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94 posts from January 2016

O'Neill admits PNG facing hard times. But where’s the strategy?


PAPUA New Guinea’s prime minister Peter O’Neill has admitted to PNG Today that the country is going through challenging times.

He has blamed PNG’s increasingly dire economic problems on the downturn in commodity prices.

“The price of copper, silver and tin has halved. And the price of LNG has fluctuated to where it was in 2012,” Mr O’Neill told PNG Today.

“I appreciate these resource price downturns are impacting government revenues, but they are also having a real impact on our private sector, especially on resource developers, contractors, suppliers, and on employees.

Continue reading "O'Neill admits PNG facing hard times. But where’s the strategy?" »

Religious leaders must not be mouthpieces for politicians


AS pillars of the spiritual community, religious leaders should speak out and shine the light on greed and corruption in public offices in Papua New Guinea.

The work of the religious leaders is to build God’s church on earth. As a practical matter, spreading the Good News occurs through worshipping in church buildings, operating schools, providing medical clinics and operating business arms to supplement their operations.

These are honourable and charitable deeds designed for our physical and intellectual nourishment.  In fact, I am humbled and eternally thankful for being a direct beneficiary of such mission efforts.

Managing mission infrastructure requires considerable capital and operating funds. Financially strapped, religious leaders have frequently turned to politicians as a source for donations.

Continue reading "Religious leaders must not be mouthpieces for politicians" »

Mendi Diocese discusses dreams, visions & the mission

Catholic Mission lay leaders from Mendi (Fr Isaiah Timba)BISHOP DONALD LIPPERT | Catholic Diocese of Mendi

LAY leaders from all the parishes and pastoral areas of the Catholic Diocese of Mendi have come together for the annual meeting of the Diocesan Pastoral Council.

They were convoked by the bishop and joined by representatives of consecrated religious and the heads of the various diocesan secretariats to evaluate social conditions and pastoral practice of the past year and set the agenda for 2016.

Each member had the opportunity to give a brief situation report of their parish community, then ideas were offered regarding the observance of the Jubilee of Mercy and the Golden Jubilee of the diocese.  Many creative ideas were shared.

Continue reading "Mendi Diocese discusses dreams, visions & the mission" »

Polye says PNG in recession; faces tough economic challenges

Don PolyeDON POMB POLYE | PNG Opposition Leader | Edited extracts

I’M urging my fellow citizens to brace themselves for tougher economic challenges ahead – both over the next 12 months and beyond.

I refute claims by prime minister Peter O’Neill that the Papua New Guinea economy is safe and sound and make this warning in light of the country’s debt of over K27 billion.

PNG is in recession.

The total value of our economy is only K41 billion and it is appalling to note that our debt to GDP ratio is over 60%.

If this is not addressed, PNG will go down the path of Greece and other countries.

Continue reading "Polye says PNG in recession; faces tough economic challenges" »

PNG is dangerous & failing to protect women and girls


PAPUA New Guinea is one of the most dangerous places to be a woman or girl, with rates of family and sexual violence among the highest in the world, Human Rights Watch has said in its World Report 2016.

Gender inequality, violence, corruption, and excessive use of force by police, including against children, remain pressing human rights issues.

The 659-page World Report 2016, its 26th edition, reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries.

An estimated 70% of women in PNG experience rape or assault in their lifetime. While violence against women has long been criminalized and domestic violence was specifically proscribed under the 2013 Family Protection Act, few perpetrators are brought to justice and the government has not yet begun to implement the Act.

Continue reading "PNG is dangerous & failing to protect women and girls" »

Only we can tell our stories, says Crocodile Prize chairman


The sixth year of Papua New Guinea’s national literary competition, the Crocodile Prize, was launched on Wednesday at the National Library in Port Moresby in front of a small crowd. Organising committee chairman Baka Bina said Papua New Guinea needs its own voice and the Crocodile Prize is fast becoming the right place to develop this voice - Joycelin Leahy

PAPUA New Guinea is a land of many tribes and many stories. Culturally, we are storytellers and our heritage has been handed down through oral history.

Our ancestors sat by the fire and told stories and pointed to landmarks that had meaning and significance to our people and our land. Papua New Guineans are born storytellers.

Writing critical essays and challenging the way we lead and live is also healthy for any nation. Each country and culture have their own voice and own way of story-telling. You see, only Papua New Guineans can tell our stories in the way that makes sense.

