Wednesday, 24 July 2024

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Insolvency

Insolvency

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VIGGARS, Steven Marshall

Wednesday, 24 July 2024

This package has been designed by VN Holidays and includes a roundtrip international economy-class airfare with Vietnam Airlines departing from Sydney/Melbourne* to Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City, 4 nights optional accommodation and daily breakfast at a range of hotels (3-4-5 star hotel options).

For more details please visit https://vnholidays.com.au/tour/free-easy-australia-to-vietna…
T: 1300 309 117
E: [email protected]

Tour Inclusions

  • Departure 2024. Discuss with VN Holidays directly regarding your travel dates and timings.
  • Return economy-class international Vietnam Airlines airfare from Sydney / Melbourne.
  • Meals as indicated:
  • Daily breakfast at hotel
  • 02 bottles of mineral water/ person/ day on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing

Tour Exclusions

  • Visa to Vietnam (Clients can contact VN Holidays team to help with the application and service fee.)
  • Early check in or late check out.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Optional excursions and activities
  • Additional transfer required due to any emergency situation.
  • Items of a personal nature (Phone calls, laundry, beverages…)
  • Peak season surcharges, if any.
  • No airport transfer. We can help you arrange, just let us know.

Other Information
Changes

  • The itinerary can be changed due to weather, tide levels, and operating conditions.
  • Programmers, prices, services and conditions are based on those valid at the time of proposal submission and are subject to change thereafter without advance notice until all services have been paid in full.

VN Holidays' Responsibility

  • Certain parts of the tours on offer are provided by independent third parties, such as airlines, hotels, transport operators and local tourist offices.
  • VN Holidays is not responsible for any loss or theft, injury or damage caused thereby to the tourists, including those occurring outside of the normal touring programmers.
  • Additional expenses incurred due to delay, accident, natural disaster, political actions and unrest shall be borne by the tourists.

  • Terms and conditions for Add-on Interstate Surcharges from Brisbane/ Adelaide & New Zealand to Sydney/ Melbourne.

For more details please visit https://vnholidays.com.au/tour/free-easy-australia-to-vietna…
T: 1300 309 117
E: [email protected]

TOVIO, Tevasa

Wednesday, 24 July 2024

“One minute I was a clapped-out two-guinea legal-aid lawyer and the next minute I was in Parliament,” he said.

He didn’t talk about legacy but said one way he hoped to be remembered was for changing the way New Zealand saw the world.

In my final question, I asked if he felt as though he had an undefined and uncomfortable place in history, seeing as he was pilloried by the left for too much reform and pilloried by the right for not enough.

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“No,” he said. “It’s not an uncomfortable place. This is the difficulty about talking about it without sounding big-headed but you cannot speak of New Zealand now without my involvement in what it has become. My judgment of that is that it is a change for the better and my instinct tells me that if it hadn’t been for our administration there would have been calamity after calamity.”

An edited version first ran in the Weekend Herald on July 2004 when Helen Clark was prime minister of the fifth Labour Government and below is the full version. Lange died the following year.

Q: Can you tell me about making peace recently with [former finance minister] Roger Douglas?

We had an excellent meeting. There are certain things you remember about a nice car you once owned. But the thing you really remember about it is when you crashed it into a concrete wall. You forget the times you enjoyed breezing around the countryside and carrying on.

I’ve known Roger for very many years. My father was the doctor at Reid Rubber at the first industrial clinic in South Auckland when he did two mornings a week looking at workers there and Roger’s father was the union secretary.

I used to be taken there during school holidays as a primary school kid and I used to watch in awe of this man who occupied the same old army hut. He was one-armed and he rolled his own cigarettes and he lit them himself by putting his box of matches in his left armpit and striking it with his right. I used to be amazed at this fellow. He was Roger and Malcolm’s dad. And, of course, Malcolm was my law clerk in an Auckland law firm in the 60s. My time in government with Roger was the most focused-upon but the relationship extended beyond those days...

