It is time human rights and the environment were respected by Australian companies. PNG should not be a dumping ground
Emmanuel (Manu) Peni with Boe Spearim of Let's Talk, a program of Australia's National Indigenous Radio Service
EMMANUEL PENI & LUKE FLETCHER
WEWAK - In Papua New Guinea, the election campaign is heating up ahead of national general elections in July.
Part of the PNG government’s election messaging is focused on its commitment to the Wafi Golpu joint venture project – an immense proposed copper and gold mine in Morobe Province.
As with the Frieda River mine in the Sepik, there are serious concerns about how to manage the huge volume of toxic mine waste the project will produce.
Continue reading "People power: The fight to save the Huon Gulf" »
Australia needs a Catch-Up not a Step-Up in its relationship with the Pacific Islands, and this week started on the long diplomatic journey
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi (Tiziana Fabi, Reuters)
NOOSA – China is now seeking to build upon its existing diplomatic relations with 10 Pacific Islands countries with what it terms ‘a comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development’.
It has been working towards this wider alliance since November 2014, when President Xi Jinping met in Fiji with the Pacific Islands states with which it had diplomatic relations.
The concept was more clearly defined in November 2018 when, during the APEC summit in Port Moresby, Xi held a group meeting with Pacific Islands leaders which further elevated the strategic relationship.
Continue reading "China’s long head start in the Pacific" »
| Pearls & Irritations | Edited
Exploitation and abuse of Pacific Islands workers will be turbocharged as their numbers are being ramped up
CANBERRA - One of the symptoms of exploitation in the Pacific Access Labour Migration Scheme (PALMS) is the number of workers who abscond from their employer and apply for asylum.
Since late 2019, over 3,500 people from the Pacific Islands and Timor-Leste have applied for asylum.
Continue reading "The mess that is the Pacific workers scheme" »
Unloading a plane at the remote Marawaka airstrip
The silent crisis facing women and girls in rural Papua New Guinea
GOROKA - Last year in May, from Queens Pads PNG here in Goroka, I picked up a large box covered in black tape. The contents of this box were 300 reusable sanitary pads.
Reusable sanitary pads are a big step up from the disposable one-time use sanitary pads currently dominating what is termed the feminine hygiene market.
Continue reading "Addressing the silence of Period Poverty" »
| Harvard International Review | Extracts
Compared with China, the West’s contributions to electrification are less tangible and far less financially robust
CAMBRIDGE MA USA - Amidst global discussion of the increasingly competitive dynamic emerging between China and the United States, Papua New Guinea represents a potential battlefield.
As the country works to establish a functional electricity network, Chinese and Western-allied involvement in the process has presented a point of competition.
Continue reading "China v the West in great PNG electricity war" »
Rethinking how primary healthcare services are funded & delivered in rural PNG
CAIRNS – It was nearing dusk when we happened upon the two boys.
Relieved though I was to have found human habitation, I couldn't help observing that a shirtless boy at the front of the canoe likely had tuberculosis.
Continue reading "Goods out, money in: developing rural PNG" »
| New Dawn FM
BUKA – Bougainville vice-president and commerce minister, Patrick Nisira, has said the number of tourists visiting the province has declined because of the continuing Covid pandemic.
He said most present visitors to Bougainville are business people whose work is connected to the development of the province.
Continue reading "Bougainville to revive tourism after Covid" »
Illustration - David Rowe (AFR)
NOOSA – “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.”
An epigram usually attributed to Albert Einstein, although there’s no evidence he said it except that it is typical of the great man’s witticisms.
Last night Marise Payne met with Solomon Islands foreign minister Jeremiah Manele in Brisbane to discuss The Most Recent China Problem. Einstein would have understood.
Continue reading "China, Solomons & the Oz diplomatic omnishambles" »
Immigration at Jackson Airport - "long lines of miners queueing ready to extract resources from the ground"
'Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose' (the more things change, the more they stay the same) - Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, 1808–1890, French novelist and editor
CAIRNS - Clearly very little has changed since Martyn Namorong’s first visit to Australia in 2015.
