Vanuatu daily news digest | 5 July 2014 – bulletin 1

The family Tangraro of Erakor Village is claiming custom ownership of land title 376 covering parts of Beverley Hills, the Korman area, Bellevue, Montmartre and Bouffa. They are issuing a warning to persons who have illegally settled, to vacate the area. They claim there are people who are living there through dealings with those claiming to be agents for the Tangraro custom ownership. Their lawyer has been issued with an instruction to stop saying he represents the family. Daily Post reported this matter yesterday.

There was a serious error in yesterday’s Vanuatu Daily News Digest. We reported the Chairman of the Citizenship Commission complaining that MPs had approached him requesting citizenships that would have been illegal. We mentioned that the two MPs were amongst 52 who voted for amendments to the Citizenship Act which legislated for dual citizenship and would enable citizenship to be purchased. I am reliably informed that 52 did not vote for that citizenship legislation by a minister not mentioned in the report.

A mis-understanding also emerges in yesterday’s Transparency page in Post. "Reserved occupations continue to be exploited" is the headline. The position of cashier in shops is one reserved for ni-Vanuatu. 90 foreign owned shops were inspected by TIV and only 25 cashier positions were said to be occupied by ni-Vanuatu. It must, however, be understood that the owners of a business, quite often husband and wife, are also legally permitted to take responsibility for the takings and act as cashiers.

Transparency issues are large in Post today and may well be dealt with in a second edition of the Digest today, or later.

Yesterday’s Daily Post reported 26 nurses are not being paid. The Public Service Commission is blamed for the discrepancy and the Minister of Health was reported saying he was doing everything necessary to correct the issue urgently.

Yesterday’s Daily Post also contains an interesting ministerial answer to MP Willie Jimmy who, after agreeing to the new Lands Reform Legislation when in government, in opposition has now begun attacking it. Minister Regenvanu’s letter points out how the legislation answers what custom land owners have been insisting upon since the Lands Summit in 2006.