When Roger came in and sat down ... it flowed affably and it was just wonderful. We chatted away and talked about the family and brought ourselves up to date.

Roger Douglas and David Lange had met before being pictured here in July 2004 at a dinner to mark the 20th anniversary of the fourth Labour Government. Photo / Martin Sykes
Roger Douglas and David Lange had met before being pictured here in July 2004 at a dinner to mark the 20th anniversary of the fourth Labour Government. Photo / Martin Sykes

Q: Do you think if the election of 1984 had not been a snap election, there would have been time for the opposing forces within the Labour Party to have successfully blocked the party’s reforms or to have severely limited them?

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You have to talk about why things happened the way they did. You can’t actually explain my political life except by a series of situations rather than by some carefully constructed, rigidly progressed ascendancy. You could not imagine two more unlike rides to the top as I had and Helen Clark had: hers the principled, extremely hard-working, fearless, really persistent in the face of all sorts of adversities and personal assaults. Whereas mine was some sort of divine roulette. Even entering into Parliament was not one of your created, structured planned-for episodes.

I mean one minute I was a clapped-out two-guinea legal-aid lawyer and the next minute I was in Parliament. The byelection of 77 saw to that ... I got there in terms of the Labour Party for all the wrong reasons [after the resignation of Colin Moyle], for all the reasons which weren’t part of its tradition. I’d never been a tract writer; I’d never been a philosopher; I’d never taken part in extraordinary industrial dispute activism; I’d not been in any of that background but I was able to mix it in what had become, conceived to be, the new frontline of politics – the ability on television to convey confidence and assurance without saying anything. And that is very important ...

[I was] plunged into this extraordinary awareness of a crisis in foreign exchange and reserves and having to take steps that were the absolute antithesis of anything that I would ever have expected the week before. If the people of New Zealand thought it was a bit odd, for me it was absolutely staggering ...

I had thought of getting the agencies like the IMF, the World Bank to come in and do a de facto receivership. In fact, I said so more or less publicly – let us get some external analysis of where we are rather than one which is tainted by my self-interest and by Muldoon’s clear self-interest. But it was rendered unnecessary. He put on such a extraordinarily good performance of carrying on and saying I was introducing scorched earth policy. By the time Muldoon had finished a couple of television appearances, the general public was completely satisfied we were in a mess ...

Q: Gerald Hensley [former head of the Prime Minister’s department] says you were at your best when you were confronted with a crisis and were having to make quick decisions.

Oh yes. It was amazing. We were at our best when confronted by crisis right at the very beginning and Cyclone Bola. As Prime Minister I went to Wairoa and ordered the Army to build a bridge across the Wairoa River without a building permit or a resource management consent. And that’s power. I told them to get stuck in and drill for water when the wells went out in Gisborne. We flew up in a helicopter to the back of Te Kaha, down to Te Araroa and handed out aid and did things and ordered the dredging in Gisborne.

It was very funny. Treasury were getting scared about this madman who was doing things from an aircraft and decided they had to have Treasury approval for everything. I said they couldn’t wait for him to get to Wellington and back, it was just ridiculous. There were people under water. You couldn’t wait for that nonsense. So they said they’d post an officer up in Gisborne and I said right. I had a good guy there called McKenzie who was my man up there co-ordinating everything. He was a great guy and I told him to get this Treasury officer and put him in a motel that was prone to flooding. He was at this motel and he couldn’t get out; the water was up the driveway and he signed everything that was put in front of him. We got quicker answers out of him than we’d ever got.

Q: Do you regard the Rainbow Warrior affair as one of your successes or failures of political management [French agents pleaded guilty to bombing the Greenpeace vessel in Auckland and negotiated to serve their sentences on Hao atoll]?

In terms of the outcome, to the people of New Zealand it was probably regarded as a failure. But it demonstrates one of the problems of being in government: it could have been a resounding success and we could have lost access to Europe for butter. So I think we had the choice.

