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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 »

NZ failing support for threatened Pasifika languages, say linguists

Tongan school dancers in the annual Polyfest in Auckland ... keeping the language alive. Image: Spasifik magazine

Tongan school dancers in the annual Polyfest in Auckland … keeping the language alive. Image: Spasifik magazine

New Zealand doesn’t have enough parents from Pacific communities – Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau in particular – speaking indigenous languages to be able to speak to their children. Asia-Pacific Journalism reports on a threat to vulnerable languages.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Eva Corlett

Pasifika and Māori cultural well-being is under threat through the decline of native language speakers – with some Pacific languages tipped to disappear this generation if the New Zealand government does not act now, say many linguists.

A recent Victoria University report indicates growing inequality in areas such as smoking, obesity, employment, tertiary degrees, beneficiary agreements and income of Pacific and Māori people within New Zealand.

“Loss of language always occurs first among the most marginalised and disadvantaged groups in society,” says University of Auckland Professor Stephen May – an international and national authority on bilingualism and language rights – as Tongan Language Week opens tomorrow. Read more »

Green Party slams NZ PM over ‘inaction’ on Pacific climate change

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Cook Islander Luana Bosanquet-Heays handing over a Pacific climate change petition to Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei at Parliament in 2010. Image: Cook Islands News

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is not taking climate change seriously, the Green Party says.

Key is currently on a five-day trip to Samoa, Tonga and Niue, which ends tomorrow.

He has already promised the Samoan Tourism Authority a grant of NZ$900 000 to promote tourism and mooted welcoming Fiji back to the Pacific Islands Forum if September’s elections in Fiji prove “free and fair”. Read more »

USP appoints new journalism coordinator amid controversy

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Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Shireen Lata in Suva

A former broadcast journalism lecturer and media centre broadcaster of the University of the South Pacific, New Zealander Patrick Craddock, is returning to Suva to take up the journalism coordinator’s post.

Craddock replaces Australian Dr Ian Weber who resigned suddenly last week.

Craddock has worked for nearly 20 years in different countries in Africa and the Pacific teaching radio journalism, writing scripts and producing radio drama for adult education. Read more »

Internet services in Niue are key to business success, says local entrepreneur


Emani Fakaotimanava-Lui and his wife TaniRose are central in developing internet infrastructure on Niue.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Daniel Drageset

A Niuean businesswoman emphasises the importance of a visible internet presence as key to running a company on the island of Niue.

“Having the internet on Niue, just having IT, really bridges the gap between Niue – an isolated nation – and the world globally,” TaniRose Fakaotimanava-Lui told Pacific Media Watch.

In October 2011, TaniRose started up her own skincare range called Hei Niue using honey native to Niue in her products.

Read more »

Local solutions needed for Pacific internet development, says APNIC


Sylvia Cadena is the project officer of the ISIF Asia grant programme.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Daniel Drageset

Pacific Island communities face huge benefits by developing “their own solutions” – and not relying on help from others to advance their communities’ digital infrastructure, says a central internet organisation.

“I believe the power is in their [Pacific Islanders’] ideas and the power is in the knowledge they have about the real situation, and I think it’s very difficult for people, even for those that are very oriented to help them and thinking they are doing the right thing to impose solutions,” Sylvia Cadena told Pacific Scoop.

She is the project officer of the Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF) Asia, which awards grants of up to A$30,000 for internet development in the Asia-Pacific region.
Read more »

IT guru says businesses will thrive on Niue if internet continues to develop

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Emani Fakaotimanava-Lui with his wife, TaniRose Fakaotimanava-Lui, at the Netui 2013 conference in Wellington this week. Image: Daniel Drageset/Pacific Scoop

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Daniel Drageset

Award-winning Niuean internet developer, Emani Fakaotimanava-Lui, hopes internet access and empowerment will decrease migration from the tiny island country.

As a result of income from selling the domain name .nu, Emani through his company Internet Niue, has provided internet access to 13 of 14 villages on the island, thus providing Niue with the best internet services in the South Pacific.

After paying an initial connection cost (which can be anything from 25 to 500 dollars), internet usage is free in Niue.
Read more »

UN community ‘genuinely concerned’ over Pacific women’s rights, says Kedgley

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Papua New Guinean women and children protest over recent brutal gender attacks over allegations of sorcery. Image: One PNG

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Michael Sergel and Finian Scott

The United Nations and the international community have a “genuine and general concern” about the rights and representation of women in Pacific nations, says UN Women New Zealand spokesperson Sue Kedgley.

During the Pacific Parliamentary and Political Leaders Forum in Wellington, delegates from 18 countries overwhelmingly supported a motion to promote gender equality proposed by Samoan cabinet minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa.

But Papua New Guinea’s Oro Province governor Gary Juffa accused the UN of painting his countrymen as “thugs who beat their women” and Vanuatu cabinet minister Ralph Regenvanu said serious steps to increase the political representation of women “cannot come from the United Nations”. Read more »

Samoan minister calls on NZ to rethink ‘easier’ Pacific migration

Samoa's Tafua Maluelue Tafua

Samoa’s Tafua Maluelue Tafua … used a media speech to seek NZ immigration policy reform for the Pacific. Image: Savalinews

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Michael Sergel and Finian Scott

A Samoan cabinet minister has called on New Zealand to make it easier for Pacific people to migrate to the country, but Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says New Zealand workers must come first.

Samoan MP and former North Shore City councillor Tafua Maluelue Tafua has used a speech on media reform at a Pacific leaders forum to call for a rethink on New Zealand immigration policy.

“New Zealand and Samoa are good friends, but Samoans have to spend $200 to get a visa to New Zealand,” Afiago Tafua told delegates, adding that many people in Samoa would struggle to save that much money during an average year. Read more »

Niue politician blames family planning experts for ‘depopulation’ threat

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Niue … falling population. Image: southpacifictourism.com

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Michael Sergel and Finian Scott in Wellington

A Niue politician believes family planning initiatives are threatening the future of the small Pacific nation.

Va’aiga Tukuitonga told delegates at the Pacific Parliamentary and Political Leaders Forum in Wellington today that the high use of contraception was the root cause of depopulation.

“We are the only island in the world with depopulation,” she said. Read more »

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