When Martyn penned this, Papua New Guinea’s population was around seven million. In the 10 years since, it has increased by two million - a phenomenal rate of growth.
Continue reading "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" »
Cartoon by Hudson
NOOSA - This week, Australian citizens observe what seem to be the final paroxysms of the Morrison government as its lamentable record in office and surprisingly poor campaigning leave it in a shambles.
Nothing symbolises this more than the fallout from a series of appalling blunders concerning Solomon Islands, which from my perspective looks suspiciously like a friendly flag operation gone wrong.
Continue reading "Australia's frail PNG-Pacific relationship" »
Indonesia is leaving no stone unturned in applying pressure on West Papua
| Radio New Zealand | Pacific Digital Journalist
AUCKLAND - West Papuan students are facing a difficult time in New Zealand after Indonesia terminated their scholarships and ordered them home.
Master of Communications student Laurens Ikinia told RNZ Pacific said he his dreams of a brighter future have been shattered by the Indonesian government.
Continue reading "West Papua students ordered home from NZ" »
Kurt Campbell (AFP). China says the US is pushing Australia aside to intervene more directly in the Pacific Islands region
NOOSA – It seems Kurt Campbell, the United States Indo-Pacific coordinator, will still visit the Solomon Islands this week even after the country declared it had already entered into a security pact with China.
A last ditch effort by Australia failed to change the mind of the Solomons leadership as the Morrison government was strongly criticised for its ineffectual Pacific Islands policies that it is claimed, not altogether credibly, to have enabled China to gain a military foothold in the Solomons, just 2,000 km from mainland Australia.
Continue reading "Contesting views emerge in Solomons duel" »
Manasseh Sogavare and Zed Seselja pose stiffly for a photo after what seemed like a waste of time and jet fuel. Zed appeared to drop into Honiara empty-handed to praise Manasseh for a statement he made a couple of weeks ago and to express concern anyway
NOOSA – Australia’s international development minister Zed Seselja flew to Honiara today to reiterate his government’s previously expressed ‘growing concerns’ about the Solomons’ warming ties with China and a mysterious naval facility the Solomons knows nothing about.
It's highly unusual for a minister to travel overseas during the caretaker period of a national election, so reasons portentous looked at hand.
But now Zed's back to Aus, the trip appears more as a bit of campaign fluff to try to show Morrison et Fils are on the ball when it comes to pushing back against China.
Continue reading "Did Zed go to Honiara to learn or to tell?" »
Men walk across land being cleared by ExxonMobil for Komo airstrip in 2010. The massive LNG project has been a major unsettling influence in the area (Jes Aznar, New York Times)
BRIAN HARDING & NICOLE COCHRAN
| United States Institute of Peace | Edited
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - In terms of geographical size and population, Papua New Guinea is by far the biggest country in the Pacific Islands, a region increasingly central to United States’ strategic interests.
Along with neighbouring Solomon Islands, PNG is at the centre of a growing geopolitical contest between the US and its allies and China.
Continue reading "US will work on PNG’s biggest problems" »
Green shoots nurtured by a hand (Anna Gibert)
ANNA GIBERT | Edited
VILA - From the early 2000s, the established approaches of international aid programs with their externally-led technical solutions have been increasingly called into question by progressive development practitioners and think tanks.
Voices like the Overseas Development Institute, the Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice, and the Centre for International Development at Harvard University have consistently underscored other approaches.
Continue reading "Understanding the role of developmental leaders" »
Manasseh Sogavare and Xi Jinping - security deal caused an Australian meltdown
NOOSA – In late October 2010, then United States’ secretary of state Hillary Clinton was in Honolulu nearing the end of a comprehensive tour of the Asia-Pacific region.
