Govt coalition parties agree that expenditures must be reviewed before new taxation measures can be considered

File picture of PM Charlot Salwai (L) and Agriculture Minister Matai Seremaiah. Photo: Moses Stevens

File picture of PM Charlot Salwai (L) and Agriculture Minister Matai Seremaiah. Photo: Moses Stevens

Agriculture Minister Matai Seremaiah has elaborated on the Leaders Party of Vanuatu’s stand on income tax. He agreed it was a government initiative, but added that communities still had to be consulted and the process of involving the people had not gone very far yet. He said “after some consultations it is apparent most of our supporters are hesitant about the income tax policy.” He added “our position is the government should wait for the Expenditure Review Report to come out and see where government can save money, cut down on unnecessary expenditures and also look at policies that will make doing business in Vanuatu easier before we decide on the future of income tax.” Minister Seremaiah said he spoke with PM Salwai Read the rest of this entry »


Victims of conman still unpaid, 10 years after Supreme Court ordered Vt 10M returned

A Tanna chief complains the services of justice are not reaching his people. The Iata versus Hocten Supreme Court case required a payment of Vt 10 million for persons swindled by one Michael Hocten (a family name that has been in the news again more recently) to pay some ten million vatu a decade ago. Not one vatu has yet been received by those owed.

Thompson Marango of Daily Post has another crime story on Read the rest of this entry »


PM Salwai to launch new national sustainable development plan for next 15 years

Vanuatu 2030 development plan

Prime Minister Charlot Salwai will be launching Vanuatu 2030, the country’s new Sustainable Development Plan next Wednesday 18th at 4:30 (not to be confused with the launch of the draft version of this report, which happened back in November last year). The Department of Strategic Policy Planning and Aid Coordination has been working on the plan for several years and was greatly aided by consultations with the people of all islands. A validation summit was held in November and the document is the successor to the Priorities Action Agenda of 2006. The new document has a strong foundation in culture. Vanuatu 2030 aims to chart the country’s vision and will serve as an over-arching policy framework for a sustainable, stable and prosperous Vanuatu.

Government is considering re-opening Palekula fishing base at Santo. Studies undertaken are said to have proven the idea Read the rest of this entry »


Port Vila residents without fresh produce as vendors close markets to protest fee hike

Port Vila's main market house: closed until further notice. File photo: Wikimedia Commons

Port Vila’s main market house: closed until further notice. File photo: Wikimedia Commons

It’s a protest which will certainly be noticed. Port Vila’s market vendors have shut down all urban markets in protest against the annual vendor fee going up by Vt 2,000 to Vt 12,000. Even the tiny peri-urban markets such as at the Korman roundabout. The extra fees are intended to finance changes to improve the main market in town for Read the rest of this entry »


Tanna’s Nikoletan Council of Chiefs establishes tribal land boundaries under new Land Management Act

Tanna… the Nikoletan Council of Chiefs of Tanna has now designated the land boundaries of the island's seven area councils. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Tanna… the Nikoletan Council of Chiefs of Tanna has now designated the land boundaries of the island’s seven area councils. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Land Management Act gets a further boost today from the Nikoletan Council of Chiefs of Tanna. Nikoletan Secretary Bruno Kehma reports the satisfactory and timely working of the Act with 115 tribes and the setting up of the boundaries of the seven area councils for Tanna. The pilot project under the Act has named Malo and Tanna, Ambae and Efate as the starting islands for the project, and while Efate has been slow, it is now given a new deadline, 15 February. Bruno Kehma calls on the Efatese to finalise their project as soon as possible. (Daily Post)

Paul Hocktene (Ogden?) of JPO Investment Kava International and Export now claims a Tongan purchaser of his kava refused to pay for the shipment of the product, resulting in it being sent back to Vanuatu. It was not accompanied by Read the rest of this entry »


New category of ni-Vanuatu citizenship introduced by Government – for US$130,000 per application

Vanuatu passport

A new Vanuatu citizenship category has been created by Government called the Development Support Program. DSP replaces the Vanuatu Economic Rehabilitation Program (VERP). Applicants deposit a non-refundable US$130,000 (Vt 14 million) to cover the applicant and family members. Applicants are also required to pay  US$2,000 (Vt 215,000) for a report from the Financial Intelligence Unit. The strong point of the new DSP plan is in having the Citizenship Commission appoint Vila based designated agents who will check on the Financial Intelligence Unit screening of the individual concerned and make recommendations to the Citizenship Commission. This will avoid the sort of situation we have seen where persons of unsuitable character and professional quality continue to hold important positions. VERP ceases at the end of this month. (Daily Post)

Biscochoc’s take over of the Metenesel Estate for the bargain price of Vt 100 a hectare per year is being challenged in the courts. This is where Read the rest of this entry »


Mystery fishing vessel detained by Customs on arrival in Port Vila

Customs has detained a Sri Lankan captain and crew of a vessel which is located at the main wharf. A previous owner is also said to be within the country and names Paul Ogden of JPO Kava Export and Import as the owner, the same company JPO accused recently of exporting adulterated kava to New Zealand. There was no fishing equipment found aboard the vessel which is thought likely to be used for inter-island trading. (Daily Post)

66 cases of dengue fever have been confirmed by the Department of Health and six have Read the rest of this entry »