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Pacific News Briefs

Sir Michael Jones at Government House.  [Photo: Photosport]


Washington, D.C. – Thursday, August 31, 2017 - Congresswoman Aumua Amata was pleased to announce more than $10.1 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for the Pago Pago International Airport.

“These efforts to preserve and update the Pago Pago Airport are major projects that deserve this funding,” Aumua Amata said. “American Samoa must always have a dependable, accessible and well-maintained airport to help counter our economic and geographic isolation.”

Specifically, two DOT grants, one of $10 million and one of $135,000, are designated for the ongoing rehabilitation plans at Pago Pago International Airport. The larger grant is directed to the runway apron area, which is where aircraft are parked for refueling, loading, unloading and other services, while the other funds are for runway safety features.

“I welcome the DOT’s understanding of the importance of this airport to us on American Samoa,” concluded the Congresswoman. “I appreciate also the efforts of all those at work on these improvements, and the leadership of Port Administration Director, Taimalelagi Dr. Claire Poumele.”

(Source: Congresswoman Aumua Amata’s Office, Washington, D.C.)


The former All Black Sir Michael Jones has been invested as a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit at a ceremony at Government House in Wellington today.

Jones has been made a Knight Companion of the order for his services to the Pacific community and youth.

He wore a traditional red ulafala or [pandanus] necklace, to honor his Samoan heritage and received a long round of applause from the packed crowd after Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy bestowed the honor on him.

Jones was a member of the 1987 World Cup winners, playing 55 games for the All Blacks between 1987-1998.

He also played for Samoa in 1986 and coached the Samoa national side between 2004-2007.

(Source: RNZ)


Two doctors in French Polynesia have been fined $US5,000 each by the criminal court for a brawl in the operating theatre.

Radio1 reported that the surgeon and the anesthetist ended up in a fight at a private clinic in Papeete because they disagreed over how to care for a patient who was waking up.

While in custody, the surgeon tested positive for methamphetamine.

He has been given a suspended six-month jail sentence but the court rejected the prosecution's request that he be deregistered.

The surgeon has also been ordered to pay a journalist $US800 for making death threats for reporting the fight.

(Source: RNZ)