Pacific

Britain and NZ to co-host Pacific climate change forum

The New Zealand Herald reports the Foreign Minister Winston Peters welcomed the pledge on closer co-operation in the Pacific made by his British counterpart Boris Johnson following talks between the pair in London.

The two foreign ministers discussed a range of issues including future negotiations on a bilateral Free Trade Agreement post-Brexit in March 2019, and Peters reiterated New Zealand's support for the UK following the attack in Salisbury.

Aust minister says the people oppose aid increases

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that 80 percent of Australians do not support any further spending on foreign aid.

Ms Fierravanti-Wells revealed the results of the government's polling as she called for Britain to partner on infrastructure development in the Pacific.

Speaking to aid agencies on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, she said the Australian aid budget will be kept at US$3 billion dollars and would not increase until the economy was back on a sustainable footing.

Pacific finish Commonwealth Games with 18 medals

Weightlifting led the way with 11 medals while boxing, lawn bowls, athletics, rugby sevens and beach volleyball combined for another seven.

The Pacific won 18 medals on the Gold Coast, their best return since winning 21 at the 2002 Games in Manchester.

Samoa was the region's top performer with two gold and three silver medals, their highest ever Commonwealth Games tally.

Papua New Guinea won three medals in weightlifting, including Steven Kari repeating his gold medal effort from 2014.

Australia wants more influence in the Pacific

The Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop is using a trip to Papua New Guinea and Tonga to tell Pacific nations that they are Australia's biggest beneficiaries.

Speaking in the PNG province of New Ireland, Ms Bishop said Australia is funding programmes which promote good governance and would strengthen relationships.

"We believe that we are the natural partner of choice along with New Zealand for the islands of the Pacific where we work across a whole range of areas," she said.

     

NZ Government strengthens ties with Pacific region

Jacinda Ardern last week led the Pacific Mission to Samoa, Niue, Tonga and the Cook Islands on her first official visit as Prime Minister.

Aupito William Sio, who travelled with the PM, says there is a definite shift in New Zealand's focus in the Pacific.

"New Zealand is firmly anchored in the Pacific and it was important to transform the relationship from a donor-aid recipient to a one of partnership," he says.

"I think the Pacific governments, the people of the Pacific countries that we visited, certainly felt something different."

 

Gender equality lowest in Pacific

Papua New Guinea for the first time does not have any female representative in the 10th parliament.

A disappointed Dame Meg said only Tuvalu, Samoa and now New Zealand have women in parliament.

Samoa has had women’s seats reserved that helps in women participating in politics and decision making.

Recently the World Economic Forum predicted that it will take at least six generations to fully address gender equality.

NZ not competing with China in Pacific

On Monday, Ardern pledged the government would dedicate almost $10 million in aid and support for Samoa.

She told Morning Report that regardless of what other countries were doing, New Zealand should exercise its duties and responsibilities as partners and friends in the Pacific.

Systemic issues blamed for Kiribati ferry disaster

He said disasters like the MV Butiraoi sinking are waiting to happen, have happened before and are likely happen again.

At least 80 people are missing presumed dead after the ferry sank last month en route from the island of Nonouti to Tarawa.

Dr Nuttall said systemic issues have to be addressed including the lack of investment and more renewable energy funding earmarked for maritime transport.

He pointed out that maritime transport is a public good in the far flung islands of the Pacific.

Category six cyclone rating needed as storms get bigger

James Shaw said there had already been category five storms that would have been given a higher rating if one was available.

A category five cyclone, as defined by New Zealand's MetService, has winds speeds between 215 and 230 kilometres per hour.

This differs from category five cyclones in Australia, which have winds exceeding 280 kilometres per hour.

Mr Shaw's comments at the Pacific Climate Conference in Wellington come as some New Zealanders affected by Cyclone Gita have been told it could take up to a year to clean up the region.

Pacific climate change advocates urge global community to tackle the issue

Nearly 400 academics, scientists, policy makers and politicians are in the capital for the three-day conference.

Brianna Fruean, from Samoa and representing Pacific Climate Change Warriors, says it's encouraging to see more youth taking action against climate change.