Vt 200 million extra revenue expected by Ministry of Lands this year, says Regenvanu

Website of Vanuatu's Ministry of Land and Natural Resources

Website of Vanuatu’s Ministry of Land and Natural Resources

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources hopes to significantly increase revenue this year, Minister Ralph Regenvanu said on the lunchtime news on Radio Vanuatu today. About Vt 200 million extra revenue is expected this year, while expenditure will increase by about Vt 50 million. “And revenue is always growing,” confirmed Regenvanu, saying that this is confirmed by 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 »

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 »

33 MPs confirm support for Salwai Government ahead of motion of no confidence

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

The leaders of the different political parties supporting the government of Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas have reiterated their support for him in the light of the motion of no confidence to be debated at 4pm this afternoon, VST. They came together yesterday afternoon at the PM’s Office. Thirty-three MPs (of the 52 total) attended the gathering and confirmed they were ready to defeat the Opposition’s motion. Nine MPs of the Opposition signed the motion – and one can only ask why? The Opposition says it is because of income tax—yet this is an idea that has never gone further than the discussion stage. 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 »

Vanuatu joins ranks of 105 other nations with Right to Information laws

right to information vanuatu

The story of the week last week – most certainly for the press – was the passing of the “historic” Right to Information (RTI) Bill – very much “a step in the right direction”. Government must tell us what it is doing. And by treating all information as open by default it underscores the government serving the people principle. There will be information officers in every ministry, department or agency who must supply the needs of the serious inquirer, even though the process will sometimes appear tedious. Many people have worked for a long time on the policy which went into the provision of the Act. The Media Association of Vanuatu was appreciative, even the Read the rest of this entry »