Vanuatu’s TORBA Province postpones provincial election

The decision was made by the Council of Ministers in its 25th ordinary meeting this month.

Principle Electoral Officer of the Electoral Office, Joe Lati said the Electoral Commission has made the decision and it has been gazetted by State Law.

Lati said the TORBA election budget has been approved and logistics met.

Minister of Public Utilities and Infrastructure, Jay Ngwele presented the Council of Ministers paper where COM also resolved that that MALAMPA Provincial Election and Luganville Municipal Election will take place next year.

Successful discussions on National Trade Development with key actors of Vanuatu’s economy

Jimmy Rantes, the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business (MTTCNVB) Acting Director General, said “The Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and NiVanuatu Business is delighted to see that the National Trade Development is a priority in Vanuatu. The level of attendance to this National Trade Development Committee in Luganville shows the commitment of the key stakeholders across all the sectors. We look forward to keep working together next year.”

Pandemic presents big challenges for Pacific seasonal workers

New Zealand has a new one-way travel bubble with Pacific island countries such as Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga.

Vaccinated RSE workers from these countries can come to New Zealand without self-isolating or taking Covid-19 tests on arrival, after the one-way quarantine-free travel took effect last week.

Up to 5,000 workers are needed across the horticulture and viticulture industries during peak summer season in December and January.

The usual supply of backpackers to New Zealand's recognised seasonal workers scheme remains cut off due to Covid-19 border restrictions.

New Caledonia hospital demands payment from Vanuatu hospital before it receives patients

The hospital in New Caledonia is concerned at an already burgeoning debt for services that has not been paid by the Vanuatu Government.

Medipole Hospital says it's owed over 41 million vatu, or $US359,000 dollars, for medical treatment received by government leaders and senior civil servants.

Now it's asking for pre-payment of ten million vatu, or approximately $US87,000 dollars, before additional patients can be sent from Vanuatu.

Vanuatu backs Kanak call to delay vote on independence in New Caledonia

Prime Minister Bob Loughman told parliament he will raise his concerns with the French ambassador, Pierre Fournier, in Port Vila.

The Kanaks have asked Paris to delay the referendum because they are still mourning family members who died during the pandemic.

272 people have died in New Caledonia from Covid and about half of those victims were Kanaks.

The respect required within traditional ceremonies of mourning within Melanesian culture means activities such as political awareness and campaigning cannot take place.

Vanuatu radio network extended further

The small team travelled to Tanna with new cabling, cabinetry, microwave dishes, and other very high frequency components to add to the existing tower and enhance its capability to reach island communities that were previously out of radio range. 

Australian Army Signaller Athol Keeton explained what the combined Vanuatu Police Force and Australian Army team was doing and how it would help island communities near Tanna. 

Vanuatu receives extra boost from China to combat Covid-19

The donation was made by the Ambassador of China to Vanuatu, Zhou Haicheng to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marc Ati.

The fund, according to Minister Ati, will be used to assist Vanuatu in its efforts to combatting Covid-19, as pledged during the recently held inaugural China-Pacific islands Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

“It is also a testament of China’s commitment to work together with Pacific Island countries to strengthen cooperation against Covid-19 and work for a community of heal for all.”

Vanuatu confirms 2 repatriation flights for students in Fiji

The flight dates have been notified by the National COVID-19 Taskforce, said Chairman of the National Scholarship and Training Board (NSTB), Collin Natonga.

The repatriates are government sponsored students according to a Daily Post report.

It includes the 26 students who were supposed to return after competing studies at the end of this year’s first semester.

VT26 million(US$231,000) was spent on their allowance and accommodation while waiting for repatriation, said Natonga.

Vanuatu sets up standard fumigation facility

The fumigation chamber housed under the Department of Biosecurity Vanuatu will address issues associated with export products as all commodities, goods and items subject to fumigation will be fumigated here before leaving the country.

The chamber was realized through the EDF11's budget support to address challenges faced with export pathways thus improving the quality of raw Vanuatu products for export.

Vanuatu: First local Bahá’í temple in the Pacific opens its doors

The opening program included remarks by Henry Tamashiro whom the Universal House of Justice had named as its representative to the event. Mr. Tamashiro read a letter of the House of Justice addressed to the gathering, which stated: “This sacred edifice shines out as a beacon of light. May it become a centre from which spiritual forces radiate, may it diffuse the illumination of the Lord, and like unto the resplendent rays of dawn, may it brighten the horizon before you.”