In two weeks Clinton was to visit Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia, and high on her agenda were discussions about military cooperation and action “to respond to a more complex maritime environment”.
Continue reading "China & the Solomons: Just how smart is Australia?" »
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - if you haven't made this journey, can you really help us?
PHILIP KAI MORRE
KUNDIAWA – Papua New Guinea needs to reform its outlook on development by changing our behaviour so as to transform our society.
But so much of the planning for us - planning that uses foreign concepts and ideologies - does not work.
A planning matrix needs to be home grown and an integral part of our holistic development.
Continue reading "We know we must change, but are you helping?" »
CAIRNS – “We have the local knowledge, we live it -” Dr Momia Teariki-Tautea, PNG Attitude, 29 March 2022
I thank the doctor for his truism, but I would ask whether Papua New Guineans have applied it?
I suggest the knowledge Dr Teariki-Tautea speaks of is ignored by nearly all administrative arms of the PNG government.
Continue reading "The aid gap: inapt activity v resigned inertia" »
Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare (SBM screenshot)
| Asia Pacific Review | SBM Online | Edited
HONIARA – Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare has denied that China is being allowed to establish a military base in his country, which is 2,000 kilometers north-west of Australia.
Sogavare confirmed a security treaty had been finalised with China but said “there is no intention whatsoever to ask China to build a military base.
Continue reading "Sogavare: China military for Solomons ‘nonsense’" »
Dr Joe Ketan - "Foreign consultants who piggyback on development aid have often been responsible for bad advice"
PORT MORESBY - A quick glance at Papua New Guinea’s recent history will tell you that there are certain things that you would have done it differently if you had your time over again.
But time does not stop or rewind, although sometimes history seems to repeat itself over and over.
Continue reading "Problems of our own need reforms of our own" »
Defence Minister Peter Dutton (9 News)
"We share with our Pacific family culture, the principles of democracy and freedom, and these are things that are very important to the Pacific Island peoples” – Peter Dutton, Australian Defence Minister, Today
“Time doesn't mean anything when you're about to have water lapping at your door” – Peter Dutton's bad joke about (a) sea level rise in the Pacific and (b) what he sees as his Pacific family’s lack of attention to punctuality, 11 September 2015
CAIRNS – It is my personal observation following 35 years in Melanesia that Australia has hopelessly missed the mark when it comes to development assistance, and it continues to do so.
The total fixation on trying to build the capacity of central and sub-national agencies to the exclusion of an equal focus on communities has sunk almost every initiative you can name.
Continue reading "Australia is losing in the Pacific. Here’s why." »
Solomons prime minister Manasseh Sogavare and China's premier Li Keqiang in the Great Hall of the People, 9 October 2019 (Thomas Peter, Reuters)
NOOSA - The Australian government and its tame media are displaying shock and indignation this morning as details come to light about Solomon Islands agreeing to cooperate with China in policing and security, roles historically performed by Australia.
In early February, PNG Attitude reported on extensive negotiations between the two countries that covered a long shopping list including almost every sector and industry in the Solomons.
Continue reading "Canberra wrings hands as Honiara goes pinkish" »
NOOSA – Australia’s Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) has condemned the suspension of 24 Papua New Guinean journalists by EMTV, PNG’s largest television station.
The MEAA is Australia’s largest and most established union and industry advocate for creative professionals.
Continue reading "Aussie journalists condemn EMTV ‘assault’" »
The embassy of the People's Republic of China in Kiribati (Rimon Rimon, Stuff)
| STUFF NZ
| With Joanne Holden (Cook Islands), Dorothy Wickham (Solomon Islands), Lisa Monovo (Fiji) & Talaia Mika (Samoa)
WELLINGTON, NZ - Drive from the airport to Nuku'alofa, Tonga, and on the side of the road, you’ll see a ‘China Aid’ sign erected outside a school.
