First visit by Indian Minister sees launch of new Vanuatu–India co-operation initiatives

Vanuatu and India flags

A new bilateral business initiative between India and Vanuatu, the ‘Vanuatu India Business Interaction’, has been launched by Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman and India’s Minister for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal. Deputy PM Natuman pointed out the importance of India as a trading and development partner. This is the first state visit by an Indian minister to Vanuatu, and the two countries also signed an MoU for a Read the rest of this entry »

Personnel from visiting United States Navy ship USNS Pililaau help repair kindergarten

Marines from the United States Navy's logistic vessel USNS Pililaau receive salu salu from the children of the Anglican community station at Tagabe today. Photo: @koamoana16

Marines from the United States Navy’s logistic vessel USNS Pililaau receive salu salu from the children of the Anglican community station at Tagabe today. Photo: @koamoana16

United States Marines from the huge visiting naval logistics vessel USNS Pililaau as undertaking repairs on a kindergarten within the Anglican community station at Tagabe, Port Vila. There were salu salu for each of the US service personnel and a welcome program of song and dance.

Tourism Owners Association (TOA) support the VCCI’s suggestion of a moderate increase in VAT rather than Read the rest of this entry »

Vanuatu’s leading female surfer launches country’s first board shaping business


A young girl took to the waves every day with her bruised and battered surfboard. She was told not to go into the ocean to play in the waves.

If she was a boy, things might have been easier. But she couldn’t change who she was and, more to the point, she didn’t want to. She often wondered about the board she tucked under her arm as she waded into the clear blue waters of Vanuatu. Where did it come from? Who made it? Why didn’t it sink? It took this little girl twelve years to understand the secrets of her first surfboard.

Resmah Kalotiti won’t tell you that she is the best female surfer in Vanuatu, but she is. At twenty years old, she has a unique style both in and out of the water. It’s the style of a trailblazer. It’s the style of someone who is quietly confident, not only with herself but in the universe playing out her destiny.

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Returned seasonal worker starts support program to help other seasonal workers

Peter Bumseng: started a community support program to help seasonal workers. Photo: SSGM

Peter Bumseng: after experiencing the challenges of being a seasonal worker firsthand, he and his wife started a community support program to help fellow seasonal workers. Photo: SSGM

What happens in communities when migrants leave? Regardless of the benefits provided by remittance income and the skills learnt in new labour markets, there are concerns about what occurs back home. These questions are also relevant for the seasonal workers themselves who move back and forth between countries, coming and going from their communities and culture. One primary factor is how seasonal work can be gendered. For example, in 2013-14 and 2014-15, approximately 87 per cent of participants in Australia’s Seasonal Worker Program were male, which can have implications for families and local communities.

At the recent State of the Pacific 2016 conference hosted by the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia program at The Australian National University, Peter Bumseng spoke about his experience in the New Zealand Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) program. Peter was one of the original 45 people from Vanuatu who were sponsored in a pilot program by the World Bank to work in New Zealand in 2007. He has participated in the program every year since, and five years ago he and his wife established the Strengthening Seasonal Worker Family Program in Vanuatu.

In his speech to the conference and an interview afterwards, Peter explained how his community had responded to people leaving and returning as seasonal workers: Read the rest of this entry »

Port Vila’s mayor wants income and corporate taxes to pay for service delivery

Port Vila's Mayor, Ulrich Sumptoh. File photo/IISD

Port Vila’s Mayor, Ulrich Sumptoh. File photo/IISD

Port Vila Mayor Sumptoh supports a taxation reaching everyone to pay for the services people receive from government as they are expected to pay for their municipal services. He is quoted by all media. He is certain the capital’s townspeople will contribute Read the rest of this entry »

Kastom in contempt of court, or is court in contempt of kastom?

red mat blong Pentecost

Daily Post knew it was on to a controversial issue. Today they say Justice Chetwynd’s decision has become the talk of the week as many comments by members of the public supported the defendants’ right to dress in their kastom attire in court. Yesterday we reported Daily Post saying Chief Viraleo Boborenvanua was removed from court in Port Vila under the orders of Justice Chetwynd for appearing in court in kastom dress to lodge a plea. This is in relation to his arrest and that of others on Pentecost ten months ago. The group were to reappear, and they did so yesterday in their red Pentecost mats. And this time Justice Chetwynd insisted they have to find someone to represent them. Their plea hearings are now scheduled for Tuesday. Social media and national and commercial radio stations have all Read the rest of this entry »

Australia gives Vt 2.8 billion to Govt for post-Cyclone Pam rebuilding

Australian Army soldiers from 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment fit a tarpaulin over a hut on Tanna Island damaged during Tropical Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu. Photo: Australian Defence Force

Back with more funds to help Vanuatu rebuild: file photo of Australian Army soldiers in April 2015 repairing a house on Tanna damaged during Cyclone Pam. Photo: Australian Defence Force

Australia has provided additional finance of $A35 million (Vt 2.8 billion) for assistance to Vanuatu for recovery towards growth following Cyclone Pam. Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer and Parliamentary Secretary MP Johnny Koanapo yesterday signed an agreement for the repair of 31 public buildings, many in Read the rest of this entry »