Pacific

NZ horticulture sector hopeful of bringing Pacific workers back

Along with viticulture, the sector's usual system of employing Pacific Islanders under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme has been disrupted by the pandemic.

Pipfruit New Zealand's Trade Policy and Strategy spokesman Gary Jones says his sector is three or four thousand workers short.

He said growers believed they should be able to bring in workers from covid-free countries.

Jones said plans were in place to ensure workers who come for the seasonal work could get back home again.

Vice reaches out to young Pacific climate activistsVice reaches out to young Pacific climate activists

The International Committe of the Red Cross is teaming up with the Vice Media Company to run the summit.

Head of the Red Cross in the Pacific, Vincent Ochilet said the summit's workshop would lead to the creation of climate change content for Vice.

"At the end of the workshop there will be what we call the mentorship programme where the best application will receive a grant to create a story, documentary, or photo series published by Vice."

Ochilet said activists between 18 and 25 should apply as soon as possible.

     

'Covid-19 doesn't discriminate, and neither should we' - Komiti Pasefika

Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath, co-head of the School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland, is a specialist in mental health and well-being among Pacific people.

Tiatia-Seath urged Pacific people to check-in on family, friends, colleagues, students as it was important during these extraordinary times.

"Through my work around suicide prevention, it has always been a key message to check in on each other and that was born from siblings checking in on each other once they have lost a loved on to suicide."

Tuna tagging expedition to gauge Pacific fishery's health

The seven week research mission monitors the health of the largest tuna fishery in the world, which is vital to the economic well-being of the Pacific.

SPC principal fisheries scientist Simon Nicol said the expedition would gauge whether various tuna species were being fished sustainably.

Its findings will be added to data collected over 15 years of tagging surveys, Dr Nicol said.

UAE sends medical aid to Pacific Island countries in fight against COVID-19

The countries include Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Cook Islands, and Niue.

Commenting on the delivery, Abdulla Al Subousi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the UAE to Australia, said, "Today’s aid shipment to Pacific island countries reflects the UAE’s continued efforts to support and stand by these countries to contain the spread of COVID-19 by providing critical medical supplies and protection to strengthen the efforts of healthcare personnel."

ChildFund, NZ govt target Pacific youth well-being

The $US7.3 million 'Impact programme,' to which New Zealand's foreign ministry will contribute about $US5.6 million, targets children, youth and their families in

Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Solomon Islands over the next five years.

ChildFund New Zealand's chief executive Paul Brown said he was "very pleased" 18 months spent developing a proposal for the ministry's "negotiated partnership scheme" had come to fruition.

Pacific Covid-19 cases rise: WHO

There are new confirmed cases in Papua New Guinea, its tenth, and Guam, where a spike in cases has taken its total to 231.

The total number of cases listed by the WHO for the region is 352 - an increase of 38 cases since last week.

The WHO says although infection rates are slowing in the Pacific, the crisis is far from over.

While most Pacific Island nations have no recorded cases, the WHO says in many parts of the region, the pandemic is only starting to make its presence felt.

COVID-19 impact on Pacific SMEs severe, but with a glimmer of hope

A survey by Pacific Trade and Invest shows 90 percent of Pacific SMEs report a decline in revenue since the pandemic hit and 92 per cent believe COVID-19 has negatively influenced the economy.

The outbreak has severely affected the operations and profitability of their businesses.

Not only that, those employed by the SMEs have lost  jobs as they could not sustain the impact of the outbreak.

Travel bans and restrictions on gatherings have also affected businesses in PNG and the Pacific.

New Covid-19 cases deflating Australia, Pacific bubble ideas

With 10 active cases and quarantine botch-ups, it could be months yet before Australian and Pacific visitors are allowed in.

Meanwhile, Australian Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has warned its border will mostly likely be locked down until 2021.

That has businesses feeling nervous.

For Skyline - an adventure tourism business in Queenstown and Rotorua - the weekdays are the hardest.

Locals are visiting in the weekends and school holidays, but in between the luges and gondolas are quiet.

FFA convenes talks on impacts of climate change on tuna

The meeting is part of the Secretariat’s work programme emanating from Forum Fisheries Ministers.  At their meeting held in Pohnpei, FSM in June 2019, Ministers agreed that this work would include:

(i) adaptive management regimes (ii) working with a consortium of partners to secure maritime boundaries in the face of sea-level rise and (iii) managing tuna stocks to support their contribution to the food security of Pacific Island communities.