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In brief: News from around the Pacific

Saturday 16 October 2021 | Written by RNZ | Published in Pacific Islands, Regional


In brief: News from around the Pacific
Covid-19 testing underway in Guam. Photo: Governor Lou Leon Guerrero

Samoa's opposition leader says members have not been paid; CNMI welcomes visitors again; Vaccination campaign targetting young Pasifika in Porirua underway

A four-month-old baby boy was among the three Covid-related deaths reported on Guam.

The boy was pronounced dead on arrival at the U.S Naval Hospital Guam on Wednesday.

He is the youngest Covid-related fatality on Guam.

The two other related covid deaths were a 64 year old man, and a 21 year old woman.

Samoa's opposition leader says members have not been paid

Samoa's opposition leader, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, has called on the FAST government to stop withholding salaries for the Human Rights Protection Party parliamentarians.

TV1Samoa reports that Tuilaepa made the call at a news conference saying none of them had been paid since July 2021.

"We have been duly sworn in so we should be paid," he said.

It's been three months since the FAST government took office and all 18 HRPP members have yet to be paid.

"This is not becoming of a supposed just government who like to promote the rule of law," he said.

Tuilaepa also said that the 7 HRPP members who lost their seats as a result of election petitions are entitled to be paid.

CNMI welcomes visitors again

The tourist industry in the Northern Marianas is welcoming visitors again thanks to its travel bubble arrangement with South Korea.

Year-on-year numbers indicate that tourists to the islands rose 752 percent to 1,107 visitors in September.

According to the Marianas Visitors Authority, Korea, the Northern Marianas' largest tourist market, recorded 801 visitors that month.

In July, the Commonwealth arranged with South Korea the travel bubble, and implemented its Tourism Resumption Investment Plan to reboot the industry.

Vaccination campaign targetting young Pasifika in Porirua underway

A vaccination campaign targetting young Pasifika in the Porirua area is underway.

The Porirua suburbs of Cannons Creek and Waitangirua have been identifed as hotspots where the Pacific and Maori youth populations are not getting vaccinated.

The Pasifika youth vax festival will be at the Cannons Creek Cage from 9am to 5pm.

A member of the organising committee, Lealamanu'a Aiga Caroline Mareko, said Porirua has a young Pasifika population so it was important to hold the event in a space that young people know well.

Today's event will have a festival atomsphere with free giveaways, craft and food stalls and as well as performances from local artists.

Crusaders half-back is the second player to sign with Moana Pasifika

Crusaders half-back Ereatara Enari is the second player to sign with Moana Pasifika for next year's Super Rugby Pacific competition.

The 24-year-old has five Super Rugby titles under his belt and is currently playing for Hawke's Bay in New Zealand's domestic National Provincial Championship competition.

Enari joins former Wallabies first five Christian Leali'ifano who was confirmed as Moana Pasifika's first major signing on Thursday.

Two more players are expected to be announced today.