1 NEWS NOW's top stories to come out of the Pacific in 2017

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It's been another big year for our brothers and sisters in the Pacific. These are some of the stories that made headlines this year.

Tongan Queen Mother dies

1 NEWS Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver shares a beautiful story abou the late Halaevalu Mata'aho, who will be laid to rest today.
Source: Breakfast

The death of Queen Mother Halaevalu Mata'aho at the age of 90 sent the Pacific nation, and its people around the world, into mourning.

Tonga came to a standstill for her funeral, as the country's matriarch was laid to rest.

Tonga stuns the rugby league world.

The Tongan centre said he's proud of what the team achieved on and off the field.
Source: 1 NEWS

Tonga's run to the final four at the Rugby League World Cup is one of the stories of the sporting year.

On the back of Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita's decision to turn their back on New Zealand and Australia respectively, Ma'a Mate Tonga went within one controversial ref's call of reaching the final.

Vanuatu volcano threatens to blow

Evacuation efforts are scaling up on Vanuatu's Ambae island as the Manaro volcano threatens to erupt.
Source: 1 NEWS

In October more than 10,000 people were evacuated from the island of Ambae after the Monaro volcano became unsettled.

Smoke and lava flows came from the mountain, but thankfully, there was no major eruption.

It did, however, uproot the lives of thousands of residents. 

Bill English becomes a Samoan chief, and dances with delight

It's fair to say the PM’s strong suit isn’t dancing - but he can now add a Matai title to his name.
Source: 1 NEWS

In June, then Prime Minister Bill English was given the Leuluaialiiotumua matai title in the village of Faleula – where his wife Mary hails from.

The Prime Minister of Samoa Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi was there along with members of cabinet and traditional leaders, all of whom got to witness Mr English's unique style of dancing. 

North Korea threatens to bomb Guam

Cindy Hanson knows she only has minutes to get home to her teenage son before a North Korean missile strike.
Source: 1 NEWS

The tiny US territory of Guam found itself in the middle of nuclear braggado when North Korea announced a detailed plan to launch a volley of ballistic missiles towards it.

The island hosts two US military bases, and came after weeks of angry rhetoric between US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un. 

Fiji takes the lead on climate change

1 NEWS Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver visited the village of Vunidogoloa.
Source: 1 NEWS

Pacific nations will be affected by rising sea levels and climate change, so it was only right that one of them took the lead at the COP 23 climate change conference in Germany.

Fiji, where some coastal communities have already been forced to relocate inland, presided over the conference, the first island nation to do so. 
 

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