Belden Namah calls for apology from Biden

| Thanks to Academia Nomad

Namah Marape (One Papua New Guinea)
Belden Namah chastises James Marape for being too weak on Biden cannibal comments (One Papua New Guinea)

 PORT MORESBY - The chairman of Papua New Guinea’s parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, Belden Namah MP, has condemned utterances by United States president Joe Biden describing a situation in World War II when his uncle was ‘shot down and eaten by cannibals in New Guinea’.

“There is no such country called New Guinea in the Pacific,” Namah said. “But if President Biden was referring to Papua New Guinea, his utterances were unfounded, unacceptable and utterly disrespectful.

Continue reading "Belden Namah calls for apology from Biden" »

The edgy play that marks Anzac Day


Anzac_beach (naa)
Photograph from the National Archives of Australia

NOOSA - In 1958, Adelaide based writer Alan Seymour put the finishing touches on a major project, his play The One Day of the Year was at last finished.

The play was drawn from Seymour’s observations of the poor behaviour of Australia’s ex-servicemen on Anzac Day, which had been instituted in 2016 to mark the invasion of Turkey by Australian and New Zealand troops on 25 April 1915.

Continue reading "The edgy play that marks Anzac Day" »

Cannibals: US embassy won't apologise

| Academia Nomad

Image from YouTube

PORT MORESBY - Following President Joe Biden’s claims that his uncle Bosie was eaten by cannibals in Papua New Guinea, the US embassy in the national capital issued a statement without an apology.

Thousands of people in PNG had taken to social media calling for an apology but it looks like there won’t be one - and here’s why.

Continue reading "Cannibals: US embassy won't apologise" »

Fr Casimir Niezgoda SVD dies aged 90


Fr Dariusz Kaluza and Bishop
Bishop Dariusz Kaluza MSF and Fr Casimir Niezgoda SVD


BUKA - Bishop Dariusz Kaluza MSF  (the Catholic Missionaries of the Holy Family), who is based in Bougainville, conveyed the sad news of the death of Fr Casimir Niezgoda SVD in Kundiawa Hospital on Sunday afternoon.

“On Good Shepherd Sunday, God called his good shepherd from Papua New Guinea to eternal rest,” Bishop Kaluza said.

Continue reading "Fr Casimir Niezgoda SVD dies aged 90" »

'Magical thinking' threatens humanity


Roman Empire 117 AD
Map based on Penguin Atlas of Ancient History, Atlas of Past Times, DK Atlas of World History and also a Roman Empire expansion map at the University of Texas (Wikipedia)

ADELAIDE - While trying hard to be an objective historian, I find it hard to disagree that we are at some sort of hinge point in human history.

These seem to come along from time to time, always driven by the cumulative impact of many past decisions.

Continue reading "'Magical thinking' threatens humanity" »

Joe Biden's cannibal tale puzzles PNGns

| The Guardian | Extract


SYDNEY – President Joe Biden’s suggestion that his uncle may have been eaten by cannibals in Papua New Guinea during World War II has been met with a mixture of bemusement and criticism in the country.

Biden spoke about his uncle, Second Lieutenant Ambrose J Finnegan Jr, while campaigning in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, describing how ‘Uncle Bosie’ had flown single engine planes on reconnaissance flights during the war.

Continue reading "Joe Biden's cannibal tale puzzles PNGns" »

Joe Biden's cannibal tale puzzles PNGns

| The Guardian | Extract


SYDNEY – President Joe Biden’s suggestion that his uncle may have been eaten by cannibals in Papua New Guinea during World War II has been met with a mixture of bemusement and criticism in the country.

Biden spoke about his uncle, Second Lieutenant Ambrose J Finnegan Jr, while campaigning in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, describing how ‘Uncle Bosie’ had flown single engine planes on reconnaissance flights during the war.

Continue reading "Joe Biden's cannibal tale puzzles PNGns" »

Three aircraft give Samaritan a big leg up

| Samaritan Aviation Newsletter

Samaritan - Float planes at berth
Two of Samaritan Aviations' three float planes at their home berth on the Sepik River

WEWAK - Samaritan Aviation has grown from having just one pilot in Papua New Guinea back in 2010 to now having three pilots flying every day.

