Solomon Island

First mission to the Pacific since Covid-19 led by New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni

Sepuloni, who is also the Associate Foreign Affairs Minister for the Pacific, left for Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga on Sunday.

It would be an invaluable opportunity to strengthen New Zealand’s relationships and reaffirm the commitment to working alongside Pacific whānau to respond to challenges, Sepuloni said.

The region was the government’s “foreign policy priority”, Sepuloni said.

“We proudly take a Pacific-led approach to solving the issues facing the region, not least to mention, climate change.

Solomons community helps to save dolphins

Western Province police commander Mathias Lenialu said dolphin trapping was common in the area, but it is illegal and people catch the mammals secretly.

Mr Lenialu said the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources had raised concerns with the community on Kolombangara.

"With the crime prevention strategy recently implemented by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, now we have created all the crime prevention committees out in the communities, so people now usually come forward to assist police with information."


Photo: izanbar/123RF

Schooling affected by Solomons eruption

The Tinakula volcano in the country's easternmost Temotu Province erupted over the weekend spewing ash over nearby islands covering crops and contaminating water supplies.

The National Disaster Management Office is struggling to get together enough water and relief supplies to send to the island which are at least a day's boat journey from the capital Honiara.

A no-fly zone is also hampering relief efforts and no attempt has yet been made to do an aerial survey of the volcano.

Dumped Nauru magistrate gets top job in Solomons

Emma Garo, who is a Solomon Islander, was sworn in by the country's Chief Justice, Sir Albert Palmer, at the High Court in Honiara on Friday.

The Solomon Star reported Sir Albert saying it is a fine personal achievement, but Ms Garo also served as a pioneer for women and girls who aspire for higher positions in the judicial field.Ms Garo began her legal career in 2001 as a lawyer in the Public Solicitor's Office and had served provincial magistrates courts.

Solomon Islands MPs question anti-corruption taskforce

Known as Taskforce Janus, the initiative is understood to be a joint effort between Police and the Ministry of Finance and Treasury.

Its last high profile investigation led to the arrest of the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Police Edmond Sikua.

Mr Sikua, a former assistant commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, faces seven counts of official corruption for allegedly awarding government tenders worth more than $US80,000 to Beeds Investment, a company registered and owned by his daughters.

Solomon Islands clampdown on illegal tobacco a priority

The comptroller of Customs said they were determined to stop the illegal trade of tobacco in the country.

He said not only are these importers evading government taxes, they also bring harm to the community through the greater availability of cheap tobacco.

This is in light of a recent seizure of illegal tobacco from a Malaysian logging company.

The Customs Act has wide powers and it is more than likely the importer will be required to pay all taxes including penalty, and forfeit the goods.


Photo: 123rf

Sixty anti-loggers arrested in Solomon Islands

The Island Sun newspaper reported those arrested had gone armed with basic weapons to Vasara logging camp in Rendova and demanded the foreign logging firm, Oceanic Trading, leave the area within seven days.

The Gizo police said camp security guards were injured during the disturbance and logging equipment was damaged.

Police Commissioner Mathew Varley said police earlier tried to calm the situation by deploying officers to the area.

The arrested men are in custody at the Gizo police station after being transported there by police patrol boat.


'Thousands' in Solomon Islands affected by ABC shortwave cut

The ABC ends its short-wave service to the region from 1pm Solomon Islands time and says it will focus on FM and online services.

Ruth Liloqula said people from Choiseul to Malaita and as far south east as Tikopia tuned in to the ABC because the signal was stronger than that of the country's public broadcaster SIBC.

Ms Liloqula who works with Transparency International says the ABC has been very valuable for the country and a good way to get her message across.

Solomon Islands will continue to push for Taipei at UN

Mr Sogavare was welcoming Taiwan's new ambassador to the Solomons, Roger Luo.

The prime minister described Taiwan as a true friend to Solomon Islands for standing by it in its time of need including during the ethnic tensions.

He said the relationship could only grow stronger.

Mr Sogavare said Solomon Islands was not afraid to speak for Taiwan at the UN.

Taipei has agreed to fund a new stadium for the 2023 Pacific Games to be held in Solomon Islands and Mr Luo said a construction firm had been identified.

Solomons investigating three vessels running aground

The MV Nautabu ran aground on a reef in Choiseul Province and the MV Victory and MV Tafusibata ran aground in Malaita Province.

The head of Maritime Safety's "operation safe boat" Derek Saru told the newspaper, the Solomon Star, there have been no fatalities reported.

Mr Saru said some of the vessels did not immediately report their running aground to the agency which was in direct violation of safety regulations.

He said an inspection of the MV Nautabu found there was no major damage to the vessel.