Samoa

ANZ extends fee waiver for money transfers to Pacific

Latest figures show the value and volume of transfers made by ANZ customers to the Pacific has increased substantially on the same period last year.

In February 2021 ANZ Australia and New Zealand customers sent a combined volume of 8,761 International Money Transfers worth AUD$12m (US$9.2 million) – a 95 percent increase in volume and 33 percent increase in value compared with the same period last year.

Money sent back to the Pacific from overseas, known as remittances, can make up a large part of a Pacific household's disposable income - up to 25 percent.

NZ Prime Minister says vaccine passport important for travel to Pacific

With many living in New Zealand and wanting to travel, Jacinda Ardern emphasised the vaccine is key to a free travel passport.

“A lot of conversations with our Pacific neighbours, there’s a desire to make sure that we’re protecting our most vulnerable,” she says.

“And so any country I think that is looking to open up and have movement again, is aware that unless we have a vaccination programme that reaches our most vulnerable they are at risk. 

Japan to give $41 million aid to Asian and Pacific nations over vaccine supply

The Foreign Ministry said Tuesday the grant aid will be used to secure cold-storage facilities, transport vehicles and other equipment necessary for the stable delivery of vaccines in those countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, according to the ministry.

Japan aims to help ensure the delivery of vaccines "to each and every person in the all corners of developing countries" with the hope of containing the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible, it said, adding the aid will be delivered through the United Nations Children's Fund.

Regional governments and public applaud the ‘I Am Digital’ campaign

Agreeing in unison on the initiative's timeliness, the respective governments and its people all see the urgent need to educate youths and individuals on online safety etiquettes.   

‘I Am Digital’ is a new social media online safety education campaign for Save the Children and Facebook, uniquely tailored for audiences in the Pacific Islands. The high-profile campaign is designed to help educate and empower Pacific Island teenagers and young people to have safer and more positive online experiences.

New campaign to help Pacific islanders tackle online fraud and keep remittances flowing

The ‘Get Safe Online Pacific’ guidance provides essential tips and information for people across the Pacific to help make sure their experience of sending or receiving money overseas is successful, safe and economical.

Sending and receiving remittances to and from Pacific Island countries has become hugely important to the very survival of island nations throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the World Bank, in 2017 alone nearly 20% of Tonga’s GDP came from remittances.

Ardie Savea knew it was time to step up

"Alfie (Hurricanes coach Jason Holland) approached me and Colesy (Dane Coles) talked to me and at first I was like, 'Oh nah', you know, playing it down. But, I knew deep down in my heart that this season, at this time of my career, I think it's time for me to step up and step out of my comfort zone and try something that I'm not used to. I usually just go out there and play, but it's time to lead."

The loose forward succeeds All Blacks teammates Dane Coles and TJ Perenara, who shared the leadership duties in 2020.

Savea said he's been inspired by the hooker and halfback.

Chef Robert Oliver on steering a Pacific food revolution

Oliver is the creator of Pacific Island Food Revolution, a televised contest in which people compete to create the best dish with ingredients from countries such as Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

He said the show aimed to encourage Pacific Island people to eat healthier, more traditional foods and to spice up the tourism industry by getting island restaurants offering tasty local dishes.

Many imported foods that have become popular among Pacific Island people are highly processed and contain large amounts of fat, sugar and salt.

Tongans stranded abroad return home

Twenty-four Tongans stranded in Samoa arrived on a government-chartered flight operated by Lulutai Airlines around midday yesterday (Thursday).

A second flight carrying 230 passengers arrived from Auckland, New Zealand.

 According to the CEO for MEIDECC, Paula Ma’u, the flight from New Zealand landed at 2:30pm with 214 nationals.

The other passengers were Samoan nationals who later left for Apia on another flight.

Tonga awaits arrival of two repatriation flights

The first repatriation flight for 2021 will arrive in Tonga from Apia, Samoa at around 12:30pm (local time) with 29 passengers.

The travelers are Tongan citizens, who were stranded in Samoa due to the closure of borders during the Covid-19 global pandemic.

The Lulutai Airlines aircraft will repatriate 21 Samoans who will arrive on another flight from New Zealand on the same day.  

The flight from Auckland will arrive around 1:45pm (local time) with 219 passengers onboard.

Tonga repatriation flights to resume

A flight with about 280 passengers from Auckland, New Zealand is expected to arrive on 14 January.

That flight is expected to include 21 people from Samoa who will be repatriated separately on the same day on a Lulutai Airlines flight.

According to a government statement, a charter flight will arrive from Sydney Australia on 22 January  to fly out 152 seasonal workers back to Australia.