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67 posts from October 2021

Corporate vandalism need not be so

Panguna
Of the thousands of images of the Panguna copper and gold mine on Bougainville, this must be the most dramatic. An armed guerrilla fighter looks over the deserted mine during the 1988-1998 civil war

BERNARD CORDEN

‘If you want to change culture you will have to start by changing the organisation’ - Mary Douglas

BRISBANE – In addition to the corporate vandalism and carnage reprised in my Digging & Dumping piece the other day, several other contentious mining ventures await approval from the Papua New Guinea government.

I had included the Wafi-Golpu joint venture southwest of Lae on this list until it received approval a couple of days ago.

Continue reading "Corporate vandalism need not be so" »


The deliberate corrosion of public service

ProbityCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Over a 40 year career in public service I saw many attempts to reform the organisations that provide it.

All such efforts were aimed in increasing efficiency and productivity and usually required major reorganisations, with changes made according to the ideas or prejudices of the people driving the supposed reforms.

Continue reading "The deliberate corrosion of public service" »


The erosion of Australia’s political integrity

Pascoe
Michael Pascoe, Gladys Berejiklian and Darryl Maguire - "Political corruption has evolved to the extent of politicians claiming it doesn’t matter and voters expect it"

MICHAEL PASCOE
| The New Daily

SYDNEY - Evolution happens. Sometimes it’s fast, turbo-charged by an asteroid; sometimes it’s at the speed of dripping water wearing a channel through rock, but it happens.

Right now we are witnessing a high-speed evolution of political integrity in Australia.

In fairly short order, we’ve gone from a premier grabbing bags of cash and selling knighthoods, to a premier resigning over what might be a matter of diving into the pork barrel to do a mate a favour.

Continue reading "The erosion of Australia’s political integrity" »


What to do in case of irrelevant government

MoirPHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - This is an interesting question when you consider that Australia will be going to an election fairly soon.

The current Morrison government is irrelevant when it comes to tackling climate change.

The world is moving forward, as are our state governments and corporations, but the federal government is still pathetically twiddling its thumbs.

Continue reading "What to do in case of irrelevant government" »


PNG: Reform must be pitched at community level

Png_societySTEPHEN CHARTERIS

CAIRNS – In ‘Forty Years Lost’, Dr Joe Ketan has applied a pretty broad brush (a term I picked up from an organisation improvement text in an airport bookshop). However, I believe he quite correct.

I certainly don’t decry the notion that public sector reform is necessary.  A cursory look at Papua New Guinea’s development indicators tells you something is badly amiss.

Continue reading "PNG: Reform must be pitched at community level" »


40 years lost on useless reforms

Dr Joseph Ketan (DWU)
Dr Joe Ketan - "The failed government systems have set PNG back many years – this time back to the stone age" (DWU)

JOE KETAN
| My Land, My Country

KUK - Public sector reform is an alien concept to the people of Papua New Guinea.

The idea has been brought into countries like PNG by fly-by-night consultants, whose knowledge seems based almost exclusively on trendy paperbacks purchased at airport bookshops on their way to their new jobs in Third World capitals.

Continue reading "40 years lost on useless reforms" »


PNG’s Indigenous language crisis

Bel heviANDREW WARNER
| Language Magazine | via Ples Singsing

MALIBU, USA - Papua New Guinea, frequently heralded as the most linguistically diverse place in the entire world, is in the middle of a language crisis.

According to a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, the youngest generations in the nation are using Indigenous languages far less than ever before, instead opting for English and Tok Pisin, an English-based creole language.

Continue reading "PNG’s Indigenous language crisis" »


A corny novel with some real insights

Chet Nairene
Chet Nairene's - "“I was no longer really Western anymore, but not quite yet Eastern. Mid-Pacific, maybe?"

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Pacific Dash: From Asia Vagabond to Casino King by Chet Nairene, Banana Leaf Books, June 2021. Independently published, paperback, 394 pages. ISBN-13 ‏979-8745977275. Available from Amazon Australia for $26.34 plus postage

TUMBY BAY - Although Chet Nairene cites novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux as his inspiration, Pacific Dash is more reminiscent of the pulp fiction that was popular in the 1960s in works like Harold Robbins' 1966 pot boiler, The Adventurers.

Continue reading "A corny novel with some real insights" »


Founding father Sir Pita Lus dies at 86

Lus - Marape Lus
James Marape and Pita Lus at this year's Independence Day celebrations in Maprik,  just a few weeks before Sir Pita died

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Sir Pita Lus, one of the fathers of Papua New Guinea independence, has died in Maprik aged 86 only a few weeks after giving his last public speech.

Sir Pita was elected to seven PNG parliaments, including the first House of Assembly in 1964, his political career ending in 2002 after 38 years. He was knighted in 1979.