The failure on my part was pretty simple. I had been brought up in the law and had this sort of instinct that international law operates and was there to protect principles and not to be the plaything of power and might – which I now know, of course, to be an absolute nonsense. International law should be spelled l-o-r-e. You can do anything you like including invading Iraq if you want to. I believed it was right to do what we did and what a lot of agony that was.

The Greenpeace protest vessel Rainbow Warrior in Waitematā Harbour after an explosion ripped through its hull on July 10, 1985. Photo / Ben Motu
The Greenpeace protest vessel Rainbow Warrior in Waitematā Harbour after an explosion ripped through its hull on July 10, 1985. Photo / Ben Motu

I remember when we found out where they first proposed to put them, it was 2 o’clock in the morning in the General Assembly Library, we discovered that the place that they were planning to send them, off the coast of Africa, was a Club Med resort. That saved me from a great deal of humiliation. Working through the good offices of the Dutch Premier, we did that settlement [to keep them on Hao atoll] and then, unbelievably, having concluded treaties, international agreements with other countries, they repatriated the woman because she was pregnant – of course, people had been pregnant on the equator for thousands of years – and the man, because he had flatulence. That’s a fact. That’s why he is called Marfart. He got there just in time to be released of his wind difficulty on the eve of the [French] presidential election ...

It’s extraordinary that we as, at times, a frail Government in a small country, ended up with an anti-nuclear policy which simply got stronger over the years, not because of our advocacy but because of two of three quite spectacular incidents.

The one minor starter was the French persistence in testing in the Pacific. The second was the United States reprisals back in 1985 which were deeply resented by New Zealanders. It was still anyone’s game. But the Rainbow Warrior certainly engraved it in platinum. It’s just amazing.

Q: Do you think it is time to repair the damage with the United States perhaps in the way the Creech report suggested by following the Danish example [anti-nuclear weapons by law but anti-nuclear propulsion by policy]?

No, because the Creech report clearly misconceives the challenge ... The problem is that Roger [Douglas] and I gave the Americans everything they wanted, absolutely everything in terms of money, trade, they can sell anything they like here, they can invest anything here, they can have airlines here til it comes out our ears. They can own land. Why would the Americans give us anything? This whole anti-nuclear thing and the ships argument is built up all the time as some sort of great political issue between the parties and what’s going to happen and how we can make the thing go away ...

Look, we could get a nuclear weapon and put it on a hire trailer and take it around A and P shows all around New Zealand, and it wouldn’t give us a free trade agreement. It is absolutely irrelevant.

What inducement is there for the United States to allow us to go and do possible harm to their beef and farming communities ...

Q: Trade is one thing but what about the defence relationship. Do you think New Zealand has suffered by not being part of Anzus?

Anzus is still there. It’s just that they regard us as not being in it. I had the distinction once of going to the Pentagon and going through the Anzus corridor and seeing a wonderful tableau of derring-do in the jungles of Malaysia. It has absolutely nothing to do with Anzus. In other words every interaction between the United States and New Zealand, trade and everything else since the Second World War, has been attributed to Anzus.

And we have a relationship with the United States which is extraordinarily strong. It is unmolested by rancour. They have found it not a problem to send amateurs to be diplomats here in charge of posts – it has been an easy relationship ...

David Lange greets Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke in Wellington in November 1987. With them is Wellington Mayor Sir James Belich.
David Lange greets Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke in Wellington in November 1987. With them is Wellington Mayor Sir James Belich.

But there is a difference between our relationships with Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Helen Clark is not some kind of pilot fish bobbing along next to George Bush as John Howard is. It is just a different mindset. We have a different view of our relationships with big powers. The Australasian aspiration is to be, as Bob Hawke used to say, this great nation. And they have that mindset. They are happy to be described by George Bush as the sheriff of Asia whereas it would be a profound embarrassment to most sensible people in the immediate area.

Q: Perhaps changing people’s attitudes to big powers defined your leadership?

