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. 

Rotuman mother pursues passion for fashion

Ravai Titifanue opened her online fashion boutique The Colour Closet two months ago, hoping to bring popping bright outfits to New Zealanders all year round.

Based in Wellington, Titifanue sells Pacific-inspired women's clothing that ranges from casual to formal.

She says her love for colour is heavily influenced by her upbringing on Rotuma Island and being surrounded by hues and arrays of colours from the hills to the ocean.

New partnership looks to create Pacific wide micro insurance solution for coastal fisheries sector

Many Pacific Islanders depend on coastal fisheries for both food and income but the sector is vulnerable to natural disasters, including cyclones, which can expose them to severe risks.

Having appropriate insurance is one way to mitigate the risks, and will help to build resilience and the ability to cope with financial shocks arising from natural disasters and other extreme events. 

NZ minister wants better dengue warnings at Pacific airports

Aupito William Sio was responding to the outbreak of dengue in Tonga where a New Zealand girl contracted the disease and died.

The 12-year-old had been visiting family in the kingdom.

Aupito has called for greater regional awareness about the risk of dengue, saying public health authorities have lots of information available internally.

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."