USA

Kavafied is the brain child of former NFL player Matt Masifilo, who developed a simple and quick way to make kava at the end of his 2014 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

He says people in the USA are catching on to the kava craze and the demand for the Pacific Island beverage is at an all-time high.

“There’s not enough kava right now to meet demand, especially with the phenomenon of the American kava bar scene that’s exploding on to the market right now."

ANZ reduces Pacific money transfer fees

The fees for transfers to Fiji, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands and Kiribati have been lowered by 60 percent, from 18 NZ dollars to seven dollars.

The ANZ's Paul Goodwin said the bank now knows how important the transfers are to local communities.

The bank said the change comes after its "successful trial" of the lowered fees to send money to Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga which began in May last year, which it says will continue.

In June ANZ lowered the fees from Australia to Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Tonga.

Pacific support for league could outstrip that for rugby

Damon Salesa, an associate professor of Pacific Studies at Auckland University, said rugby should have more Pacific people involved in its decision-making.

Fifty years ago there were 56,000 people described as Pacific living in New Zealand but by 2013 that figure had increased to almost 300,000.

In Auckland, more than one in four babies is Pasifika.

During the recent Rugby League World Cup, two Pacific nations, Tonga and Fiji, made the semi-finals, while the Kiwis missed out.

Pacific plays key role in bid to ban nukes

The Campaign, a coalition of NGOs, organised the nuclear weapons ban treaty adopted in July by 122 states, including six pacific countries, in the UN General Assembly.

Dr Griffen, a long-time anti-nuclear advocate, says it'd be significant if all 12 Pacific island states ratified the treaty.

More restrictions possible for foreign fleets fishing the Pacific

The comments come as the annual meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, or Tuna Commission, takes place in Pasay City in the Philippines.

The FFA's director-general, James Movick, said it was too early to tell how much fish could be caught on the high seas and action needed to be taken to ensure the rest of the world held off on overfishing.

Private Sector investment in the Pacific

A launch was staged at Auckland’s Fale Pasifika on Tuesday, where the final report on Private Sector Investment in the Pacific was presented by Professor Simon Milne AUT Associate Head of School, Research and Development and Director, NZ Tourism Research Institute on behalf of his team Carolyn Deuchar, Tracy Berno, Semisi Taumoepeau, Michael Pusinelli and Jaimee Raymond.