Samoa govt ban on village could be lifted

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi met a matai delegation from the village council, who offered an apology and urged that government reconsider the ban.

The government measures included banning the village rugby team from taking part in any district or national rugby tournaments and disqualified villagers from the Recognised Seasonal Employers Scheme in New Zealand.

Talamua Online reported that more than 15 village chiefs from Luatuanu'u led by the MP Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo met with the Prime Minister last week and asked for forgiveness.

Samoa govt may still seize ministers' assets over tax refusal

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the refusal by ministers of the country's largest church to pay tax will not be tolerated.

On the first of July, a new law kicked in which requires church ministers and the head of state to pay income tax.

But pastors for the Congregational Christian Church, the country's largest, are refusing to pay, saying their income comes from donations -- and that paying tax is an affront to their faith.

The church's attempts to get the government to change its mind have failed.

Samoa govt seeking funds for health department merger

The merger was to be implemented last month but it is now unclear when it will happen.

Tuitama Talalelei Tuitama told TV1Samoa that there are also pay increases approved by Cabinet as far back as 2013 that have not been implemented.

"We need to clean up these things that have been postponed for a long time so it doesn't bog us down in future," said the Minister.

He added that severance pay for those who will lose their jobs in the merger will be about $US1.9 million.

Solomons opposition accuses govt of bribery

The government of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is facing a vote of no confidence in parliament next week, after a series of defections from the government.

Mr Sogavare on Thursday announced moves to consolidate his coalition government, announcing eight new ministers.

But in a statement, the opposition group said that consolidation had included attempts at bribery.

It accuses the forestry minister Bradley Tovosia of trying to bribe MP Alfred Ghiro with cash and the fisheries portfolio, which he rejected.


Fresh push in New Caledonia to end political stalemate

Sonia Backes of the Caledonian Republicans suggested that the rival anti-independence groups in Congress choose another presidential candidate than Philippe Germain, given his repeated rejection.

Mr Germain has failed twice in two months to secure a majority among the 11 ministers making up the government when they met to elect a president.

Ms Backes said a more conciliatory person needs to be presented as a candidate, suggesting another minister Bernard Deladriere.

She said furthermore there have to be changes to the government's economic policies.

Six new Chief Executive Officers for Government Ministries

The appointments were approved by Cabinet.

Two CEOs have been reappointed to their previous posts. They are the CEOs for the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Afioga Lavea Tupaimatuna Iulai Lavea and for the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), Afioga Tuaimalo Asamu Ah Sam.