Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 29 September 2015

There has not been a lot of news around … and with VBTC allegedly having internal problems, their bulletins concentrate on government doing the things it has to do. We are in an El Nino southern oscillation period, as we are every decade or so, and after a devastating cyclone (Pam) and with Climate Change being on everyone’s lips, well the messages about productivity need to keep going out, and VBTC makes sure of this. The Independent sees it as "Famine". And then we have to be told of the main exams for schools being in October or November. Yes.

Then we have the campaigns beginning for the Parliamentary seat vacancy caused by the death of Edward Nipake Natapei. The candidates on the campaign trail are Geogio Calo (UMP), Nadia Kanegai (PPP), Altaoi Ishmael Kalsakau and Jocelyn Mete (Independents), along with Kenneth Natapei in an historical coming together of seven parties about which I will tell you more tomorrow. Kenneth is the 25 year old son of the former VP leader.

The Pacifica Medical Association conference has brought some 300 doctors to Port Vila. Amongst interesting matters to be discussed after the official opening tomorrow – traditional medical practices here in Vanuatu. The cyclone Pam experience will also be relevant to discussions Daily Post reports.

Post yesterday had the plantation of frustrated British millionaire investor Ronan Harvey being looked after by local cattle man Kuvu Noel. He said Harvey’s problems stemmed from a mis-understanding with a group of Kole villagers.

Post today has two coconut plantations on Tutuba badly damaged by fire – arson suspected.

The really good news today is the launching of the Vanuatu Rural Electrification Project of New Zealand and the World Bank. Places where there is no electricity available on the national grid will be able to have access to solar power under a ‘plug and play system’. The advantages to students, aid posts and community centres will be colossal. NZ High Commissioner Georgina Roberts spoke of the increased economic opportunities, employment and improved livelihoods the system will provide, when VREP was launched this week. (Daily Post)

There is only progress news on this week’s big one in advance of the bribery judgements. The lawyers for the MPs charged with bribery have a Constitutional case before the courts, with Justice Fatiaki required to make a pronouncement on whether the Bribery Case is an abuse of process. Justice Fatiaki’s hearing sat yesterday. Await further information. (Daily Post)

Also await further information on yesterday’s sentencing in the Israeli Eilon Mass’s rape case.