The curse of motorcars & their insane drivers

Drivers compete with each other for a few metres of advantage and swap insults with hand signals to assert their rights of domination

Cars top
Traffic in Port Moresby

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Dervla Murphy, the Irish travel writer who died aged 90 last month, had two particular dislikes. The first was capitalism and the second was motorcars.

In the early 1960s she rode an old fashioned gearless pushbike from Waterford in Ireland to India. She subsequently undertook many more similar adventures on her trusty wiliwil.

Continue reading "The curse of motorcars & their insane drivers" »


National Geographic’s long affair with PNG

The National Geographic, always a product of its time, remains an amazing pictorial record of Papua New Guinea over nearly 100 years

Kranz Miramar chilldren Gilliard Nat Geo 1955
E Thomas Gilliard's 'Miramar children' (or were they?) of 1955 (National Geographic)

PETER KRANZ

MORISSET – The photograph above was taken during E Thomas Gilliard's bird hunting expedition to the Papua New Guinea Highlands in 1955.

The story of the expedition, together with many spectacular photographs, was published in National Geographic magazine in the same year under the headline, 'To the Land of the Headhunters'.

Continue reading "National Geographic’s long affair with PNG" »


Commonwealth observers ready for action

The observer group at the 2017 election was strongly criticised for its perceived failure to identify many  substantial problems around voting

Commonwealth-observer-speaks-with-commonwealth voters-in-Hela-Province-2012-Treva-Braun-Commonwealth-Sec-
Commonwealth observer speaks with voters in Hela Province, 2012 (Treva Braun | Commonwealth Secretariat)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – A former president of Nauru, Baron Waqa, will lead the Commonwealth Observer Group to Papua New Guinea’s national election next month.

At the invitation of the PNG Electoral Commission, the Commonwealth Secretariat will deploy the Group to observe and report on the country’s national election scheduled to begin on 2 July.

Continue reading "Commonwealth observers ready for action" »


Much of PNG's K2.4b aid doesn't trickle down

If Australia’s aid program had been better administered and less affected by political influence, PNG would now be reaping the benefits

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Australian diplomat Will Robinson hands a box of medical equipment to then health boss, the late Dr Paison Dakulala

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - A cardinal mistake Australia made, and continues to make, in relation to Papua New Guinea is its extremely generous and sustained provision of about half a billion dollars a year in aid money.

Australia’s promise of ongoing funding aid to PNG was originally used as an inducement to accelerate its progress to independence.

Continue reading "Much of PNG's K2.4b aid doesn't trickle down" »


PNG & the Pacific score a minister for action

'I think the key thing is to build a relationship based on mutual respect. It can't be a transactional relationship where our interest waxes and wanes. A deeply respectful relationship is key'

Albo conroy
Pat Conroy MP, wife Keara and their children and prime minister Anthony Albanese after the new Australian ministry was sworn in last month 

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Richard Marles is now Australia’s deputy prime minister and defence minister.

When I met him about 10 years ago, he was the Labor government’s parliamentary secretary for Pacific Islands affairs and I was unimpressed.

Continue reading "PNG & the Pacific score a minister for action" »


PNG elections: the dangers from social media

Given Facebook’s domination of social media in Papua New Guinea, it was concerning that researchers found strong indications of organised, politically motivated activity using inauthentic accounts to impersonate incumbent politicians

A fb

CAITLYN MCKENZIE & BEN CONNABLE
| DT Institute  | Lowy Institute 

WASHINGTON DC - How many Facebook accounts and pages claim to belong to Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape?

Between 20 and 35, depending on the point in time and your definition, none verified by the platform.

Continue reading "PNG elections: the dangers from social media" »


Just a little walk in the dark

'I’m fed up with how my family compares me to a whale with limbs. Why in the name of my beloved ancestor did I let this bugger tag along?'

A

RAYMOND SIGIMET

Bro, hariap ya! Plis o! Move a little faster yah.”

He kept talking and irritating me, like a betel nut stain on a wall.

I’m big for my size and quite slow. That's why.

I'm also fed up with the nagging. I truly am.

Continue reading "Just a little walk in the dark" »


Research: 61% of PNG workers reject vaccine

'Government should tell us the facts about the effects and benefits rather than forcing people to get vaccine'

A

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Public health experts agree that widespread vaccination coverage together with mask-wearing, distancing and some other protocols are the best way to end pandemics.

While vaccination is not the only protection, it is a vital component of keeping the disease under control.

