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100 posts from April 2017

The many-tentacled octopus must be destroyed: Sir Mek

Sir Mekere Morauta and candidatesPNG INDEPENDENT TEAM

FORMER prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta has suggested the development of a national agenda for discussing Papua New Guinea’s problems and finding solutions.

“The time for whispering, for speculating, for telling stories, and for fear, is over,” he said in a speech to more than 500 guests at an Independent Team dinner in Port Moresby.

“My intention tonight is to set an agenda for a national conversation. I ask every concerned Papua New Guinean to think and openly talk about our future.”

Continue reading "The many-tentacled octopus must be destroyed: Sir Mek" »

We’re not your colony, Polye tells Turnbull after media snub

Don Polye (Loop PNG)CEDRIC PATJOLE | Loop PNG | Edited

OPPOSITION Leader Don Polye says he was shocked to hear reports that PNG journalists were snubbed in three separate incidents during Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s visit to PNG last week.

Speaking to journalists at the Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party national convention, Polye said it is even more shocking that this was allowed by prime minister Peter O’Neill.

“If prime minister Turnbull is encouraging that kind of attitude, prime minister Turnbull needs to tell the world that he is like that. “How can he not allow Papua New Guinea media?

Continue reading "We’re not your colony, Polye tells Turnbull after media snub" »

Croc Prize 2016 – a transitional, all Papua New Guinean year

Emmanuel Peni & his book  SibonaPHIL FITZPATRICK

THE chair of the Crocodile Prize Board of Trustees, Emmanuel Peni (pictured), has provided a detailed and frank report about the operation of the competition in 2016, its sixth year.

Last year was a transitional year when the competition passed entirely into Papua New Guinean hands.

Mindful that the organisation of the competition required a different approach, Keith Jackson and I stepped aside but offered our assistance wherever possible.

However, apart from the odd request for particular advice or clarification, the committee decided it needed to run the gauntlet alone.

In retrospect this was probably a good decision. Experience is a great teacher and the lessons from mistakes, hiccups and even success tend to be better learnt.

Continue reading "Croc Prize 2016 – a transitional, all Papua New Guinean year" »

Death of Josepha Kiris, leader in domestic violence struggle


ONE of Papua New Guinea’s most respected women leaders, Josepha Kiris, who many people knew as Josepha Kanawi, died last week.

Ms Kiris, a former Secretary of the PNG Law Reform Commission, was a driving force behind the criminalisation of wife beating and a constant voice urging the PNG government to acknowledge the skills and experience of senior female public servants by elevating them to executive roles in national agencies.

She always said she wasn’t asking for special treatment for women.

Continue reading "Death of Josepha Kiris, leader in domestic violence struggle" »

A presentation to separate the PNG truth from the PNG lies

Kessy SawangKESSY SAWANG | The Papua New Guinean Woman | Edited extract

THERE is a famous quote attributed to Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.

When I saw Patrick Pruaitch’s recent denouncement of the O’Neill government of which his political party, National Alliance, is a key coalition partner, it reminded me of the noble actions of our PNG National Party parliamentary leader, Kerenga Kua.

On 13 April 2016, a year ago, he resigned from the National Alliance when his conscience and moral compass would not allow him to accept Peter O’Neill and his government, which he felt was destroying the country, our economy and lowering governance and accountability from acceptable standards.

Continue reading "A presentation to separate the PNG truth from the PNG lies" »

The Turnbull visit that went off the track - more revelations

Turnbull gives journos brush offKEITH JACKSON

THE PNG Attitude story about Malcolm Turnbull’s visit to Papua New Guinea last weekend triggered quite a response elsewhere in the media as well amongst the 4,200 readers who responded to it on Twitter.

Sydney Daily Telegraph columnist Miranda Devine wrote of the visit being “somewhere between a non-event and a media debacle."

Devine quoted Vietnam veteran, politician and Kokoda tour guide Charlie Lynn who said: “It seems that it was visit without a purpose — no announcements of anything of substance.

Continue reading "The Turnbull visit that went off the track - more revelations" »

An Easter message from my teacher and first missionary


LAST week I started sending Easter greetings to a few friends.

One was Jim Fenton, an Australian. He was the patrol officer who in 1960established Kandep patrol post in what is now Enga Province.

