Nauruans to the polls next Saturday; Search in Tonga for missing fishermen called off; Air New Zealand rejects claim its ignoring Samoa; Samoa police reject sabotage claim; Australia steps in to save MSG Cup; Tonga names rugby league squad for World Cup

Nauruans to the polls next Saturday

In one week from today the people of Nauru go to the polls to elect 19 MPs across eight constituencies.

77 candidates are contesting the seats.

18 of those candidates are lining up in the largest constituency, Ubenide, which will elect four MPs.

Meneng, in which the current President, Lionel Aingimea is one of the MPs, selects three members.

The rest choose two MPs

Election concept - vote/ votingPhoto: 123RF

The least number of candidates is the six contesting the Boe and Anetan constituencies.

Former president, Baron Waqa, who lost his seat in 2019, is keen to re-enter the fray in the Boe constituency.

Search in Tonga for missing fishermen called off

Tonga Police have called off a search for three people who went missing at sea after their boat sank on the 30th of August.

The two men and one 15-year-old boy formed part of a group of six whose boat sank between near the main island of Tongatapu.

Two of the six men were rescued while one death has been confirmed while three are missing.

The boat had been bound for the nearby island of ‘Eua.

Samoa police reject sabotage claim

The Samoa Police Commissioner has rejected claims the police prosecutor sabotaged a criminal libel case.

The case in question was a criminal libel case against an ordained church minister based in Sydney, who hosts a radio program there.

The FAST Party lodged a complaint against Tiumalumatua Maifea Fetu, who was subsequently arrested and charged with criminal libel when he arrived in Apia for a church conference last month.

The Samoa Observer reported the sabotage claim was made by the party chairman, Laauli Leuatea Schmidt, on a program on EFKS TV2.

Samoa police commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo said the case file will be looked at to see if the police overlooked anything in their investigation.

But he maintained the police prepared properly for the case.

FAST has lodged a second complaint against another individual who resides overseas, and is accused of making defamatory comments directed at the party members.

Police are investigating.

Chinese police help out in Solomons

Chinese police officers have been teaching skills to their Solomons Islands colleagues, along with martial arts to women and children, and also providing help with food.

The China Police Liaison Team was at Tulagi in Central Province to provide public order management training.

While there, they encountered officers’ families experiencing some difficulty, and the Solomon Islands police media team said the Chinese officers stepped in and bought the families rice, oil and noodles.

Local police commander, David Soaki, thanked the Chinese officers for their strong support.

Air New Zealand rejects claim its ignoring Samoa

Air New Zealand has rejected public claims it is prioritising other countries of the Pacific and Australia above Samoa.

A local travel agency had complained about clients who have been trying to return to Samoa but can’t get seats.

The Samoa Observer reported Apia-based Air New Zealand Country Manager for Samoa, Karen Gatt, saying they recognise the importance of providing good connectivity and regular services between New Zealand and Samoa.

She announced Air New Zealand will increase flights on its New Zealand to Samoa route from October the 31st, in order to cater for the high demand in travel between the two countries.

This will see seven flights a week, two of which will have wide-bodied aircraft.

Ms Gatt said they were seeing exceptionally high demand for travel to Samoa over the next few months, following the borders opening.

“We’re seeing exceptionally high demand for travel to Samoa over the next few months following the borders opening last month,” Ms. Gatt said.

She added that while this is good news for Samoan tourism and hospitality sectors, the airline appreciate it makes it harder for those wanting to travel at shorter notice.

Ms Gatt said this is why additional flights will be introduced to have seven flights a week and two will be operated by wide bodied aircrafts.

Australia steps in to save MSG Cup

Australia stepped in to contribute $US394 thousand dollars for the tournament Melanesian Prime Ministers Cup after, Vanuatu, the host country failed meet its commitment of 60 percent of the total budget.

RNZ Pacific’s correspondent reports Prime Minister, Bob Loughman, promised to donate $US771 thousand dollars for the event.

But the MSG secretariat in Port Vila has said, so far, Vanuatu has not met its commitment.

The promise was made before the dissolution of parliament last month ahead of a snap election, and now with a care taker administration in place, there is no ability to make any financial commitment.

The MSG secretariat said to complete the event they are reliant on donations.

The Australian High Commisssioner, Heidi Bootle, said “sport has the power to bring communities together, and supports us to lead healthy lives. Australia is very pleased to be an Official Partner of this event and it has been an honor for us to work with Vanuatu, MSG and the organising committee.”

Mr Loughman thanked Australia and said despite the issues in the Melanesian countries, they have one thing in common and that is the unity of the people.

He said “togetherness, cultural values brings us together, this is one the element that combine us together in our community.

Tonga names rugby league squad for World Cup

Tonga has named a 38 man roster in preparations for the Rugby League World Cup next month in the United Kingdom.

The star studded roster includes powerful debutants such as Rabbitohs standout Daniel Fifita, Gold Coast backrower David Fifita, Eels prop Oregon Kaufusi and Sharks second row Sisosifa Talakai.

Veteran stars Jason Taumalolo, Daniel Tupou, William Hopoate and Konrad Hurrell return to the mix.