A creature described as the “loneliest duck in the world” has appeared on the remote Pacific island of Niue, a tiny nation with a population of 1,600 that – until now – had no ducks. The mallard, nicknamed “Trevor” after Trevor Mallard, a New Zealand MP, startled locals after arriving on the island earlier this year, though its origins remain a mystery. Niue, a coral atoll which is self-governing in free association with New Zealand, has no wetlands or ponds, so the duck lives in a puddle. The local fire service regularly adds water to the puddle. "Everybody knows about the duck," Randall Haines, a local resident, told ABC News. "We drive into town every few days and you can't help yourself, you just sort of look over and see if it's still in the puddle, and it is. It seems quite happy, although it doesn't have many friends." Niue spans just 100 square miles and is one of the smallest countries in the world, and is a … [Read more...] about Lonely mallard duck called Trevor turns up on remote Pacific atoll
What is the Pacific Islands Forum? Of all the meetings on the world’s crowded diplomatic calendar, this is the one where the colourful shirts are most appropriate. The Pacific Islands Forum is a regional intergovernmental organisation, and is held every year between the leaders of 18 countries from across the Pacific. The smallest member country is Niue, population 1,600, and the largest is Australia at more than 25 million people. Established in 1971 “to work in support of member governments, to enhance the economic and social wellbeing of the people of the South Pacific”, the PIF also attracts observers, such as the UN and World Bank, and dialogue partners, including China, India, the US and UK. The PIF gives Pacific island countries a united voice on the global stage, and a greater say in advocating for their own futures. The theme for the Nauru meeting is “Building a strong pacific: our people, our islands, our will”. And the Pacific Islands Forum is … [Read more...] about Pacific Islands Forum: what is it and why have some media been banned?
SPOKANE, Wash.—On a recent morning in this city bred on the great outdoors, the halls of Mt. Spokane High School were filled with some 600 football players throwing spirals, cross-country runners doing laps, and marching band members twirling batons. The air outside was too smoky to breathe. The Pacific Northwest, sandwiched between Canada’s... … [Read more...] about How Air in the Pacific Northwest Became Dirtier Than Beijing’s
Bringing in workers from the Pacific Islands through the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme has meant Central Otago's horticulture employers have been able to grow their businesses. New Zealand Immigration's latest RSE employer survey figures show nationally, nearly 90% of employers on the scheme have been able to each employ, on average, five additional permanent workers and 20 seasonal workers. About 11,100 workers were brought in from the Pacific Islands in 2017 by more than 150 RSE employers, compared to 5000 workers when the scheme was first established in 2007. RSE national manager Matt Hoskin told Southern Rural Life because employers were able to access the additional workers, which would lead to high productivity, they were able to make positive decisions about planting more trees or vines, and growing their operations. RSE workers are employed during peak times in the sector and are an important part of of the overall workforce. ''One key thing was almost all employers … [Read more...] about Pacific workers boost productivity
The controversy of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion projects has so far focused more on the implications of the project’s delay for Albertan crude oil producers. Yet, the developments around the pipeline also have reverberations for the US refining industry and more specifically that part of it, which operates in the Pacific Northwest, a region without the luxury of many and different sources of crude to turn into fuel and other products for the local industries and households. Read more Canadian crude and crude from Alaska have been the traditional feedstock for Pacific Northwest refineries. Now that production is growing and so are refining rates, local operators are buying oil from Russia, which, in the political context between the US and Canada, and Russia, makes for an interesting ironic twist. Yet these are the realities of life, as Stewart Muir, executive director of Canadian think tank Resource Works, writes in a recent story. If you can’t get a … [Read more...] about Market logic trumps politics: US Pacific Northwest dependent on Russian oil imports amid shortage