36th-Parallel Regional News Round-Up – March 29 2012


36th-Parallel Regional News Round-Up – March 29 2012

36th Parallel Assessments

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Audio Interview: 36th Parallel’s Paul Buchanan on Radio New Zealand discussing whether the New Zealand Public was misinformed over the real reasons NZ SAS troopers were deployed to Afghanistan. Click here to listen.

+ Audio Interview: 36th Parallel’s Selwyn Manning on 5AA Australia + 95bFM discussing whether New Zealand foreign affairs minister Murray McCully can regain control and the respect of his ministry. Click here to listen, 95bFM + Click here to listen, 5AA Australia

Tonga/New Zealand: Morale at New Zealand’s High Commission in Nuku’alofa is at an all time low as 19 of 29 staff look set to lose their jobs under the Government’s restructuring plan. Sources told the Herald that while the team pulled together to host 140 dignitaries in town to pay their respects to Tonga’s late king this week, on five days notice, many were angry at proposed changes which would devastate the team and have a significant impact on local Tongan families. Dr Jonathan Austin, New Zealand’s high commissioner, refused to talk about the situation, but the Herald understands gardeners’ and receptionists’ jobs will go, and a single mother who cooks and cleans for Mr Austin’s family will lose not only her job but also her home as she lives at a cottage on the property where Dr Austin resides. See, PINA Report.

French Polynesia: The government of French Polynesia wants to use a summit in July to draw attention to its wish to be re-included on the United Nations decolonisation list. The Asia Pacific Forum in July aims to bring an international focus to the territory’s political and economic issues. It will involve the Club of Madrid which is made up of former national leaders from around the World. See, PINA Report.

Fiji: The Republic of the Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) says it knows of plans by politicians to oust the Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama-led Government in the 2014 elections. This was confirmed to the Fiji Sun by the Land Force Commander, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga. “The RFMF is aware of the plot to oust the government by political parties and other organisations,” Colonel Tikoitoga said. See, PINA Report.

Fiji: SUVA (PACNEWS/Pacific Media Watch): One of the few remaining media elder statesmen in the Pacific region, Father John Lamani of Solomon Islands, has urged members of the regional media family not to relocate its secretariat from Fiji. Instead, members should continue to support the regional media body, the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA), despite the current challenges in place. See, Pacific Media Watch Report.

Niue: Niue’s Premier, Toke Talagi, says a new shipping registry for the territory should be set up by June.
Legislation has been passed to allow for the setting up of a registry which will permit ships to sail under the Niuean flag.
But an MP, Togia Sioneholo is concerned about the lack of detail provided by the government over the management of the registry.
Toke Talagi says the registry should be up and running in a couple of months. See, Radio New Zealand International Report.