Continue reading "Research: 61% of PNG workers reject vaccine" »


No excuses: it’s time you voted for women

Aren’t you tired of voting for male candidates after 47 years of terrible results? What more excuse is there not to vote for female candidates?

Kabuni - Women voting (Commonwealth-Secretariat)
142 women have nominated for next month's national election– just 4% of the total of 3,493 candidates. And, of Highlands candidates, a meagre 1% are women

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI – Since Papua New Guinea’s first election after independence in 1977, of the 983 MPs elected only seven (0.7%) have been women.

In the national election to be held next month, 142 women have nominated – just 4% of the total of 3,493 candidates.

Continue reading "No excuses: it’s time you voted for women" »


The Coalition & aid: a story of two halves

Whereas Bishop seemed to be genuinely enthusiastic about aid, Payne hardly ever spoke about it, and it was impossible to work out what she thought about the subject

Bishop-and-Payne (DFAT)
Julie Bishop and Senator Marise Payne (DFAT)

STEPHEN HOWES
| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA – When it comes to Australian aid, the Coalition government’s just ended nine-year reign can be divided into two periods.

From September 2013, when it came to power; to August 2018, when Julie Bishop resigned as foreign minister after the Liberal Party turned against prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and replaced him with Scott Morrison.

Continue reading "The Coalition & aid: a story of two halves" »


China gatekeepers threaten Pacific media

Following the Chinese foreign minister's media-unfriendly 10-day tour, frustrated Pacific journalists hope that in future "there will be a more concerted effort to defend media freedom against creeping authoritarianism"

Pacific cartoon

DAVID ROBIE
| Pacific Media Watch | Edited

AUCKLAND - Timor-Leste, the youngest independent nation has the most fledgling media in the Asia-Pacific region.

But the country’s president has just offered a big lesson to its Pacific Island neighbours in tackling Chinese media gatekeepers and the creeping authoritarianism that is threatening journalism in the region.

Continue reading "China gatekeepers threaten Pacific media" »


A rough guide to a challenging future

Neo-liberalism's inherent flaws and contradictions have created mountainous debt and numerous socio-economic dysfunctions which have left the world’s economic and financial systems dangerously exposed

A Rough Guide to the Future

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - As an historian I am very wary about trying to predict the future based upon what has happened in the past or even what is happening in the present.

The record of those who predict the future with confidence is that they have been almost invariably wrong.

Continue reading "A rough guide to a challenging future" »


Bird with a flash of yellow: The PNGDF readies

What they discussed has to remain as white flecks of foam, cast up by the sea’s rolling waves, particles that disappear as soon as perceived

Nara Image 1
Papua New Guinea’s national flag – the bird with a brilliant flash of yellow

ALEXANDER NARA

MURRAY BARRACKS - It was around 5pm when I spotted a bird with a brilliant flash of yellow dancing upon a nearby branch.

Quite a contrast, I thought, as I dragged my bony frame up Signal Hill at Murray Barracks.

Continue reading "Bird with a flash of yellow: The PNGDF readies" »


Don’t be fooled by the two bother brothers

Marape is as power hungry as O’Neill. They're just two Highlands egos preying on the emotions of uncritical voters 

O'Neill and Marape
Peter O'Neill and James Marape - "Papua New Guineans, don’t be fooled by these two power hungry guys"

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI - When addressing a crowd of Pangu Pati supporters in Morobe Province a week ago, prime minister James Marape issued a challenge to his predecessor, People’s National Congress (PNC) leader Peter O’Neill, and his supporters.

He invited O’Neill to a debate and dared him to explain to the country what he had done for Lae and Papua New Guinea during his eight years in office (2011-19). Marape.

Continue reading "Don’t be fooled by the two bother brothers" »


Australia’s aid program needs to be focused

While rebuilding a strong and effective aid program will take time, there are already in existence opportunities to increase funding for highly effective multilateral programs

The 30-year demolition of Australia's foreign aid (Australian Council for International Development)
The 30-year demolition of Australia's foreign aid budget, 1972-2022 (Australian Council for International Development)

MATT MORRIS
| Twitter | Edited

CANBERRA - Poverty reduction and the United Nations’ sustainable development goals offer a good guiding framework for development aid.

Within this, however, Australia needs to carefully prioritise its aid spending both within countries and in its global programs.