After we started flying we conducted 48 life flights that first year. With three working planes and three pilots we are breaking records by logging 342 flights.

Continue reading "Three aircraft give Samaritan a big leg up" »

Renewal of PNG Dictionary of Biography

| Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs


CANBERRA - A call for submissions to participate in the PNG Dictionary of Biography Project is now open.

The project is about documenting and celebrating the lives of Papua New Guinea’s nation builders and we are looking to identify a group of writers to collaborate and conduct historical research about significant and representative Papua New Guineans.

Continue reading "Renewal of PNG Dictionary of Biography" »

The racism that stalks Australian culture

| Pearls & Irritations

Henry Parkes
Dr Allan Patience writes that Australia's racist tradition was originally articulated by white supremacist Henry Parkes (Sir Henry Parkes Archives)

MELBOURNE - In 1890 Henry Parkes [who was premier of the colony of New South Wales] spoke of “the crimson thread of kinship running through us all.”

He believed this ‘crimson thread’ – evocative of blood – united all white people in the Australian colonies and bound them to Britain.

Continue reading "The racism that stalks Australian culture" »

We need writers to keep our pollies honest

| Academia Nomad

Joe Ketan (Linked In)Joe Ketan (Linked In)

PORT MORESBY - It is hard to keep track of politicians. We cannot hold them accountable for their actions if we do not know what they are doing – or not doing – with respect to their duties.

We have got to keep our politicians honest by keeping an eye on them at all times!

Continue reading "We need writers to keep our pollies honest" »

Message to readers contacting Attitude....

Yokomo Aviator
Ed Brumby and collaborators are working on a project to bring Yokomo back to the masses after 60 years (Illustration by John Lucas)

The emails with your poems, articles, commentaries and questions are arriving but I'm overseas and experiencing difficulties in responding. So to Stephanie (with a new poem), Ed (with an exciting Yokomo project), Jerry (preparing a major book for PNG's 50th anniversary next year), John, Kagua and others who have communicated with PNG Attitude there will be delays before I can respond to you.

UPDATE. All messages seem to be getting through and I'm able to respond via WhatsApp to readers using this channel. Email and some other channels still unavailable - KJ

PNG’s disappointing disaster response

| Academia Nomad

After the cyclone the flood
After the cyclone the flood (Generated with AI, 1 April 2024 0804 am)

PORT MORESBY – The history of disaster response in Papua New Guinea is fraught with delays, inefficiency and corruption.

Under the Public Finance Management Act, tendering processes are suspended when a disaster is declared to ensure the response is faster. And this opens the door to corruption. How?

Continue reading "PNG’s disappointing disaster response" »

Where Poltergeist meets Wall Street



Pacific Odyssey: The Curious Journey of Lew 2.0 by Chet Nairene, Banana Leaf Books, March 2024, paperback, 392 pages. ASIN‎ B0CYLXCGW7. Available here as ebook or paperback from Amazon Books

NOOSA – After five years of what he admits has been especially hard work, Chet Nairene (a nom de plume) has published his second novel, Pacific Odyssey - The Curious Journey of Lew 2.0, which I hope will soon be reviewed in PNG Attitude.

Chet tells me that Pacific Odyssey is “a quirky mashup, something like Poltergeist meets Wall Street in rural Asia.

Continue reading "Where Poltergeist meets Wall Street" »

Blending theory & practice to build PNG


Iso Yawi
"The integration of industry and academic experience is essential for driving progress and development"  -  Iso Yawi


LAE – Next Friday - 5 April - marks a significant day for the Papua New Guinea University of Technology, which hosts its 56th graduation ceremony.

With the theme, ‘Impacting livelihood through the advancement of science and technology’, this event underscores the crucial role of education and innovation in shaping the future of our nation.

Continue reading "Blending theory & practice to build PNG" »

Photos that speak more than 1,000 words


Gregory Bateson,1938
 Anthropologist husband-and-wife team Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson working in their home near the Sepik River where they studied the Iatmul people (Gregory Bateson, 1938)

NOOSA - I’m pleased to be a member of the Oceanic Art Society, a small and energetic organisation that provides continuing focus on and support for the visual arts in the Pacific Islands region, including an excellent lecture series.

