14 Oct 2022

Pacific news in brief for October 14

7:55 am on 14 October 2022
Honiara international airport, Solomon Islands

Honiara international airport, Solomon Islands Photo: Supplied

Covid-19 restrictions loosened for travellers to Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands has loosened its Covid-19 restrictions for vaccinated travellers.

The government has scrapped PCR testing for those who have had their primary series of jabs.

Those who want to enter the country but do not have their shots need proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours, before arrival.

Samoa police arrest con-artist over seasonal worker scheme

A woman accused of conning members of the public, claiming she's a recruiter for seasonal workers overseas, has been arrested by Samoan police.

She is charged with obtaining by deception.

Deputy Police Commissioner Papalii Monalisa Tiai Keti told the media eight complaints had been lodged against the woman, who posed as a government official recruiting Samoans for seasonal work overseas.

Papalii said this woman conned local people and took their money with empty promises of seasonal work in New Zealand.

The deputy commissioner also used the opportunity to warn the public to be vigilant and go through the appropriate process, as this is not the first time this has occurred.

Wallisien senator describes health system as broken

A Wallisien senator in the French Senate has raised his concern about the territory's lack of attention to health services.

Mikaele Kulimoetoke said locals have been waiting 17 years for proper government attention.

He said there has to be a reform of the broken health system.

"The start of the French health department congress should consider reforming the broken link between the inhabitants of the territory and its local health agency. Our local issues are not heard, our health professionals are fleeing the territory."

The senator said the hospital is in urgent need of eight dialysis machines and a new vehicle to cater to its patients.

Lack of vision for future of New Caledonia says Le Pen

A member of the French party National Rally said there is a lack of vision for the future of New Caledonia.

During an interview at the French National assembly, Marine Le Pen said additional funds to the budget are pointless if no vision is associated with it.

Marine Le Pen told La Premiere that the territory suffers from great instability.

"The reality is that we are living in great instability, especially with the absence of a future vision. The economic investment will not happen until there is institutional security and juridical security on the future of New Caledonia."

Solomon Islands police travel to China for training

A team of 32 officers from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force have travelled to China for a month's training.

This is the first time China has provided police training for the Solomons' force.

The training is part of the police cooperation signed by China and Solomon Islands government which comes under the Police corporation program.

New Zealand's Foreign Minister visits the Cook Islands

The New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta is to visit the Cook Islands for four days from Thursday.

Mahuta said it's an opportunity to engage with Pacific whānaunga and commit to future cooperation.

This will include meetings with Prime Minister Mark Brown and the Te Ui Ariki - the traditional leaders.

Mahuta said it's a challenging time for the Pacific with the ongoing pandemic recovery and the intensifying impacts of climate change.

She said "the need to build and support long-term resilience is vital and Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to doing our part."

The trip will also include a visit to the Pa Enua, the outer islands - specifically to Manihiki Island.

Tough start for Pacific teams ahead of Rugby League World Cup

With the start of the Rugby League World Cup just days away, some teams enter the competition with no warmup games while others are in reset after suffering devastating defeats in their warmup matches.

Toa Samoa and Fiji Bati are working against time to get their teams up to standard ahead of the first round of the World Cup this weekend.

Toa Samoa head coach Matt Parish said his team is the strongest Samoa has ever fielded in a World Cup but conceded they are underdone, having played no warmup games.

They play in the opener on October 15th against hosts England, who last week thrashed Fiji Bati by 50-0.

Fiji head coach Joe Dakuitoga has a week to drastically improve his young team's performance before they face world number one Australia.

New Caledonian cup competition winners announced

In football, Hienghène Sport men's team and ASAF women's team have won the domestic New Caledonian cup competition.

ASAF won the women's competition 5-1 against FCF Academie, while Hienghène Sport won the men's tournament for the fifth time, with a 4-3 triumph over Tiga Sport.

Both finalists have secured a place in the seventh round of the French Cup.