Take the road between Nadi and Suva, and you’ll spot a recently-built hospital made with Chinese money. There is a sign etched into the peach wall to remind passers-by: China funded it.
Continue reading "China rejects Pacific ‘debt trap’ accusations" »
The MP database and its companion Elections database are essential tools for anyone interested in Papua New Guinea. A laudable joint project of the Australian National University and the University of PNG
STEPHEN HOWES & THOMAS WANGI
| Devpolicy Blog | Edited
CANBERRA - It’s not easy keeping track of Papua New Guinea’s members of parliament.
They might change from one party to another, or from government to the opposition. To help make it easier, we’ve created the PNG MP Database, which you can link to here.
A few years ago, we created the PNG Elections Database, which tells you who competed in every seat in almost every election back to independence, and how they fared.
Continue reading "Introducing the awesome MP database" »
Prime Minister James Marape addresses the Pacific Adventist University’s 35th graduation ceremony (PMNEC)
JOHN K KAMASUA
| PNG Career Development Inc
PORT MORESBY -In the first issue of The Organizational Doctor, published last August, I wrote on the important outcomes of a short survey I conducted on the issue of connecting graduates to jobs.
In Papua New Guinea we are producing many fine graduates who cannot find appropriate employment: this is a quite appalling situation for them and their families and a terrible waste to the nation.
Continue reading "A policy to energise the PNG jobs market" »
CAIRNS – Chris Overland comments that “we collectively ought to have sufficient insight and humility to accept that we have an obligation to help out those who live in 'shithole' countries….
“Not merely through charity, but by a conscious, systemic and systematic effort to help them reach their true socio-economic potential.”
I agree entirely with this evaluation. The bit that sticks in my craw is the inequity that exists at such a deeply disturbing level.
Continue reading "The bells toll for us: But will we wake to them?" »
Port of Lae - set to become a regional container hub as Australia fends off Chinese influence.
NOOSA - The Australian government has announced it will provide K1.5 billion in loans and grants to Papua New Guinea to upgrade its ports facilities.
Australia says the funds will strengthen trade ties between the two countries and encourage PNG to decline investment from other nations including China.
Continue reading "Australia fends off China with K1.5b for ports" »
FBI assistant commissioner Hodges Ette poses with a RPNGC officer at the financial crimes and corruption training program [USA Embassy]
NOOSA – “Who wears sunglasses on a rainy day looking like they’re going to the concert in a suit?” the joke goes.
The answer is a G-man, the American slang term for agents of the United States government, usually from the FBI.
The famed Federal Bureau of Investigation is the domestic intelligence and security service of the USA, the government’s principal federal law enforcement agency.
Continue reading "FBI & RPNGC join forces to fight corruption" »
Australia will cut its foreign aid next year even though the impacts of the Covid pandemic are still hurting Pacific Island nations (Development Policy Centre)
| DevPolicy Blog
CANBERRA - When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the Australian government reversed its earlier policy of cutting aid, and started to increase it.
Aid increased from $4.29 billion in 2019-20, before the pandemic, to $4.56 billion in 2020-21, the first year of the pandemic (amounts adjusted for inflation and expressed in 2021 prices.)
Continue reading "Miserly Australia cuts Pacific aid again" »
The splendid house for Mana Dau and her relatives begins to take shape
MORISSET - Earlier this year Rose and I discovered that Rose’s mum, Mana Dau, was being abused by some distant and nasty relatives at the place where she was living in Lae.
It wasn’t just verbal bullying either, Mana had some of her teeth knocked out and the whole situation was untenable.
Continue reading "The house Peter & Rose helped build" »
Naomi, a support staff member at World Vision in Papua New Guinea (Nelson Kairi Kurukuru)
DANE MOORES & JONATHON GURRY
| Devpolicy Blog
MELBOURNE - The socio-economic impacts of Covid-19 are devastating communities in the Pacific and Timor-Leste as much as the virus itself, and sometimes to an even greater extent.
