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Lest we forget our Pacific soldiers

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WE REMEMBER – Māori TV broadcast

Pacific Media Watch:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

Sometimes Mele Nemaia looks at the photo of her grandfather and imagines what her great grandfather, who died in World War I, would have looked like.

Private Hatu Taumataua left Niue in 1915 with 150 other young Niueans, and never returned home after fighting in the New Zealand Pioneer Battalion.

Instead, the 21-year-old was buried in Auckland shortly after returning from the battlefields of Egypt and France, where he had become gravely ill. Read more »

Nuclear testing legacy haunts Pacific Island countries

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The cover of the Eyes of Fire memorial edition in 2005. In July, it will be 30 years since the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior. Cover image: John Miller

The Pacific will be virtually absent from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) review conference at the United Nations next week. Some regard this as an apparent sign of the overall decline of anti-nuclear advocacy in the region, which is seen as a worrying trend that needs to be arrested, writes Shailendra Singh.

Pacific Scoop:
Analysis – By Shailendra Singh

Prominent Pacific Island anti-nuclear campaigners want a revival of their once-robust movement to support the international effort against “nuclearism”.

Their call coincides with a major international meeting at the United Nations in New York – the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) from April 27 to May 22.

The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology while promoting co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Read more »

PMW’S Alistar Kata talks Pacific Forum issues with Fiji on 95bFM

PMW’s Alistar Kata has revived the Southern Cross programme on Radio 95bFM. Image: PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

Host of 95bFM’s Southern Cross programme Nick Bond talked to Pacific Media Watch’s Alistar Kata today about whether New Zealand and Australia should remain in the Pacific Islands Forum.

The Forum has lifted its suspension of Fiji, but Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama does not want to rejoin the forum while Australia and New Zealand are still members.

Kata said Bainimarama wants the key decisions that come from the Forum to be made by Pacific Island leaders themselves. Read more »

PMC’s David Robie and Alistar Kata talk Pacific media with 95bFM

Pacific Media Watch’s Alistar Kata, co-director Gary Farrow, The Wire host Nick Bond and producer Miriam Harris. Image: David Robie/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

The Wire’s Southern Cross programme on the Pacific is now back on Radio 95bFM for 2015.

Pacific Media Centre’s director David Robie and Pacific Media Watch freedom project contributing editor Alistar Kata started this week’s show discussing the New Zealand media’s coverage of the Pacific region.

“Pretty abysmal,” was Professor Robie’s summing up. “It’s appallingly bad.” Read more »

Cyclone Pam aid efforts should keep future disasters in mind


Vital but routine public health measures are often compromised in the weeks following natural disasters. Image: UNICEF

Pacific Scoop:
Commentary – By Sunia Foliaki

The immediate focus following natural disasters such as Cyclone Pam, which has devastated Vanuatu, is almost always on the number of people affected and the numbers of deaths, roofs and houses missing, the general health status of the population, and the food, water and health services affected.

But apart from these shorter-term needs, there are important measures donors and the government of Vanuatu ought to institute now for the longer-term health of the nation.

The cyclone’s aftermath provides an important opportunity to review natural disaster strategies and identify areas for improvement in what has been named the most vulnerable country to climate-related disasters. Read more »

Better planning and allocation of resources needed for climate disasters

Local residents walk past debris as a wave breaks nearby in Port Vila, the capital city of the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu

Vanuatu devastation … more people, infrastructure and assets “exposed” on the ground in places where tropical cyclones make landfall. Image: SBS

No matter which region of the Earth we look at, we see the same 60–80 percent of all disasters as being climate disasters. This means that governments, national disaster-management agencies and local communities can all think about what types of disasters they are most likely going to face. They need to plan and allocate resources for these, writes Dale Dominey-Howes.

Pacific Scoop:
Analysis – By Dale Dominey-Howes

While the impacts and effects of Tropical Cyclone Pam on Vanuatu are still being revealed, important lessons are beginning to emerge in relation to disasters in the Pacific region.

At least 24 people have died in the Vanuatu capital Port Vila, but there are no casualty figures from outside the city yet.

At Category 5, Cyclone Pam was a very severe tropical cyclone with reported wind speeds of up to 300 kilometres an hour. However, it is not unique in that this region of the central South Pacific has experienced similar severe tropical cyclones in the past. Read more »

Pacific analysis, live debate featured in new e-media site

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Evening Report … progressive new digital media website.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

An independent new digital media venture will be launched tonight with an extended one-on-one interview with investigative journalist Nicky Hager on the Snowden revelations about espionage against New Zealand’s Pacific neighbours.

This e-media site is less tribal than a blog, is independent at its core, and driven by public interest Fourth Estate journalism principles, says founding editor Selwyn Manning, a journalist and political commentator. is owned by his company Multimedia Investments Ltd ( Read more »

Leaders ‘must act urgently’ over muzzling of free speech in Asia-Pacific, says AI

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Soldiers “rough up” a journalist under martial law after the coup in Thailand in May 2014. Image: DW

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Deutsche Welle

World leaders must act urgently to confront the changing nature of conflict and protect civilians from horrific violence by states and armed groups, urged Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world.

The paper provides an overview of human rights in 160 nations during 2014, including 29 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, where there has been a harsh crackdown on freedom of expression.

In a Deutsche Welle interview, Richard Bennett, AI’s Asia-Pacific director speaks about why his organisation believes the trend in human rights across Asia was regressive in 2014 and why the clampdown on freedom of expression will likely increase. Read more »

Recreating Bougainville war crimes with unflinching realism

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Pacific Scoop:
Commentary – By Kristian Lasslet

Mr Pip, a recent film set during the 1990s Bougainville war, deals with the disorienting impact of sudden trauma and the struggle survivors endure to break the subsequent bondage of grief.

This searching narrative is channelled through the character of Mr Watts, a British expatriate played by Hugh Laurie, who has assumed the improvised role of village schoolteacher in rural Bougainville.

Here Mr Watts develops a friendship with a young Bougainvillean student, Matilda, played by the extraordinary Xzannjah Matsi. Read more »

Tarawa king tide highlights gap between long-term planning and urgent needs

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A coastal freighter is tossed ashore on Tarawa, breaching a protective seawall. Image: Kiribati Independent

Pacific Scoop:
Comment – By Taberannang Korauaba

Images published today by Pacific Scoop featuring the impact of a king tide in Betio and Tarawa are a sad reflection of our times in Kiribati.

The government has no plan about this short term problem, spending time blaming developed countries about climate change and receiving funds to “adapt”.

The problem is the roads and sea wall are damaged. Read more »

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