The first OAS lecture for 2024 is being held in Sydney next month and features emerging scholar Enzo Hamel, a PhD student at the Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich (UK).

Continue reading "Photos that speak more than 1,000 words" »

Gold refinery proposal doesn’t add up

| Governor, East Sepik Province

Generated with AI (22 March 2024  7.49 am)
The gold refinery of our dreams (Generated with AI, 22 March 2024, 7.49 am)

WEWAK - The Marape government’s proposed legislation to establish a gold refinery in Papua New Guinea seems to be another cargo cult endeavour that will bring little or no value for money for our country.

The proponents have zero experience in refineries or gold bullion and they don't understand the refinery business or business in general.

Continue reading "Gold refinery proposal doesn’t add up" »

Instability all round in Australia’s near north


James Marape
Prime Minister James Marape - looks good for now but feelings are he will be deposed before the year is out (Rhiannon Johannes, DFAT)

HOBART - The past several months has seen an escalation of violence in Papua New Guinea, Australia’s nearest neighbour.

Given the recent developments, prime minister James Marape’s hold on power looks tenuous, and we may soon see a change in leadership.

Continue reading "Instability all round in Australia’s near north" »

Tok Pisin: World’s most beautiful language

| Nesia Daily

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea is considered the most linguistically diverse place on earth and according to a published study its national language takes the crown as the most beautiful.

Surpassing famed love languages like Italian and Spanish, the research published in the Journal of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences showed Tok Pisin was the highest-rated.

Continue reading "Tok Pisin: World’s most beautiful language" »

No matter what, I’ll always be a Blue Angel

| Academia Nomad

Anthony Wagambie Jr

Anthony Wagambie Jnr is well known as a corruption fighter and one of the most respected police officers in Papua New Guinea.  Following the 10 January riots he was one of a number of senior police officers who were demoted and transferred, in his case from the Port Moresby to Bougainville as Deputy Commander.  There was an immediate wave of support for Wagambie throughout the country.  In response Wagambie wrote this reflection on his commitment to policing....


BUKA - I grew up as a son of a police officer. I am the first born son of Anthony Wagambie Snr. He was then an Inspector of Police based in Lae and my mum, Mrs Elizabeth Wagambie nee Saun was a paediatric nurse at Angau Hospital.

Continue reading "No matter what, I’ll always be a Blue Angel" »

New BCL chiefs to redevelop Panguna


David Osikore
New CEO of Bougainville Copper, David Osikore, has worked for more than 30 years in the PNG and Australian mining industries 

BUKA - Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) has announced the appointments of David Osikore as managing director and chief executive officer and Johnny Patterson Auna as chief financial officer and company secretary.

The appointments follow significant progress made by BCL over the past five months as it prepares to transition from a caretaker mode to a more operational exploration phase.

Continue reading "New BCL chiefs to redevelop Panguna" »

Death threats against alternate PM Bird

| Facebook | Academia Nomad

Allan Bird
The police hierarchy warn possible prime minister Allan Bird of death threats even as they move his trusted police commander to a distant post (Facebook)

Allan Bird has been nominated to succeed prime minister James Marape in a forthcoming vote of no confidence

WEWAK - Am I desperate to be prime minister of Papua New Guinea? Short answer is no. But someone needs to step up and seriously address the issues which are destroying our country. Those problems will not fix themselves.

Since my nomination, I have been advised by a deputy police commissioner that my life is under threat and the police are monitoring the situation.

Continue reading "Death threats against alternate PM Bird" »

Christianity is destroying God's cultures


Baptism (Generated with AI by Bing Copilot  9 March 2024)
The Baptism of Howa and Tagali (Generated with AI by Bing Copilot,  9 March 2024)


PORT MORESBY - Brothers Howa Matiabe, five, and Tagali Matiabe, four, were two neighbourhood friends of my children.

Most days they were part of a large group of boys who would play in our banana patch or under the house.

Continue reading "Christianity is destroying God's cultures" »

Death of Aitape’s last Franciscan bishop

| Facebook | Thanks to Rob Parer

Gone from our midst
All now gone from our midst: Bishop Austen Crapp OFM CBE,  Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, Bishop Tony Burgess (Gianni Gattei)

AITAPE - I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Bishop Austen Crapp OFM at Sydney Royal Hospital yesterday at 5 am, a day after his 90th birthday.

An era has ended with Bishop Crapp's death, for this great man was the last  missionary priest of the Franciscan Diocese of Aitape. He had served our people as parish priest and bishop for more than 40 years.

Continue reading "Death of Aitape’s last Franciscan bishop" »

Poor opposition tactics let Marape off hook

| Academia Nomad

John Rosso (PNG Blogs)
John Rosso - well poised to become PNG's next prime minister as James Marape miscalculates and Opposition fails to strengthen its ranks (PNG Blogs)

PORT MORESBY - Let’s be honest. If there was a vote of no confidence in February 2024, prime minister James Marape would have defeated it.

Governments in PNG are usually destabilised from within - not without.

Leading up to the vote of no confidence, the numbers in the senior coalition partner, Pangu Pati, actually grew. So did coalition numbers overall.

Continue reading "Poor opposition tactics let Marape off hook" »

Back then, bows & arrows quite enough


Taverner bookBarry in PNG's uplands - the cover of his 2014 book

ADELAIDE - In March of 1970 I was sent by Dave Schupp, Assistant District Commissioner, Wabag, to try to stop a war between the Ambulin and the Wabulin clans whilst ensuring that I did not get killed myself.

I was shot at numerous times during that rather fateful day but not by men with guns, they had bows and arrows.

Continue reading "Back then, bows & arrows quite enough" »

Medical patrols, rain & a broken airplane

| Samaritan Aviation

SA Mark & Nick fix the plane

MESA, ARIZONA, USA - On my recent trip to Papua New Guinea, I found myself pulling alongside the dock in Kapuna in our seaplane to begin our first-ever medical patrol in the Gulf Province.

This side of the island has never had a medical service like Samaritan Aviation and we will be bringing long-overdue hope and access to this part of the country.

Continue reading "Medical patrols, rain & a broken airplane" »

Angel Mother


Angel mother

Who can love me more than her?
Whose heart is of purest diamond
Whose love for me is too good
Whose love is second to God's
Oh my angel mother
You leave me speechless

Who can measure your gentle patience?
You are resilient and composed when handling crisis
You persevere in the face of extreme difficulty
You believe in me unceasingly
Oh my angel mother
You are sweeter than honey

Continue reading "Angel Mother " »

Keith out of hospital today

BRISBANE - On this day of tragedy for PNG, Keith was discharged from Wesley Hospital this afternoon.  Keith asked readers to be told that his eighth spinal surgery has been a complete success but that he is distressed by the extent of the killings in Enga.  “This one can be laid at the feet of the politicians, “ he said. 

Liklik tok save

I'm in hospital in Brisbane for further surgery on my spine - operation number eight, which I am told is a lucky number.  PNG Attitude has been ailing for some time now but manages a presence. I'm aware of the blog's continuing importance both for the great reservoir of information it has stored over 18 years and also for its useful function as a place where people can regain contacts long lost.  You needn't expect more much from me in this space until near the end of the month. Bai mi lukim yu - KJ

Bird quits govt to ‘preserve my dignity’

| Thanks to Academia Nomad

Marape's K340 000 wrist watch
Timely reminder to the Australian people about where their aid money goes: PNG prime minister James Marape addresses the Australian parliament this week sporting a K340,000 ($US90,000) Audemarc Piguet wristwatch

WEWAK - I will not be the lookout, standing guard while the riches of Papua New Guinea are plundered. My conscience will not allow it.

I remained in government hoping that this government would solve our cost of living crisis, our power crisis, our FX [foreign exchange] crisis, our law and order crisis and our employment crisis.


Continue reading "Bird quits govt to ‘preserve my dignity’" »

Miss Pacific Pageant is skewed to PNG

| Academia Nomad

Miss Pacific Islands contestants turn up at lotu
Miss Pacific Islands contestants turn up at lotu. With one million social media users, PNG should be a shoo-in for the People's Choice

PORT MORESBY - The Miss Pacific Islands Pageant is underway.  But the dynamics, particularly the People’s Choice Award, appear to be lopsided.