Continue reading "Only we can tell our stories, says Crocodile Prize chairman" »

Datagaliwabe, the great God-progenitor of the Hela nation

Betty Gabriel WakiaBETTY WAKIA

MUCH is talked about Datagaliwabe throughout Hela, nearby provinces and even the entirety of Papua New Guinea.

Let me take you to Datagaliwabe. The Huli have a mixture of myths and legends that explain the origins of the gods, clan founders, the creation of all living things and other vital components of Huli life.

The Huli believe that in the beginning, there was land and the deities. The deities, such as sun and moon, the Ni and Hana, live in the sky.

The Huli High God, Datagaliwabe, was the original Supreme Spirit to come from the sky who created the land and other deities. Datagaliwabe was replaced by Honabi wali, the demiurge from whom all life flowed. Her children, Ni and Hana, are the focus of many Huli fertility rites.

Continue reading "Datagaliwabe, the great God-progenitor of the Hela nation" »

Looks like there will be a future for the NRL in PNG

Papua New Guinea HuntersMATT PRITCHARD | The Roar

ON the same weekend that Eden Park hosts the NRL Nines tournament, Penrith Panthers will send a team to Port Moresby to open Papua New Guinea’s magnificent new stadium.

The National Football Stadium will host Intrust Super Cup team Papua New Guinea Hunters on a permanent basis this year after they played out of Kokopo while waiting for the venue to be completed.

It’s likely that 15,000 diehard Papua New Guinean rugby league fans will pack the stadium for the friendly game to be played next Saturday.

Continue reading "Looks like there will be a future for the NRL in PNG" »

O’Neill again lining up for 2017. Any chance of a change?

Wii_Paul WauglaPAUL WII

SOMEONE said recently that prime minister Peter O’Neill is a cunning and conniving schemer.

He’s hell bent on achieving lofty ambitions and constantly throws his weight around when dealing with mega- buck affairs in the resources development sector.

But what do Peter O’Neill’s own Pangia–Ialibu people think about their man?

Do they see him as a “cunning and conniving schemer’’ who is running PNG into debts amounting to millions of kina?

A national election is coming around next year and some people in the media have commented that 2017 just might be the year we rise above the myriad socio-economic challenges to chart a definitive course for our nation.

Continue reading "O’Neill again lining up for 2017. Any chance of a change?" »

Energy security: oil volatility & its implications for PNG

Francis HualupmomiFRANCIS HUALUPMOMI | Edited Extracts

THE global economy, especially the energy market, is increasingly complex and unpredictable.

After the 1970s oil crisis until 2007, the oil price enjoyed steady growth. In more recent times, it has plummeted and contributed to what seems to be a growing world economic and financial crisis.

Despite the emergence of new producers such as Papua New Guinea and it liquefied natural gas, and pressure applied by the United States as a result of large scale fracking, it seems the Middle East economies (especially Saudi Arabia) will continue to dominate the global energy market.

Continue reading "Energy security: oil volatility & its implications for PNG" »

First female vice-chancellor for PNG's Divine Word University

Dr Nembou and former DWU president Fr Jan Czuba (Patrick Matbob)PNG TODAY

HIGH profile higher education administrator Prof Cecilia Nembou has made history by becoming the first female vice-chancellor of a university in Papua New Guinea.

Prof Nembou had been appointed as the new president and vice-chancellor of Divine Word University in Madang.

She takes over from DWU’s foundation president Fr Jan Czuba whose term has expired after leading the institution from 1996 when it transitioned from the former Divine Word Institute into a university.

Until her appointment, Prof Nembou was the deputy president of DWU and vice president of the university’s Port Moresby campus.

She will still lead DWU from Port Moresby while vice president (academic) Prof Pamela Norman will lead the Madang campus as deputy president.

Continue reading "First female vice-chancellor for PNG's Divine Word University" »

The body may be okay but, man, that soul looks sick


WHEN it comes to nurturing the body and soul of a nation most politicians opt to concentrate on the former rather than the latter.

That is, economic matters are seen to be much more important than the culture, literature, art and music of their people. These are viewed as ‘luxuries’ that are only affordable in times of plenty. It is a sadly misconstrued view.

It is only when these soul things look like making a profit that they become interested.

Thus Australia’s identity is linked to football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars and Papua New Guinea’s identity is linked to tourism attractions like wigmen, Birds of Paradise and the Kokoda Trail. All of these things are marketable commodities. It is a fairly blinkered view.

