The Daily Mirror (Sydney) 11 March 1954. The White Australia Policy officially ended in 1958
NOOSA – To augment and provide some formal legal underpinnings for Stefan Armbruster’s fine article on the sad case of Troyrone (Troy) Zen Lee, I am publishing two extracts from longer commentaries by legal experts.
For those readers who wish to better understand the arguments involved, and the somewhat confusing (not to mention slender) basis on which Parliament’s sometimes make their laws, I believe these extracts will be useful as they advert to Lee's and other like cases.
Continue reading "‘Floating, adrift on…the tides of prejudice’" »
Lady Hannah and Sir Bob Dadae. Sir Bob might be well-advised to stick to the praising, predictabilities and platitudes that are stock-in-trade for vice regal figures around the world
ADELAIDE – Sir Bob Dadae (Dadae fears PNG disintegration may be ‘inevitable’) is pointing to what, elsewhere in PNG Attitude, I have described as a “truly wicked” policy problem.
The wickedness arises because there is not an obvious solution to pro-autonomy tendencies which can appease both determined separatists and those people equally determined to maintain Papua New Guinea’s current constitutional arrangements.
Continue reading "Some friendly advice to Sir Bob Dadae" »
Sir Bob Dadae
NOOSA - Papua New Guinea’s governor-general Sir Bob Dadae says the country’s disintegration is ‘inevitable’ if Bougainville continues to press for secession and other provinces seek autonomy.
Dadae called on the Marape government not to entertain requests from provinces to break away and seek independence.
Continue reading "Dadae fears PNG disintegration may be ‘inevitable’" »
| Adventure Kokoda
SYDNEY - A 1,400% increase in the number of Australians trekking Kokoda after the opening of the Isurava Memorial in 2002 would normally be hailed an outstanding result for Papua New Guinean tourism and our shared wartime heritage.
But for Canberra based envirocrats, lurking within the corridors of the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts (DEWHA), it had all the hallmarks of an environmental Armageddon.
Continue reading "The Kokoda Trail & the enemy within" »
Haus Tambaran, Palambei, Middle Sepik. Duncan Gavin argues that PNG’s Parliament House should not be called a Haus Tambaran
| Aunamelo Independent Blog
MADANG – Papua New Guinea’s parliament house is one of the world’s most fascinating examples of public architecture.
The building incorporates various structural features found in PNG but the design that dominates is the architectural style of Maprik in East Sepik Province.
Continue reading "N’gego – Melanesia’s house of governance" »
Highlands road at Oiyarip looking toward Mendi
FR GARRETT ROCHE SVD
MAYNOOTH, IRELAND - My initial response to Jim Moore’s item, ‘Thoughts of Then, Now & Cultural Variance’, was to try to figure out which road Jim was referring to and what clans were involved.
Then Jim continued to discuss the appropriateness of the Western parliamentary system for an independent Papua New Guinea. So will I.
Between Mt Hagen and Togoba there are at least two roads heading towards Bukapena.
Continue reading "Roads connect but government can divide" »
Westminster system spared Papua New Guinea nothing, not even the Speaker 's wig
CLEVELAND – It has taken me a long time to reach an understanding of what the problem was leading up to Papua New Guinea’s independence.
At the time, in the 1970s, the thought process was that the Westminster system works for us in Australia, this we can impose this obviously working system as a unifying force for a people and their many hundreds of cultures.
Continue reading "System we gave PNG just doesn’t work" »
CAIRNS – Michael Dom is right (Two questions long struggled with) in asking how can Papua New Guinea return to cooperation and how can the common people hold power to account and keep it responsible?
No one doubts the absolute necessity for a strong well-governed and administered political centre.
A modern nation state does not exist without it.
Continue reading "Needed: A compact between govt & people" »
Sir Julius Chan, EITI secretariat head Lucas Alkan and New Ireland provincial administrator Lamiller Pawut
| PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
KAVIENG - New Ireland governor Sir Julius Chan says a proposed law to promote transparency and accountability in mining and petroleum will keep everyone honest in the long run.
Chan made this remark when he opened the Extractive Industries Transparency Commission Bill consultation for the New Guinea Island Region.
Continue reading "Law to keep extractive industries in check" »
Sweet potato farming in the Southern Highlands - communal sharing for mutual benefit is the Melanesian Way
LAE – Power, power, power. Yeah, sure.
In Papua New Guinea subsistence agriculture is a basic mode of living, resources are communally shared and political power is gained and maintained by the assurance of mutual benefit for all.
It can be challenging to understand that the infant national character (that which emerged through parliamentary democracy) doesn't know what to do about the vast wealth made available to it.
Continue reading "Two questions long struggled with" »
CAIRNS - Patrick Angrai’s article, Death of a Teacher, hit me hard too. Firstly sadness, then anger.
Death in childbirth, through lack of timely referral or resources, is so horribly common in rural settings and often goes unreported.
As Arthur Williams has said, how can this happen in such a resource rich country?
Continue reading "PNG must make people the centre of power" »
President Toroama addresses people at Buka's Bel Park after the Wabag leaders' meeting
BUKA – Discussions were “tough”, Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama has revealed after last week’s top level talks in Wabag with Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape.
Describing the leaders’ meeting in Wabag as “tough”, Toroama told a public meeting in Buka that Bougainville’s independence must be settled so the autonomous province can move forward.
Continue reading "Back our independence mission: Toroama" »
| My Land, My Country | Edited
JOSEPHSTAAL - Jerolyn Arimbandai was the only female teacher at the newly-established Catholic high school at Josephstaal in the Madang Province.
She was married to Steven Arimbandai, a Josephstaal man and also a teacher at the school. They had one child and were expecting their second.
Continue reading "Death of a teacher" »
Malcolm Fraser, prime minister of Australia, 1975-83, popularised the maxim, 'Life wasn't meant to be easy'. The issue of Bougainville independence is a vexing one for all PNG politicians
ADELAIDE – Martyn Namarong is quite correct in his commentary, ‘Bougainville highlights need for a new PNG’, both in his analysis of the Bougainville dilemma and his discussion of the implications for Papua New Guinea.
Denying Bougainville independence would be a catastrophe for PNG; while granting it independence will inevitably open up fissures in the wider PNG polity.
Continue reading "Bougainville was not meant to be easy" »
The headline that James Marape condemned as 'misleading'
NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape has been forced to state publicly that at no point has his government agreed to Bougainville independence.
Marape has attacked the PNG Post-Courier’s reporting of his Wabag meeting with Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama, stating that “in no part [of our joint statement] is Independence mentioned."
Continue reading "Bougainville puts press in political crossfire" »
Martyn Namorong - "PNG needs a new Constitution that recognises the different tribal nations and empowers them with their full rights to self-determination within a political union"
| PNG Signal
PORT MORESBY - Will Papua New Guinea break up if Bougainville is granted full independence?
For some PNG leaders the threat of balkanization has shaped their attitudes towards Bougainville leaving the union of 850 tribes.
One of them is prime minister James Marape, who recently pleaded with Bougainville's leaders to take into consideration PNG’s fate when deliberating on the matter.
Continue reading "Bougainville highlights need for a new PNG" »
Enga governor Peter Ipatas welcomes prime minister James Marape to Enga Province for the Bougainville summit
NOOSA – The second summit between prime minister James Marape and president Ishmael Toroama this week agreed that Bougainville’s quest for independence should be determined no earlier than 2025 and no later than 2027.
The top level Wabag talks also agreed there will be consultations throughout Papua New Guinea on the outcome of the 2019 Bougainville referendum, in which 98% of voters opted for independence for the autonomous province.
Continue reading "Toroama to Marape: Get real on independence" »
NOOSA - Papua New Guineans are not alone. More than half of Australians think corruption is commonplace amongst their politicians.
This has been revealed in an Australia Talks national survey commissioned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in which 60,000 Australians were asked about their lives and what keeps them up at night.
Continue reading "Our politicians are corrupt, say Australians" »
| Lowy Interpreter
WAIGANI - Papua New Guinea will conduct its tenth national election in 2022. A by-election last week for the Port Moresby North West electorate provides a preview of what to expect next year.
In PNG, a by-election is required when a vacancy occurs more than a year before the issue of writs for the next election.
Continue reading "What you can expect in the 2022 elections" »
BRYAN KRAMER MP
| Kramer Report
MADANG - While campaigning for his candidate during the Moresby North-West by-election, opposition leader Belden Namah announced he would ensure the Scientist from Madang [aka Bryan Kramer] would not be returned in the 2022 general election.
Continue reading "The Scientist v Namah in war of words" »
Artist's impression of the Baha'i house of worship now under construction in Port Moresby
THE BAHA’I FAITH IN PNG
Office of External Affairs | Edited extracts
Edited extracts from a submission to the Constitutional Law Reform Commission in response to the public inquiry into declaring Papua New Guinea a Christian country. Link here to read the full submission
PORT MORESBY - From the outset, the Baha’i Faith upholds and affirms our oneness as a people and we acknowledge that a vital component of our collective identity is our diversity.
Indeed, our country is a paradigm of diverse peoples, myriads of cultures and languages accompanied by respective beliefs, intricately woven together to form a complete whole.
Continue reading "One People: A vision for unity in diversity" »
ADELAIDE - I happened to be looking through the Classifieds in the Adelaide Advertiser on Monday (not something I usually do, I was checking for a Death Notice).
And there, on the way to the Death Notices, I saw an advertisement, a Request for Tender in fact, from the Commonwealth Department of Finance.
Continue reading "Taking the ‘service’ out of Public Service" »
Ishmael Toroama has a quiet word with James Marape at the Kokopo summit. Talks conclude with two firm positions espoused. Are they reconcilable?
NOOSA – Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama’s declaration that the autonomous province will gain political independence from Papua New Guinea in June 2025 has left PNG prime minister James Marape with a delicate issue to negotiate.
The complexity of the challenge Marape faces became clear in two statements he made following the conclusion of the Kokopo consultations, during which Toroama had made his shock announcement that he had a firm date for Bougainville independence.
Continue reading "Marape to Toroama: ‘My job is to preserve the union’" »
ADELAIDE - It is a guilty pleasure to read a Marxist analysis of Michael Somare's contribution to Papua New Guinea’s history.
The pleasure lies in its character as a useful antidote to the fawning hagiography which characterised many of the Grand Chief’s obituaries.
Continue reading "Is Melanesian liberal democracy doomed?" »
Michael Somare and his wife Veronica (Wikipedia)
| International Committee of the Fourth International | Extract
Link here to the complete article
SYDNEY - The first years of Papua New Guinea’s independence coincided with the collapse of the nationalist program of economic regulation and import substitution based on tariff protection that had been widely promoted and adopted in former colonial countries.
From the late 1970s and 1980s, governments in the so-called Third World instead sought to integrate their economies into the capitalist world market by welcoming foreign investment on exploitative terms.
Continue reading "A left wing view of the Somare legacy" »
TUMBY BAY - Politicians have many annoying habits, perhaps more than ordinary people. Where they get them is a mystery. One can only assume they learn off each other.
At the top of the list is refusing to answer simple questions. How many times have you listened to a politician on television or the radio evading a simple yes or no by waffling until the interviewer gives up?
Continue reading "The annoying habits of politicians" »
Dame Carol Kidu - "Some PNG male politicians would say to me, 'We don’t mind you being here but we don’t want our own women here'
DAME CAROL KIDU
Edited extracts of questions from a talk by Dame Carol Kidu at the University of Papua New Guinea on 23 April. Dame Carol was an MP for 15 years (1997-2012). The current PNG parliament (2017-2022) has no women members in its 111 seats.
Henry Murau, Student
As a female member of parliament what was the main challenge for you?
Dame Carol Kidu
As a female, the only female there, you’re kind of isolated. When you are in the NEC, the cabinet, and have a ministry, you are part of that.
Continue reading "Q&A: The life of a woman in PNG politics" »
Chris Overland - "The mantra of endless economic growth at all costs is deeply pernicious" (Banksy)
ADELAIDE – It is an especially fortunate state of affairs that the capacity for change lies with us as citizens given the manifest failings of our leaders, most of whom tend to fall short of our hopes and expectations.
History suggests that revolutionary change is impossible until the moment it is inevitable. There usually is a hinge point where this occurs and, right now, we seem to be at such a point.
Continue reading "The rendering of change: there are means" »
Armed guards at Giligili jail in Alotau. Police have foiled two escape plots by the Tommy Baker gang and have information that a third is planned (PNG Post-Courier)
| My Land, My Country
An open letter to prime minister James Marape
Late yesterday the situation in Alotau was reported as stable but police were expecting another major assault on Giligili prison by the Tommy Baker gang to release 11 members facing charges of arson, piracy and armed robbery. Forty police have been deployed from Port Moresby to reinforce local personnel - KJ
LAE - Dear Prime Minister, I am writing this for your consideration so you might provide counsel and guidance to those in your charge.
The situation in Alotau is spiralling out of control. The trend is dangerous.
Continue reading "Wisdom needs to prevail in Alotau crisis" »
Dame Carol Kidu - "Any prime minister could use the PNG constitution to bring women on to the floor of parliament if there was real commitment to have women there"
DAME CAROL KIDU
| Academia Nomad
Edited extracts of a recent talk by Dame Carol Kidu to students of the University of Papua New Guinea. Dame Carol was MP for Moresby South in the PNG parliament from 1997 to 2012. There are presently no women in PNG's 111 member parliament
PORT MORESBY – The Papua New Guinea constitution is very clear that women need to participate in all forms of political life.
If you go to section 50 of our constitution it declares firmly that there must be equal opportunity for women.
Continue reading "Women MPs? Marape has the power" »
ADELAIDE - I think that the phenomenon that Phil Fitzpatrick describes in ‘The Biggest Threat’ is real and was indeed epitomised by the appalling Trump and his enablers in the USA.
And, as Phil writes, that is “the global problem of politicians of dubious merit and intent, totally not worthy of election, who are nevertheless populating governments everywhere.”
Continue reading "Kakistocracy finds it hard to go the distance" »
Sir Julius Chan - "“They can do whatever they like. I don’t have anything to hide"
| Source: PNG Bulletin Online
PORT MORESBY - The New Ireland governor and former Papua New Guinea prime minister Sir Julius Chan has been referred to the Ombudsman Commission, Police Fraud Squad and other official bodies for alleged official corruption.
In a joint media release, the members of parliament for Namatanai, Walter Schnaubelt, and Kavieng, Ian Ling-Stuckey, who is also PNG finance minister, said Chan, 82, had been referred by the presidents of five local level governments in the Namatanai electorate.
Continue reading "Chan hit by official corruption allegations" »
TUMBY BAY - An interesting phenomenon has been developing in politics over recent decades which seems to have accelerated in the last ten years or so.
It’s the global problem of politicians of dubious merit and intent, totally not worthy of election, who are nevertheless populating governments everywhere.
Continue reading "The biggest threat: leaders there for themselves" »
Julius Chan brought in the mercenaries, devalued the kina and hated the Ombudsman Commission
| Academia Nomad
Sir Julius Chan: Playing the Game: Life and Politics in Papua New Guinea
PORT MORESBY – As MP for Namatanai, Julius Chan was one of the founding fathers of Papua New Guinea, twice serving as prime minister (1980– 82 and 1994-97) and currently governor of New Ireland Province.
Unlike Michael Somare in ‘Sana’, who focused much on the principles and traditions that underpinned his statesmanship, ‘Playing the Game’ admits from the outset that it is a book about politics.
Continue reading "A record explained, or rationalised?" »
Jackson Kiakari - "Don’t vote for your wantok and expect our economy to be healthy. Elections concern our national welfare, not your haus lain agenda"
The Port Moresby North-West by-election – for the late Sir Mekere Morauta’s former seat – will be fought out between 39 candidates on Wednesday 2 June. In Papua New Guinea terms, it is an unusual electorate: 75% of the population is literate; people from all 22 provinces live there; and it covers most of the important government institutions in PNG, including parliament. Of course, PNG Attitude has no preferred candidate but I did find that this thoughtful article nailed one of the most critical problems in PNG politics and governance- KJ
PORT MORESBY - I am not against any candidate in this by-election or any future election. I’m not against any particular individual or group.
But I am against our election culture. The culture of buying votes and enticing support through materialism.
Continue reading "Let’s change our election culture" »
Ken Fairweather - a rollicking story from a man who learned to play the game
| Academia Nomad | Edited extracts
Ken Fairweather: Farewell White Man, An Autobiography
PORT MORESBY – ‘Farewell White Man’ is the autobiography of Ken Fairweather CBE who arrived in Papua New Guinea from Melbourne as a young man in 1970.
Fairweather writes about his life and also tells the story of PNG from the end of the colonial period to self-government and independence.
Continue reading "Half colonial – the man who stayed behind" »
James Marape and justice minister Bryan Kramer. Marape has again demonstrated he is a political tactician of considerable acumen (Kalolaine Fainu The Guardian)
NOOSA – Prime minister James Marape last week adjourned Papua New Guinea’s parliament as once again he sought to slip away from a vote of no confidence.
With a worrying increase in the number of Covid cases in PNG, Marape explained his action as a move to fight the disease.
"It’s no time to play politics,” he said, before adjourning parliament until Tuesday 10 August.
Continue reading "Marape once again outwits opponents" »
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" »
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" »
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" »
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" »
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" »
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" »
| 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" »
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" »
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.
Continue reading "The hair-trigger path to independence" »
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" »
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" »
BRYAN KRAMER MP
MADANG - On 4 January 2021, Justice David Cannings initiated national court proceedings in Madang to address the dilapidated condition of Madang town roads.
The Court commenced proceedings as an inquiry to determine the answer to four key questions:
Continue reading "Court put me in charge of fixing roads" »
Women of Madang Province
DAVID KASEI WAPAR
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" »