Vanuatu and New Caledonia meet to discuss development relationship

deux drapeaux

The Governments of New Caledonia and Vanuatu are meeting as they do annually. Their venue is the National Convention Centre in Port Vila. The Vanuatu Prime Minister and the President of the New Caledonian Government are conducting the bilateral meeting to discuss Read the rest of this entry »

Vanuatu Revenue Review report cites Vt 5 billion Govt revenue shortfall

10000 vatu note

The official handover of the Vanuatu Revenue Review final report looking into reform and modernisation, yesterday, has resulted in excellent coverage in last weekend’s media. Those most closely involved are pleased with the work undertaken. From the Report will be drawn conclusions concerning income tax, and the report makes it abundantly clear, as does the Report, that Government Revenue does not meet the billions required of it. Minister Pikioune sees a revenue shortfall presently of Vt 5 billion. Other Government sources put the figure closer to Vt 2 billion. But a shortfall means something surely has to be done.

Finance Minister Pikioune was presented with Read the rest of this entry »

Vanuatu remains without a Head of State

Vanuatu flag

The Electoral College sat again this afternoon but was unable to reach a final choice for President. They will now meet again tomorrow, Thursday morning, to choose the new President following the death of Fr Baldwin Lonsdale. Chief Justice Lunabek has continued as Returning Officer for the poll. This afternoon Tallis Obed Moses achieved Read the rest of this entry »

Vanuatu’s latest hospital theatre opens in north Pentecost

The brand new Mauna operating theatre, opened yesterday in Abwatuntora, Pentecost. Photo: Gabriel Vusi Lai via Facebook

The new Mauna operating theatre, opened yesterday in Abwatuntora, Pentecost. Photo: Gabriel Vusi Lai/Facebook

Vanuatu’s latest hospital, the Mauna operating theatre in Abwatuntora on Pentecost was opened yesterday and has already seen its first patient, a patient who had reportedly travelled several times previously to Vila without being treated successfully. The man has now been operated in the new theatre on is home island and is Read the rest of this entry »

First revision to Mental Health Act since 1965 to focus on human rights

An amended Mental Health Act is almost complete. Under the guidance of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Vanuatu’s antique 1965 text is being brought up to date and the final work is expected today. Director of Pubic Health, Len Tarivonda, pointed out to the visiting experts how human rights issues now had to be properly acknowledged. Human rights abuses have been common practice in many communities, he said. Vanuatu does not have a dedicated facility for treating people with mental health issues.

Also in health news: as we first reported back in March, Vanuatu is pioneering the use of drones to deliver vaccines to remote communities. With poorly and irregularly maintained rural road services, Vanuatu will provide a Read the rest of this entry »

Drones planned to deliver vital medical supplies to remote islands

A new project will enable remote areas to receive urgently needed medical supplies by drone, the remote controlled pilotless aircraft. UNICEF is working with Government to make the project a reality for the small island developing countries. A previous trial in Malawi in Africa has already proven successful and the approach is now being trialled in Vanuatu.

President Lonsdale has spoken out on the international stage for much stronger action against climate change. Pres. Lonsdale, speaking as the leader of a small island developing state (SIDS), says “climate change is real and devastating my nation. As a long-time leader at the national level, I can confirm that Read the rest of this entry »

Tanna kastom shines on the Oscars red carpet

Red carpet kastom – directors and cast of Tanna at last night's Academy Awards in Los Angeles, USA. Photo: @tannamovie/Twitter

Red carpet kastom – directors and cast of Tanna at the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, California USA last night. Photo: @tannamovie/Twitter

Just to have been nominated for an Oscar is still something to celebrate even if Tanna did not win the foreign language film winning category. Iranian film The Salesman has won the category. Nevertheless it generated enough excitement to have a powerful kastom dance from Tanna take over the foyer of the National Convention Centre in Port Vila during live streaming of the Oscars ceremony here yesterday afternoon, where Tanna stars Dain and Wawa were guests of honour. Dain told Len Garae of Daily Post he “never dreamed the movie would make it to Port Vila let alone as far as Hollywood”.

A different kind of Vanuatu matter has also received media coverage in the United States — Read the rest of this entry »