Pacific Islands

COVID-19 and its likely impact on the tuna industry in the Pacific Islands

Approximately 60 percent of the raw material for the global tuna canning market comes from the WCPO. There are two reasons why COVID-19’s impact on the tuna industry should be monitored.

First, shelf-stable foods, such as canned tuna, have taken on a new level of significance for food security. Second, Pacific island countries are dependent on revenues from the licensing of fishing vessels.

Managed transit allows stranded New Zealand travellers to get home

“There are millions of people around the world stranded by COVID-19 and we are continuing to do our part to help them get home,” Mr Peters said. “Accordingly, Cabinet agreed yesterday that New Zealand would seek reciprocal transit arrangements with a number of countries to enable our citizens to transit each other’s airports.

“One barrier to New Zealanders getting home at present is the transit restrictions imposed by a number of countries. We continue to seek assistance from these countries to enable New Zealanders to transit through their airports in order to come home.

NZ declares war on coconut rhinoceros beetle in the Pacific

A new strain of the beetle, CRB-G, is resistant to traditional control methods, and the government said it could cause $US150 million dollars to be lost from the Pacific's coconut and palm oil industries every year.

CRB-G is established in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands where it is damaging palm trees.

New Zealand is contributing about $US11 million dollars to the fight, some of which will go to science institute AgResearch.

Once a stronghold, Taiwan's presence in the Pacific wanes

In just four days, Taiwan's diplomatic allies fell from 17 to 15, further isolating the island as Beijing aggressively courts the handful of countries that still recognise the government in Taipei.

The Pacific had been a stronghold of support for Taipei as its diplomatic allies steadily dwindled. Until this week, six countries in the region recognised Taiwan over China. But in terms of population, Solomon Islands and Kiribati were the biggest.

Auckland city kava bar hopes to win hearts and minds over drink

The drink - an earthy-tasting ground root which numbs muscles and has been used to treat anxiety and stress - has been used widely across the Pacific and among its diaspora for centuries.

But the West, commercial traction has been held back by a lack of education around Pacific culture and limited research into its effects, experts say. Although legal in New Zealand, kava imports been restricted in many Western jurisdictions, including parts of Australia.

Pacific Islands to be well represented at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin

Member countries are represented by their national tourism offices and these include Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, New Caledonia Tourism, Samoa Tourism Authority, Vanuatu Tourism and the Solomon Island Visitors Bureau.  Private sector participants are Turama Pacific, Air Caledonie International and Noumea Discovery Travel Company

PNG to attend Peace Summit

The event will be attended on PNG’s behalf by the Chief Justice, Sir Gibbs Salika, and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jeffrey Komal, and Acting PNG High Commissioner to Australia, Sakias Tameo.

They will be accompanied by other Pacific Islands Nation dignitaries to attend the event which aims to promote peace around the world.

Major League Rugby scouting for Pacific talent

Major League Rugby completed its inaugural season last month with the Seattle Seawolves beating the Glendale Raptors in the grand final.

Former Fiji sevens captain Osea Kolinisau (Houston SaberCats) and 'Ikale Tahi first five Kurt Morath (Utah Warriors) were among the Pacific players to feature in the debut Major League Rugby campaign.

The competition's top try-scorer, Tonata Lauti, was born in Tonga before moving to Salt Lake City with his family in 1996.

Illegal fishing on Pacific leaders summit agenda

The Pacific Island Leaders Meeting, known as PALM, is held in Japan every three years.

Japan's government hosts the PALM summits as a way to share its assistance programme with Pacific Island Forum countries.

Ahead of this summit, Tokyo said measures to help Pacific countries enforce maritime law within their maritime jurisdictions would be included in a joint statement for the eighth PALM meeting.

Pacific Island countries struggle to adequately police their exclusive economic zones which have become subject to regular incursions by so-called Vietnamese blue boats.

Kiwifruit body wants more RSE workers

The body's chief executive, Nikki Johnson, said this reflected the current labour shortage facing the industry in the Bay of Plenty region.

The cap was increased from 10,500 to 11,100 for this year's season and around 2000 RSE workers would operate in the Bay of Plenty at some point, Ms Johnson said.

An extra 1200 workers were needed over the next month, however, to pick and pack the kiwifruit crop, she said.