Happy Constitution Day! Plus–Air Zealand clears Airbus A320s to land; Solomon Islands PM Sogavare on official visit

Kava ceremony at the Vanuatu Constitution signing ceremony, on this day in 1979

Kava ceremony at the Vanuatu Constitution signing ceremony, on this day in 1979

Happy Constitution Day, Vanuatu! President Baldwin Lonsdale has just addressed those attending the annual celebration, reminding them of the necessity of following the Mama Law of Vanuatu which has seen many infringements in the last 12 months by persons elected to represent us. The ceremony takes place in the small square in front of the Port Vila Market where the original document was signed in 1979 (as shown in the image above).

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Vanuatu youth leader receives Queen’s Young Leader Award at Buckingham Palace

Queen Elizabeth greets Mary Siro at last Thursday's ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London. Photo: BCA

Queen Elizabeth greets Mary Siro at last Thursday’s ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London. Photo: BCA

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Air New Zealand considers resuming charter flights to Vila

Air New Zealand Boeing 787

Photo: Masakatsu Ukon/Wikimedia Commons

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European Union and New Zealand give Vt2.5B assistance for agriculture and cyclone recovery

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully, PM Salwai and EU Commissioner for International Co-operation and Development Neven Mimica signing the joint declaration on sustainable agriculture yesterday. Photo: @EUPasifika/Twitter

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully, PM Salwai and EU Commissioner for International Co-operation and Development Neven Mimica signing the joint declaration on sustainable agriculture yesterday. Photo: @EUPasifika/Twitter

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GJP gains additional seat in parliament after recount; Air New Zealand not acting in good faith, says Vanuatu Govt

Graon mo Jastis Party's Gillion William: elected to Efate Rural on recount

Graon mo Jastis Party’s Gillion William: elected MP for Rural Efate following recount

Graon mo Jastis Pati now has another seat in Parliament bringing their total to seven. The court-ordered recount for the 2016 General Election results for the rural Efate constituency placed Gillion William three votes ahead of Nato Taiwia of the Melanesian Progressive Party. A Government Gazette issued this morning announced Gillion William as the winner of the Efate constituency which had previously been awarded to Taiwia. Gillion William will be sworn in in the next sitting of Parliament.

Vanuatu Government refused an Air New Zealand charter flight scheduled for April 28 for taking RSE workers in and out of the country. Minister Jotham Napat says the Government questions why Air New Zealand’s refuses to reinstate its Auckland-Vila service, citing concerns with the runway —yet has no apparent concerns to operate a charter flight carrying ni-Vanuatu workers.” “The question must be asked”, says Minister of Public Utilities and Infrastructure Jotham Napat, “why are they willing to operate a profitable charter flight, yet not commit to resuming commercial services?”

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First Negotiator Certificates issued after land reforms; Air New Zealand refusing to re-open Port Vila route; Opposition no-show in Parliamentary committees

Air New Zealand refuses to return to Port Vila. Photo: Wikimedia CommonsAir New Zealand refuses to return to Port Vila. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Air New Zealand refuses to return to Port Vila. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Air New Zealand, Qantas suspend all flights to Port Vila

airnz

Air New Zealand has suspended all flights to Port Vila’s Bauerfield International Airport, citing concerns over the deteriorating state of the runway.

Qantas has also followed suit, suspending their codeshare arrangement with Air Vanuatu this afternoon.

Both airlines will despatch safety experts over the weekend to assess the state of the runway.

Air New Zealand’s flight operations general manager said that the runway had been deteriorating for some time, and that Air New Zealand had “taken the difficult decision to suspend services before the situation became unsafe”, says a story published this afternoon on the Australian Financial Review‘s website afr.com.