Nov 19, 2017 Last Updated 9:11 AM, Nov 15, 2017

A bold step forward

THIS month Islands Business enters an arrangement with the Auckland University of Technology which takes our magazine into places of influence in New Zealand. More than 400 more copies of the publication each month will carry the AUT logo and enter board rooms, places of learning and homes in New Zealand and around the Pacific. This is an initiative of which we are extremely proud for it brings two of the Pacific’s leading brands – one in journalism, the other in education – together for the first time.

IB has been involved in regional journalism for close to 30 years. The AUT has emerged as a credible institution with a fine tradition of journalism training for regional students. We hope that over the next 12 months IB will bring to the Pacific some of the excellent journalistic work for which the AUT has become renowned. At the same time IB stands committed to increasing its coverage of this widely diverse region. In recognition of the magazine’s status as the Pacific’s leading local news product, we have been contracted to provide coverage of the South Pacific Tourism Exchange on Australia’s Gold Coast.

This is the second successive year that IB has been honoured to cover the event using a multi-media platform – on our website, Facebook and in the magazine.We will introduce a video component providing key interviews from the SPTE every day. 

.....to read more buy your personal copy at

Be disaster prepared

FIJI was battering up for Tropical Cyclone Zena as we prepare to put this edition to bed, exactly 45 days after Category 5 Winston destroyed homes, villages and islands in eastern, central Fiji and the north-western regions of the main island. Most of the 30,000 that were rendered homeless by that superstorm were still living in makeshift shelters and foreign government gifted tents, when heavy rain that preceded TC Zena caused widespread flooding in towns and villages on the west, north and south coasts of Viti Levu.

If anything the extensive flooding and intensity in tropical storms confirm the extremities and unpredictability in our weather systems. In just one week, Fijian towns and cities were inundated with flood waters while the northern Pacific island nation of Palau was running low in fresh water due to a prolonged drought.

There is really nothing island governments can do to avoid natural calamities such as these, except that one ought to get its population disaster prepared and ready. Fiji did offer a novel way of assisting its cyclone ravaged population in the wake of devastation caused by TC Winston. Following a government directive, its superannuation fund waived most requirements to offer members FJD1,000 or FJD5,000 cash disbursements.

.....to read more buy your personal copy at

TC Winston is bad news

MONSTER storm Winston goes down in history as the most destructive cyclone ever to be recorded in the southern hemisphere. Forty-four fatalities, thousands homeless and a FJ$1 billion repair bill, the road after Winston will be a long and difficult one. Response from the international community was swift with Australia and New Zealand offering emergency supplies including logistic support almost immediately after Winston passed.

As we went to press, the Australian Navy’s largest supply ship, the HMS Canberra and New Zealand’s HMS Canterbury are busy coordinating relief work in islands to the central and eastern Fiji.

The bad news is that the world will have to brace for more, not less, Winston-type super storms. As global warming sets in, cyclones according to climate scientists, are expected to occur more frequently and with greater intensity. Vulnerable countries like those of us in the Pacific will have to seriously consider a more stringent building code, an affordable national insurance cover mechanism and perhaps a quicker and more efficient early warning system.

.....to read more buy your personal copy at

Editor's Note

LAST month members of the European Union met to decide on measures to address the influx of refugees which has become a humanitarian disaster beyond all proportions. From the Middle-East and Africa, refugees daily threaten the borders of Europe from as far north as Norway to Italy in the south.
 
Driven in the main by issues of political instability – war, torture, religious discrimination, genocide – over 500,000 people had crossed the Mediterranean by October 2015 to seek asylum. In 2014, Medecins Sans Frontieres estimated that 3419 asylum seekers perished at sea, 90,000 were rescued and some 207,000 reached Europe.
 
Now the European Union has agreed to a 17-point plan to deal with the crisis. Among measures to be used will be a quota system, registration methods and processing centres.
 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told leaders that Europe must stand as an example to the world.
 
“Europe must show it is a continent of values, a continent of solidarity,” Merkel said. “This is a building block but we need to take many further steps.”
 
These are fine sentiments but they will ring hollow in the Pacific which may soon face a refugee crisis of its own.
 

.....to read more buy your personal copy at

http://www.islandsbusiness.com/subscribe/

Editor's Note

IT was the 46th Pacific Islands Forum meeting yet local and Forum organisers seem to have stumbled through yet another annual Leaders’ meeting, marred by sloppy coordination and broken communications.
 
More than a month after a group of five Pacific Island women journalists and I were unceremoniously led away from the immigration lines on arrival at PNG’s Jackson International Airport on 2 September and detained for four hours and denied access to food and telephone, officials have still not disclosed the actual cause of what the PNG press now dubs the “passports saga.”
 
Did the organising committee forget to advise PNG Immigration about the visa fee waiver, or did someone or some people simply want to flex muscles and let everyone know that he or she was in charge? I have no idea.
 

.....to read more buy your personal copy at

http://www.islandsbusiness.com/subscribe/

 
Page 1 of 3

Most Read

A story of woe

15 Nov 2017 2017 November

Who pays for climate change

15 Nov 2017 2017 November

Whispers

15 Nov 2017 2017 November

Taking NZ in 80 days

15 Nov 2017 2017 November

Find Us on Facebook