Pacific news in brief for July 18
Media coverage of Pacific islands is biased, researchers say; most venues ready for the 2023 Pacific Games; New Zealand told to pause deep sea mining; and more.
Coverage of colonialist and paternalistic Pacific – research
International media coverage of Pacific island issues is growing, but the mainstream narrative tends to focus on the passivity and vulnerability of the islands, according to recent research.
The data was shared at the recent East-West Media Center conference in Hawaii. The organization is a research institute aimed at promoting ties between the United States, Asia and the Pacific.
The media has largely taken a colonial and paternalistic approach to Pacific Island stories, the conference heard.
But Pacific Conference of Churches general secretary James Bhagwan told the conference that being vulnerable does not necessarily mean being a victim; he said there was strength in vulnerability, because it meant ownership of a problem.
“We need to shift this meta-narrative of victimhood to one of resilience and resistance.
“The Climate Warriors changed the narrative by saying, ‘We’re not drowning, we’re fighting,’ and I think that was the start of a really big shift for the media to start thinking about it from another point. view – but still, we have that focus on victimization rather than resilience and resistance.”
Former Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine said earlier at the conference that the topic of “drowning Pacific islands” was overrepresented in the media and that the region’s efforts to promote resilience were too often ignored.
New Zealand urged to think twice about deep sea mining
New Zealand’s lack of support for a moratorium to stop deep sea mining activity in the Pacific is disappointing, according to the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition.
A handful of vocal Pacific nations have called for a moratorium on deep sea mining, including Fiji, Palau and Samoa.
Deep Sea Conservation Coalition regional leader Phil McCabe said it was ironic that New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met with Pacific leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum summit while the agency New Zealand research NIWA was working with The Metals Company, which plans to mine in the Pacific. .
McCabe estimated that mining in the Pacific would begin within a year.
“We’re calling on New Zealand to get out of the way – pull its hands out from under itself and support the Pacific in the growing cause of a moratorium – there is a real urgency to this issue with activity starting within the year. “
Most construction work for 2023 Pacific Games complete – Solomon Islands
All major venues for the 2023 Pacific Games have been built, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said.
Honiara will host the 17th Pacific Games from November 19 to December 2.
Sogavare said the Pacific Games were more than a sport and brought the region together.
Nearly 90% of the Pacific Games infrastructure was already ready, including projects donated by China, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
“I can assure the other Pacific family that we took our responsibility very seriously…and we will also provide the best environment for people to come here to perform their potential to win medals for their country,” said Sogavare.
The gaming village is said to have cost $21.4 million, with the project funded by China and built by a Chinese construction company.
Money missing from phone credit company in Samoa
A criminal complaint has been filed with the Samoa police for 100,000 tala who have gone missing.
The money belonged to Interlinc Samoa, a company that distributes phone credit for a local network company.
Police Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo told Radio Polynesia that the complaint was filed two weeks ago and was being forwarded to the Criminal Investigation Division.
The owners of the business found that there was an accumulation of stolen money over a period of time, according to the report.
However, Filipo wouldn’t comment further as the investigation was ongoing.
The company has been contacted for comment.
Occupancy rate of CNMI hotels on the rise
Hotel occupancy quadrupled in the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).
The CNMI Hotel Association released the figures and said average occupancy at its 12 member hotels averaged 41% for June, down from 10% in June 2021.
Association president Ivan Quichocho said the jump was largely due to the arrival of athletes for the 2022 Pacific mini-games, as well as an increase in visitors from South Korea.
There were 23,522 room nights sold, out of 56,960 available in June 2022, although they were a little cheaper, at an average of $138.89, compared to $144.61 last June.
two major factors played into the quadrupling of reservations in June compared to June a year ago.
Quichocho said a year ago that there were no direct flights to CNMI from South Korea, but there were 54 in June, after the launch of the tourism recovery investment plan ( TRIP) by the government and tourism partners.
Quichocho, who is also president of TRIP and a board member of the Marianas Visitors Authority, called for continued support for the work of the tourism board over the coming year.
“TRIP Korea’s success can be repeated, but MVA must be supported to achieve this. We still have a long way to go to turn the economy around,” he said.