Continue reading "The body may be okay but, man, that soul looks sick" »

Porous borders: Concern about PNG's terrorism vulnerability

PNG - Indon borderJOHNNY BLADES | Radio New Zealand International

THIS month's deadly attack in Jakarta, claimed by Islamic State, convinced many Indonesian officials that existing counter-terrorism efforts are not sufficient to stop another attack.

Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission has warned that high corruption, especially around the country's military, may lead to increased recruitment for terrorists.

The remote region of West Papua is believed to be particularly vulnerable, and so too neighbouring Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Porous borders: Concern about PNG's terrorism vulnerability" »

Why is Russia secretly donating arms to Fiji?

Arms shipment arrives in Fiji (Fiji Sun)THE WEEK (UK)

A secret Russian consignment of weapons landed in the Fiji capital, Suva, on 14 January, arousing suspicions about Moscow's motives in the South Pacific.

The sudden arrival of expensive military equipment has raised alarm bells at home and abroad and prompted experts to question what exactly Russia stands to gain from the tiny archipelago nation.

The Fijian government, which seized control of the country in the 2006 coup, insists the weapons are for its peacekeeping troops. However, opposition politician have hinted at something more sinister.

Continue reading "Why is Russia secretly donating arms to Fiji?" »

FIFA to punish PNG football for Olympic playoff no-show

PNG women footballers (RNZI)USA TODAY

World football controlling body FIFA has opened a disciplinary case against the Papua New Guinea soccer federation whose women's team failed to travel to New Zealand for an Olympic qualifying playoff scheduled for yesterday.

The incident is embarrassing for FIFA vice president David Chung, who leads the Papua New Guinea soccer federation and the Oceania confederation.

Papua New Guinea lost 7-1 in the first leg at home on Saturday.

Continue reading "FIFA to punish PNG football for Olympic playoff no-show" »

The crocodile awakens – kind of ….


THE old Croc has been in hibernation and seems to have overslept.

As you are no doubt aware the ‘Made in PNG’ version of the Crocodile Prize is also having a few teething problems.

Rest assured, it’s on its way.

However, in this year of transition, it has been necessary to consider a range of issues including potentialities and capabilities and to adjust our aspirations accordingly.

Continue reading "The crocodile awakens – kind of …." »

Fireplaces, Facebook & a quest to preserve PNG's stories

Crocodile by David LanduMARTYN NAMORONG

SINCE its emergence 2011 as PNG's preeminent literary award - the Crocodile Prize - has spurred a growth in the recording of Papua New Guinean stories.

Named after Sir Vincent Eri's epic novel The Crocodile, the prize seeks to unearth PNG's emerging story tellers.

If social media is PNG’s new fireplace where people gather and tell stories, the Crocodile Prize and its accompanying Anthology represent an attempt to record and preserve those "fireplace" stories.

The Prize and the Anthology are a written record of the Papua New Guinean condition has viewed through the eyes of writers who live through these times.

Continue reading "Fireplaces, Facebook & a quest to preserve PNG's stories" »

O’Neill, Jubilee, Kambanei & ICMA: A match made in heaven?

The presentation of a dubious honourPNG EXPOSED BLOG

SOMETIMES life delivers moments of sublime parody, moments so incredible you have to laugh.

No more exquisite moment has been served up in recent years than Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s award recognising his financial management skills from the Chancellor of Jubilee University (sometimes also spelt Jubillee), Thaddeus Kambanei.

The award was issued by Australia's Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA), under the leadership of Emeritus Professor Janek Ratnatunga, who has found fine friends among Jubilee, its chancellor and the prime minister.

Continue reading "O’Neill, Jubilee, Kambanei & ICMA: A match made in heaven?" »

Simbu Writers Association on the rock’n’rolling for 2016

Francis and colleaguesFRANCIS NII

AT its first meeting for 2016 held in the Mt Wilhelm Tourist Hotel last Friday, Simbu Writers Association executives developed strategies for the organisation’s 2016 activities.

Re-elected president Jimmy Drekore, vice president Jimmy Awagl, treasurer Francis Nii and newly elected secretary Angela Kaupa spent three hours reviewing the achievements and hiccups of 2015 and planning for 2016.

Among the important matters discussed was the 2016 Simbu for Literary Excellence Program – an annual debate, quiz and literature competition for provincial high and secondary schools – which was started in 2014.

