Vanuatu daily news digest | 25 October 2014

Daily Post’s today outlines the steps being taken by the Natuman Government to remedy the situation as regards Bauerfield Airport. A World Bank team is arriving this week to assess the situation and a geotech consultancy is being appointed, Marango is advised by the PM’s Information Officer Kiery Manassah. The consultancy will give a study concerning the extent of the damage to the runway and the funding required for repair. There is a new Task Force. It is having nothing to do with VTDL which took the results of its survey with it when Parliament voted against its proposals.

The Independent, the newspaper run as a charity, however, has its editor saying that "absolutely nothing is happening as regards repairs at Bauerfield". He is certainly not very charitable in what he says, nor even slightly accurate, and must still be listening to the sacked Task Force. That one certainly did not see anything happen in a year or so.

Customary land owner Kalpovi Mangawai has agreed the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities (MIPU) use his land and beachfront near Ifira Point for the location of a temporary inter-island wharf facility. It will be a pontoon for loading and unloading of inter-island vessels as the Star Wharf is reconstructed under the Inter-Island Shipping Support Project.

Diamond-backed squid have been confirmed by Fisheries as being found in Vanuatu waters under the Grace of the Sea project. It is felt they may be able to be harvested in commercially worthwhile quantities. The Fisheries Department has been demonstrating the catch at their headquarters, VBTC News reports. Tourism personnel were also present.

The Independent reports Princess Anne here for the Emerging Pacific Leaders Dialogue for this year, involving chosen young people from around the region.

Santos Vatoko, CEO of the VNPF, responds to recent criticism in the media. On the Post VNPF page he suggests the Banian subdivision investment was processed in accordance with normal assessment protocols. A VNPF Erangorango decision has been delayed until certain conditions are fulfilled.

A Supreme Court order presently prohibits the government from acquiring Freshwind land, some 58 lease titles to protect the water source for the town. It appears a Supreme Court case, No. 171 of 2011, must first be determined before an acquisition can proceed. (Daily Post.)

The fair trade association ACTIV on Thursday launched a delicious new local industry which ‘adds value’ in a way all can appreciate – a chocolate industry. Cocoa beans used in the manufacture and testing of the local product were tested by a panel of experts. Daily Post reveals the very best seemed to be from Malekula,