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New Caledonia, Tahiti and NZ rally for Paris media terrorism victims

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New Zealanders and French expatriates rally in support of the killed Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, policemen and their families in Auckland on Friday. Image: David Robie/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

About 4000 people have attended a march in New Caledonia to remember the 17 people killed in last week’s attacks in Paris centred on the satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo, Radio New Zealand International reports.

The crowd marched from Noumea’s port area to the city’s main square, echoing the French call for marches to show unity.

Among those joining were an official representing the French High Commissioner and the mayor of Noumea, Sonia Lagarde. Read more »

Pacific leaders want French president to take up climate change case to UN

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New Caledonia … largest coral reef lagoon in the world, much of it a UNESCO World Heritage site. Image: SIDS

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

Pacific Island leaders are looking to French President François Hollande to take their compelling case for action on climate change all the way to the United Nations conference in Paris in 12 months’ time.

France will host the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in late 2015, where a new, universal climate agreement is due to be reached.

With climate change seen as an emerging crisis for the Pacific, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is bringing Pacific leaders face-to-face with President Hollande for a High-Level Dialogue on Climate Change at the organisation’s headquarters in Noumea. Read more »

SIDS wrap in Samoa: It really is a matter of life and death

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Facing the future … the SIDS conference in Apia, Samoa, this week. Image: SIDSlive.com

Pacific Scoop:
Comment – By Mata’afa Keni Lesa

The urgency with which a number of challenges the small island developing states are confronted with means only one thing. That is the third Small Island Developing States (SIDS) conference, which has just ended in Samoa, cannot be treated as business as usual.

While it’s easy to get lost and become totally overwhelmed by the emotions and magnitude of the issues and the personalities who have been to Samoa to talk about them, the reality of life for small island states must never be forgotten.

It’s quite scary in fact. Our islands are slowly but surely sinking. Coastal erosion and sea level rise are becoming more menacing with each single day so that countless families have had to relocate or risk being swept out to sea. Read more »

New Caledonian nickel mining company under fire at film premiere

Kanak environmental campaigner Florent Eurisouké tells of mining company "dirty tricks" at premiere of Cap Bocage. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

Kanak environmental campaigner Florent Eurisouké tells of mining company “dirty tricks” at premiere of Cap Bocage. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Anna Majavu

Indigenous Kanak people in the Cap Bocage area of New Caledonia have “lived in mud and shit for 30 years” as a result of the actions of the Ballande family mining group, a new environmental documentary film reveals.

Cap Bocage: When A Mountain Fell Into The Sea held its world premiere in Auckland at the New Zealand International Film Festival this week.

Directed by AUT television and screen production lecturer and filmmaker Jim Marbrook, the documentary features Kanak environmental activist Florent Eurisouké as he campaigns in an attempt to hold Ballande accountable over a devastating mudslide which polluted a pristine coral reef. Read more »

MSG wants action on New Caledonia, denuclearisation and climate change

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FLNKS representative Jimmy Naouma and MSG Corporate Development Officer Rose Wete. Image: Jane Mahoney/QUT Journalism

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Harriet Harvey in Noumea

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) wants joint action within the Pacific region on three key issues independence for New Caledonia, reviving the denuclearisation debate, and pressing for international action on climate change.

It is a so-called “mini United Nations”, taking in four governments – Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu – together with the Kanak liberation movement from New Caledonia, the FLNKS. The MSG credo is that each country needs the others, especially to have any kind of voice in world forums, where major powers dominate.

The body got into dispute with the French government ruling New Caledonia, by deciding as early as 1988 that the FLNKS, not France, would be admitted to membership. Read more »

Secret histories of the Pacific: Media coverage of the region

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Flashback to les évènements in New Caledonia in 1984 when Kanak militants staged an insurrection against French rule. Image: David Robie


Pacific Scoop:
Review – By Alison McCulloch

Well of course we’d rather read about the pregnancy of Monaco’s Princess Charlene than about media crackdowns in Timor-Leste or the run-up to Fiji’s first post-coup elections. What were you thinking?Journalists who cover the South Pacific are long used to being ignored in New Zealand’s mainstream news media. If our location was mapped according to the international focus of our Fourth Estate, New Zealand would probably lie somewhere in the Atlantic.

Coverage of Pacific nations by the New Zealand media tends to hover around 5 percent or less, depending on the research and the medium being looked at, with Radio New Zealand a notable exception. Read more »

Women campaigners call for end to military bases in Asia-Pacific region

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Delegates from the Asia-Pacific region at the WILPF 2014 “Militarisation in the Pacific” conference in Auckland at the weekend. Image: Ruth Coombes/WILPF

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

Women peace campaigners from Aotearoa, Australia, Hawai’i, Japan, Philippines and Polynesia/Te Ao Maohi have called for the removal of military occupation and bases in the Asia-Pacific region.

Meeting at AUT University in New Zealand, the three-day conference organised by the Aotearoa section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom also called for the removal of military training and promotions that “normalise violence” in schools.

The women campaigners urged that military spending be reallocated to eliminate all forms of violence – domestic, social and military. Read more »

New Pacific ‘mayhem’ book likened to real-life ‘Game of Thrones’

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A documentary crew and Pacific Media Watch editor Anna Majavu (left) at the book launching in Auckland tonight. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Anna Majavu

A groundbreaking new book covering Pacific journalism over the past 30 years reveals so many human rights abuses that it has been likened to “an entire series of Game of Thrones”.

Don’t Spoil My Beautiful Face: Media, Mayhem and Human Rights in the Pacific, by Pacific Media Centre director Professor David Robie, was launched at the Auckland University of Technology tonight.

Its publisher, Tony Murrow of Little Island Press, described the book as “like an entire series of Game of Thrones. The shame of it is that it is not a work of fiction”. Read more »

New free press book a must read for Pacific ‘media spoilers’


David Robie talks to Te Waha Nui’s Monique McKenzie about the new book.

Pacific Scoop:
News review – By Patrick Craddock in Suva

Don’t Spoil My Beautiful Face: Media, Mayhem and Human Rights in the Pacific is being published today while Fiji is voicing the mantra of the “free press” at the same time as it continues to ban experienced Pacific reporters such as Barbara Dreaver and Michael Field from New Zealand and Sean Dorney of the ABC.

Ashwin Raj, chairman of the new Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) is haranguing journalists at public media meetings using expressions such as “…the complicity of select Fijian journalists and media either wittingly or those that remain oblivious to the laws of Fiji…”

The same MIDA that is so upset with Sean Dorney’s mild comment that “there was a feeling in the room anyway that the situation in Fiji wasn’t as free and open for the media as it should be” is also asking for “an ethos of robust debate”. Read more »

WILPF conference to throw spotlight on militarisation in Pacific


The Noho Hewa documentary trailer.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

A major conference to be held in Auckland over ANZAC weekend will throw the spotlight on militarisation around the Pacific.

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) is holding its Asia-Pacific conference at the Auckland University of Technology. The conference is being co-sponsored by Peace Movement Aotearoa and AUT’s Pacific Media Centre.

“Most New Zealanders are familiar with the consequences of militarisation and violence in Fiji, or with French military nuclear testing, but perhaps they are less aware of the many other forms that militarisation is taking throughout our region right now,” says WILPF Aotearoa president Céline Kearney. Read more »

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