The other was American missionary, Fr Jerry Gerald Theis SVD (pictured), who established the first mission station at at Pindak village, later moving to the present location at Mariant in Kandep.

I attended the government primary school but absconded when Fr Theis started Mariant Catholic Mission primary school near my village of Kondo. I didn’t like walking to Kandep every morning in the cold with barely any clothing covering my body. Fr Theis was my teacher at Mariant.

Continue reading "An Easter message from my teacher and first missionary" »

Papua New Guinea's publishing revolution

Scott HamiltonSCOTT HAMILTON |

SOMETIMES New Zealand publishers complain to me.

The book market here is so small, this or that publisher says. Grants are inadequate. Bookshops are closing, as internet imperialists like Amazon expand.

All of these complaints are justified. The life of a Kiwi book publisher can be a difficult one.

But if our publishers need some perspective on their plight, and some inspiration, then they ought to read Phil Fitzpatrick's remarkable article 'The Lost Creative Writing Generation of Papua New Guinea', which was published late last year on the popular PNG Attitude blog.

Continue reading "Papua New Guinea's publishing revolution" »

ADB wrapping seems sweet but the lolly may have a bitter taste

Cover-ado2017KEITH JACKSON

AT the risk of seeming unfair, I have to observe up front that, in its public commentaries, the Asian Development Bank does seem to err on the side of being very kind to member states.

Hence, in its just released Asian Development Outlook for 2017, it is able to present as a summary statement on the Papua New Guinea economy that “while the short-term outlook skews to the downside, the medium-term outlook remains positive thanks to foreign investments in the pipeline.”

The forecast is that the PNG economy is expected to grow by 2.5% this year and by 2.8% in 2018.

But, as ANU economist Matt Morris has observed, given that PNG’s population growth is 3% even 2.8% growth in reality represents a declining per capita GDP. “People getting poorer is not a 'recovery',” he crisply notes.

Continue reading "ADB wrapping seems sweet but the lolly may have a bitter taste" »

It's tough road for cancer patients in PNG's health system


ALL forms of cancer can have a lasting effect on families and relatives of the victims.

In Papua New Guinea, cancer cases are increasing and many families struggle to take care of their loved ones.

With no treatment available at the Angau General Hospital cancer unit, many lives have been lost.

The treatment and care of cancer patients is also very costly, and many families who go through this experience are left broken financially and emotionally.

One such is the family of the late Hore Avara (pictured), a cervical cancer patient who passed away on 15 March., Through their sorrow and pain, her family has decided to speak about their experiences, to share with others who have had similar experiences and help those in the same situation.

Continue reading "It's tough road for cancer patients in PNG's health system" »

Political parties must consider supporting the informal economy


AS the national election looms, Papua New Guineans are already contemplating what the future will hold for them.

While important issues concerning employment, infrastructure, education and health will be a key feature for most political parties, equally important for urban voters will be the new government’s approach to PNG’s large informal economy – street vendors, market sellers, carvers and weavers, and so on.

In places such as Port Moresby and Lae, the informal economy accounts for the majority of the urban population.

More than 80% of PNG’s urban unemployed live in unplanned settlements and villages and are involved in some form of income generation in the informal sector.

Continue reading "Political parties must consider supporting the informal economy" »

Whoever wins election, corruption will be the problem - Jane's


THE authoritative Jane's Intelligence Review has been quick to respond to Papua New Guinea treasurer Patrick Pruaitch’s criticism of prime minister Peter O’Neill, stating he was responsible for government overspending, by issuing a sombre warning note to its subscribers.

Jane’s said that Pruaitch’s trenchant attack on O’Neill and the treasurer’s revelations on the degraded state of the economy “indicate protracted, electorally driven political conflict and reduced government stability.”

“Localised outbreaks of sporadic violence are likely during the upcoming Papua New Guinea elections,” it forecast, “but the participation of the military will reduce the risk of widespread unrest.

Continue reading "Whoever wins election, corruption will be the problem - Jane's" »

Disgust as Kokoda memorial to be held in Canberra not PNG

Malcolm Turnbull arrives in an Australian Army helicopter at the Kokoda Track  April 2017 (AAP)STEFAN ARMBRUSTER

PRIME minister Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday visited Kokoda and laid a wreath at the Bomana war cemetery outside Port Moresby, and there will be a ceremony held in Canberra in November.

