Public urged to report Vietnamese ‘blue boats’ illegally fishing in Vanuatu territorial waters

An example of Vietnamese 'blue boat' – fishing vessels that have frequently been caught plundering the fisheries of Pacific nations. File photo: Wikimedia Commons

An example of Vietnamese ‘blue boat’ – vessels known to be illegally fishing inside the territorial waters of Pacific nations. File photo: Wikimedia Commons

Vietnamese ‘blue boats’ illegally fishing in our exclusive economic zone are a threat to Vanuatu’s environment and food security. Fisheries Director Kalo Pakoa asks the public to call the Vanuatu Mobile Force’s Maritime Base on 22860 to report any sightings of ‘blue boats’, so named for their distinctive hue. They are not fitted with automatic identification systems, as is the case with vessels licenced to fish in our waters, so are difficult to track. Three such vessels’ captains have been prosecuted recently in New Caledonia and their catch seized by the French Navy, but they subsequently escaped Read the rest of this entry »


Seasonal worker scheme expands recruitment into remote communities as demand from NZ farmers grows

RSE scheme workers Philip Tasso (L) and James Iata (R) pick apples on a farm in Motueka, New Zealand. Photo: MFAT NZ

RSE scheme workers Philip Tasso and James Iata pick apples on a farm in Motueka, New Zealand. Photo: NZ MFAT

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New Australian High Commissioner welcomed to Vanuatu by Head of State

Australia's new High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Jenny Da Rin. File photo: GPE/Creative Commons

Australia’s new High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Jenny Da Rin. File photo: GPE/Creative Commons

Good wishes being expressed for new Australian High Commissioner, Jenny Da Rin, whom I was privileged to meet informally earlier this week, ahead of Australia Day tomorrow. The new head of mission for our largest development partner has presented her credentials to President Lonsdale and has spoken of the excellence of the relations between the two countries. More recently she has had talks with Acting PM Joe Natuman, Radio Vanuatu News told us today.

Daily Post details breaches of the Leadership Code by the former Education Minister Bob Loughman. Loughman is alleged to have instructed the Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu community organisations petition Australia over its support of Indonesian military units involved in killings of Papuans

Video still of Detachment 88 troops firing live rounds at civilians attending the Third Papuan People’s Congress, October 19, 2011. Photo: West Papua Media

Video still showing members of Detachment 88 firing live rounds at civilians attending the 3rd Papuan People’s Congress, October 19, 2011. Photo: West Papua Media

The Vanuatu’s leading national community-based organisations are petitioning the Australian Government to “stop the killing [of] Melanesian people in West Papua” by way of providing financial support and military training for elite Indonesian Kopassus and Densus (Detachment) 88 military and police units, made possible through Australian bilateral military cooperation with Indonesia. Apart from the Vanuatu Free West Papua Association, organisations signing the petition include the Malvatumauri, VNCW, VANGO and the National Youth Council. All bodies remain convinced that indigenous peoples have an inalienable right to freedom and sovereignty over their national territory. The Australian Government is petitioned to respect all the instruments on Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by the UN General Assembly. (Daily Post)

Government will ensure stability in the maintenance of services to the people. This was another of the points made Wednesday evening in the Prime Minister’s Read the rest of this entry »


Larger aircraft to be able to land at Bauerfield, thanks to additional funds from World Bank for Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project

The World Bank's Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project will enable long-haul Code E aircraft such as Boeing's 787 (above) to use Bauerfield International Airport

The World Bank’s Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project will enable larger, long-haul Code E aircraft such as Boeing’s 787 (above) to use Bauerfield International Airport. Photo: Boeing

The World Bank announced USD 14 million (Approx. Vt 1.5 billion) in additional funding to strengthen air transport and an expansion of works under the Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project yesterday. Vanuatu’s Finance Minister Gaeton Pikioune says  Read the rest of this entry »


VNPF inquiry learns of zero return from Vt300M investment in Club Vanuatu

VNPF Building, Port Vila. Photo: Jean Van Jean

VNPF Building, Port Vila. Photo: Jean Van Jean

The official inquiry into the Vanuatu National Provident Fund has learned that the VNPF’s failed investment in the now defunct Club Vanuatu cost the Fund over Vt 300 million and earned zero returns for members. There would appear to be a wide level of Read the rest of this entry »


Its Pacific cyclone season – please sign this petition and help save lifesaving shortwave radio to our islands

Animated satellite images taken from March 13 2015. Photo: US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The ABC’s shortwave radio broadcasts helped many in Vanuatu during Cyclone Pam in 2015.

As you read this, a cyclone is forming east of Vanuatu. As people in Vanuatu are well aware, up-to-date information is critical when preparing for a natural disaster.

Unfortunately, in the middle of the Pacific cyclone season, Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC, says it will end shortwave radio broadcasts to the Pacific Islands by 31st January.

This decision puts lives at risk in Vanuatu and the rest of the Pacific. The ABC’s shortwave service provide lifesaving information during cyclones and other disasters as well as playing an important role in ensuring media freedom. Here in Vanuatu, during Cyclone Pam in 2015, ABC shortwave broadcasts helped people outside of the range of FM radio and cellular phone towers keep up to date with cyclone warnings. The service undoubtedly helped ni-Vanuatu people prepare and may have even saved lives.

The Pacific Freedom Forum has organised a petition to let decision-makers in Australia know how vital the ABC’s shortwave radio services are for us in the Pacific. Will you please help?

Please click this link to sign the petition.

Thank you.