Nauru: A Pacific Leader

May 2, 2011

What do proposed strikes in New Caledonia, a bit of negotiating in Japan, some near-forgotten events half a century ago on the phosphate islands, and a lack of development all have in common? It’s pretty simple really; foreign companies getting a great return on investment for mining the traditional lands of Pacific landowners, Pacific states’ […]

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Fiji: The problem that isn’t. Again…..

April 16, 2011

This week we have seen Julie Bishop, the deputy leader is the Liberal Party, say that Australia’s approach to Fiji isn’t working. Moreover, Bishop stated that the Opposition would be open to negotiations with Fiji. I have two things to say. I have said before that Australia’s Fiji stratergy is rubbish. This is a no-brainer. […]

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Nuclear Clouds Conjure Old Memories

April 16, 2011

After being the only country to have nuclear weapons used against it in war, the meltdown of the Fukushima power plant has some real significance for the Japanese, and more than a little bit of irony. The meltdown has ramifications further afield. For some of the Pacific’s smaller island states, it has dug up some […]

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Age of the Pacific?

March 28, 2011

With the general buzz about the rise of China entirely predicted and forseeable and the intensifying focus on the Pacific as a region, it is interesting that we are starting to hear politicians talk about this as the Asia Pacific Century. What has it been before? A backwater? Not a pivotal battlegroud? Not the centre […]

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He aha te mea nui? He tangata. He tangata. He tangata.

February 28, 2011

The Garden City buckled, Buildings scalped and flayed. Otautahi. Our city in ruins. The city of churches crumpled, Its battered heart on display. Icons razed to rise again. Roads torn and twisted, Mangled suburbs heaving. Around four avenues of pain.

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Mixed Bag Issues Update

February 13, 2011

First, the (potentially) good news… Indonesia sentences three soldiers briefly for Papuan torture crimes. Abut time something happened, but it all seems a little bit like these guys were the unlucky ones who got caught on film distributing a heavy-handed response. US military says it will return unused land to reduce its footprint on Guam. […]

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Book Review: Atlas of Remote Islands – Judith Schalansky

February 5, 2011

I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of book reviews. They seem a little bizarre to me, and very rarely do I ever see one that makes me think I should go and buy the book. There are two reasons for this. If the book looks interesting from the subject matter or the […]

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Bougainville Rising

January 18, 2011

The prospect of the Panguna mine reopening has fascinated me for a number of years; potentially because it seemed beyond improbably for so many years. Currently languishing in a tropical purgatory, the thought of it rising like a great rusted, overgrown Lazarus is easy to become attached to. Especially if, unlike me, you happen own […]

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Remittances in the Pacific

January 12, 2011

If there is a Tongan in Namibia, a Tuvaluan in Moldova, or a Samoan in Mongolia, chances are they send money home. It is well known remittances play a vital role in the lives of many Pacific people. They are commonplace. They happen often and regularly. They account for massive (and often increasing) proportions of […]

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Democracy under the Southern Cross

January 6, 2011

There has been much debate about how appropriate democracy is for the Pacific Islands, and which form of this apparently essential freedom the various states of the Pacific should adopt. There has been condemnation of a Speight of coups in Fiji (although when the Premier of an Australian state does something similar enough there is […]

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