15 Jul 2021

In brief: news from around the Pacific

3:20 pm on 15 July 2021

Namah says PNG should agree to Bougainville independence immediately

Papua New Guinea's opposition leader is calling for Bougainville's referendum agreement on independence to be brought before the national parliament and ratified.

Belden Namah said the overwhelming 2019 vote for self-rule needs to be brought before parliament without further delay.

Papua New Guinea MP for Vanimo-Green, Belden Namah.

Photo: Alex Smith

Namah told The National that the plebiscite was taken under the watch of the current parliament and should not be deferred to the next parliament.

He said there are reports of a 2027 deadline agreed between Prime Minister James Marape, Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama and Bougainville Regional MP Peter Tsiamalili.

But Namah claimed it was for the current parliament to agree and not for those men to discuss in private.

Niue preparing for two way travel

Niue's government is planning new vaccination requirements for when a two-way safe-travel bubble opens with New Zealand.

Despite there being no current requirement for returning Niueans and residents, the Department of Health says all travellers will need to be vaccinated once the island opens to New Zealand tourists.

It said officials are working on protocols for the 2-way quarantine free travel which will be announced in time for the bubble to safely open.

About 97 percent of the target population has already received the Pfizer vaccine provided by New Zealand.

Niue's total population is about 1500.

Dawn Raids apology event rescheduled for August

The Dawn Raids apology event has been rescheduled for Sunday 1 August, after it was postponed last month due to the Covid-19 alert level changes in Wellington.

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, said the event will take place at the Auckland Town Hall, with other meetings to follow.

He said he has received representation from South Auckland and Wellington, and that will be part of the next phase of our plan.

Aupito said there are many in our communities who are still traumatised by what occurred, so we need to spend time unpacking that providing the support.