In late 2020, World Vision surveyed 752 households (with an average of six people per household) in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.
Continue reading "Survey shows how Covid hurt Pacific" »
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" »
| DevPolicy Blog | Extracts
CANBERRA - Last week the Centre for Global Development (CGD) released its 2021 Commitment to Development Index.
The CDI has, for the last 20 years, compared rich countries in terms of their “policies that affect the development prospects of countries beyond one’s own borders”.
Continue reading "Australian & NZ are ‘stingy’ aid donors" »
Carolyn Blacklock - senior woman adviser engaged on an Australian government funded program finds herself in hot water
PORT MORESBY – Carolyn Blacklock, former acting managing director of PNG Power, has been arrested by a police criminal investigation team and charged with conspiracy, forgery, false pretence and misappropriation.
The forensic team had been established by police commissioner David Manning to investigate high level financial crimes.
Continue reading "Adviser’s arrest spells trouble all round" »
A 1959 report on kiaps by Sir David Plumley Derham KBE CMG (1920–85), Australian jurist and university administrator, was misused to enhance police powers and weaken kiaps' more measured approach to pacification and administration in PNG
TUMBY BAY – For decades Papua New Guinea has been a happy hunting ground for the consulting industry.
Careers have been built on providing often gratuitous advice to governments in both PNG and Australia, not to mention the purchase of the odd sports car or coastal retreat.
It’s not a post-independence phenomenon as many people assume. Consultants have been active in PNG since the 1950s.
Continue reading "The deadly damage of naïve consultants" »
PNGDF project team leader Lieutenant Livia Wrakonei points the way to Australia’s High Commissioner Jon Philp and PNGDF chief Major-General Gilbert Toropo
MURRAY BARRACKS, PORT MORESBY - Best friends are connected souls, so to speak. They align. They trust each other.
Some say our best friends can be our worst enemies, but Chinese philosopher Mencius (372-289 BC) said, “Best friends are our own siblings that God did not give us.”
These types of friends are rare and bless us with true companionship.
Continue reading "Colours of battle still shine for best friends" »
The Ialibu-Kagua road built by 12 CE Works in the 1970s was finally sealed in 2019
| Harim Tok Tok
MADANG - By the time the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) unit left Mendi in 1999, most parts of the former Southern Highlands Province (Hela was created from its western region in 2012) were connected by basic roads while the more outlying areas had airstrips.
Members of the Australian Army’s engineering corps had been deployed to Mendi in 1970 to run the Provincial Works Division.
Continue reading "Builders: The story of Mendi’s Royal Engineers" »
NOOSA - The more infectious, faster moving Delta variant of Covid has been identified for the first time in Papua New Guinea.
The Delta strain is currently proving hard to control after breaking out in Australia’s two biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne. It has killed three people so far.
Continue reading "Lethargic Australia drops ball on Covid " »
Chandran Nair - "Instead of being captive to an idealised vision of the West, the rest of the world is waking up to Western narratives, fallacies and weaknesses"
| South China Morning Post
HONG KONG - The West’s disingenuous position on Israel and its coordinated attacks on China have blown the cover of the liberal narratives it uses to hide a postcolonial, imperialist agenda.
Its hypocrisy has been further exposed by its hoarding of coronavirus vaccines and the systemic racism that prompted the Black Lives Matter protests and fuelled attacks on people of Asian descent.
Continue reading "Western posturing & global white privilege" »
The four objectives of the national strategy on gender-based violence
PORT MORESBY - The gender-based violence (GBV) we struggle with in Papua New Guinea is a result of many activating circumstances.
The number of cases continues to increase. Just on Sunday, two women accused of witchcraft were tortured and burnt with hot irons for hours by 20 men in Port Moresby.
Continue reading "Stop griping & get a grip on GBV" »
Western Province is the largest and most remote in PNG
TABOI AWI YOTO
DARU – You may be aware of a Papua New Guinea government policy that every province and district should expect to receive K10 million a year to spend on local projects.