I hope it is different and I hope it remains different. It is assisted. Britain has very carefully estranged itself from the prospect of leadership with any New Zealand interests. I always remember John Major coming to a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting here and he said, “Let’s be quite clear, if Britain has to choose between New Zealand and Europe, we will choose Europe.” Good on him. And he would. No doubt about that.

The other thing I like about the way I might be remembered is to change the orientation of New Zealanders towards their world, which arose largely from a personal predilection for India and as well as that, a great sense of its latent might really …

Q: What is your fascination with India?

I think it is always the starkness and the contrast when I first went there. I was staying at the Red Shield Shelter in Calcutta, 40 rupees a week, when I was taken by some friends for dinner at Firpos restaurant. I remember my main course cost 125 rupees and I knew that my room attendant was being paid 30 rupees a month at the Red Shield Shelter. My main course was four months’ money in the hand to the attendant. I left the luxury of this nightclub and I walked out with friends down the stairs and went from the light to the dark and I fell over a body lying on the pavement. And I was revolted. I was a fat European and I groaned and my companion said: “Yes, it is terrible. They should not let them sleep there.” And it all came to me that there was a huge cultural divide and that there was about it something awful and something exciting.

That was 1967. I saw all sorts of things happen. A friend of mine, a Methodist minister’s wife and three kids were killed in a riot the morning after they gave me supper, after church. That was just a very very huge growing up for me. And I left and went to England and it took me a while to get over it. But I’ve gone back and I have just been absorbed by the extraordinary drive to live that I saw in the hardest days of India.

Q: Have you still got a son there?

No, he’s with his Indian wife in Melbourne importing Hindi movies and making films from India, commercials ...

The fourth Labour Government passed some very significant laws on the Treaty of Waitangi, allowing claims back to 1840 and putting references to “treaty principles” in legislation. Did you realise how significant they were?

There were difficulties and they were not foreseen at the time. They rapidly did become foreseen. It was one of those wondering dawnings that came across me quite some time ago. It was over the question of claims being made under it and the Court of Appeal started to become very, very assertive and very, very liberal and Mr Justice Cooke was becoming very concerned to see that there was a supremacy afforded the Treaty. At one stage, it went so far as to say they would not heed a statute if it conflicted with what the court’s view of the Treaty principles was ... I remember telling the Cabinet once, “If don’t keep the Privy Council, we’re not going to keep the South Island because there was always a risk they would give the South Island away.” It sounds ridiculous now but it really did seem as though things were getting a bit out of hand.

David Lange greets Sir Paul Reeves before the ceremony making him the first Māori Governor-General in 1985. Photo / NZ Herald
David Lange greets Sir Paul Reeves before the ceremony making him the first Māori Governor-General in 1985. Photo / NZ Herald

Q: What did you think of Lord Cooke’s conclusion in the Lands case [Court of Appeal, 1987] that the Treaty is a partnership?

Nonsense. There is a very strong argument for saying there is a partnership but the last person that should say it is the lawyer or a judge because it is not a legal partnership at all. That’s the dilemma of talking about a partnership when it comes from the western courts because it certainly should be in the sense of being “we’re in it together” but the idea that it creates binding relationships so that you go down endless paths of balance ... is a very, very difficult way to run yourself ...

Q: The courts would argue that Parliament abrogated its responsibility to define the principles of the Treaty. It has only done what Parliament hasn’t done.

Then they should say that and Parliament should have to be challenged to do it. I am absolutely against the idea that we have an unelected body of men and women who can coercively control our lives and change the nature of our relationships without reference to a process. That is what they do and it’s wrong.

Q: Are you optimistic about the Supreme Court?

No, because it only makes them more up themselves.

David Lange and Mike Moore at the swearing-in of the second-term Labour Government in August 1987. Behind them are new ministers David Butcher, Bill Jeffries, Michael Cullen and Helen Clark. Photo / NZ Herald
David Lange and Mike Moore at the swearing-in of the second-term Labour Government in August 1987. Behind them are new ministers David Butcher, Bill Jeffries, Michael Cullen and Helen Clark. Photo / NZ Herald

Q: Did you have anything to do with stopping the attempted backroom coup against Helen Clark in May 1996 [Clark was tipped off to a deputation from Cullen, King, Goff, Wetere and Sutton asking her to step down and met them with her own reinforcements]?