Kokoda is considered Australia’s most significant battle of the war in the Pacific, in which the Japanese were for the first time defeated on land.

Veteran George Palmer points to his figure in one of the most famous Kokoda campaign photographs by Damien Parer: of Australian soldiers trudging through the mud.

Continue reading "Disgust as Kokoda memorial to be held in Canberra not PNG" »

Song for south sea sirens

Michael 2014MICHAEL DOM

Sunder from the gluttonsea
Your masted legs astride

Won’t you taste my salty soup?

Surf my oceanic tide
Exalt your orgasmic rage!

Swoon upon the trammelled earth
Your trusted breasts laid bare

Won’t you dally at my cascade?

Swim my sunset desires
Exude your tender lust!

Sharp against the concrete sky
Your rusted arms are flung

Won’t you bathe in my oil spill?
Drown in my darkness

Expunge your mad love!

Turnbull in PNG: media snubs, refugee jitters & money problems

Malcolm Turnbull at Bomana War CemeteryKEITH JACKSON

THAT was one strange weekend Malcolm Turnbull just spent in Papua New Guinea on his first official visit, even if at first glance the running sheet looked typical enough.

The usual Aussie-prime-minister-in-PNG schedule was dusted off trotting out a tête-à-tête with the PNG PM, a Bomana-Kokoda experience and a business breakfast dominated by expats. Nothing new there.

But otherwise there were some bizarre deviations, including a mix-up which left the PNG media believing it hadn’t been invited to a Turnbull press conference.

Continue reading "Turnbull in PNG: media snubs, refugee jitters & money problems" »

Opposition coalition hits out at fake social media sites

Sam Basil  Vincent Moses & Gary JuffaVINCENT MOSES with SAM BASIL & GARY JUFFA

FAKE Facebook profiles are being registered by desperate people who support corruption and the worst political party in Papua New Guinean history, the People’s National Congress.

No political party has bankrupted PNG except the PNC who have bankrupted our beautiful country not once but twice!

A Facebook profile under the name of ‘Sepik Vincent’ has been recently registered by faceless, nameless cowards thinking they will use it to post false and fake news to split the opposition parties.

This fake profile was not set up by me as I would never stoop so low as to take such an action.

Continue reading "Opposition coalition hits out at fake social media sites" »

PNG’s lamb flap culture - the second rate has become normal


WHY do Papua New Guineans accept inferior government services, equally poor treatment by the private sector, substandard goods in their stores and human food that is fed only to dogs and cats in other countries?

This question occurred to me when I read a comment by John Burton following my article on international statistics that simply stated what is blindingly obvious to everyone in Papua New Guinea.

In his comment John said that his students at Divine Word University in Madang generally thought that things weren’t too bad in PNG.

Continue reading "PNG’s lamb flap culture - the second rate has become normal" »

Dutton says PNG must accept Manus Island refugees

Peter DuttonRACHEL BAXENDALE | The Australian | Extract

AUSTRALIA’S immigration minister Peter Dutton has indicated that hundreds of asylum-seekers could be left to resettle­ in Papua New Guinea when the Manus Island detention centre closes at the end of October.

Mr Dutton said that, under the deal struck by the Rudd government in 2013, PNG had a responsibility to settle any genuine refu­gees not taken by the US under a controversial agreement struck with the Obama administration.

“We’ll be withdrawing the assets­ from Manus Island,’’ Mr Dutton told Sky News. “We are not going to have a detention centre there for other uses. We’re not going to have facilities being used or repurposed. The centre will be dismantled.”

Continue reading "Dutton says PNG must accept Manus Island refugees" »

Reviving the fading tattoo marks of PNG & Pacific culture

Julia Mage'au GrayJULIA MAGE'AU GRAY, is passionate about reinvigorating traditional women's tattoo designs and hopes Pacific Islanders will once again value this almost vanished cultural practice. She speaks with Matilda Simmons of the Fiji Times….

I AM of Papua New Guinea and Australian heritage and was raised in both countries and have been exposed all of my life to the impact of two very separate and distinctive cultures.

As an artist I find various ways to express my heritage and the experiences and issues from a mixed race perspective. I am a dancer, tattooist and a visual artist.

