French vessels caught fishing illegally by Vanuatu

The small, uninhabited islands of Matthew and Hunter have been the subject of a long running territorial dispute between Vanuatu and France, with both countries claiming sovereignty over them - in France's case, it says they are part of its territory of New Caledonia.

The dispute remains very much unresolved.

In the latest development, Vanuatu's national fishing monitoring agency confirmed the three long-liner fishing vessels based in Noumea were sailing in these disputed waters.

Seasonal worker advocates welcome minimum pay requirements

The ruling will include Pacific seasonal workers but advocates say more needs to be done to protect workers from exploitation.

Joe Karu from the Vanuatu National Workers Union welcomes the news, saying that previously the piece rate meant some seasonal workers couldn't keep up with the cost of living.

"It's very good news," he said.

Pacific labour expert Rochelle Lee Bailey from the Australian National University has examined the seasonal workers scheme since 2007 and said this decision is a long time coming.

Delta variant confirmed in Vanuatu Covid-19 cases

The cases entered Vanuatu from New Caledonia on Friday, 22 October and were detected as positive on Sunday, 24 October.

Both active cases have been transferred to the Covid-19 isolation facility.

Loughman confirmed that test results from Doherty Institute in Australia indicated that the Covid-19 variant is delta.

Air Vanuatu cancels repatriation flight, passengers stranded

This could be the first group of travellers bound for Solomon Islands that have been prevented from entering the country under the government’s latest measure on full vaccination mandatory requirement.

The passengers include 10 nurses and their 17 dependents, about 10 local law students studying at USP’s Emalus campus in Vanuatu, and other locals including a few Vanuatu citizens who have families in Solomon Islands.

Vanuatu’s female footballers rejoice in milestone moment

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and its member associations are grasping that opportunity with both hands to ensure a strong platform is built for future growth.

The latest country to reach a new milestone is Vanuatu, with the Melanesian nation this week completing the first edition of a national women’s competition. The geographical spread of nation’s archipelago - as is often the case in the Pacific - means organising such an event is no easy feat.

Vanuatu loses bid to host Pacific Games 2027

Tahiti and Vanuatu were bidding to stage the 18th edition of the continental event.

The PGC’s 22 members voted in favour of Tahiti’s candidacy at the General Assembly today.

Vanuatu had been hoping to host the Pacific Games for the first time, building on the successful staging of the 2017 Pacific Mini Games.

Vanuatu previously bid for the 2015 Pacific Games, but was beaten in the race by Papua New Guinea and its capital city Port Moresby.

Vanuatu's Nagriamel calls on govt to not make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory

The current secretary general of the Nagriamel Political Commission, Jeff Batunvanu, said compulsory vaccination goes against people's rights.

He said it is understood the government is considering legislation to do this.

But Mr Batunvanu said some people's decisions are on their Christian faith and such a ruling by the government will take away their individual rights.

He said it's his earnest request that the government makes a thorough analysis before making a decision on any new regulation.


Covid-19 case in Vanuatu moved to main hospital

Vanuatu's Acting Director General of Health, Dr Samuel Posikai said the case is in an Isolation Ward at Vila Central Hospital.

Health authorities say the result of samples taken which have been sent to Melbourne, for clarification on whether it is the Delta Variant, will be confirmed within the next 48 hours.

Meanwhile Dr Posikai said in case of a Covid outbreak, Vanuatu will need a further 153 nurses and 83 support staff in a worst-case scenario.

Bookings trickle in for quarantine-free flights from Samoa, Tonga, Tokelau, Vanuatu

One-way travel with low-risk Pacific countries resumes on November 8 from the three islands and Tokelau, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced last week.

Travellers from those nations will be able to bypass spending 14 days at a managed isolation and quarantine facility.

All travellers, New Zealand citizens, and NZ resident or visa critical purpose visa holders, would need to have stayed 14 days in their countries before departure and aren’t required to provide a pre-departure test.

They must be fully vaccinated, unless they are New Zealand citizens.

Vanuatu parliament debates cannabis bill

The Daily Post reports that even though the bill has yet to be discussed, preparatory work has already begun by a foreign company on the island of Tanna, backed by the island's Nikoletan Council of Chiefs.

Cannabis grows wild on the fertile volcanic island, as well as on the other 82 islands.

Birds feed on the seeds and the plant naturally grows via bird droppings.