Continue reading "Simbu Writers Association on the rock’n’rolling for 2016" »

My father the cadet officer, and the rush to independence

Chief Inspector Joseph Muso Sigimet (retired) as a cadet, 1973RAYMOND SIGIMET

As told to me by my father, Chief Inspector Joseph Muso Sigimet (retired)

AFTER completing Form 4 (equivalent to Grade 10) at the Marist Brothers run St Xavier’s High School on Kairuru Island, East Sepik, in 1971, my father Joseph Muso Sigimet was accepted for teacher training at Kaindi Teachers College, near Wewak, the following year.

He was reluctant to take up the offer and decided to remain at Urip village near Dagua Catholic Mission.

This caused much ire and annoyance in his parents who said they had struggled to pay his school fees and he must look for a job instead of lazing around and doing nothing.

In mid-1972, while listening to Radio Wewak, he heard a Toksave from the Commanding Officer of Boram Corrective Institution that there would be a recruitment drive for high school leavers.

Continue reading "My father the cadet officer, and the rush to independence" »

We live, we sell, we buy, we cast, we pray

Lotu (Michel Braunstein)MICHAEL DOM

A message to my readers: We’ve been talking about encouraging the ‘can do’ attitude in Papua New Guinea. Here’s something you can do – print this poem or any other of my socio-political sketches and post them somewhere people can read them. Post them on Facebook or your own blog site. You can do that. It’s called freedom of expression - MD

We live in the land of milk and honey
Islands of gold floating on seas of oil
We trade this all for beer and money
When it’s gone we return to routine toil

Continue reading "We live, we sell, we buy, we cast, we pray" »

Let’s be fair dinkum when addressing rape cases in PNG


LATELY there has been a lot in the media about the rape incident involving two foreign tourists on the Kokoda Track.

This unfortunate incident, if it is authentic, deserves wide condemnation from the community in Papua New Guinea and abroad.

Reaction to this story was swift as we read with utter disgust the humiliating description of the victim’s account and how one British newspaper, The Sun, went to the extreme of describing this as the work of cannibals.

In reaction to these biased stories, the social media was littered with frustration and a good number of Papua New Guineans questioned the facts behind the incident.

Continue reading "Let’s be fair dinkum when addressing rape cases in PNG" »

A Mana for all seasons


FAMILIES are difficult and complicated the world over.

Auntie has a feud with Uncle, the children don't talk to their parents, mothers and fathers fall out with their loved ones, cliques are formed and gossip wreaks havoc.

But blood is thicker than mauswara. And the blood-ties of mother to daughter can grow stronger over generations.

So it is with the lapun meri I am privileged to call Mana, Rose's birth mother. She is no leader, she is no expert, she is no linguist – indeed Mana can barely speak English.

And she gave up her birth daughter Rose to relatives when Rose was just a baby.

But she is a mother and an auntie and a bubu and knows that her blood runs true. And her heart runs true.

Continue reading "A Mana for all seasons" »

MP is misleading Oro people about funds, says Governor

David Arore (PNG Facts)KEITH JACKSON

GARY Juffa MP, the Oro Province Governor, has said that his parliamentary colleague, Ijivitari MP David Arore (pictured), has mislead the people of the province by claiming he had no access to district services improvement program funds.

He told the PNG Post-Courier newspaper that Mr Arore had incorrectly claimed he did not have funds to help develop his electorate.

Governor Juffa said that in fact payments had been made for two major failed projects.

"For example, MV Ijivitari, which costs K5 million, remains idle and rotting away at Oro Bay,” Mr Juffa said.

“The lack of development has nothing to do with lack of funds but is a mismanagement issue.

Continue reading "MP is misleading Oro people about funds, says Governor" »

Rain is not the end of PNG's drought, merely the next phase

Drought affected family (Wonesai Sithole - IOM)An enormous El Nino event, already among the four most powerful recorded, has inflicted a devastating drought on Papua New Guinea and elsewhere in the Pacific. It has affected 2.5 million people in PNG alone and there have been multiple deaths, especially of children, due to food shortages. SCOTT WAIDE offers some important facts that all Papua New Guineans need to know.

THERE are pockets of very dry areas where the impact of the drought is evident and alarming as well as areas experiencing "post drought periods" where rains have come.

