13 Feb 2012

Reconciliation moves in Vanuatu over NZer death

7:54 am on 13 February 2012

Custom chiefs from Vanuatu's Aneityum Island and the families related to the suspect behind last December's killing of New Zealander Dick Eade have started a reconciliation ceremony.

Mr Eade was allegedly shot dead by a nurse, Philip Tanaki, on his sub-division at Etas outside Port Vila amid a land dispute.

The Port Vila Town Council of Chiefs Chairman, Chief Isaac Worwor, says the ceremony that took place at the National Council of Chiefs Nakamal is but the start on the journey towards saying sorry to the National Council of Chiefs, the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs of Efate where Mr Eade lived and worked, the New Zealand High Commission and eventually the deceased's own family.

Chief Worwor says it is a heavy burden for the chiefs and people of Aneityum to carry but he is confident that they know what they are doing.

He says he believes that the relevant custom remedies will be used to finally close the tragic chapter of Port Vila's recent history of an honest investor who had the best interest of the people of Vanuatu at heart only to be shot to death by a selfish individual.

The late Mr Eade was involved in New Zealand's Recognised Seasonal Employers scheme and sent more than 1,000 people to work in New Zealand.

There are currently about 2,300 ni-Vanuatu workers in New Zealand.