Yes, I had a lot to do with it … Helen was at risk and she had certain senior Labour members working against her. The words “plotting” are unfortunate because it would have been a plot when it started but they were certainly up front very rapidly. It wasn’t something that festered on and on. She had gone through a bad patch. She had been a deputy leader since 1989 and she had seen Geoffrey [Palmer] and Michael [Moore] off and then she had become the leader.

She had a very, very difficult lieutenant-ship. When she became the leader, her life was full of difficulty about her style and her appearance and she went through the period of image-changing. There was a certain period where it seemed all uncertain. And they decided to take it out on the leader. I have never completely understood who they proposed to put in her place.

Q: Surely it had to be Cullen or Moore?

The answer to that was it had to be one Michael. I might be wrong but I never saw any sign of Mike Moore charging madly around. When Mike Moore’s on a roll, he’s on a roll. And Michael Cullen never deluded himself he was a populist leader. He had admirable qualities. He was the minister that showed extraordinary principle during those dark days in Cabinet and I have a great deal of affection for Michael Cullen and I’m now pleased with him because he’s done some good things. But I could never work it out and it seemed to be completely odd, even now.

Q: So what did you do to stop it?

I went to Helen and I started talking around people and I said we’ve got to do something about it. They got alerted and that was it. They were in a sense party people. They were not trying to kill the party. They could have gone ahead with it and destroyed it. It was also one of the most interesting times because it taught me something about Helen, that I had a suspicion about before. But one of the great things about that coup attempt was that she then promoted Michael [Cullen]. I didn’t know that and I came out of a select committee and a reporter came up to me and said Michael Cullen’s just been made deputy and I said, “If that had been Jenny Shipley she would have kicked him in the crutch ...”

Q: Is this [Helen Clark’s Government] the sort of Labour Government you would have been proud to lead?

Oh, I couldn’t have led it. Let’s be quite straightforward about it. I would be enormously proud to lead it but I couldn’t do it. You’ve got to come back to time, place and circumstance. I was in a format of politics that suited me down to a tee. It depended on us always having 50 plus one, and if you got 50 plus one, the licence to do what you will with it without the risk of being usurped and ruined and without having to become alternately contrite or arrogant or dismissive and being, on one side very strongly opposed to the Greens one day and then embracing their warmth the next. I couldn’t clutch [United Future leader] Peter Dunne to my bosom one day and knife him in another. These are the sorts of problems you have under MMP. I just could not fit that environment.

Q: How do feel about the fact that your legal action against a media outlet [North and South] has liberalised the defamation laws for the media?

Liberalised is a rather broad interpretation. It is really quite an effective judgment and it does what it says you should do: you can be liberal as long as you are not irresponsible – that’s all I ever asked for. Tipping took that view in New Zealand. The Privy Council upheld the Tipping view and then unfortunately sent it back to the Court of Appeal. Still, I’m the only bloke who has made media law in two Supreme jurisdictions: the High Court of Australia and the Privy Council. Lange and the ABC. I won.

David Lange with daughter Edith, then aged 7, on the day he was invested as a Member of the Order of New Zealand, July 2003. Photo / Mark Mitchell
David Lange with daughter Edith, then aged 7, on the day he was invested as a Member of the Order of New Zealand, July 2003. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Q: Are you a better father the second time around?

The answer to that is quite simple: I am except it is just exasperating being so limited by my disability. It’s lovely to have an 8-year-old who’s cute and thoughtful, asks demanding questions. It’s also hard. When I used to go to school to pick her up they’d say, “Edith! Edith! Your grandfather’s here! Your grandfather’s here!”

Q: Does your first family all get on well?