The green spurred by the rains is deceptive. This is when the food shortage really happens. Crop tubers rot in the ground and insects hatch and start feeding on crops.

Continue reading "Rain is not the end of PNG's drought, merely the next phase" »

Kokoda: A beautiful culture has been misrepresented

Kokoda vista (Kokoda Track Foundation)GENEVIEVE NELSON

RECENTLY an alleged incident on the Kokoda Track was reported on by a number of local Papua New Guinea as well as international media outlets.

One media outlet in particular made bold assertions about the conditions and communities along the Kokoda Track that have threatened the reputation of not only the tourism and trekking industry in PNG but have defamed the character of some of the most trustworthy and generous people you will ever have the privilege to meet.

Whilst speculation about the incident should be left to the PNG authorities (who are currently undertaking their investigation), it is important to refute the grossly inaccurate representations of PNG, Kokoda and its people as reported by, in all its sensationalised glory, the UK’s Sun newspaper.

Continue reading "Kokoda: A beautiful culture has been misrepresented" »

Is the public service destroying Papua New Guinea?


WHEN I left Papua New Guinea in the 1970s and went to work for the South Australian government I was amazed at the incredibly complicated bureaucratic system that I had walked into.

Over the years it got worse, particularly after the rise of human resources divisions in each department. These divisions seemed to multiply overnight like an all-devouring virus programmed for one thing – to perpetuate itself.

Apart from a couple of mundane things, they served no useful purpose other than to complicate once simple procedures.

The shock I felt when I first started work in South Australia came about because I was used to the lean and austere system I came from in pre-independent Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Is the public service destroying Papua New Guinea?" »

On electing leaders: whose wrong first, the people or the State?

Michael Dom hsMICHAEL DOM

PAPUA New Guinea may not be a failed state but the State has consistently failed its people.

We are still surviving but how can we thrive? We are responsible for the state we are in.

“Customary land tenure and the subsistence economy cushion’s the majority of the population against poor monetary or fiscal policy or global economic downturns.”

This is one of PNG’s strengths – the fundamental independence of the vast majority of rural farming households. We can still grow much of our own food and provide shelter for our families.

Continue reading "On electing leaders: whose wrong first, the people or the State?" »

Donald Trump, fear and the Melanesian big man

Donald TrumpPAUL STOLLER | Huffington Post | Extract

DONALD Trump is nothing more - and nothing less - than what anthropologists used to call a "Big Man."

As I listened yesterday to his hour-long speech at Liberty University I began to understand him as a prototypical Melanesian Big Man.

More than a generation ago anthropologists used the Big Man model to try to understand the contentious arena of political relations among the peoples of Melanesia.

Continue reading "Donald Trump, fear and the Melanesian big man" »

Are O'Neill’s sticky fingers aimed at BCL’s cash & assets?

Bryan KramerBRYAN KRAMER | PNG Blogs

EARLIER this month, the Post Courier newspaper published an article by journalist Gorethy Kenneth headlined ‘O'Neill: Govt has no interest in Panguna’.

The report stated that "prime minister Peter O’Neill has reiterated that the government has no interest to own the Panguna copper mine on Bougainville."

It went on to quote O'Neill as stating:

“There have been suggestions that the government is keen to buy 53.38% [being] Rio Tinto’s shares in the Australian firm Bougainville Copper Limited.

"The national government is committed to improving the delivery of basic services to the people of Bougainville as a top most priority of our government.

Continue reading "Are O'Neill’s sticky fingers aimed at BCL’s cash & assets?" »

Is the crocodile still swimming - or is it drowning?


OUR fingers are still on holiday and unwilling to pick up a biro or engage a keyboard to brainstorm ideas about the vacation.

But it really is time to pick-up from what we left last year.

The passion of writing for the bigger Crocodile Prize in 2016 seems to have gone in vain.

Writers and contributors are kept in suspense and tired of waiting to know when the only literary competition in Papua New Guinea will commence for this year.

The Crocodile Prize has its own program and schedule to execute. Its dates of entry and the closing date need to be broadcast. The dates for the publication of the Anthology, the declaration of winners as well as the award presentation need to be known.

Continue reading "Is the crocodile still swimming - or is it drowning?" »

Calling out PNG’s leaders: Your country is no democracy


LET'S just call it as it is. Provided the local members of parliament keep supporting the prime minister and his government, the District Services Improvement Program (DSIP funds keep coming.

They have become slush money local members can use as they wish.