For the past 20 years, I have directed Sunameke Productions with the ethos, ‘From old to new old, that's how we go forward’.

For the past five years, I have been dedicated to reviving a cultural practice that has become nearly extinct.

Continue reading "Reviving the fading tattoo marks of PNG & Pacific culture" »

Pioneering scheme will promote PNG-Australia relationship

Peter Gardiner on the jobPETER GARDINER | Noosa News

NOOSA is forging closer links with Papua New Guinea highlanders thanks to a local whose world spans two rich cultures.

Keith Jackson is delighted Noosa Council has given its blessing to an innovative scheme in which people from the shire will cooperate with people in Papua New Guinea’s Simbu Province on a range of projects.

Mr Jackson, who is the publisher of the widely-read PNG Attitude blog, said the project will involve the elected members of the two governments and representatives with connections to schools, business, the arts, sporting groups, the churches and women’s organisations.

“It is a first for Australia, will be largely conducted over the internet and have no special cost implications for the council,” Mr Jackson said.

Continue reading "Pioneering scheme will promote PNG-Australia relationship" »

Low self-esteem: when smart people should do better


PRIOR to independence in 1975, Papua New Guineans were paid less than their expatriate counterparts.

The rationale for this was that the Australian Administration couldn't afford to pay them full tote, and nor could a PNG government after independence, and that there needed to be an incentive for expatriate professionals to commit their careers to PNG.

It was also argued that in PNG at the time, many workers also maintained gardens and hunted and fished and therefore didn't need the same pay as expatriates who had to buy their food and other consumer goods.

I shared a house with Joe Nombri in Kiunga when I was a Patrol Officer and Joe was an Assistant District Officer, and I earned more than him.

Continue reading "Low self-esteem: when smart people should do better" »

Peter O’Neill is Mr 44%, but did score some positives

Peter O'Neill (looking left)GABRIEL RAMOI

AS the ninth Papua New Guinean parliament came to a close and the country prepared for elections. I want to take this opportunity to thank Peter O’Neill for his performance in leading our country.

I also want to review his scorecard that began when he usurped power in 2011. While he did not take all of us to the moon, it was still a remarkable ride.

On legitimacy of government, I give him a score of 3/10

Firstly he did not defer the 2012 elections although, with the majority he had in parliament, he could easily have done that. I also compliment him in allowing a vote of no-confidence against him in July 2016 (albeit ordered by the Supreme Court) and congratulate him in defeating the motion with an overwhelming majority.

Continue reading "Peter O’Neill is Mr 44%, but did score some positives" »

PNG deserves more than a passing glance from Australia

Thrust togetherANDREW CLARK | Australian Financial Review

"WE throw heaps of money at this illegitimate child and hope it will never come home."

This comment from veteran Papua New Guinea observer Sean Dorney sums up Australia's attitude towards its nearest neighbour, former colony and now troubled western Pacific state.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, by having just a one-day stopover in PNG this weekend on his way to India, typifies this Australian attitude.

As he takes in the vistas, Mr Turnbull should ponder that while Australia's relationship with the US is fundamental, ties with China are critical, and links with Indonesia are pivotal, relations with Papua New Guinea are the most sensitive.

Continue reading "PNG deserves more than a passing glance from Australia" »

Kerenga, who sought an opportunity in K Town as a street seller

Kundiawa townJIMMY AWAGL

ON A chilly Monday morning Kerenga woke up in his cane bed in the men’s house and crawled towards the fireplace.

He warmed his numb body over the fire and placed his head on his knees and thought.

Suddenly he grabbed his old kitbag and rushed out of the door without closing it and walked quickly to his mother’s house, calling loudly for her to wake up.

“Mom, I’m here to take my breakfast.”

Continue reading "Kerenga, who sought an opportunity in K Town as a street seller" »

Australia and PNG undecided on unwanted asylum seekers

Malcolm Turnbull and  Peter O'Neill (Alex Ellinghausen)PHILLIP COOREY | Australian Financial Review

AUSTRALIA and Papua New Guinea have yet to agree on who will be responsible for the inmates on Manus Island whom, ultimately, nobody wants.

At a joint press conference in Port Moresby today, Malcolm Turnbull and Peter O'Neill indicated that those asylum seekers refused refugee classification or rejected for resettlement by the United States could languish indefinitely.