Oh yes. We get on well. Edith sends emails to Emily. Byron writes her letters and cards. One day Edith will be old enough to get on a plane to go to England and stay with them. I’ve got two kids in England. Emily is a guide at the science museum in Kensington. Byron is working in drug rehabilitation in Birmingham having worked for four years in the St Vincent de Paul Society in London.

Q: You’ve never been precious about talking about your kids, like some politicians keep them off-limits.

Some politicians’ kids are very, very sensibly off-limits ...

David Lange and his second wife, Margaret Pope, seen here in 1992.
David Lange and his second wife, Margaret Pope, seen here in 1992.

Q: When your and Margaret Pope’s relationship was made public, your former wife, Naomi, amid all the upset, told a newspaper that you and Margaret had a “meeting of the minds”.

People don’t realise quite how remarkable Naomi was and has been. She runs a women’s refuge in Māngere quite anonymously and we have a lot to do with each other. In fact, Edith calls her Aunty Nay.

Q: You spent part of the last few years on tour with Gary McCormick as a paid entertainer. Why did you do that?

There are two aspects to Gary that you never see. Some do who read his poetry. There is the knock-about funny man and there is a very, very serious analytical side to Gary. He is very thoughtful and he does things with some care. So I started out with him because I was at a loss and it was good fun.

I’ve seen the good side of New Zealand in small halls, in remote places, in farming communities and places that you drive past at 100km/h and yet there is a lively hinterland community in these places and it’s great. We can get a couple of hundred [at the] craziest places, the back of Collingwood, down in Murchison. I’ve performed in the sheepyards of Waipukurau, all over the place, and he’s so funny. He is actually genuinely, extremely funny. I like him.

One of the nice things about it is it takes me back to earlier years of my life. I used to be a talkback show host under an assumed name 30-odd years ago. I was one of the first in Auckland at Radio 1ZB. I was David Read. Another guy used to alternate with me. He came out of the closet about 30 years later. He was Bruce Christopher on the radio. He turned out all right. He was Bruce Slane [former Privacy Commissioner].

It’s like some sort of live talkback show, as well. It’s not just speaking; it’s interacting; it’s never being scripted and you get what the community is talking about.

David Lange was honoured by the Indian community at a ceremony in 2005, the year he died. Photo / Greg Bowker
David Lange was honoured by the Indian community at a ceremony in 2005, the year he died. Photo / Greg Bowker

Q: May I ask what your prognosis is?

I’m a beneficiary of the extraordinary medical skills available in New Zealand, amazingly so. It’s two years now since the diagnosis [amyloidosis, a rare plasma disorder] was made. Chemotherapy, which went on for seven or eight months, has been worth all the rigours of it. It’s an incurable disease and you don’t get remission but “suppression” is the word that you use and there has been a very significant suppression of the adverse material. But there has been some collateral damage. There has been some kidney damage – quite considerable kidney damage – and the prognosis is that I could well go on to dialysis.

And the heart?

Well, it’s the same old heart that has been there since I was born and it has been operated on twice and it’s got out of rhythm a couple of times lately and that’s now under control. I’m not expecting too much immediate adversity there. But I’ve lived longer from this condition than anyone expected me to and certainly longer than the average. I’ve now gone 10 weeks without a blood transfusion. They are using the wonderful drug on me that is used in the Tour de France – EPO – this hormone ... Endurance cyclists take it because high haemoglobin gives you the capacity for more oxygen, too. It’s banned. I’m allowed to take it. Before you came, Margaret gave me my injection.

Q: You are pilloried by the left for too much reform and pilloried by the right for not enough. Do you feel as though you have an undefined place in history or an uncomfortable place?

No. It’s not an uncomfortable place. This is the difficulty about talking about it without sounding big-headed but you cannot speak of New Zealand now without my involvement in what it has become. My judgment of that is that it is a change for the better and my instinct tells me that if it hadn’t been for our administration there would have been calamity after calamity.