Continue reading "Australia’s aid program needs to be focused" »


Five new ideas for Australia & the Pacific

There are ways in which the tone and tenor of Australia’s relationships with the Pacific can be shifted, expanded and improved

Cain - aid plane solomons
Australian High Commission personnel in the Solomons await the arrival of a shipment of aid material (DFAT)

TESS NEWTON CAIN

BRISBANE - The significance of the Pacific Islands region to the new Albanese government was clear from the start.

Between being sworn in as foreign minister and getting on a plane to Tokyo, Senator Penny Wong recorded a video message for the Pacific signalling a step change and promising to visit ‘soon’.

Continue reading "Five new ideas for Australia & the Pacific" »


The unseemly scramble for B'ville resources

Panguna mine, derelict for 32 years following the outbreak of a 10-year civil war, becomes the main target of an ugly race for Bougainville's wealth

Boug Bougainville rebels guard the Panguna mine site  1996 (Encyclopaedia of New Zealand)
Bougainville rebels watch over the Panguna mine site (Encyclopaedia of New Zealand)

JUBILEE AUSTRALIA

Scramble for resources: The international race for Bougainville’s mineral wealth, Jubilee Australia Research Centre, Sydney NSW, June 2022, 44 pages. Free download here

Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd:Scramble for Resources shines a much-needed light on the practices of the new waves of mining and exploration companies in Bougainville. Given the sheer number of Australian companies involved in this stampede for Bougainville’s resources, and the consequences for people living on the island, its findings should cause Australians to sit up and take notice”

Continue reading "The unseemly scramble for B'ville resources" »


Do our young people understand politics?

That leadership means occupying political office is twisted. That you can only make a difference if you’re an MP is delusional

Polling station in Bougainville (Commonwealth Secretariat)
Polling station in Bougainville (Commonwealth Secretariat)

 

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI - Many young people are contesting Papua New Guinea’s national election due to start on Friday 8 July.

Some have graduated only a few months ago with new university degrees, whilst others have been working for just a few years.

Continue reading "Do our young people understand politics?" »


Kramer on China, PNG & backdoor diplomacy

Good relationships, earned trust and gradualism can get you a long way in Papua New Guinea. But so can bribing the right people

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Bryan Kramer - Corrupt PNG politicians and other conmen are experts at building relationships, and Australia seems not to recognise this

PHILIP FITZPATRICK & PAUL OATES

On Monday the ABC’s Patricia Karvelas interviewed prominent PNG politician and immigration minister Bryan Kramer for Radio National Breakfast. A number of PNG Attitude contributors heard the exchange and told me they were impressed by it, so I asked two of them to share their thoughts - KJ

Continue reading "Kramer on China, PNG & backdoor diplomacy" »


Progress often needs more than a road

The people of Milne Bay have a point. They have the makings of prosperity and connectivity. But a road from the capital would not necessarily bring them anything but strife

Green alotau sign

JOHN GREENSHIELDS

ADELAIDE – Not long ago, Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape convened a stakeholder meeting to discuss Connect PNG – a 20-year plan to increase strategic road connections across the country.

Australian high commissioner Jon Philp told the meeting that Australia continued to support strategic and high-quality infrastructure projects as a tool to promote economic prosperity.

Continue reading "Progress often needs more than a road" »


Does PNG really dislike its women this much?

PNG will soon likely have a parliament of 118 seats with no women, one of only four national parliaments to present such a misogynistic face to the world

Candidates - Marape v Oneill
PNG politics - it's a man's, man's, man's, man's world

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - It would be easier to solve the Riddle of Tanglewood Manor than to extract from any reliable source precise and authoritative information about the election of Papua New Guinea’s 11th parliament.

But this we can be sure of. The election will extend for two weeks from 8 - 22 July. It will be for 118 seats. It will elect 22 governors and 96 MPs. That’s about it. Unless there’s a change.

Continue reading "Does PNG really dislike its women this much?" »


Out of Pandora’s box: the Panguna paradox

When Bougainville people sense a threat, or get the notion they might be dispossessed of land, they will fight and protect it with their lives if they have to

Pentanu pic
"Let us ensure our agreements hold because if we do the same thing over and over and expect a different result, our hopes will collapse like the benches around the mine pit"

SIMON PENTANU MP
| Bougainville News

KIETA - The benches that wound around the Panguna mine were a conspicuous feature of the humungous pit are still visible but either collapsing because of erosion by slow-seeping water or perhaps just tired of lying around with no purpose.

The pit is a massive ‘dingkung’ (hole) on Bougainville’s landscape; it is also a massive statement that people are capable of gutting the Earth’s resources and leaving the land wasted and torn when the riches have been extracted and shipped away.

Continue reading "Out of Pandora’s box: the Panguna paradox" »


A muted battle for the Pacific is enjoined

After a decade of neglect, and in some cases mockery, alliance repair in the Pacific Islands will not be achieved by policy shift alone

China - Section of China's draft action plan for the Pacific
A section of China's leaked draft action plan for the Pacific Islands

PAUL OATES

CLEVELAND QLD – We in the south-western Pacific find ourselves in a volatile regional situation that we have not seen since 1942 and where we are unsure of precisely, or even generally, of what might happen.

Perhaps our first problem is that we do not fully understand the intentions of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the effective government of China.

Continue reading "A muted battle for the Pacific is enjoined" »


Young writers elevated to an unknown future

We saw many lights shine brightly during the years of the Crocodile Prize only to fade away and never be seen since

Fitz top

PHIL FITZPATRICK

Tingting Bilong Mi: 2020 Essay Competition edited by Michael Dom & Ed Brumby, Pukpuk Publications (May 2022), 195 pages. $1.00. Kindle edition available from Amazon Books

TUMBY BAY - I’ve got a confession to make, I like reading Papua New Guinean literature.

I’ve probably learnt more about the country and its people through reading its writers than I have living and working there.

That isn’t the only reason I like its literature. I also like the idea of Papua New Guinea, and that idea is best reflected in its writers.

Continue reading "Young writers elevated to an unknown future" »


China’s new Pacific plan is a game-changer

You only have to look at a map to deduce the basic logic of what China is up to. This is prime real estate

Albo
Anthony Albanese will step up discussions with Pacific Island nations as Australia tries strengthen its relationships amid China's plan to sign trade and cooperation deals with 10 countries (Yuichi Yamazaki, Getty Images)

DAVID RISING & NICK PERRY
| The Associated Press

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - When China signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands in April it raised concerns from the USA, Australia and other allies that Beijing may be seeking a military outpost in the South Pacific, an area of traditional American naval dominance.

But China upped the ante further this week, reaching out to the Solomon Islands and nine other island nations with a sweeping security proposal that, even if only partially realised, could give it a presence in the Pacific much nearer Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and on the doorstep of the strategic American territory of Guam.

Continue reading "China’s new Pacific plan is a game-changer" »


Another Somare seeks to rebuild a nation

We cannot build a decent Papua New Guinea when extortion and bribery are the starting points to acquire political power

Dulciana
Dulciana Somare-Brash with the late Sir Michael Somare - "We don't have female representation in parliament and that is a huge motivator. I work in the political space as a technical advisor and I’m hoping to have success at the polls this time"


DULCIANA SOMARE

ANGORAM - I’m the only female candidate contesting the Angoram Open seat in East Sepik Province – one of the 72 candidates who have nominated so far.

That may seem like an anomaly, however the underlying truth is that the steps involved in mounting an election campaign through all its processes up until the final count are complex, exclusive and expensive.

Continue reading "Another Somare seeks to rebuild a nation" »


‘Why you doing a man’s job?’ I was asked

As women make their mark across Papua New Guinea’s public service, the country is still shamed by its total lack of female national MPs

Emily kelton
Emily Kelton has just retired from one of the most senior electoral positions in Papua New Guinea, but she sees not one woman holding a seat in the 111-member national parliament. Perhaps this will change with the election of a new 117-member parliament in July

MY LAND, MY COUNTRY

LAE – According to many candidates who stand for election in Papua New Guinea, politics and parliament is a “man’s place”.

So where do the half of the PNG population who are women fit in?

It is an uncomfortable question, an irritating rhetorical question - one to which we already know the answer. Too often it’s the wrong answer.

Continue reading "‘Why you doing a man’s job?’ I was asked" »


Is the USA prepping AsiaPacific for war?

Washington is acting like Taiwan is already a fully-fledged ally and is willing to risk a regional war that can easily spin out of control

Ausn

ALEX LO
| South China Morning Post

HONG KONG - For Washington, containing China is more important than risking the lives of millions of people in the Asia-Pacific region.

Such a war will, after all, be fought on the other side of the world, so far as ordinary Americans – already sold on the evil of communist China and the benevolence of their own country – are concerned.

