3 Aug 2022

Pacific news in brief August 2

9:10 am on 3 August 2022

Covid cases shoot up in Niue; Tsiamalili wins in Bougainville Regional; Pacific law enforcement officials meet in Fiji; and New Caledonia signs trade deal with Vanuatu

Covid cases shoot up in Niue

The number of Covid-19 cases in the community in Niue has shot up to 19.

Two new cases have been recorded in the last 24 hour reporting period but while there are cases in the community, community transmission of Covid-19 in Niue has not been confirmed.

The first four community cases were announced last Thursday bringing the total number of Covid cases in Nue at the border and in the community to 49.

View of a Coronavirus Covid-19.

View of a Coronavirus Covid-19. Photo: 123rf.com

Niue High School is closed for the rest of the week for both students and teachers and a post on social media from the school said it will have remote learning for Week One of Term Three.

Tsiamalili wins in Bougainville Regional

Peter Tsiamalili Jr has won the election for the Bougainville regional seat in the Papua New Guinea national elections.

The former sports administrator was the incumbent, having won the seat in February last year following the resignation of Joe Lera to contest the Bougainville presidency in 2020.

Other contenders had included John Momis, who was Bougainville president from 2010 to 2020.

Pacific law enforcement officials meet in Fiji

Pacific law enforcement stakeholders are convening in Fiji to address transnational crime in the region at the first-ever Pacific Regional Law Enforcement Conference.

According to the Australia Pacific Security College or APSC, drug trafficking and other transnational criminal activity in the Pacific has evolved significantly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a rise in local actors' participation in transnational criminal networks.

APSC director Jay Caldwell said the conference is the first large-scale meeting of police, customs, and immigration officials from across the region with academic partners.

New Caledonia signs trade deal with Vanuatu

A New Caledonian delegation has signed part of a free trade deal with Vanuatu.

Import tax on 15 products between Vanuatu and New Caledonia will be lowered by 2023.

The New Caledonian president Louis Mapou told La Premiere the deal is a historic moment as New Caledonia is acting autonomously.

"This is a big stage for New Caledonia because it is not independent but its status, allows it to tie trade deals on its own. Thanks to the Noumea accord, we will be able to open other negotiations with other countries for further intergration in the Pacific region. "

A delegation from Vanuatu will travel to Noumea in New Caledonia to complete the free trade deal in the following months.

First anniversary of Dawn Raids apology marked

Today marks one year since the New Zealand government's apology for the Dawn Raids.

This time last year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern formally apologised to Pacific communities impacted by the Dawn Raids in the 1970s.

During last year's the ceremony the chair and elders of Ngati Whatua Orakei offered to host the first anniversary of the Dawn Raids Apology.

Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio said the commemoration will take place on Saturday August 27 at Orakei Marae in Auckland.

American Samoa seeks deal over Samoan prisoners

More than 50 percent of prisoners in American Samoa are citizens of Samoa.

Repatriating prisoners from the Tafuna Correctional Facility in American Samoa was one of the issues the two Governments discussed during the Atoa of Samoa meetings last week.

The two Samoas discussed the importance of improving processes for repatriating criminals.

Meanwhile last week a man convicted of drug possession in American Samoa was sentenced to probation and, after serving 12 months of his 5-year sentence he will be deported to Samoa.

Pacific medal tally at Commonwealth Games growing

Three Pacific Island countries have so far won medals at the Commonwealth games in Birmingham.

Fiji has won two silver medals in the mens and womens sevens competition.

Papua New Guinea weightlifter Morea Baru, won silver in the 61 kilogram divison of the weightlifting competition.

Samoa's Vaipava Ioane won silver in the 67 kilogram division on Sunday.

Tomorrow, the 96 and 109 kilogram competition will take place, with gold medal favourites Jack Opeloge of Samoa and David Liti of New Zealand participating.