12 Apr 2024

Pacific news in brief for April 12

2:00 pm on 12 April 2024
November 3, 2023, Brazil. In this photo illustration, the Starlink logo is displayed on a smartphone screen

November 3, 2023, Brazil. In this photo illustration, the Starlink logo is displayed on a smartphone screen Photo: 123RF

Samoa - Starlink

Samoa's Office of the Regulator has slapped a temporary ban on the importing of Space X's Starlink kits.

Customs will seize any type of unit sighted at border control.

The Samoa Observer reported Lematua Gisa Fuatai Purcell told a public consultation about the ban, and also announced Space X has applied for a license to operate in Samoa.

People who have already purchased and imported their units will need to bring them into the regulator's office for approval; or for a business licence which can last up to 12 months.

Currently, only schools and health centres are approved to use the Starlink service.

Tonga - funding

Tonga and Australia have signed a new AUD$15 million funding agreement in Nuku'alofa, to support the country's energy sector.

The new funding will help Tonga Power to upgrade the 13-kilometre main transmission lines in Tongatapu.

That will prepare the company to source power from renewable solar and battery projects.

Tonga is working to reach its 70 per cent renewable energy generation target by 2025.

Papua New Guinea

More than 200 people in Port Moresby have been left homeless after a mass eviction.

The Post Courier reported the housing lot, which originally belonged to the National Housing Corporation, had been recently transferred to a new owner.

Tenants were evicted on short notice, with police giving them only 24 hours to leave the area.

Police accompanied excavators to the suburb of Gordon in North Port Moresby.

Solomon Islands - debts

The caretaker Solomon Islands government is to seek SBD$140 million to claim ownership and clear the debts associated with two major companies.

The caretaker government has been offered first right of refusal by the Australian Court handling the liquidation of Levers Solomons Ltd and Russell Islands Plantation Limited (RIPEL) estates.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation reported the government is making the move to avoid having ownership pass to foreigners.

It is seeking investment from the National Provident Fund, the Ports Authority, and the Electricity Authority.

The secretary to Cabinet, Nego Sisiolo, said the government sees it as ideal way to make the payment, to ensure the people of Guadalcanal and Russell Islands regain full control of the estates.

China/Paciic - AUKUS

China says the AUKUS pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States reveals "a tactical cold war mentality".

FBC reports the Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, Zhou Jian, highlighted this when asked about reports that Japan could be included in the AUKUS pact.

Ambassador Jian said China believes the partnership will create instability, and labelled it as a group vying for their own geopolitical interests.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs