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 »


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 »


Vanuatu kava export shipment returned from NZ due to contamination with impurities

kava shell

Happy new year to all our readers and welcome to 2017!

Vanuatu’s regional leadership of kava production and export has been dealt a blow with news this week of a shipment of adulterated kava being returned from New Zealand. Vanuatu’s primacy in the industry began with the recognition of Vanuatu as the original site of domestication of kava, the large number of noble kava varieties established here, and 2002’s Kava Act designed to protect consumers from poor quality kava. In 2016 Vanuatu was given responsibility for the FAO’s Codex Alimentarius research into the crop. Vanuatu’s main export competitor, Fiji, only established similar kava consumer protection legislation last year, and has many fewer noble varieties.

Over 600kg of dried, ground kava in a container exported by JPO Kava Export was returned from New Zealand as adulterated, reports Daily Post. Director of Vanuatu Biosecurity Dept Timothy Tumukon says the shipment looked to be mixed with ‘makas’—bark and root residue added to increase the Read the rest of this entry »


Vt 20 billion budget for 2017 approved unanimously by Parliament

Vanuatu Parliament budget 2017

Parliament passed the Government Estimates yesterday – unanimously. The 2017 budget is more than Vt 20 billion, a Vt 5 billion increase on 2016. The second ordinary sitting of Parliament resumes this evening at 6 o’clock, for today, and continues Read the rest of this entry »


Australian ministerial delegation visits Vanuatu — as end of Australian shortwave broadcasts to Pacific is announced

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, arrived today in Port Vila, leading a bipartisan delegation including International Development and Pacific Minister, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, and their Opposition counterparts, Senator Penny Wong and Senator Claire Moore. Photo: DFAT

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, arrived today in Port Vila, leading a bipartisan delegation including International Development and Pacific Minister, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, and their Opposition counterparts, Senator Penny Wong and Senator Claire Moore. Photo: DFAT

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, and the Minister for International Development and the Pacific Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells are visiting Vanuatu today and have been discussing the Australia’s development aid program with Vanuatu officials. An investment package of A$1.5 million (Vt 120.3 million) is also on the agenda and a new aid partnership agreement is to be signed. Management of health supplies and medicines is an important element in this regard. (Radio Vanuatu)

The visit of the Australian Government ministers responsible for the Australia’s relationship with the Pacific coincides with the announcement by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that their Pacific islands shortwave broadcasting service is to cease. Radio Australia which has served the region well over many decades. These broadcasts will terminate in Read the rest of this entry »


Govt says contracts of five Director-Generals won’t be renewed in public service shake up

Vanuatu flag. Photo copyright © 2016 Vanuatu Daily Digest. All rights reserved

“No More DGs?” Daily Post asks, upon learning that the Council of Ministers had decided not to renew the contracts of some five DGs. Lands Minister Regenvanu admitted at the summit of Leaders for the National Sustainable Development Plan that a Council of Ministers’ decision had been taken as regards the five, whose contracts expire next week. They will not have their contracts Read the rest of this entry »


Australia gives Vt 275 million to Govt for post-Cyclone Pam rebuilding

Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Johnny Koanapo and Australian High Commissioner to Vanuatu Jeremy Bruer sign the new agreement to rebuild public buildings damaged by Cyclone Pam. Photo: Supplied

Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Johnny Koanapo and Australian High Commissioner to Vanuatu Jeremy Bruer sign the new agreement to rebuild public buildings damaged by Cyclone Pam. Photo: Supplied

Australia has provided additional finance of $A3.5 million (Vt 275 million) 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 in Read the rest of this entry »