Tonga

ANZ extends fee waiver for money transfers to Pacific

Latest figures show the value and volume of transfers made by ANZ customers to the Pacific has increased substantially on the same period last year.

In February 2021 ANZ Australia and New Zealand customers sent a combined volume of 8,761 International Money Transfers worth AUD$12m (US$9.2 million) – a 95 percent increase in volume and 33 percent increase in value compared with the same period last year.

Money sent back to the Pacific from overseas, known as remittances, can make up a large part of a Pacific household's disposable income - up to 25 percent.

Regional governments and public applaud the ‘I Am Digital’ campaign

Agreeing in unison on the initiative's timeliness, the respective governments and its people all see the urgent need to educate youths and individuals on online safety etiquettes.   

‘I Am Digital’ is a new social media online safety education campaign for Save the Children and Facebook, uniquely tailored for audiences in the Pacific Islands. The high-profile campaign is designed to help educate and empower Pacific Island teenagers and young people to have safer and more positive online experiences.

New campaign to help Pacific islanders tackle online fraud and keep remittances flowing

The ‘Get Safe Online Pacific’ guidance provides essential tips and information for people across the Pacific to help make sure their experience of sending or receiving money overseas is successful, safe and economical.

Sending and receiving remittances to and from Pacific Island countries has become hugely important to the very survival of island nations throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the World Bank, in 2017 alone nearly 20% of Tonga’s GDP came from remittances.

Chef Robert Oliver on steering a Pacific food revolution

Oliver is the creator of Pacific Island Food Revolution, a televised contest in which people compete to create the best dish with ingredients from countries such as Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

He said the show aimed to encourage Pacific Island people to eat healthier, more traditional foods and to spice up the tourism industry by getting island restaurants offering tasty local dishes.

Many imported foods that have become popular among Pacific Island people are highly processed and contain large amounts of fat, sugar and salt.

Tonga and Fiji set for inclement weather as first cyclone of season forms

Cyclone Yasa is currently a Category One storm with at least 65 kilometre an hour winds but was expected to strengthen to a Category Four system with more than 160 kilometre winds by Wednesday.

Sakeasi Waibuta from Fiji's Met Service said the storm was gathering intensity in the waters between Fiji and Vanuatu.

He said it bore a remarkable resemblance to April's deadly Cyclone Harold.

Tana Umaga names experienced Moana Pasifika squad

The Fiji, Samoa and Tonga combined team will play the Māori All Blacks in Hamilton next month.

Moana Pasifika is one of the preferred partners to join Super Rugby in 2022.

The inaugural squad includes nine players with Test experience and another three who have played international sevens.

One-test All Black Josh Ioane will lead the backline that also includes Super Rugby players Leicester Fainga'anuku from Tasman and the Hurricanes winger Salesi Rayasi, who has been one oif the star players for Auckland this season.

Pacific Heads of Customs administrations pledge to work together

At the conclusion of the OCO Heads Annual Conference on October 20, themed “Working together to build a safer Blue Pacific”, leaders of Customs administrations in the region stated the loss in revenue collection for their governments due to the closure of borders as their biggest cost of COVID-19.

However, in addition to generating revenue for their governments, Customs administrations are increasingly being presented with other challenges such as the rise of illicit drugs, contraband goods and having to crew quarantine centers.

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."