Vanuatu daily news digest | 31 July 2014

The Presidential message for Independence reminded hearers of the exceptional quality of life in Vanuatu and the peacefulness that comes with it in his last address as Head of State at State House yesterday. It harmonised wonderfully with the Prime Minister’s "Common Heritage" message given earlier at Independence Park and reported herein yesterday. It is fully reported in Post today. The strength of our Independence, President Abbil declared, depends entirely on the foundations laid for it. The two Tafeans were also well served, as was the general public, by the reminder of Vanuatu’s history in the Kapielkapiel custom dance performance at Independence Park. People from all islands were pleased to be able to celebrate a Tafean Independence celebration as took place yesterday.

A national housing policy was mentioned by PM Natuman in his speech and on Monday in the PiPP Face to Face at Parliament House. The question was raised at that gathering: how can sometimes up to 16 townspeople survive in poverty with only one tap to be shared between them and one toilet facility? Expert advice in the matter has already been requested of the World Bank, Finance Minister Simelum advised the Face to Face.

Parliament will today discuss the matter of disciplining MPs who cross the floor. It joins discussion of the supplementary budgetary requirements and other matters like the ad hoc committee report on the Rentabau airport and attendant huge loans. Discipline of floor-crossing MPs further indicates the present government’s determination to correct aspects of the country’s legislation which can work against the smooth practices of democracy.

An El Niño is not proving as likely as earlier for the year 2014 according to the Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department. There has been a weakening of the conditions and Daily Post today reports the observations which suggest the possibility of there being no El Niño at all in 2014.

Kalkot Mataskelekele and Heather Lini were married yesterday.