Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Ryan & Dorday: Another Day In The Solomon Islands

Another Day in the Solomon Islands Begins


Report from Yasmine Ryan, Images by Jason Dorday
On assignment in Honiara, Solomon Islands, for Scoop.co.nz

(Honiara, 26 April 2006) - After flying down to Christchurch Monday night, the Scoop contingent (photographer Jason Dorday and myself) caught the New Zealand Defense Force cargo flight to the Solomon Islands. At around 11 hours, including a stop-off in Port Villa, Vanuatu, the RNZAF C130 Hercules flight was a lot longer than in a Boeing 747, but the Air Force food and service was a lot more generous and accommodating than in its commercial equivalent.

Some of the 8 media hitching a ride to the Pacific island nation slept on the cargo while others were shrewd enough to weasel into a bunk. At any rate, there was certainly more legroom than in Air New Zealand economy. The bacon, egg and hash brown breakfast was only the beginning, and being permitted a peak into the cockpit topped it all off.

Arriving in Honiara on a humid Anzac Day evening, we witnessed some of the young Kiwi and Aussie troops all geared up, many probably on their first overseas deployment. RAMSI (Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands) has been active here since July 2003. In light of the continued instability that last week’s riots represent, however, their presence is likely to be necessary for quite a while longer.

The dawn-till-dusk curfew remains in place and looks likely to remain so for at least a couple of weeks. We arrived in Honiara after the 6pm deadline but were kindly escorted to our hotels by Civil Aviation Employees, who had passes exempting them from the restriction.

On the post-curfew drive to our hotel, we saw a handful of isolated people walking the streets. An alcohol ban is in place, but this likewise appears to be flexible, especially when it comes to hotel bars.

We also glimpsed many burnt-out buildings, including the formerly extensive Pacific Casino Hotel and several small businesses. Most of the remaining businesses had groups of ethnic Solomon Islands standing guard outside to prevent further looting and destruction. Some were armed with scrap pieces of metal. Signs reading ‘locally owned’ were visible on almost all small businesses on the road into Honiara.

The hotels here are swarming with media, mainly Australian. There is much anticipation over today’s vote and whether or not the opposition will boycott.

Already the sound of the ocean is mingled with the buzzing of RAMSI helicopters. Parliament opens at 9.30am, in just over an hour. After last week’s turmoil and yesterday’s courtroom drama, no one can be certain of knows what today’s events will bring.

Another day in the Solomon Islands begins...

(Check back for continuing coverage…)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Charlotte Graham: I OIA'd Every Council In NZ...

A “no surprises” mindset and training and advice that has taught public servants to see any media interaction as a “gotcha” exercise perpetrated by unscrupulous and scurrilous reporters has led to a polarised and often unproductive OIA process. More>>

ALSO:

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation The South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

Charlotte Graham: Empowering Communities To Act In A Disaster
The year of record-breaking natural disasters means that in the US, as in New Zealand, there’s a conversation happening about how best to run the emergency management sector... More>>

ALSO:

Campbell On: The attacks on Lorde, over Israel
The escalation of attacks on Lorde for her considered decision not to perform in Israel is unfortunate, but is not entirely unexpected…More

Jan Rivers: The New Zealanders Involved In Brexit

There are a number who have strong connections to New Zealand making significant running on either side of the contested and divisive decision to leave the European Union. More>>

Rawiri Taonui: The Rise, Fall And Future Of The Independent Māori Parties

Earlier this month the Māori Party and Mana Movement reflected on the shock loss of their last parliamentary seat in this year’s election. It is timely to consider their future. More>>

Using Scoop Professionally? Introducing ScoopPro

ScoopPro is a new offering aimed at ensuring professional users get the most out of Scoop and support us to continue improving it so that Scoop continues to exist as a public service for all New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO: