Government & politics Feed

The colony Australia tries to forget

Hoisting the British flag at Port Moresby
Hoisting the British flag at Port Moresby, 1888

| Pearls & Irritations

MELBOURNE - Australia’s ham-handed history of colonialism, in what today is the independent state of Papua New Guinea, began in 1883 when Queensland pre-emptively annexed the southeastern corner (Papua) of the great island of New Guinea in the name of the British Crown. (The British were not amused).

Late in the nineteenth century, the Australian colonies were fearful that Germany (Britain’s rival) was about to colonise the entirety of eastern New Guinea, posing (so they imagined) a threat to Queensland’s northern reaches.

Continue reading "The colony Australia tries to forget" »

Women in politics: Dare to challenge

Ingrid Jackson
Ingrid Jackson on women in politics: "Stay true to your values. Be accessible to the community. Muster your courage. Remain gracious and empathetic"


NOOSA - At an International Women’s Day luncheon in Noosa last month, I spoke along with seven other women on the topic of ‘Dare to Challenge’, drawing on my recent experiences as the only woman councillor on the Noosa Council in south-east Queensland.

Newly elected in 2016 after a long career as a manager and consultant, I had expectations of a pleasant experience in local government and felt well prepared for the role.

Continue reading "Women in politics: Dare to challenge" »

Forget political parity, put women in charge

PNG Parliament House
The PNG parliament - 111 seats and exactly zero women


TUMBY BAY - Those men in Australia’s ruling Liberal-National coalition are currently recoiling at the idea of introducing quotas that would equalise the number of elected women with elected men.

It is reminiscent of the reaction of male politicians in the Papua New Guinea parliament to the same idea a couple of times in the past: full of warm words and frozen action.

Continue reading "Forget political parity, put women in charge" »

The death of Somare & the descent of PNG

Early leaders
Kavali, Somare, Chan and Guise in 1973 - independence leaders whose idealism was compromised by the realities and opportunities of government

| John Menadue’s Pearls & Irritations

Published as 'On the death of PNG’s first MP, Sir Michael Somare'

MELBOURNE - The death of Sir Michael Somare, first prime minister of Papua New Guinea, has occasioned an outpouring of national grief and heartfelt obituaries for ‘the Father of the Nation’, ‘the Chief’.

That he was, and remains, widely respected, even loved, across the country is beyond dispute.

Continue reading "The death of Somare & the descent of PNG" »

Dealing with violence against women in politics

Women (VictoriaSmith)REPORT
| National Democratic Institute | Extract

Link here to the full report

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organisation that since its founding in 1983 has worked with local partners to support and strengthen democratic institutions and practices and promote citizen participation in government

WASHINGTON - Women are historically underrepresented in politics in the Pacific Islands; Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands are no exception.

At the same time, women in all three countries experience shocking levels of violence, in the home and in public.

Continue reading "Dealing with violence against women in politics" »

The mythologising of Michael Somare


TUMBY BAY - It’s ironic that in his death Michael Somare seems to have united Papua New Guinea in a way that he could never achieve while he was alive.

Some of this is owed to the cult of the haus krai but more is owed to the nation’s overwhelming need for a universal hero who can be celebrated across all language and tribal groups.

Continue reading "The mythologising of Michael Somare" »

The hair-trigger path to independence

Papua Besena membership card - the Papuan separatist group under the strong leadership of Josephine Abaijah was a destabilising influence leading to independence


TUMBY BAY - In the end, Papua New Guinea’s peaceful transition to independence turned out to be a case of the right people coming together at the right time.

On the Australian side was the Liberal Party’s external territories minister Andrew Peacock, who remained committed to independence even after his party was defeated at a general election in 1972.

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Thoughts on nominating for election

Jackson Kiakari
Jackson Kiakari, his son Kyle and supporters - on the way to nominate Jackson for election


PORT MORESBY - It rained intermittently in Port Moresby on Thursday.

No music played, no horns blared, no rowdy exchanges. It was a sombre day.

And this was the day I entered the political arena by nominating as a candidate for the Port Moresby North-West by-election.

Continue reading "Thoughts on nominating for election" »

Ex chief justice stands for Moresby election

Sir Arnold Amet
Sir Arnold Amet - former chief justice and then attorney-general seeks to revive his political career at 68


NOOSA - The Allegiance Party, established by Papua New Guinean justice minister Bryan Kramer MP, has endorsed Sir Arnold Amet as its candidate in the forthcoming by-election for Moresby North West.

The by-election was triggered by the death of former prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta last December.

Continue reading "Ex chief justice stands for Moresby election" »

Madang women seek to contribute to economy

Madang province women
Women of Madang Province


MADANG – A women’s group from Ward 6 in the Ambenob area have become the first women group to formally seek answers from the district’s ward development office.

It took hard work and commitment for the group to prepare a formal document requesting assistance from the Madang District Development Authority.

Continue reading "Madang women seek to contribute to economy" »

Marape’s fine balance of ministerial numbers

James Marape - only thing known for sure is that the political numbers game will continue

| Asia & the Pacific Policy Society

CANBERRA - Papua New Guinea politics is not a game for the faint-hearted.

On 14 December 2020, parliamentary speaker Job Pomat hijacked proceedings and forced an adjournment to 16 December so that the court could determine the status of an opposition member of parliament.

Continue reading "Marape’s fine balance of ministerial numbers" »

Mr Marape & the tenacity of PNG writers

Edited by Keith Jackson

“To all my children across our beautiful and blessed country, have hope and faith that you too can make it in life and make use of your time and talents by working hard wherever God has placed you in our diverse and blessed land of PNG” – James Marape, ‘Advice for young people: You’re here for a purpose’


WABAG - You know prime minister, your words are gold for children of this country. Your direct message can impact their lives at an early age.

Your words can get them off Facebook and get them into a library full of books.

Continue reading "Mr Marape & the tenacity of PNG writers" »

Bougainville: Was the regional election fair?

Michael_Kabuni top
Michael Kabuni - asks how Bougainville electoral processes, so capable in the referendum of 2019, could be so questionable in last month’s regional election


| Academia Nomad | Edited

WAIGANI - Let’s begin with a quick summary of what this article is about.

Llane Munau last month was the lone female candidate contesting Bougainville’s regional election for a seat in Papua New Guinea’s national parliament.

Continue reading "Bougainville: Was the regional election fair?" »

Bougainville women ask ‘where is our vote?’

Munau - Llane Manu
Llane Munau - Sought to become the first Bougainville woman to sit in PNG's national parliament

| Academia Nomad | Edited

WAIGANI - The Bougainville Regional seat represents the people of Bougainville in the Papua New Guinea parliament.

It was left vacant when the incumbent resigned to contest the Bougainville presidential election in 2019, making a by-election necessary.

Continue reading "Bougainville women ask ‘where is our vote?’" »

Advice for young people: You’re here for a purpose


PORT MORESBY - This picture, circulated on Facebook recently, drew my attention compelled me to tell you of my experiences. Because if I can make it, you can too.

To all Papua New Guinean children, let me tell you my story. My own children know my story very well and know the reason why I am very strict with them so they understand they will need to work to earn a living and that nothing in life is given to them for free.

Continue reading "Advice for young people: You’re here for a purpose" »

Was Cannings’ Madang decision judicial overreach?

Bal Kama
Dr Bal Kama clarifies the unusual role accorded to PNG judges by the national Constitution

| Your Daily Press | Edited

CANBERRA - There are concerns about Justice David Cannings’ orders late last week for the Madang Provincial Administration and Madang District Development Authority to fix the roads in Madang.

Many say Cannings overstepped his role as a judge. But is that so? Arguably, the brief answer is ‘no’, based on the Papua New Guinea Constitution.

Continue reading "Was Cannings’ Madang decision judicial overreach?" »

Old leaders must encourage young leaders

Young-leadersROBERT IKI LESO
| North-West By-Election 2021 | Edited

From Thomson Honga's Facebook page, which he describes as a “media platform designed to provide critical North-West by-election information and discuss development issues for the people of the North-West Electorate”, the seat formerly occupied by the late and greatly admired leader, Sir Mekere Morauta

ENGA - You can have lots of titles and positions but if you do not raise young leaders to take over, you could be something else and not the leader you claim.

Such people are puffed up with ego and pride. They are always insecure, sensitive and uncomfortable to share experiences, skills, talents and knowledge with the novices and younger generation.

Continue reading "Old leaders must encourage young leaders" »

My focus: meeting the demands of the future

James Marape_Haus_Lotu
James Marape

| Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea

PORT MORESBY – In the future the world will look for these five products: food (organic food from the land and fresh marine and river food); clean water; fresh air; new plant based medicines; and cleaner and cheaper energy.

These are everyday needs that everybody needs. And we have them all in total abundance here in Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "My focus: meeting the demands of the future" »

Our people must truly Take Back PNG

| My Land, My Country

Open letter to prime minister James Marape

Dear Prime Minister - Our government has to admit the fact that there is a glaring imbalance between Papua New Guinean and foreign ownership of businesses. We own very little in our country.

Retail, wholesale and real estate in our towns and cities are controlled by Chinese interests.

Continue reading "Our people must truly Take Back PNG" »

Marape: We have reconciled and they are back

James Marape_Haus_Lotu
James Marape - "Our country needs stability, not instability. Put your country ahead of yourself"


PORT MORESBY - I am not a righteous person, so don’t praise me or another human for we all live by Him, the Great Almighty Jehovah God who created us.

Romans 8:28 has always been my mojo when the going gets tough:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Continue reading "Marape: We have reconciled and they are back" »

At curtainfall, Marape took the applause

James Marape and Sam Basil
James Marape and Sam Basil. "It is a bold and a confident man who will put a limit to the strange by-oaths into which the human spirit may wander" (Arthur Conan Doyle)


NOOSA – Even as late as yesterday morning, before the Papua New Guinea parliament had re-assembled, it seemed prime minister James Marape would struggle to hold on to his job.

Not that the numbers weren’t tight; they were very close Just a couple of votes in it.

But the Namah-O’Neill-Basil-Pruaitch group spearheading the opposition seemed to have the edge.

Continue reading "At curtainfall, Marape took the applause" »

Marape fights back on eve of vote to topple him

James Marape flagJAMES MARAPE MP

BREAKING - The ABC’s Natalie Whiting has just reported from Port Moresby that it looks very much like James Marape will prevail as PNG prime minister as numerous defectors return to government ranks pending a vote of no confidence - KJ

PORT MORESBY - This fight is not just for 2020 or 2021 or 2022, but for the next generation of Papua New Guineans to believe in themselves so they can be better off in their own land - not just a few who belong to the ruling class and status quo of Waigani.

Today, driving out from Lloata and seeing Central Province people coming out in support of us at Bautama all the way to Six Mile, where residents turned up along the road with fliers and banners, is an experience that makes you want to fight more for your country’s inheritance.

Continue reading "Marape fights back on eve of vote to topple him" »

It’s not about politicians, it’s about the people


TUMBY BAY - When did politicians start putting themselves first instead of us?

When did politicians start acting like rock stars and movie stars instead of acting like representatives of the people?

When did political spin take over from political reality?

Continue reading "It’s not about politicians, it’s about the people" »

PNG swings in breeze; tight election for PM

Bari Palma
Bari Palma MP - late yesterday court discharged him from bankruptcy. Now he gets to vote for Pruaitch


NOOSA – The question of who will govern Papua New Guinea until the next election in 2022 lies in the balance this morning as the numbers in both political grouping show a paper thin margin.

When parliament met yesterday there were 109 of the 111 members present and it seemed they were split 55-54 in favour of the opposition.

Continue reading "PNG swings in breeze; tight election for PM" »

Marape calls for community restraint

James Marape, Ian Ling-Stuckey, Bryan Kramer & other key supporters - "Let us not attack fundamental institutions of our democracy"


NOOSA – Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape has pleaded on Facebook for people not believe toxic rumours circulating in the community as the fight for the leadership of PNG continues.

“Facebook or public conversation forums are no place for allegations of crime or wrong doings,” Marape said, referring to unsubstantiated text messages purporting to be communications between some lawyers and politicians.

Continue reading "Marape calls for community restraint" »

PNG leaders, you have the clearest choice


SONOMA - The current saga about the opposition’s attempted hijacking of parliament and the subsequent legal battles portray a gloomy picture of the nation’s political landscape.

But behind the two forces battling in the corridors of power are the powerful economic ideologies that each group represents.

Continue reading "PNG leaders, you have the clearest choice" »

I won’t resign; bring on challenge: Marape

PNG prime minister James Marape - "I am not going to resign. There are no grounds for that."


PORT MORESBY - Good day Papua New Guineans and all who have interest in what is happening in Papua New Guinea.

Today our supreme court made its ruling on the matter filed by Hon Peter O’Neill and I appeal to our citizens to respect the ruling of our country’s highest court.

Continue reading "I won’t resign; bring on challenge: Marape " »

Sam Basil referred to leadership tribunal

Sam Basil
Former deputy prime minister Sam Basil claims without evidence that prime minister James Marape conspired with the ombudsman commission to have him investigated.

| Kramer Report

PORT MORESBY - Last Tuesday, Papua New Guinea’s ombudsman commission issued a press statement that it had referred former deputy prime minister and national planning minister Sam Basil to the public prosecutor for alleged misconduct in office.

The leadership watchdog said it had conducted an investigation from a complaint lodged in 2016 and, based on the findings of the investigation, gave Basil the opportunity to respond.

Continue reading "Sam Basil referred to leadership tribunal" »

Namah case a 'waste of money & court time'

Kramer - waste of money
Opposition leader Belden Namah - lost a bid to overturn James Marape's prime ministership

| The Kramer Report

PORT MORESBY – Last Friday, a bench of five judges of Papua New Guinea’s supreme court handed down a unanimous decision dismissing opposition leader Belden Namah’s challenge to the election of James Marape as prime minister on 30 May 2019.

Namah claimed Marape’s election was unconstitutional because the speaker failed to comply with section 114 of the constitution and section 7A of the parliamentary standing orders.

Continue reading "Namah case a 'waste of money & court time'" »

The 12 reasons I prefer Marape to O’Neill

Marape Oneill
Are we about to see a second face-off between James Marape and Peter O'Neill?

| PNG News | Edited

PORT MORESBY – Why are so many people supporting prime minister James Marape?

It’s because he has revolutionary ideas that will propel this country into economic independence in years to come.

Let me highlight some achievements so far.

Continue reading "The 12 reasons I prefer Marape to O’Neill" »

Marape responds to Pruaitch’s departure

James Marape - "Every MP is entitled to his freedom of opinion and choices"

| Facebook

PORT MORESBY - From the press I receive news of Hon Patrick Pruiatch’s resignation from my cabinet.

May I acknowledge the strong leadership he offered over the time he served with me in the 18 months we were together.

I thank him, his family and his people of Aitape Lumi for his support of me.

Continue reading "Marape responds to Pruaitch’s departure" »

Law-makers need to understand their role

PNG's parliament. "Elections are not simply about voting people to parliament to deliver goods and services," writes Patrick Kaiku. "Elected representatives are law-makers"


WAIGANI - The events that transpired on the floor of Papua New Guinea’s parliament on Friday 13 November again exposed the deep-seated defects in our politics.

These defects have little to do with the constitution and the system of government.

The instability in PNG’s parliament is behavioural, not institutional.

Continue reading "Law-makers need to understand their role" »

Explainer: Political crisis heads to the courts

James Marape
James Marape. The global coronavirus pandemic has deepened PNG's economic woes (Ekarvilla Keapu)

| Australian Broadcasting Corporation
| PNG Correspondents

PORT MORESBY - A week ago, it looked like Papua New Guinea's prime minister was about to lose his job after a mass revolt — but in a surprise twist, he managed to take control of parliament and suspend it for five months.

A week is a long time in politics, especially in Papua New Guinea. But things are not over yet.

Continue reading "Explainer: Political crisis heads to the courts" »

My work goes on; the judiciary will decide

James Marape - "I am doing my best in one of the toughest times of our nation’s history"

| Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea | Edited

PORT MORESBY - Our country is built on democratic foundations that no politician must break. Our parliament, our executive and our judiciary are three separate arms of governance that operate within its legal mandate, processes and procedures.

What happened on Friday 13 November 2020, in haste and lust for power, broke section 2(1)(a) of the organic law on calling of meetings of parliament.

Continue reading "My work goes on; the judiciary will decide" »

We are marching to a better future

Gary Juffa - "I am seeing a more intelligent and brilliant young generation rising up"

| Governor of Oro Province

PORT MORESBY - I have to marvel at what seems to be an amazing phenomenon taking shape largely due to the internet and the rapidly evolving technology that makes global education possible almost instantaneously.

People are learning, becoming wiser and more careful about their choices.

Not fast enough, but for sure. It gives me much hope for our country.

Continue reading "We are marching to a better future" »

Is the 2021 budget legal?

| The Kramer Report | Edited

PORT MORESBY - During the sitting of parliament on Tuesday 17 November, the Marape government tabled and passed the K19.6 billion 2021 budget.

Unlike the usual convention where the treasurer presents the budget and parliament is adjourned for a week to allow the opposition to reply, the 2021 budget was tabled and passed on the same day.

Continue reading "Is the 2021 budget legal?" »

I was there in parliament, let me explain

Gary Juffa - "I remained with Marape. There were not enough compelling reasons to change the government"

| Governor of Oro Province

PORT MORESBY - We the elected officials of Papua New Guinea owe it to our people to explain our decisions in parliament where we are mandated to speak for the people and on behalf of their interests.

This is our fundamental responsibility, along with making laws.

Continue reading "I was there in parliament, let me explain" »

Marape stands firm amid political crisis

Sam Basil (Johnny Blades)
Sam Basil - the deputy prime minister, known for setting loyalty aside to seize the main chance, flipped once too often last Friday, and flopped (Photo - Johnny Blades)

| Radio New Zealand

AUCKLAND - Papua New Guinea's prime minister has urged the public to not get caught up in the country's political crisis which has ended up in the courts.

Marape's government appears to have staved off a vote of no confidence by quickly passing the budget on Tuesday and adjourning parliament to April.

Continue reading "Marape stands firm amid political crisis" »

Clever footwork saves the day for Marape

Empty opposition benches
Empty opposition benches tell the story of a terrible political miscalculation


NOOSA - Contrary to what Belden Namah’s opposition planned when it rushed to  remote Vanimo to plot the downfall of prime minister Marape last Friday, its failure to grasp the nuances of parliamentary procedure were disastrous.

The opposition and defectors sat stranded in Vanimo unaware that Papua New Guinea’s parliament had not been effectively adjourned.

So when parliament resumed yesterday under Marape's control, it passed the budget and adjourned to 20 April next year - five months away - with the opposition benches largely vacant.

Continue reading "Clever footwork saves the day for Marape" »

Marape: 'I'm in control & won't bow to greed’

James Marape - "I’m surrounded by a group of leaders who want to do the right thing for the country"

| FM100 | PNG Post-Courier | Edited

AUCKLAND - Prime Minister James Marape says his executive is still in control for the next three weeks for doing state business, passing the budget and to serve the people of Papua New Guinea.

In spite of the defection by rebel members of his majority last Friday and a vote to suspend parliament until next month, Speaker Job Pomat says the motion by opposition leader Belden Namah is “not right”, reports FM100 News.

Continue reading "Marape: 'I'm in control & won't bow to greed’" »

Fierce words from Marape to ‘political scumbag’

James Marape - "A Huli doesn’t surrender in a fight, you have to kill me on the battlefield and I will die with dignity"


NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape has arisen with fire in his belly this Monday morning.