There are about 840 people in the detention centre, which is earmarked for closure in October this year. Of these, about 15 have agreed to resettle in PNG.

Continue reading "Australia and PNG undecided on unwanted asylum seekers" »

Momis reports on Bougainville independence referendum

Hon Dr Chief John MomisANTHONY KAYBING

ONE of the important issues facing the 2019 Bougainville referendum on independence concerns the question or questions that will have to be answered by Bougainvilleans when they vote.

Under the Bougainville Peace Agreement, the question or questions must be agreed between the Bougainville and Papua New Guinean governments, formulated to avoid a disputed or unclear result and include a choice of independence for Bougainville.

Speaking in the Bougainville Parliament, President John Momis said the time has come for the beginning of discussion about what will be put to the people.

Continue reading "Momis reports on Bougainville independence referendum" »

Commemorating the controversial battle of Porton plantation

The Battle of PortonREG YATES

AFTER PNG Attitude published my ‘PNG Adventurous Training Guide' recently, I received an invitation from James Warar, headman of Porton Plantation in Bougainville, to let interested people know about the commemoration of a controversial World War II battle at the plantation.

The 31/51st Battalion of the Australian Military Force attacked Imperial Japanese soldiers defending the plantation from 8-11 June 1945. The commemoration will be held on Saturday 10 June 2017 at Porton.

But the Australian assault made several mistakes and the attack did not go according to plan.

Continue reading "Commemorating the controversial battle of Porton plantation" »

Logged and palmed

Logged forestMICHAEL DOM

Dead stumps
Bulldozer tracks
To plant monocrop and
Pay for your rice and tinned fish with
Food stamps

Palm trees
Replaced forests
Timber for paper cash,
Earth and water to muck for your
Birth right

Grass roots
Now choke at banks
Where father fished makau
His life was richness, yours is the

There are many ways in which a man may be broken

Wei Meri River  Rumginae  North Fly  Western ProvinceKEVIN PONDIKOU

I WAS woken from my afternoon slumber by a phone call.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have been tempted not to answer.

But it was my duty and I did not know it would break me later in that way a man can be broken.

Sister Philo in Matkomnai talked about a nine-year old child with neck stiffness. She was worried about meningitis and wanted to treat the patient with CMP because she didn't have any Ceftriaxone.

Continue reading "There are many ways in which a man may be broken" »

Fun & games in Bougainville: The first time I met Michael Somare

Michael Somare & schoolchildren  1974 [Veronica Peek]KEITH JACKSON

AT 3.45 on the afternoon of Tuesday 9 January, 1973 – just before the regular afternoon thunderstorm moved through – chief minister Michael Somare stepped off a flight from Buka at Bougainville’s Aropa airport.

I’d never met Somare before and he was not in a good mood. The previous night in Sohano a Bougainville Copper company village relations officer had gate-crashed a cocktail party and taken the chief minister to task for refusing to officially open the copper mine at Panguna.

The culprit, who was to leave the company the following month, was ordered to fly to Kieta and apologise personally to Somare, and the chief minister didn’t think that was much of a solution.

Continue reading "Fun & games in Bougainville: The first time I met Michael Somare" »

Ecological destruction - a dilemma we must get serious about


WHEN you look at the sky, you can see clouds forming to create rain, bringing the water to sustain life. In fact, water is life – it constitutes 70-80% of our body.

Ecology is the study of macro-organisms and their interactions with water, nutrients, energy and air. Ecology (the Greek word eco means house) refers to Mother Nature who gives us life and feeds and supports us.

In return we have a spiritual and moral obligation to protect the environment in the common good.  All living creatures need to live together in harmony with the purpose of supporting each other’s existence and growth.

Our commitment to the beauty and splendour of creation is giving glory to our Creator. Ecological destruction means human beings, who are supposed to be the custodians of this place, are destroying it. 

Continue reading "Ecological destruction - a dilemma we must get serious about" »

Paraka says GRUF will field 111 candidates & offer 100 policies


THE controversial lawyer Paul Paraka has decided that his dealings with politicians should turn a new page as he makes his run for parliament in June-July’s national elections in Papua New Guinea.

