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Advocates call for more more political will when faced with bureaucratic barriers

Tongan publisher Kalafi Moala at the Pacific Media Centre: His jailing in 1996 led to the founding of Pacific Media Watch. Photo: Pippa Brown/PMC

Tongan publisher Kalafi Moala speaks out on obstacles for Pacific reformists who seek change. Photo: Pippa Brown/PMC

Tongan newspaper publisher Kalafi Moala says bureaucracy, culture and religion are a “triune of power” standing in the way of reform in the 21st century Pacific. Asia-Pacific Journalism asks academic experts for their view.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Kai Ping Lew

Reformers in the kingdom of Tonga have often found themselves stymied by an unyielding bureaucracy, resulting in unnecessary delays in passing legislation citizens need, says Tongan newspaper publisher Kalafi Moala.

“No one benefits from such a situation. Those that lose the most are the people the government is serving,” he said.

Dr Steven Ratuva, University of Canterbury’s professor and director of the Macmillan Brown Research Centre for Pacific studies, agrees with Moala about the seriousness of the situation. Read more »

Rainbow Warrior author calls for justice for Pacific nuclear victims


Evening Report’s Selwyn Manning interviews David Robie about Rongelap, nuclear testing, geopolitics and the Rainbow Warrior legacy. Video: ER on PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

A media academic has called for increased political and legal pressure on nuclear powers for “real justice” in the Pacific on the eve of the launch of a special edition book about the Rainbow Warrior bombing.

Auckland University of Technology professor David Robie‘s book, a fresh edition of Eyes of Fire: The Last Voyage of the Rainbow Warrior, is being launched at The Cloud on Queen’s Wharf in Auckland tomorrow.

The book is being published in tandem with an Eyes of Fire microsite “public good” about the Rainbow Warrior by Little Island Press in partnership with AUT Bachelor of Communication Studies students, the AUT Pacific Media Centre and Greenpeace. Read more »

West Papua ‘still dangerous’ for journalists, warns independent media watchdog

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President Jokowi with First Lady Ibu Iriana and reporters from AlJazeera (Step Vaessen, on his left) and Bobby Gunawan (far right), and from Jubi, Victor Mambor after doing an exclusi,ve interview in Abepura. Image: Jubi

Pacific Scoop:
Editorial – By West Papua Media

West Papua Media is greatly concerned that the statements made on Friday by Indonesian President Joko (Jokowi) Widodo in Jayapura regarding the ending of the foreign media ban for journalists to visit West Papua, is not being given due diligence by foreign media.

WPM reminds all foreign media workers that West Papua is and still remains an incredibly dangerous place for journalists to report, and present an even greater threat to the safety of all journalism sources.

A full analysis of the actuality of the so-called “lifting” of the foreign media ban in West Papua will be released by West Papua Media’s team in the coming days, including analysis from our clandestine journalists who operate daily in the reality of the Papuan media environment, under threat constantly from Indonesian security forces. Read more »

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

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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 »

Heed ‘deadly wake-up call’ on climate change, says Greenpeace

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Devastation on Vanuatu’s island of Efate … Pacific leaders cite climate change urgency. Image: UNjobs

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch/Greenpeace Pacific

With Vanuatu devastated by Cyclone Pam, Greenpeace has urged the world to heed this “deadly wake-up call” on climate change.

“The Pacific islands are fighting for survival,” says the new head of Greenpeace’s Pacific network, Matisse Walkden-Brown.

“Global warming, climate change, sea level rise; these are not just problems for the future. They are happening to us right now; and they are only set to get worse. 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 »

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