DSIP program has the dual purpose of ensuring those who support the government are financially rewarded and providing a re-election fund for these members.

Feedback from the kunai roots is that, at each level of the DSIP financial food chain, everyone involved takes a large cut out of any funds that trickle down.

By the time some of these funds actually reach the local level, ineffective management and malfeasance disposes of the residue before anything positive is achieved.

Continue reading "Calling out PNG’s leaders: Your country is no democracy" »

Let's make an individual effort for the collective good


IT IS generally acknowledged that there is an endemic problem of corruption which is deep-rooted at all levels of Papua New Guinean society.

The country’s leaders seem accountable to no one, and this is compounded by weak and ineffective checks and balances within the bureaucracy.

To perfect the democratic representative political system is a multi-generational process, tedious and messy but we need to embrace it.

In the meantime, instead of focusing on this bleak outlook, we can emphasise how our individual efforts can make an imprint on our community.

No doubt hundreds of people with goodwill are doing their share behind the scene to help make PNG a better country.

Continue reading "Let's make an individual effort for the collective good" »

Providing hope to our people in this hybrid land

Martyn Namorong on cameraMARTYN NAMORONG

AS A student I grew up reading about the doom and gloom of Papua New Guinea being a failed state.

Then PNG's fortunes changed and we were one of the few countries on earth that didn’t need a fiscal stimulus during the global financial crisis.

Maybe we got cocky after that and have borrowed heavily.

Now we're in huge debt but the ship is still steady. Not because of politicians but because of the complexity of life in PNG.

Many people recognise that we live in a hybrid of tradition and modernity.

Customary land tenure and the subsistence economy cushions the majority of the population against poor monetary or fiscal policy or global economic downturns.

In failing to account for data or variables that do not fit western political or economic theory, many make wild predictions like Professor Helen Hughes did when I was a primary school student.

Continue reading "Providing hope to our people in this hybrid land" »

I just missed this young Sepik girl from Parimbe

Beautiful girlKEITH ANGEN

SOME weeks had gone by since my return from Lamasa Island.

I stayed at Captain Karl Kamang's rented apartment inside the fenced area owned by the United Church in Rabaul.

The place was on the side of the road leading from Malaguna No 1 village to Rabaul Shipping.

I went to observe the opening of Rabaul Public Library by Sir Rabbie Namaliu, a former prime minister of Papua New Guinea. I stood at the gate of Malaguna Technical High School waiting for the ceremony to begin.

Continue reading "I just missed this young Sepik girl from Parimbe" »

Prime Minister's SABL excuses old and very lame


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill is again giving excuses for why unlawful SABL (agriculture and business) leases have not been cancelled.

Mr O’Neill is reported as saying, despite a National Executive Council decision in June 2014 ordering the cancellation, the Department of Lands has been "dragging its feet" and some leaseholders have caused delays by taking legal action.

But the prime minister’s excuses are old and very lame.

The fact is the government was told the leases were unlawful by the Commission of Inquiry in June 2013.

Continue reading "Prime Minister's SABL excuses old and very lame" »

Politicising drought relief in Papua New Guinea

Dev Policy Blog

THE 2015 El Niño drought in Papua New Guinea has few precedents.

An effective response needs to account for complex social, political and economic systems in PNG or risk serious implications.

Rather than a centrally coordinated national disaster response, the PNG government has decided to provide drought relief through the controversial District Services Improvement Program (DSIP), coordinated by the recently introduced District Development Authorities (DDAs).

Drawing on recent fieldwork in three drought-affected districts conducted by the authors, this article considers the risks of relying on politically controlled development funds to provide effective drought relief to communities that need it most.

Continue reading "Politicising drought relief in Papua New Guinea" »

Free children’s books for PNG schoolsTrickery at the Crocodile Pool


Trickery at the Crocodile Pool is a collection of children’s stories from the 2015 Crocodile Prize edited by Ben Jackson & available free courtesy of Paga Hill Development Company.

We invite PNG Attitude readers throughout PNG to give the books to schools and libraries that need them. All you have to do is tell us your postal address and say where you will distribute the books. Email us here. Books are being sent out now.

What I can do for my country is keep the faith

Michael 2014MICHAEL DOM

“Faith is the only known antidote for failure” – Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

I HAVE been struggling with the thought that the upcoming national elections in 2017 may decide the future success or failure of our country.

