Pacific news in brief for May 3

New Zealand/Pacific – seasonal

There will be no pathway to New Zealand residency for recognised seasonal employment (RSE) workers.

An official from Immigration New Zealand made the comment at a Pacific community meeting in Porirua.

Immigration NZ’s Manager of Pacific Sector Engagement, Fa’amata Laumalili said the RSE scheme is only seasonal work.

She said once an RSE worker finishes their time, they will need to return to their home country.

Laumalili had been speaking at the latest Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Immigration NZ, Pacific community engagement meetings.

It was also announced at the meeting that NZ$10 million would go to the RSE scheme, focused on training workers when they are in Aotearoa.

New Zealand/Pacific – unemployment

New Zealand’s rise in unemployment is impacting Maori and Pacific people.

Unemployment data just released by Stats NZ shows an overall rise from 3.4 percent in March 2023 to 4.3 percent in March 2024.

That is an extra 31,000 people unemployed – with the data showing the fastest rises for women, Māori, and Pacific people.

Nearly 3500 public sector jobs are set to go as a result of ministries and agencies slashing expenditure.

Fiji – security

Australia’s Defence Minister Pat Conroy says the security of the Pacific was discussed in a bilateral meeting with Fiji’s Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua.

At this week’s meeting in Fiji, Tikoduadua highlighted that collaboration between Fiji and Australia since the signing of the Vuvale Partnership has significantly strengthened bonds. Conroy mirrored that sentiment.

“Our conversations went to how we can work together more to enhance the security, not just of our two countries, but of our region,” he said.

“And how do we operationalise Prime Minister [Sitiveni] Rabuka’s ‘oceans of peace’ or ‘zones of peace’ concept at a regional level.”

Conroy said the regional security support in the Solomon Islands for the election was an example of Fiji’s commitment to the region, a template Australia is keen to expand.

Papua New Guinea – airport

Mendi residents in Papua New Guinea’s Southern Highlands are celebrating following the opening of Mendi Airport.

It has been shut for six years.

As the National newspaper reports, election-related violence in 2018 forced its closure.

An Air Niugini Dash 8 aircraft was torched, along with the court house, the governor’s home and businesses.

One local said it has been emotional seeing PNG Air landing, as people have been driving more than two and a half hours to Mount Hagen to catch flights.

Tonga – meeting

Preparations for the 53rd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting are well underway.

This year’s host, Tonga prime minister Hu’akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni, has met with Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka.

In a statement, the Fiji government said the Prime Ministers spoke about securing funding to help Pacific nations deal with the impacts of the climate crisis.

They also talked about the management of the Forum and its leadership transition.

This year’s Leaders’ Summit will be held in Nuku’alofa in August.

Niue – bills

Four constitution amendment bills have passed their second reading in Niue’s Legislative Assembly.

The proposals include increasing the number of members of Cabinet from four to six and expanding the term of the Assembly from three to four years.

Another planned amendment is changing the title of the head of government from “premier” to “prime minister”.

There is now a stand down period to allow for public consultations before the third and final reading.

If they pass that a public referendum planned for August will take place.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button