A short time ago he issued a short and pugnacious Facebook message to members of parliament who are plotting to overthrow his government.

The plotters are reportedly led by former prime minister Peter O’Neill and his former deputy Belden Namah.

Continue reading "Fierce words from Marape to ‘political scumbag’" »

What James Marape wrote to the people….

Marape_Haus_LotuJAMES MARAPE

PORT MORESBY - As Sabbath descends, I am at peace.

All things happen for a reason in its season. To all the people of Papua New Guinea, don’t be uptight of what happened today when some of my colleagues decided to leave my government.

They are elected leaders, what they did today is within their rights so I ask our people to respect the work of our parliamentary democracy.

Continue reading "What James Marape wrote to the people…." »

Marape intends to clean out the house

James Marape


NOOSA – It became clear yesterday that prime minister James Marape was not going to easily relinquish his office, nor Papua New Guinea’s government, to the Belden-O’Neill syndicate which had been conspiring for some months to seize the reins and the treasury.

In a telling revelation on his Kramer Report blog, police minister Bryan Kramer stated:

“Behind the scenes, I have been tracking the likes of Sam Basil, William Duma, Charles Abel, Sir Puka Temu, Sir Julius Chan, Paias Wingti and Chris Haiveta, expecting them to make a play for a change of prime minister.

“I was very much aware that Basil was in secret talks with O’Neill and Namah, who were so desperate to change government they would mislead Basil into crossing the floor. Basil believes he will be the next prime minister, so does Sir Julius Chan and O’Neill.”

Continue reading "Marape intends to clean out the house" »

Marape’s resolute & patriotic stand


PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s prime minister, James Marape, consolidated his political capital with 52 MPs and urged calm to Papua New Guineans, the business community, international friends, supporters and political observers in a press conference on Friday.

He warned against corporate lobbyism by mineral resource developers peddling money bags as part of their questionable pursuits. You can link here to his full press conference.

I want to tell you what we, most Papua New Guineans, know and feel.

Continue reading "Marape’s resolute & patriotic stand" »

Kramer says Marape can fend off Namah/O’Neill play

Kramer says James Marape has great public support that will only build over time because the people of Papua New Guinea are sick of corruption, self-interest and greed (Kramer Report)

| Kramer Report

PORT MORESBY – On Friday, deputy prime minister Sam Basil and 12 other ministers in Papua New Guinea’s government crossed the floor to support former prime minister Peter O’Neill and opposition leader Belden Namah’s bid to move a vote of no confidence against prime minister James Marape.

A total of 41 members from the government side crossed to join Namah and O’Neill and provide them the 57 votes required (majority is 56) to take control of parliamentary business and change the Permanent Parliament Committee members to ensure their planned notice of a no confidence vote makes its way to the floor of parliament.

Continue reading "Kramer says Marape can fend off Namah/O’Neill play" »

So PNG, can you find the man you need?


NOOSA – Rumour transitioned into reality yesterday when the Papua New Guinea opposition under Belden Namah seemed to have mustered enough MPs to command the Haus Tambaran.

A procedural vote showed the opposition with a bare majority of 57 members of parliament – but enough to squeeze prime minister Marape out of office.

Continue reading "So PNG, can you find the man you need?" »

PNG chaos as Marape losing grip on power

Namah marape
Belden Namah (left) seems to have wrecked James Marape's leadership in a massive movement of MPs against his leadership



In a parliamentary vote today on a non-substantive matter, 57 Opposition members voted together (56 being a majority) while 39 voted with PM Marape although he claims to have 52 who support him. 

NOOSA – Papua New Guinea once again stands on the edge of massive political upheaval as a huge number of ministers and other politicians have indicated they will cross the floor in a vote of no confidence in James Marape.

The nine minister expected to defect from the government to join the Belden Namah led putsch include Basil, Pruaitch, Thatchenko and Parkop.

Other prominent politicians who say they will do the same include Juffa, Tom, Bird, Kramer, Wingti, Davis, Wong, Duma and Kuman.

Continue reading "PNG chaos as Marape losing grip on power" »