Market vendor strike ends; MPs receive Vt 290M gratuity payment

Back in business today: Port Vila's main market house. Photo: Wikimapia

Back in business today: Port Vila’s main market house. Photo: Wikimapia

Yesterday’s market vendor strike lasted just a day. Port Vila fresh produce markets are all open today. There sound to have been multiple misunderstandings, and the Vanuatu Daily Digest will await clarification by saying nothing more at this time.

The 52 members of the tenth legislature have received Vt 290 million between them as their gratuity for their term in office. The ex-politicians currently in prison for taking bribes also receive the termination severance fee. (Daily Post)

GJP MP for Tanna Andrew Napuat has publicly presented the accounts of his MP allocation to constituents, and like other GJP politicians he has invested heavily in school fees. In 2016, the MP spent Vt 1.3 million, contributing to the education of 36 students. His transparent financial reporting is said to be the Read the rest of this entry »

New Year’s messages call on people of Vanuatu to play active role in nation’s prosperity

In his New Year message, President Baldwin Lonsdale has spoken of the God-given challenges Vanuatu faces at this time. He feels that the fresh elections last year were necessary to bring Vanuatu a new, more youthful and better educated leadership. They were needed to ensure the economic prosperity not possible because of the political instability of previous years. (Radio Vanuatu)

For his New Year address to the people of the Republic, Prime Minister Charlot Salwai concentrated on the new blueprint the country had been offered for a sustainable prosperity with his Government’s adoption of Read the rest of this entry »

Massive tourism developments proposed for Port Vila – but are adequate urban planning processes in place to protect our city from rapacious development?

An architectural rendering of the proposed resort at Melcoffe. Port Vila's urban planning processes are practically non-existent – so why is Govt pushing for a development of this scale at this location?

An architectural rendering of the proposed resort at Melcoffe. Port Vila’s urban planning processes are practically non-existent – so why is Govt pushing for a development of this scale at this location?

An ambitious new plan to improve Vanuatu’s aviation and tourism sectors” is relegated to second place on the Radio Vanuatu News today. But Daily Post links works for the new Bauerfield terminal and a massive hotel project at Melcoffe on page one. Certainly the projects are huge and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation is a large company and is considered to have served Vanuatu well so far, the new jobs signed for yesterday having the additional security of a “bankable feasibility study” by March next year for independent consideration and protection of Government finances.

This is a matter which will invite serious criticism and the Vanuatu Daily Digest has strong views on Read the rest of this entry »

Extraordinary session of Parliament called – but agenda shrouded in secrecy


The big news today was carried by Radio Vanuatu, that Parliament is to meet on 21 November. This announcement was given as the usual service message from the Clerk and Speaker of Parliament and gave no details of the agenda of the extraordinary sitting. That said, MPs were told, that owing to communications and transport difficulties, they would not know what the business to be conducted during the extraordinary sitting will concern. They will only receive their packets of documents when they arrive in Port Vila.

For the Westminster democracy system to work properly, the people of Vanuatu need their representatives to be able to discuss any proposed legislation with their constituents, in their electorates, before they arrive in Parliament. It also brings up the question of the MPs constitutional rights to information. Since in recent times we have had to participate in the general discussion concerning electoral reforms and the introduction of income taxes, it behoves the state to set what we call here ‘the Awareness’ in motion at the earliest possible moment. Just saying the MPs papers can be found at the Clerk’s office when they arrive in town does not comply with the MPs’ and general public’s right to information. We will be hearing quite a lot more about rights to information (RTI) and it is to be hoped the next sitting will see Read the rest of this entry »

Vanuatu advocates for traditional climate knowledge at COP22 UN climate change meeting in Morocco

Logo of COP UN climate change meeting Marrakech, Morocco

Vanuatu has raised the issue of traditional knowledge, and has advocated greater access to funding for it, at the COP22 UN Climate Change meeting in Marrakech, Morocco. The Vanuatu Government’s Sam Mike Waiwai made a presentation on the topic at a two-day conference which focused on indigenous knowledge and climate change. UNESCO and the French National Centre for Scientific Research and other international bodies ran the event. The Minister for Climate Change Ham Lini joined the conference yesterday and will present a statement in a week’s time. As a story published here on Vanuatu Daily Digest last week noted, Vanuatu has made a significant contribution to global governance of climate change, introducing the concept of ‘loss and damage’ which is now central to global efforts to combat climate change.

Ni-Vanuatu workers at Cable Beach Club Resort in Australia have received Read the rest of this entry »

VNPF Commision of Inquiry gets extra time to examine Vt 4.45 billion of failed investments

money down the toilet

[Story updated 4/11/2016 to correct the earlier version’s errors of fact. Vanuatu Daily Digest sincerely apologises to all readers for this regrettable error]

The Commission of Inquiry into VNPF is being extended by two months to uncover the details behind Vt 4.454 billion of failed investments made by the national provident fund. The Commission of Inquiry is investigating alleged mismanagement and illegal activities of former and present staff of VNPF. Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry Olivier Fernandez and Assesssors Anita Jowitt and Tony Naliupis are examining the failed investments, which represent 32% of the total funds invested by VNPF between 2007 and 2014. (Daily Post)

We can expect a Chinese cruise vessel next January. Deputy PM and Tourism Minister Joe Natuman made the announcement during his visit to Read the rest of this entry »

Opportunities for Vanuatu as China’s tourists go looking for adventure

Chinese travel blogger Super Baozi (centre) withe the Pacific Trade and Invest film crew enjoying Vanuatu Zipline on Efate. Photo: Pacific Trade and Invest

Chinese travel blogger ‘Super Baozi’ with the Pacific Trade and Invest film crew enjoying Vanuatu Zipline on Efate. Photo: Pacific Islands Trade and Invest

It’s a beautiful tropical paradise that remains unknown to most Chinese. But the time is fast approaching when adventurous Chinese travellers will seek out Vanuatu’s tourism treasures and the massive Chinese economy will help unlock opportunities to invest in and grow the young nation’s industries.

Last month, Pacific Islands Trade & Invest (PT&I)‘s Trade Commissioner David Morris, who is Beijing-based, and Tourism and Marketing Manager Vivienne Song brought a famous Chinese blogger and a virtual reality film crew to explore all that Vanuatu has to offer Chinese visitors, and discussed future co-operation with Read the rest of this entry »