This scheme is known as PSIP/DSIP or ‘MP’s funds’ and is meant to disburse K10 million to each province and district, the funds being administered by committees chaired by district or provincial politicians.
Continue reading "Funding quirks make it hard to put smiles on faces" »
BRENDAN CRABB & MIKE TOOLE
| The Canberra Times
MELBOURNE - The surge of new COVID-19 cases in Papua New Guinea is deeply worrying.
At the end of January, this country of nine million had reported just 866 cases and nine deaths. By 12 April, these numbers had increased to 8,442 cases and 68 deaths.
Continue reading "Covid: urgent business for Australia - & China" »
KELA KAPKORA SIL BOLKIN
DARU - Daru Island has its own honourable and gallant history dating back to the arrival of Portuguese explorer, Luis Vaez de Torres, in the 1600s.
But today it is withering away in misery under the independent state of Papua New Guinea.
Continue reading "Daru – the town the good life left behind" »
The Australian government got enormous media coverage for what was little more than this public relations exercise. Its real response to PNG's Covid crisis is woeful
NOOSA – Some of the most important windows into the operations of the federal government in Australia government are provided by Senate Estimates Committees.
The title may sound unexciting, but these committees – established to enable Senators twice a year to quiz government departments on how they are spending public money – provide a unique opportunity to allow Senators to determine how the government is operating.
Continue reading "Senate reveals Oz neglect of PNG Covid crisis" »
Australia's foreign minister Payne and prime minister Morrison at this morning's media conference in Canberra (Channel 9)
| Transcribed by Peacifica | Edited
Peacifica supports and advocates peacebuilding in the South Pacific. Its philosophy is that building and sustaining peaceful societies is a critical challenge that Pacific islanders and Australians can meet together. Read more about Peacifica here
CANBERRA – What follows are the major points from a media conference this morning addressed by Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison, foreign minister Marise Payne and chief health officer Dr Paul Kelly.
The event was attended by Peacifica and its transcription has been edited for publication by PNG Attitude.
Continue reading "Oz announces urgent Covid help to PNG" »
As Papua New Guinea readies to receive its first 588,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine at the end of March, provided through the global Gavi philanthropic consortium, Australia continues to try to get on top of its own supply problems - KJ
ADELAIDE - Australia has committed about $200 million to procuring and distributing Covid-19 vaccine to its Pacific neighbours, including PNG and Timor L’Este, over the next two years.
This is why CSL in Australia has been tasked with producing 50 million doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine, with the option of producing many more if necessary.
Continue reading "Australia, PNG and the Covid vaccine" »
One of five container loads of materials for schools and health centres in remote areas of Western Province - more is on the way but much more is needed
GOVERNOR TABOI AWI YOTO
DARU - The shipping containers shown here are all loaded and ready for shipment to some of the most remote communities in Western Province.
They include materials for the Banisato village community health post.
The Baniso tribe is small, and comprises just one village of less than 200 people in the foothills of Mt Bosavi.
Continue reading "Working to build in remote Western Province" »
Alfred Kembu (left) with Mano landowners and police
DAVID KASEI WAPAR
MADANG - The Tapo police and quarantine checkpoint in Madang Province has been relocated to Mano, 12 twelve kilometers away, with the construction of a new bridge to replace the well-known crossing.
The checkpoint is an important facility which assists the National Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Authority, the Kokonas Indastri Koporesen (KIK), police and other organisations to monitor disease and pest control and illicit activities.
Continue reading "New checkpoint brings benefits to villagers" »
| Duresi's Odyssey | Edited
AUCKLAND - We all know that Papua New Guinea, with its diverse environment, is prone to disasters, both natural and manmade.
At times of disaster, we as a nation have joined forces to help as best as we can – many times through donations of whatever we can spare.
Continue reading "Donating medicines? What you should know" »