Australia set to relax restrictions on Vanuatu kava imports

Australia to allow Vanuatu kava imports again

The big news today is very good news: Australia eases kava restriction, Read the rest of this entry »


As demand for seasonal labour grows, Labour Commissioner highlights need for vigilance against fake recruiters

Ni-Vanuatu seasonal workers Gilbert Massi and Michel Ulas picking apples at Vernview farm, Victoria, Australia. Photo: APAL/David and Sue Finger

Ni-Vanuatu seasonal workers Gilbert Massi and Michel Ulas picking apples. Photo: APAL

With the tenth anniversary of the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme coming up in April, Labour Commissioner Lionel Kaluat is using the opportunity to call on all RSE agents to Read the rest of this entry »


Salwai Govt celebrates first year in office

File photo PM Salwai at an anti-corruption protest in Port Vila last year. Photo: TIV

File photo PM Salwai at an anti-corruption protest in Port Vila last year. Photo: TIV

The Salwai Government is today celebrating one year in office with a Read the rest of this entry »


Northern Vanuatu’s main hospital cuts services due to staff shortages

Severely understaffed: Luganville's Northern Districts Hospital

Severely understaffed: Luganville’s Northern Districts Hospital

Northern District Hospital is facing an acute staffing shortage. Only some 24 out of 50 contracts issued by hospital management last October have been approved by Read the rest of this entry »


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 »


Kava exporter produces evidence to counter tampering accusations

kava

Peter Colmar, owner of Santo kava export business Sarami Plantation has responded to criticism of what were labelled as his “tainted” kava exports a week ago. The allegations of impurities in Sarami shipments were made by European kava expert Dr Mathias Schmidt in Germany and Vanuatu’s European Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy in Belgium. Colmar has angrily rejected the accusations of a week ago as “lies”, Daily Post reported on the weekend, and he produced gas chromatography data showing that his exported kava was a derived from a noble variety and contained only roots. There was some sympathy shown for Sarami and the Colmar position by the Agriculture Minister when contacted by Daily Post. He felt a cancellation of the exporter’s licence was not appropriate if the kava exported was of good quality. However, he said 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 »