But I don’t entirely hold to this ‘now or never’ notion. Good people, with a will, must and do endure – one way or another.

Recently there have been many writers and commentators in PNG Attitude and elsewhere who have sounded a ‘call to arms’ for us to do something about the national elections next year. Others have called for change in the current political system.

While I agree with Martyn Namorong that one election cannot undo the troubles of the last 40 years I also think that we need to find amongst ourselves the leaders who are willing to step into the political arena to get something started.

Continue reading "What I can do for my country is keep the faith" »

SABL debacle reveals the power hunger of PNG’s ruling elite


THE incapacity to sort out the special agriculture and business lease (SABL) debacle reveals that the only unifying factor within the current Papua New Guinea government is the acquisition of power and wealth by office holders.

There is no coherent "chain of command" or enforced discipline within the government, no real concept of Cabinet governance and only a tenuous capacity to direct and control the public service.

The government of PNG is broken and seems destined to remain so, to the great cost of the great mass of Papua New Guineans.

Continue reading "SABL debacle reveals the power hunger of PNG’s ruling elite" »

New head bishop for PNG’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

Rev Jack UrameONE PNG

THE Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea has a new head bishop.

Reverend Jack Urame from Goroka District was elected by the 30th synod of the church held at Heldsbach near Finschhafen in Morobe Province.

Reverend Urame replaces the outgoing head, Bishop Giegere Wenge.

An exhaustive voting system by 510 delegates from 17 church districts led to the outcome.

Lucas Kidabing from Yabim District was voted in as Assistant Bishop replacing Reverend Zao Rapa and General Secretary Albert Toakave was replaced by Bernard Kaisom from Karkar District.

Continue reading "New head bishop for PNG’s Evangelical Lutheran Church" »

They were the days of the mud bombs, and they are gone

Wewak mangrovesKEITH ANGEN

SOMEWHERE between 1980 and 1985, the young males in the East Sepik provincial capital Wewak fought a war in the mangroves. The boys were from the native labour compound in the township.

The native labour compound was also called Admin Compound or Mongniol Compound. But the youths of the 1980s called the place Bronx. Named after the Bronx (after the borough in New York in the USA).

World War II and its history was a favourite subject for the lads born in the 1970s and the wars fought in the mangroves imitated live actions by our war heroes, like Sir Pita Simogun and Yawiga.

Continue reading "They were the days of the mud bombs, and they are gone" »

A frightening few hours for the new headmistress


IN 1981, after seven years at Keravat National High School, I decided to move on to Manggai United Church High School in New Ireland, and was appointed their new headmistress for 1982.

After my annual holiday in Sydney, I returned to Keravat and packed my belongings into 24 cardboard boxes, plus my piano in its wooden box. Then it was off to Rabaul.

I had to spend about a week waiting at Malaguna because the Rabaul area was experiencing strong squalls, which were like mini-cyclones.

The seas were very rough and on the night we eventually took off for Kavieng a large coastal ship went down along the southern coast of PNG. Unfortunately the expatriate captain was lost at sea but some local sailors rescued his young son who was travelling with him.

My journey was also quite a nightmare. It was on a very small coastal boat, the Jason II, and the captain was mixed-race and the rest of the crew all locals. There were two cabins, one for the captain and I was given the other one.

Continue reading "A frightening few hours for the new headmistress" »

PNG’s innovative surf management plan hailed a success

Pic by surfertodayKEITH JACKSON

PAPUA New Guinea is putting its surf management plan into operation. The good news is that it works, reports the Surfer Today website.

PNG has developed a rulebook to minimise the impact of surf tourism on the fragile ecosystem, on local communities and on the quality of the surfing experience.

"PNG is a land of contrasts, transparent blue waters, ancient traditions, and multiple isolated islands," reports Surfer Today, adding that it's important to keep it alive, healthy, and natural. Couldn't agree more

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PNG rejects trade agreement that puts pressure on employment


PAPUA New Guinea will not support the current Pacific agreement on closer economic relations agreement (PACER Plus), says its trade minister Richard Maru.

PNG and Fiji, which have the two biggest economies in the Pacific apart from Australia and New Zealand, are against the trade agreement. 

According to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, “PACER Plus negotiations offer an opportunity to help Pacific Islands Forum countries benefit from enhanced regional trade and economic integration.”

The agreement was introduced by Australia and New Zealand at a Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting in 2009.

But Mr Maru is not keen.

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