Mr Paraka has established his own party, the awkwardly named Grassroots United Front, or GRUF.

He says that when writs for the election are issued on 20 April, GRUF will showcase its 111 candidates, the most fielded by a single political party in a PNG election.

As Sean Dorney wrote in The Interpreter a year ago:

“It is now two-and-a-half years since a case of alleged corruption began against the head of one of Papua New Guinea's biggest legal firms, Paul Paraka of Paul Paraka Lawyers.

Continue reading "Paraka says GRUF will field 111 candidates & offer 100 policies" »

Rediscovering Papua New Guinea aboard 'Pacific Aria'

Trobriands - two ex PIR soldiers meetTERRY EDWINSMITH

WHILE with the Pacific Islands Regiment in Papua New Guinea, I’d been denied a long-held desire to visit Wewak because of the tragic crash of an RAAF Caribou on 28 August 1972.

The transport aircraft crashed into a hillside, killing its Australian crew and most of its passengers, high school students coming home from a cadet camp. It was the RAAF's worst peacetime air crash, claiming the lives of 25 of the 29 people on board.

I did not have another opportunity to get to the Sepik until last year, when I learned of a P&O cruise to PNG which included Wewak as a port of call - a rare occurrence. 

Continue reading "Rediscovering Papua New Guinea aboard 'Pacific Aria'" »

Momis says BCL must get landowner approval to resume mining


THE Autonomous Bougainville Government has made an in-principle decision to support a proposal from Bougainville Copper Ltd to reopen the Panguna copper and gold mine.

ABG President Dr John Momis said, under the Bougainville Mining Act, the decision will be subject to the powers of the mine lease landowners, who can veto the project if they are not satisfied with the conditions for re-opening.

In addition, the decision will be subject to the ABG being satisfied – on behalf of all Bougainvilleans – that the project conditions are just and equitable.

Continue reading "Momis says BCL must get landowner approval to resume mining" »

Father of the nation, Sir Michael Somare, says farewell to politics


PAPUA New Guinea's former prime minister Sir Michael Somare was given a standing ovation today as he gave his farewell speech to parliament.

Yesterday MPs gathered for the conclusion of PNG's ninth parliament before it adjourned for the general elections in late June.

Sir Michael, who served this last five-year parliament term as East Sepik Governor after his ousting as prime minister in 2011, is one of the longest serving parliamentarians in the Pacific.

Tuesday 4 April marked exactly 49 years since Sir Michael first entered the House of Assembly in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea as a politician.

Continue reading "Father of the nation, Sir Michael Somare, says farewell to politics" »

The PNG people have been seriously deceived by their leaders


THERE were a number of red flags raised by two articles in PNG Attitude yesterday.

These warnings were contained within economist Paul Flanagan’s analysis ‘Treasury papers confirm appalling state of PNG economy and former prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta’s article, 'O’Neill misleads nation, withholds information from ministers'

If the nation's finances are as bad as reported, why didn’t Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch raise this in the past?

And surely all those ministers and officials who were responsible knew about the situation and should have blown the whistle. The fact that they did nothing condemns all of them.

Continue reading "The PNG people have been seriously deceived by their leaders" »

Morauta accuses Turnbull of "dangerous" interference in PNG

Peter O'Neill and Malcolm TurnbullDANIEL FLITTON | Fairfax Media

MALCOLM Turnbull will travel to Papua New Guinea this weekend - but has already copped an extraordinary spray for the "insensitive" and "dangerous" timing of the trip ahead of local elections.

PNG's former prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta on Tuesday accused Mr Turnbull of interfering in the domestic politics of Australia's neighbour barely two weeks before the country's caretaker period begins.

Mr Turnbull has not travelled to PNG since taking over the top job in 2015 and Mr Morauta said the government in Port Moresby would "spin" a visit so close to the election as an endorsement of prime minister Peter O'Neill.

Continue reading "Morauta accuses Turnbull of "dangerous" interference in PNG" »

Nautilus to test seafloor mining tools off Motukea Island

Undersea mining systemHENRY LAZENBY | Creamer Media Reporter

MARINE mining hopeful Nautilus Minerals will shortly start submerged testing of its fleet of seafloor production tools, following the equipment’s arrival in Papua New Guinea.