Continue reading "Is the USA prepping AsiaPacific for war?" »


People power: The fight to save the Huon Gulf

It is time human rights and the environment were respected by Australian companies. PNG should not be a dumping ground

Manu Peni & Boe Spearim
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" »


Your time is so precious, don’t waste it....

Time is scarce. So is the energy of youth. Don’t waste a moment.

Scott Waide
Scott Waide. Journalist and Thinker.

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE - Time is the most precious commodity every person is given. It is a gift we all receive.

You can never get back the seconds you waste. Seconds that turn into minutes, hours, days, months and years.

Some people learn quickly. They turn their youth into the most productive years of their lives and, when in their prime, they continue to build on those earlier years.

But most don’t. Time just slips away.

Continue reading "Your time is so precious, don’t waste it...." »


China’s long head start in the Pacific

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)
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi (Tiziana Fabi, Reuters)

KEITH JACKSON

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" »


Solomons deal puts Australia in crosshairs

Australia must be agile in building a foreign policy that can balance its relations with both the United States and China

Albanese Biden et al
Anthony Albanese, Joe Biden, Narendra Modi and Fumio Kashida - geniality marked the recent Four Eyes summit in Tokyo but China's ambitions for the Pacific Islands could mark the onset of a new Cold War

MUHAMMAD ABDUL BASIT
| Independent Australia

SURFERS PARADISE - The recent China-Solomon Islands pact has sent waves of discomfort through the US and its allies, particularly Australia. Security concerns have been felt in Canberra to Washington.

As China allegedly seeks to develop a military base in the Solomon Islands and increases its sphere of influence, the power dimensions in the region may change.

That makes the – yet unrevealed – agreement a matter of curiosity and serious concern for Australia and its allies.

Continue reading "Solomons deal puts Australia in crosshairs" »


Wong & Wang hit Pacific as US bungles bloc

Biden’s failure to include a Pacific Islands nation in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework may prove to be a shocking oversight

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Foreign ministers Penny Wong and Wang Yi -  as Biden makes a strategic blunder, the contest for influence in the Pacific Islands heats up

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The Chinese and Australian foreign ministers are arriving in the Pacific Islands today on separate missions to reinforce their influence in the region.

And, as US president Joe Biden announced the creation of an Asia-Pacific economic bloc to counter China’s dominance, China proposed to 10 Pacific Island countries that they enter into a cooperation agreement covering policing, security and data communications.

Continue reading "Wong & Wang hit Pacific as US bungles bloc" »


Biden must invite PNG into economic bloc

A top chrisCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE -It is hard not to become despondent when you see Pacific Islands nations left out of Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework – a 13 nation initiative designed to curb China’s influence in the region.

It seems the United States, and the West in general, have not learned from history.

Were open warfare to eventuate between China and Western powers, it is certain the Pacific Islands would become a major arena for combat.

Continue reading "Biden must invite PNG into economic bloc" »


Penny Wong's new deal for the Pacific

Wong
Australia's foreign minister Penny Wong - "We'll do more, we'll do it better, we'll listen"

NEWS DESK
| Radio New Zealand Pacific | Asia Pacific Report

AUCKLAND - Australia’s new foreign minister, Penny Wong, says the Labor government “will be a generous, respectful and reliable member of the Pacific family”.

In a message to the region, Wong set the tone for Australia’s renewed priorities for its island neighbours.

Continue reading "Penny Wong's new deal for the Pacific" »


New Asia-Pacific economic bloc excludes PNG

Bloc map korea
US president Joe Biden on Monday in front of a giant map of the Korean peninsula. If the goal is to stifle China, why overlook the Pacific Islands?

KEITH JACKSON

The omission of PNG and the Pacific Islands from the alliance is both a misguided decision and a missed opportunity

NOOSA – It’s a bold if obvious idea that crept onto the agenda while we in Australia were having a general election.

It’s also a flawed idea but, given its general air of contempt towards the Pacific Islands, I’m not surprised the Morrison government let it slide.

Continue reading "New Asia-Pacific economic bloc excludes PNG" »


Advice to a young, ambitious politician

Allan Bird
East Sepik Governor Allan Bird MP - "Behave in ways that best represent our values"

GOVERNOR ALLAN BIRD
| Academia Nomad

Good behaviour is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of great strength. Let the ballot box speak

WEWAK – I’ve seen a number of strong comments from young Sepiks and other coastal citizens in support of electing a coastal prime minister.

So let me share my observations on whether this outcome is possible and what it would take to achieve it.

