Pacific travel gathering steam for summer as Kiwis look to reconnect and relax

After more than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic and border closures, the Hunga-Tonga Hunga-Ha'apai volcano eruption and tsunami, this trip was going to be special.

He was taking a big group of 15, including his mother, son, his two sisters and their children.

“It’s Christmas, and it’s a time for family – we’re all just looking forward to being back home together,” he said.

“Mum is really looking forward to seeing her sister who is old now, so we just want to spend as much time with her as we can.


Pathologist to clear backlog in Samoa

The Samoa Observer reports the Samoan government has an agreement in place with the Fiji Police Force to use their forensic pathologist, Dr James Kalougivaki, as Samoa has been without one for many years.

Deputy Police Commissioner, Papali'i Monalisa Tiai-Keti, confirmed that the forensic pathologist will have until December 23 to complete nine post-mortems to clear the backlog created by not having a forensic pathologist in Samoa.


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Fiji Elections Office gives time frame of results

With Election Day on Wednesday, the FEO said there will be provisional results rolled out all night until 7am Thursday.

All the results will be loaded and the outcome will be released at least four days after poll day.

Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem said this all depends on what happens with the provisional results.

“This is not predictable unless, of course, it’s a major difference in votes. But if it is not conclusive by 7am like the US election, you will have to wait until we finish data entry of all the results in four days.”

Fiji, Samoa face tough groups in sevens

In the men's, Fiji is in pool A with hosts South Africa, France and Canada.

Samoa is in pool B, with Ireland, Uruguay and Japan.

On the women's side, Fiji will play New Zealand, Great Britain and Brazil in pool play.

The tournament - leg three of 10 tournaments - consists of 16 men's and 12 women's teams.


Local Fijian fashion designer determined to showcase his talent on world stage

The Guardian reports the 25-year-old recently landed a job as a junior garment technician at Zimmermann, one of Australia’s most successful fashion labels.

His most recent collection of sensuous women’s wear with traditional Fijian designs landed him on the pages of the fashion magazine, Vogue Australia.

The Kadavu native says the journey has not been easy.

The Fiji fashion community raised money for his fees which enabled him to complete his training at the Fashion Design Studio at Tafe New South Wales.

Cruise ship returns to Fiji

Ministry of Tourism Permanent Secretary Shaheen Ali said the return of the cruise line to Fiji signified a crucial development in the country's post-Covid recovery, FBC News reported.

The Pacific Explorer was in New Zealand last week and is scheduled to make a further stop at Fiji's Dravuni Island before returning to Sydney, Australia.


One-month-old baby dies from Covid-19 in Fiji

The Ministry of Health confirmed that the one-month-old baby passed away at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva last week, 12 days after admission.

According to the ministry, the newborn was admitted three weeks after birth with severe Covid-19.

Of the 174 deaths since December 2021, nine deaths were below the age of 19.

The ministry said hospitalization for severe diseases remains within manageable limits.

Members of the public have been urged to get booster vaccine doses.

Samoan congregation

But what became an integral part in the lives of these individuals was their link to spirituality and a push for an institution that fulfilled the needs for every Samoan in their faith.

During the late 1800s, the Samoan Congregational Church began with a handful of members in the Old Capital where majority were women and had spouses who worked as government officials.

Reverend Siu Vaifale said when the capital moved to Suva the church uprooted its foundation and moved to Naiqaqi for its mission outpost in Fiji.

Fiji Police aids Samoa in autopsy

While speaking at the Inaugural Pacific Regional Law Enforcement Conference in Nadi this week, Samoa Police Force Deputy Commissioner Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti said this assistance was made possible through a programme under the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police.

“The Pacific Community for Law Enforcement Cooperation aims to draw firstly upon Pacific capability and then coordinate external support to address gaps and provide the resources and logistics needed to deliver both short-term operational support and long-term capability development,” she said.

Three with multiple pre-existing medical conditions die of Covid-19 in Fiji

The cases include a 47-year-old, who had received 3 doses of the vaccine, a 53 year old man, who had received one dose and an unvaccinated 73-year-old man.

There are 119 new cases of Covid-19 where 40 cases have been recorded in the Central Division, 69 cases in the Western Division and 10 cases in the Northern Division.

There are 288 active cases in the country.

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Dr James Fong has urged everyone to stay up to date with their Covid-19 vaccination, and in particular adults over the age of 50.