Tonga

Samoa, Tonga and Niue to feature in league double-header

New Zealand Rugby League announced yesterday the Kiwi Ferns would face Fetū Samoa at Mount Smart Stadium on 7 November as part of the team's 25th anniversary year, with the Tonga and Niue women's teams squaring off in the curtain-raiser.

The Kiwi Ferns won the corresponding fixture 46-8 in June last year and the head of Rugby League Samoa's New Zealand chapter, Geoff Muliaga Brown, says discussions about a possible rematch have been happening ever since.

"The Kiwi Ferns are building on what was done last year but also they're trying to develop for the World Cup," he said.

Auckland based 'Moana Pasifika' Super Rugby team bid unveiled - but are Fiji on board?

According to Stuff.nz the team is backed by All Black legend Bryan Williams, as well as the former Attorney Generals of both Samoa and Tonga. The group that wants to represent all of the Pacific nations, and are proposing to work closely with Counties-Manukau rugby union, who are based in south Auckland.

UAE sends medical aid to Pacific Island countries in fight against COVID-19

The countries include Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Cook Islands, and Niue.

Commenting on the delivery, Abdulla Al Subousi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the UAE to Australia, said, "Today’s aid shipment to Pacific island countries reflects the UAE’s continued efforts to support and stand by these countries to contain the spread of COVID-19 by providing critical medical supplies and protection to strengthen the efforts of healthcare personnel."

Modern slavery rife in NZ and Pacific Islands, charity claims

The Walk Free report identifies cases of forced labour, commercial sexual exploitation of children, and forced marriage in the Pacific.

The report, Murky waters: A qualitative assessment of modern slavery in the Pacific region, said exploitation was fuelled by widespread poverty, migration, and the abuse of cultural practices.

Fiji sets up “Pacific Pathways” allowing travelers from Tonga, Tuvalu and Kiribati

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said upon arrival the travelers must spend 14 days in Fijian government quarantine facilities and then pass a COVID-19 test to enter society, both at their own cost or the cost of their respective government.

“As our risk assessments evolve, we may expand this arrangement to Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, “Mr Bainimarama said in a briefing in Suva today (Sunday).

Fiji Airways converts ATR 72-600 for regional freight operations

This is the first time the airline has reconfigured its ATR aircraft for freight operations. The freighter service carried 3.8 tonnes of cargo from Nadi to Port Vila and 1.9 tonnes on the return sector on Sunday. Outbound freight included medical supplies, while the outbound carried a number of consolidated items, including coffee and mail.

Pacific warned of seabed mining's irreversible impacts

The report, 'Predicting the impacts of mining of deep sea polymetallic nodules in the Pacific Ocean', is a fusion of more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific and other articles.

Compiled in conjunction with the Deep Sea Mining Campaign, it said there was a lack of certainty around the proposed methods of companies seeking exploration licenses in the Pacific.

But the campaign's coordinator, Helen Rosenbaum, said researchers found the risk of serious environmental damage was high.

6 foot 5, 149kg ex-rugby player Fotu a 4th round NFL draft pick

The 21-year-old was the 114th overall pick and played defensive tackle at Utah. His 4-year contract is reportedly worth $3.41 million, including a signing bonus of $773,000.

Before turning his hand full-time to American football, Fotu was a talented rugby player who represented the USA Schools team as a teenager. He ultimately chose the educational and career opportunities afforded to him by the American sport.

NZ aid charities to help Pacific neighbours after Cyclone Harold

They are helping the three Pacific countries battered by Cyclone Harold last week, Vanuatu, Tonga, and Fiji.

But the executive director of the Council of International Development, Josie Pagani, said that during the lockdown the charities aren't able to fundraise and the public can't donate.

She said the international aid charities typically get about two thirds of their revenue from public donations.

Cyclone Harold, the worst to hit Vanuatu since deadly Cyclone Pam in 2015, has wrecked around 70 percent of the buildings in Luganville, and much of the vegetation.

In-country COVID-19 testing for 17 Pacific Island countries expected soon

According to the Director of the Public Health Division of the Pacific Community (SPC) Paula Vivili, only five countries currently are able to offer in-country testing.

These countries are Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea