Vanuatu’s share of airspace revenue increases — but Fiji still retains 93%

Pacific region Flight Information Regions (FIRs)

Pacific region Flight Information Regions (FIRs)

Vanuatu’s share of the upper airspace revenue has increased following the renegotiation of the Nadi Flight Information Region (FIR) revenue sharing agreement with Fiji. Joseph Niel, Director of the Civil Aviation Authority Vanuatu, paints the new agreement as a Vt50 million win for Vanuatu in Daily Post. The Nadi FIR includes the airspace of Vanuatu, part of Kiribati, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, but Fiji gets the lion’s share of revenue, up to 93% – while Vanuatu gets just 2.5%. Renegotiation of the agreement, long a thorn in the side of the Vanuatu Government, had been a priority. However, questions remain about why the revenue sharing calculation still gives Fiji such a large share when similar FIR revenue sharing agreements for nearby FIRs are seemingly far more equitable. For example, the Brisbane FIR, which covers the airspace of Solomon Islands and Nauru, gives 60% of revenue to the two island nations.

The name of the new High Commissioner to Vanuatu from New Zealand Read the rest of this entry »

Due diligence reason for delay in awarding tender for Bauerfield runway improvements

Port Vila's Bauerfield international airport

It would seem the World Bank feels insufficient due diligence has been activated for this very expensive project. And look where airfield improvements got the previous government (former ministers in prison) because of lack of due diligence over Rentabau. Tenderers for the Bauerfield airport works are being told there is a delay Read the rest of this entry »

Salwai Govt’s consultative approach to community development pays off with Ambrym airport decision

Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Charlot Salwai. Photo: ITU

Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Charlot Salwai. Photo: ITU

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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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MSG members to meet on 20th December to discuss West Papua’s membership

Supporters of full membership of MSG for West Papua demonstrate in Port Vila last April. Photo: AWPA

Vanuatu supporters of West Papua full membership of MSG marching in Port Vila last April. Photo: AWPA

December 20 is now proposed as the date for the MSG Leaders Summit to discuss membership, especially West Papua’s. The meeting was postponed from the first week of October in Port Vila. The new DG Amena Yauvoli told Kizzy Kalsakau of Buzz FM Nightly News that the date awaits confirmation from MSG Leaders. The MSG Secretariat is simply awaiting a consensus on the date. (Daily Post)

The People’s Plan as outlined yesterday on this website has been under discussion today in the National Convention Centre. This National Development Plan is to cover the period from Read the rest of this entry »

Returned seasonal worker starts support program to help other seasonal workers

Peter Bumseng: started a community support program to help seasonal workers. Photo: SSGM

Peter Bumseng: after experiencing the challenges of being a seasonal worker firsthand, he and his wife started a community support program to help fellow seasonal workers. Photo: SSGM

What happens in communities when migrants leave? Regardless of the benefits provided by remittance income and the skills learnt in new labour markets, there are concerns about what occurs back home. These questions are also relevant for the seasonal workers themselves who move back and forth between countries, coming and going from their communities and culture. One primary factor is how seasonal work can be gendered. For example, in 2013-14 and 2014-15, approximately 87 per cent of participants in Australia’s Seasonal Worker Program were male, which can have implications for families and local communities.

At the recent State of the Pacific 2016 conference hosted by the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia program at The Australian National University, Peter Bumseng spoke about his experience in the New Zealand Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) program. Peter was one of the original 45 people from Vanuatu who were sponsored in a pilot program by the World Bank to work in New Zealand in 2007. He has participated in the program every year since, and five years ago he and his wife established the Strengthening Seasonal Worker Family Program in Vanuatu.

In his speech to the conference and an interview afterwards, Peter explained how his community had responded to people leaving and returning as seasonal workers: Read the rest of this entry »

New border treaty signed with Solomon Islands; PM thanks NZ for post-Cyclone Pam assistance


President Baldwin Lonsdale, Vanuatu PM Charlot Salwai and Solomon Islands PM Manasseh Sogavare are travelling to the Banks Islands today to sign the historical new border treaty with Solomon Islands. The leaders will participate in a cultural festival at Motalava until late today, and Vetande Island is being declared a cultural marine park. Negotiations between the two countries for a border agreement began in 1983 and are being completed according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It is the first such agreement for Vanuatu and similar future boundary decisions are Read the rest of this entry »