"We are delighted to be undertaking submerged trials in PNG. The trials will result in money and investment going into the PNG economy, and the employment of Papua New Guineans in state of the art technology, which are some of the key benefits of seafloor production,” CEO Mike Johnston said on Monday.

“The trials also allow us to work closely with our partner Petromin, government officers from the various government agencies, as well as representatives from provincial governments in New Ireland and East New Britain.”

The submerged trials will happen in an existing facility on Motukea Island near Port Moresby.

Continue reading "Nautilus to test seafloor mining tools off Motukea Island" »

Treasury papers confirm appalling state of PNG economy

PNG-exp-and-revenue-41-yearsPAUL FLANAGAN
| PNG Economics

THE Papua New Guinea Treasury’s final budget outcome for 2016 provides frank numbers on the O’Neill government’s inexcusably poor management of its revenues, expenditures and debt.

The document confirms a budget deficit and debt blow-out during 2016.

PNG has never before -even during much worse falls in commodity prices – had such an appalling string of huge budget deficits. The government has no credible path out of the budget mess. Deficit levels are getting larger, not smaller.

Continue reading "Treasury papers confirm appalling state of PNG economy" »

'O’Neill misleads nation, withholds information from ministers'


THE skeletons in the closet that the prime minister has been trying to hide have now been laid bare for all to see.

Mr O’Neill can no longer pretend that everything is OK. He must drop the spin and the deception and let the people of Papua New Guinea know the full scale of the economic and financial disaster that he has caused.

Friday night’s speech by Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch, and the release at the same time of the PNG Treasury’s 2016 Final Budget Outcome, demonstrate conclusively that the prime minister has been misleading the nation.

Everything that I have been saying for the past five years, along with opposition leader Don Polye, his deputy Sam Basil and respected economists and other commentators, cannot now be denied.

Continue reading "'O’Neill misleads nation, withholds information from ministers'" »

Kinjimari: The story of the life of Alois Kinjimari Suang


I WRITE this, as this is the very day last year that the Lord called my dad to be with him. This story is a summarised version of the pains and struggles that my dad, the late Alois Kinjimari Suang, endured in his life.

My dad, who was known for his aggressive manner, discipline and short temper, died at the age of 52.

In the modern context of medicine and science, this was not acceptable. He left too soon, when he had so much to live for, and so much to laugh and smile about.

Dad, at home we called him bosman or ‘chief’, was our provider, protector, answerer to our many questions and family visionary and strategist.

Alois was born to Florien and Scholarstica Suangaraven, in the black water area of the mighty Sepik River. He was the eldest of six boys in the family. My grandfather, a carver by profession, had to work hard for dad to attain a basic education.

Continue reading "Kinjimari: The story of the life of Alois Kinjimari Suang" »

Wrecked economy, rigged election – the worst is yet to come


I WANT to comment on Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch’s revelations of the state of the Papua New Guinea economy.

After being labelled a prophet of doom and gloom, let me just say in vindication, "I told you so."

Many people hoped that the disclosures by Mr Pruaitch were no more than  a heartless April Fools Day hoax.

Yet despite the timing – and with everyone furious and agitated at what the Treasurer stated – they are true and very grim facts.

Mr Pruaitch might said these things earlier and perhaps helped the effort to save the economy from being plundered and rorted by transnational pirates, greatly assisted by the government.

Continue reading "Wrecked economy, rigged election – the worst is yet to come" »

Discovered – a marvellous compendium of early PNG writing


A WONDERFUL resource for connoisseurs of Papua New Guinean literature has come to light.

The Athabasca website is the outcome of a collaboration between the University of PNG, Athabasca University in Canada and the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau.

In addition to providing a historical review of the first two great surges in PNG literature (the current Crocodile Prize driven revival being the third), the Athabasca resource also reproduces copies of all the issues of Kovave (1969-75, nine issues), Ondobondo (1982-87, nine issues), the PNG Writer (1985-86, three issues) and other periodicals.

In this brilliant historical archive, there are also facsimile copies of The Papuan Villager (1929-1941) and its successor Papua and New Guinea Villager (1950-60) and other colonial era publications.

The literary magazine Ondobondo was published from 1982 to 1987 and the energetic cover of this first issue features current Lae national parliamentarian Loujaya Kouza, who contributed two of her poems.