TIPENE, Kayne Silvester Wynn

Wednesday, 24 July 2024

NIXON, David George

Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Xtramile Construction Limited

Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Waimarie Meats Limited Partnership

Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Assets include aircraft and airport slots in Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Fiji and New Caledonia.

A deadline of August 31 has been given for Air Vanuatu exiting liquidation, Vanuatu’s Minister of Finance and Economic Management John Salong told the paper, but the move will require court approval after a compromise with creditors.

Air Vanuatu filed for insolvency on May 6, after being plagued with mechanical issues – the airline only has one Boeing 737 craft – unexpected groundings and “non-stop issues for several months”.

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The Vanuatu Government placed the airline into voluntary liquidation later that week, with EY appointed as administrators of the airline’s affairs, a spokesperson said at the time.

NZ Herald has reached out to Ernst & Young for comment.

The VanuatuDaily Postconfirmed the dissolution of Air Vanuatu’s board of directors, and the airline had cut 170 jobs by the end of May.

All Air Vanuatu pilots remain in employment with the national carrier, the Daily Post’s Doddy Morris reported on June 14, after a claim by Opposition MP Gracia Shadrack that international pilots had their contracts terminated. The claim was countered by EY.

“Critical staff, including ground handling, maintenance, and pilots, continue to be employed by Air Vanuatu,” EY told the paper.

The airline grounded all flights on May 9 and hundreds of passengers were stranded in Vanuatu, Australia and New Zealand.

Kiwi travellers claimed they were left stranded by airlines, insurers and travel agents. Espiritu Santo, an island in the country’s north, was particularly difficult; after the Air Vanuatu grounding there was only a weekly 24-hour ferry to Port Vila. One tourist told the Herald he and his wife paid almost $1800 each for a charter flight to Australia to get home.

Air Vanuatu's regional services have been grounded since the airline's liquidation in May. Photo / Supplied
Air Vanuatu's regional services have been grounded since the airline's liquidation in May. Photo / Supplied

Also trying to get home were Ni-Vanuatu citizens in New Zealand. In mid-May RNZreported over 1458 seasonal workers were stranded with visas expiring on June 9 and no way back to Vanuatu. RSE workers stuck in Hawke’s Bay told the Heraldthey were facing a four-week long wait.

Immigration NZ is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to ensure workers with expiring visas can stay in the country lawfully, and by the end of the month, 845 RSE workers had returned home to Vanuatu. Visa entry dates for incoming workers have been extended.

Domestic Air Vanuatu flights in Vanuatu were also grounded and people living in remote parts of the archipelago said the situation was dire, as there were few options on the outer islands.

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This week the VanuatuDaily Post reported that Air Vanuatu domestic flights were set to resume.

Wilfred Makaba, acting director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vanuatu (CAAV), shared the news with the paper, which it reports was also confirmed by a statement from the Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, outlining assessment of Air Vanuatu Domestic operations before CAAV approval.

There are several private charter companies operating in Vanuatu.

Beyond air travel, there are boats that travel between the country’s 83 islands. Vanuatu Ferry Ltd services a route from Port Vila on the island of Efate to Luganville on Espiritu Santo, with additional stops.

Air Vanuatu’s website currently carries a message from the liquidators with directions for customers, employees and creditors. There have been no posts on the airline’s Facebook page since March 6.

No date has been set for the resumption of Air Vanuatu services.

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Brent Thomas, Travel Agents’ Association of New Zealand president, told the Heraldthe insolvency was “sad and difficult” for the industry.

Although Air Vanuatu’s planes are still grounded as the carrier works towards a solution, there are other ways for Kiwis to get to Port Vila.

Vanuatu Tourism Office welcomes the interest in routes the island nation.

“We have already had some great announcements” it said in a statement, with direct flights from Auckland to Vanuatu through Solomon Airlines, which currently offers two flights a week to Port Vila, with a third being added from October 4.

“There are also services available, with connections, with Fiji Airways and Air Calin.”

Virgin Australia operates seven flights a week to the capital from Brisbane.

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The Herald has reached out to Air Vanuatu for comment.

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