That is, despite the title, the People’s Choice seems to favour Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Miss Pacific Pageant is skewed to PNG" »

Allegations that MP seeks to bribe opponents


Village in Aoke-Langalanga electorate  Malaita
Village in Aoke-Langalanga electorate, Malaita

MALAITA, SOLOMONS – An official in the office of the Deputy Provincial Secretary of Malaita Province has expressed great concern to me that an announced candidate for the 2024 Solomons election, Mathew Wala MP, is trying to force other highly ranked candidates not to stand for election.

Wala has announced he will contest the seat of Aoke-Langalanga and last month he invited other prospective candidates David Filia, Vincent Anisi and David Faradalolo to a meeting.

Continue reading "Allegations that MP seeks to bribe opponents" »

BCL granted five-year exploration extension

| Bougainville Copper Limited

Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama and BCL chairman Sir Melchior Tomot (centre) hold the ELO1 exploration licence extension in the presence of government and company officials

BUKA - Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) yesterday confirmed that the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) has taken a decision to award a five-year extension of the company’s exploration licence for the Panguna project in Central Bougainville.

At a ceremony in Buka to mark the granting of the extension, Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama said Panguna was a high impact project for Bougainville and that the licence would pave the way for redevelopment of the mine.

Continue reading "BCL granted five-year exploration extension" »

Taloi Havini wins major Artes Mundi prize

| Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Taloi Havini
Taloi Havini (ABC)

BRISBANE - Brisbane-based artist Taloi Havini, originally from Buka Island in Bougainville, has won one of the UK's most important contemporary arts awards.

For her work, an ongoing exploration into the legacy of resource extraction and Australia’s fraught relationship in the Pacific, Havini collected the £40,000 (K190,000) prize at a ceremony last week in Cardiff, Wales, the home of the Artes Mundi prize.

Continue reading "Taloi Havini wins major Artes Mundi prize" »

What does it take to remove a prime minister?

| Academia Nomad

PORT MORESBY - I’ve had readers asking me to write about the steps involved in removing a prime minister in a vote of no confidence.

Instead of writing a new article, I’m reposting a blog I wrote for Australian National University’s DevPolicy Blog in 2020. It details steps involved in removing an incumbent prime minister.

Continue reading "What does it take to remove a prime minister?" »

Introducing the flammable politics of Noosa


Projection is a psychological phenomenon where feelings directed towards the self are displaced outwards towards others

NOOSA - As the Campaign for Noosa takes on the uneasy rhythm of all early political campaigns, my thoughts drift back to my first inklings that this seemingly laid-back seaside resort had Politics. So I dug out a five year old piece I wrote on Noosa Politics and blew off the dust before adding some contemporaneous notes.  Reader alert, at 2,000 words it’s quite a long read….


This morning at a ridiculously early hour (OK, it was seven o’clock), I was interviewed by Tess Connery for the 2SER-FM Sydney breakfast show, a meal that now passes me by.  Tess had called upon me to reminisce about the first day of 2SER, which had begun broadcasting on 1 October 1979.

Continue reading "Introducing the flammable politics of Noosa" »

'Kaunsela Meri' i sanap gen lo eleksin


NOOSA – Many of my PNG Attitude friends, especially those who have met my wife, Ingrid, will be interested to learn of the next step she has decided to take in her association with Noosa.

In 2016, Ingrid was elected as a Councillor – the only woman amongst the seven members, a fact which turned out to be of some importance.

Continue reading "'Kaunsela Meri' i sanap gen lo eleksin" »

Is Marape headed for a no confidence vote?

| Academia Nomad

A parliament in session Generated by AI  27 January 2024)
Parliament: where no confidence votes take place
(Fantasy illustration generated by Bing AI, 27 January 2024)

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea's long-serving senior minister Kerenga Kua yesterday announced his resignation from the Marape Coalition.

Since then people have been asking me whether this means there will be a vote of no confidence in prime minister James Marape.

Continue reading "Is Marape headed for a no confidence vote?" »