Continue reading "Discovered – a marvellous compendium of early PNG writing" »

Controversial land leases ditched as election rubbish is put out


THE government has revoked all Special Agriculture Business Leases (SABLs) and has called for the surrender of the licenses.

“I am pleased to announce that the government has revoked and called for the surrender of all SABL titles,” Lands Minister Benny Allen announced in a ministerial statement on Friday.

“[We have] set in place a process to convert all these titles and present them to customary landowners under the revised Incorporated land groups system and the new voluntary customary land registration system.

“This is a most positive, productive and pro-active approach to people and government partnership in development,” he said.

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As election looms, Treasurer confesses PNG has big problems

PruaitchKEITH JACKSON | Source - Loop PNG

IN A sensational slap-down of the O'Neill government, in which he is Treasury Minister, Aitape St Ignatius alumnus Patrick Pruaitch has admitted that Papua New Guinea's economy is being managed appallingly.

Mr Pruaitch is leader of the National Alliance Party which is in coalition with Peter O’Neill's People's National Congress and other minor parties.

In a speech in which he distanced himself from and plunged a dagger into the heart of the O'Neill administration, he said the government’s economic strategy has resulted in massive debt and a plunging growth rate.

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Violence engendered on Manus Island cannot be ignored

A painting by Manus artist Joe NaloMICHELLE NAYAHAMUI ROONEY | Dev Policy Blog

IN THE joint communique for the 25th Ministerial Forum between Australia and Papua New Guinea held in March 2017, Foreign Ministers Rimbink Pato and Julie Bishop welcomed collaboration as they prepare to close the Regional Processing Centre on Manus Island.

However, Manus Island will continue to complicate the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

One outcome of the centre that does not appear to be on this ministerial agenda, but is of significant interest in the bilateral relationship, is the contradiction between the Manus Island Centre and the ministers’ commitments to address the rife problems of violence, security and gendered violence in PNG.

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Some expats become self-important, but we can handle it

Mick_leahy - an early white sttlerRENZO PANDA

I GUESS the quality of relationships between Papua New Guineans and expatriates comes down to humility and a cultural acceptance of how we relate to each other.

In their own countries, most Westerners, without the degree of authentic culture we have, operate in isolation and compete aggressively with their colleagues for status and material gain in employment and every walk of life.

This gives them a certain degree of importance and is a topic of discussions during social gatherings and family dinners. They don't have a carefree way of living and most of them love their freedom and space.

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PNG paradoxes: mineral wealth, foreign aid & gender violence

Michael KoziolMICHAEL KOZIOL | Fairfax Media

IT STARTS at the boarding lounge in Brisbane. Men: white, middle-aged, dull. They flash their passports: German, British, Australian.

On the plane they brandish paraphernalia for various mining companies: oil, gas, maybe gold. A New Zealander is going to spend two weeks fixing wells at petrol stations. Fly in, fly out. Quickly.

Papua New Guinea isn't a place you necessarily want to linger. Its capital, Port Moresby, ranks among the most dangerous and least liveable cities in the world. Tribal fighting and sexual violence against children mar the provinces. In some areas, women accused of witchcraft are still bashed or burnt alive.

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Australia hotspot for money laundering, says Transparency

Money_laundering (PNG Exposed)KEITH JACKSON

TRANSPARENCY International says that the Australian government needs to close glaring legal loopholes to prevent crooked elites laundering the proceeds of corruption in its real estate markets.

There have in the past been many allegations of corrupt funds from Papua New Guinea being used to purchase property in key Australian markets, especially in north Queensland and Brisbane.

PNG Attitude has published many stories on the issue covering organised crime, Australia’s as a corruption haven and even a contrarian piece on Transparency’s own role.

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PNG government taking steps to stop child labour, says ILO


THE International Labour Organisation says the Papua New Guinean government is making inroads into the problem of child labour.

About one-fifth of PNG children aged 10 to 14 years, and almost one-third of children aged 14 or over, are believed to be economically active.

Studies have found child labour, including its worst forms - child trafficking, child prostitution, use of children for the production and sale of drugs and hazardous child labour - are extensive in PNG.

The director of the ILO's Pacific regional office, Donglin Li, visited PNG this month as the government launched its national action plan to eliminate child labour.

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