Rosemarie Gillespie: friend of Bougainville
How the sangumaman made our life better

Is this the last Kevin Rudd Junior story?


AAP - KEVIN RUDD'S demise as Australian Prime Minister sent shockwaves across PNG today, especially in a remote village where a baby called Kevin Rudd Junior is lauded as a little prince.

In 2008, then Prime Minister Rudd visited the Eastern Highlands and new parents Esau and Lina Kitgi, from the isolated Degi village, named their newborn in his honour.

The family of two-year-old Kevin Rudd Junior was shocked by the news that his political namesake was no longer Australia's number one.

"We are very sorry to hear this; we are shocked," Esau Kitgi said, wishing Julia Gillard, Australia's first female Prime Minister, all the best. But he said there were no plans for a baby sister for Kevin Junior

"Kevin Rudd Junior's name will remain forever, we are not changing the name," he said. "The time Rudd was in government he brought white man and black man together.

"We support him because he brought PNG and Australia closer together. We hope the next PM does the same."

"This is too sad," said family friend Loven Forapi, who lobbied the Australian government to support numerous bilateral opportunities to leverage off the Kev Junior brand.

Kevin Rudd Junior was born in Goroka General Hospital on 7 March 2008, five minutes after PM Kevin Rudd visited.

The baby became PNG's favourite son, symbolic of rekindled relations between Australia and PNG after difficult times during the time of the Howard government.

On Rudd Junior's second birthday, the family told AAP that the toddler became a "climate change victim", just like Rudd Senior.

Late last year AAP also reported that Kevin Junior had reached a significant milestone in his life when he uttered the words "mum" and "dad", while continuing to struggle with his namesake's favourite phrase, "programmatic specificity".


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Peter Kranz

You may have noticed this story yesterday in the SMH. It's by Ilya Gridneff who is sadly leaving his post in PNG.

"Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd has sent a birthday card wishing his Papua New Guinean namesake, Kevin Rudd Jnr, a happy third birthday.

Mr Rudd sent the card to a remote village in PNG to mark the special day for the boy, who was given the name five minutes after the then PM made a visit to a local hospital on March 7, 2008.

"To Kevin Rudd, Happy Birthday, Kevin Rudd," he wrote. "Be a good boy, when you go to school work hard and love your family."

Elated parents Esau and Lina Kitgi, from Degi village in Eastern Highlands Province (EHP), said it was a huge honour.

"We are so happy for this," Mr Kitgi said.

"Little Kev is doing fine and growing strong."

Kevin Rudd Jnr was born in EHP's Goroka General Hospital and the family said they named the boy to honour Mr Rudd after he dropped by.

PNG's little prince has come to embody the strengthening bonds between neighbours and a newfound bilateral cohesion after troubled times during John Howard's time as PM."

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)