Continue reading "Advice to a young, ambitious politician" »


The timely end of a dangerous government

Teal albo top
Anthony Albanese has to prove himself capable of sorting out the considerable mess that Scott Morrison has left behind

KEITH JACKSON

If Albanese exercises democracy and wisdom in the cabinet room, we will have the best government we can have - and nobody can hope for anything more than that

NOOSA - Yesterday’s man under pressure has survived to become today’s hero – and I’m going to explain why.

For many Australians, the Labor Party’s win in Saturday’s national election seemed an unlikely victory.

Throughout his period as opposition leader, Anthony (Albo) Albanese had sought to present a target so small that nobody could take clear aim at it.

Continue reading "The timely end of a dangerous government" »


Note to candidates: Avoid unwinnable seats

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Governor Gary Juffa - a formidable politician and not someone an inexperienced candidate would want to take on

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI - I once listened to a talk on a case study drawn from the Oro provincial election of 2017.

It dealt particularly with the challenges women face in elections.

Being from Oro, I listened with interest but was disappointed when I heard the findings, which were not a good reflection of Oro politics.

Continue reading "Note to candidates: Avoid unwinnable seats" »


Can Albanese end the great regression?

Albanese
Anthony Albanese - "A critical component of progress is engaging with people you don't agree with - everything else is the status quo"

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - The demise of Australia’s Morrison government hopefully spells the end of nine long years of inertia, incompetence and corruption.

The incoming Albanese government inherits a sea of troubles: unprecedented public cynicism about politics; a degraded Federal public service; an economy about to be smitten by inflation; mountainous debt and fragile asset bubbles; an incredibly destructive European war; and a Chinese economy teetering on the edge of disaster.

This is a grim outlook indeed.

Continue reading "Can Albanese end the great regression?" »


How Albanese could rewrite the script

Australian-parliament-house-canberra
Parliament House, Canberra

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Throughout April and May, John Menadue’s blog, Pearls & Irritations, published a series of expert essays on policies a new Australian government should adopt to improve its performance and effectivendess.

Here are synopses of each of these articles. Follow this link to read them in full.

Continue reading "How Albanese could rewrite the script" »


Governor Allan Bird’s narrative of success

Allan Bird
Allan Bird - "If you liked the job I did, give me the mandate to serve you another term"

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

The nomination speech of East Sepik Governor Alan Bird is a model for Papua New Guinea's politicians

WAIGANI – Papua New Guinea’s incumbent politicians are seeking re-election. Generally their campaigns feature one of two narratives.

The first narrative tells voters why the incumbent did not deliver services (for non-PNG readers, our politicians are enabled by law to provide services apart from their law-making duties).

Continue reading "Governor Allan Bird’s narrative of success" »


China lines up to support PNG’s late election

Election Scrutineers  national election 2017 (Johnny Blades  RNZ)
Scrutineers at the national election in 2017 (Johnny Blades RNZ)

KEITH JACKSON

Democracy was hijacked with the vote undermined by brazen electoral fraud and unprecedented violence and insecurity - PNG Election 2017

NOOSA – China is offering assistance to curb election violence in Papua New Guinea, according to a report in today’s The Australian newspaper.

The story by Ben Packham, the paper’s well-connected foreign affairs and defence correspondent, comes ahead of PNG’s five-yearly election starting on Friday 9 July and finishing on Wednesday 22 July after a two-week delay for reasons that are unclear.

Continue reading "China lines up to support PNG’s late election" »


The mess that is the Pacific workers scheme

AABUL RIZVI
| 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" »


Addressing the silence of Period Poverty

Manove - Marawaka airstrip
Unloading a plane at the remote Marawaka airstrip

PRISILLA MANOVE

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" »


Tok stret ia: Is PNG thoroughly corrupt?

A MPs wait to receive a foreign leader. How many are corrupt
Members of Parliament wait to greet a foreign leader. How many are corrupt?

MICHAEL KABUNI
|Academia Nomad

It’s not just a few people doing the wrong thing. It’s most people doing the wrong thing

WAIGANI - The average turnover of Papua New Guinea’s elected politicians is 50%; at each national election about half of the incumbents lose their seats. 

This is one of the highest rates in the world and has been the case without exception since the first post-independence election in 1977.

Continue reading "Tok stret ia: Is PNG thoroughly corrupt?" »


China v the West in great PNG electricity war

ElecRYAN MURDOCK
| 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" »