Continue reading "Founding father Sir Pita Lus dies at 86" »


Tok Pisin first for Commonwealth story prize

StoryEMMA D'COSTA
| Commonwealth Foundation

LONDON, UK - Guyanese writer Fred D’Aguiar will chair an international panel of judges for the 2022 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, which is now open to 1 November 2021.

And for the first time the prize - offering a first prize of K24,000 - will accept stories in Creole languages like Tok Pisin.

Continue reading "Tok Pisin first for Commonwealth story prize" »


Dealing with GBV is good business sense

PNG workers (IFC)
A study of three PNG companies revealed that gender-based violence cost them about K7.3 million a year

EVONNE KENNEDY & SHABNAM HAMEED
| DevPolicy Blog | Edited extracts

PORT MORESBY - Evidence has emerged that the private sector in Papua New Guinea can play a key role in responding to gender-based violence, and that doing so makes good business sense.

Research by the International Finance Corporation, in partnership with the Business Coalition for Women, has found that a gender-balanced workforce, and appropriate workplace responses to family and sexual violence, can provide benefits to businesses and their employees.

Continue reading "Dealing with GBV is good business sense" »


Yama & wives nabbed over missing K6m

Peter Yama
Governor Peter Yama -  along with family members facing numerous charges in relation to missing millions

MADANG – The governor of Madang Province, Peter Yama, and two of his wives have been arrested in relation to K6 million missing from the Manam Resettlement Authority.

The fund was established to resettle displaced people evacuated from the volcanic Manam island and living in care centres.

The Yama family has experienced 18 arrests in relation to this matter and has had numerous charges laid against members including money laundering, conspiracy, false pretence and, in Yama’s case, abuse of office.

Continue reading "Yama & wives nabbed over missing K6m" »


Digging & dumping: A PNG mining chronicle

Porgera
Porgera gold and copper mine in Enga Province

BERNARD CORDEN

'Every dogma has its day' - Anthony Burgess

BRISBANE - Over the past five decades many notorious corporate brigands in the mining and mineral resources sector have plundered vast quantities of ore and precious metals from the bountiful arc of the Pacific rim that encompasses Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Buccaneering recidivists include Rio Tinto at Panguna, BHP at Ok Tedi, Placer Dome on Misima Island, Barrick Gold at Porgera, Newcrest at Lihir, Morobe Mining JV at Hidden Valley, St Barbara at Simberi and Gold Ridge and Ramu NiCo at Kurumbukari and Basamuk Bay near Madang.

Continue reading "Digging & dumping: A PNG mining chronicle" »


The making of a great friend of PNG

Ron-May
Ron May - "Sir Norman Chester wrote back agreeing to write a reference but asked why I would give up a promising career in the Reserve Bank for a position in Papua New Guinea"

RONALD J MAY
| DevPolicy Blog

Ron May has spent more than 50 years working in and on Papua New Guinea, including 32 years at the Australian National University, where he was one of the forces behind the establishment of what is now the Department of Pacific Affairs. In this article, Ron discusses the origins of his long engagement with Papua New Guinea.

CANBERRA - In my last year at Sydney High School in 1956, I did quite well in the New South Wales Leaving Certificate exams, topping the state in economics.

Someone in the local Commonwealth Bank branch who saw my results asked what I intended to do.

Continue reading "The making of a great friend of PNG" »


Did Hawaiian people originate in Mortlocks

Language - Children on the Takuu group of atolls also known as the Mortlock Islands (ABC)
Girls from Nukutoa village, Takuu, in the Mortlock Islands - one of four Polynesian outlier atolls off the east coast of the Bougainville

KUʻUWEHI HIRAISHI
| Hawaii Public Radio

HILO, HAWAI’I - New linguistics research by  suggests the original settlers of the Hawaiian Islands came from a small chain of low-lying atolls just east of Bougainville.

Language professor William ‘Pila’ Wilson of the University of Hawai’i has uncovered evidence that Hawai'i’s first inhabitants may have migrated from Papua New Guinea's Mortlock Islands .

Continue reading "Did Hawaiian people originate in Mortlocks" »


Ian Dunlop, pioneering filmmaker, dies at 94

Ian Dunlop with Spencer (Nuni) Banaga  from ‘Desert People’  1965
Ian Dunlop in 1965 with Spencer (Nuni) Banaga from the film 'Desert People’ 

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The Australian documentary filmmaker and author, Ian Dunlop OAM, has died in Canberra at the age of 94.

Dunlop began making films for the Commonwealth Film Unit in the late 1950s and is probably best known for his international award-winning series, People of the Western Desert.

Continue reading "Ian Dunlop, pioneering filmmaker, dies at 94" »