Tuesday 23 Apr 2019 | 22:16 | SYDNEY
What's happening on

Papua New Guinea

PNG elections: EAC resignations suggest poor preparations

Papua New Guinea elections have frequently been marred by violence, allegations of foul play and complaints regarding electoral roll discrepancies. Against this background, any unusual behaviour in this year’s vote – even tiny deviations – will attract attention. There is, however, a

Predicting PNG’s election

The PNG national elections are upon us, and for a brief moment the attention of regional and global media will be focused on this vibrant and costly celebration of democracy. The issues leading into the elections have been well documented by myself and others. Bal Kama's recent piece for The

The democratic project under review in PNG elections

In a few days' time, Papua New Guinea will begin a national election with the theme 'Your Choice, Protect the Democracy - Election 2017'. Less than 42 years since independence, PNG's democratic project, while debatably healthy, is in need of review. The current Papua New Guinea

The Grand Chief of PNG, Somare, bids farewell

After 49 years representing the people of the East Sepik Province in the Papua New Guinea Parliament, the man who led PNG to Independence, the Grand Chief, Sir Michael Somare, has retired. In this interview, recorded after Sir Michael’s farewell address to the Papua New Guinea Press Club, Sir

In PNG Highlands, conflict not limited to election season

As Papua New Guinea’s general elections approach, observers of the country are watching closely for signs the polls will trigger conflict, particularly in the volatile Highlands. This is understandable, given the pattern discernible from previous elections. But this narrative – of polling

Harnessing Papua New Guinea’s rugby league obsession

You don't have to spend much time in Papua New Guinea to realise that the country is obsessed with rugby league. The atmosphere in Port Moresby on a State of Origin night could rival the most devout regions of New South Wales or Queensland. Rugby league is considered PNG's national sport. In a

Book review: PNG, Australia’s Northern Shield?

Given the general gloom that seems to dominate contemporary Australian perceptions about Papua New Guinea’s ability to govern itself, it is refreshing to learn how mournfully doubtful successive Australian Cabinets in the late 1960s through to PNG’s independence in 1975 were about our former

What will drive votes in the PNG election

Papua New Guineans head to the polls on the 24 June in a national election which will be as fiercely contested as its precedents. Five years ago, intense candidate rivalry, carnival showmanship and controversy about electoral roll discrepancies were the hallmarks of a drawn-out contest between

The benefits and challenges of ICT in PNG

Access to information and increased communications capacity bring major benefits to a society. New business opportunities emerge, as do opportunities for education. Access to ICT can broaden opportunities for capacity building and increase workforce productivity. The adoption and use of

Australia needs to invest in its relationship with PNG

Papua New Guinea is our nearest neighbour, yet few Australians have more than superficial knowledge of its culture and history. In a recent Lowy Institute poll, more Australians failed to identify the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea than failed to identify Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Pope

How the gloss came off PNG's PM Peter O'Neill

Papua New Guinea’s Peter O’Neill survived last Friday’s vote of no confidence, the first since his turbulent term as prime minister began in 2011. With Parliament to now adjourn until August, O’Neill looks set to remain prime minister until next year’s June election. This would make him

Students against PNG's Prime Minister: A bloody struggle

The fight against Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill reached a new level with last week’s shooting of unarmed university students. The worldwide media attention this generated has prompted some to comment that PNG is once again making headlines for 'all the wrong reasons'. Others

PNG shootings are not a Tiananmen moment

    The reporting on the tragic confrontation between students and police at the gates of the University of Papua New Guinea on Wednesday reminded me of a comment made some years ago when I was covering a landslide in the PNG Highlands. Initial reports out of Port Moresby this week

Standoff in PNG: Students take on PM Peter O'Neill

Students at the University of Papua New Guinea are the latest in a long list of those in the firing line for denouncing the leadership of PNG’s seemingly impregnable Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. The students have been on strike against the government since the end of last month. Students from

Why most in PNG don't care about Manus

The PNG Supreme court ruling last week that the detention of asylum seekers at the Manus Island was illegal did not come as a surprise. The PNG judiciary has always been fiercely independent and it proved so once again. It is also not unusual in PNG for governments to do the wrong thing and

PNG's emerging leaders differ from their elders

I’m glad my paper, Papua New Guinea: Old Challenges for New Leaders, has triggered debate on The Interpreter about PNG’s future. I agree with James Batley and Stuart Schaefer that thinking about development in Papua New Guinea needs a long-term perspective. I am also keenly aware that I am

Australia-PNG relations: Decades of missed opportunities

Last year Papua New Guinea’s High Commissioner to Australia, H. E. Charles Lepani — who was one of the first Papua New Guinean heads of a government department at independence — observed in Reflections: 39 years of Sovereign Statehood in Papua New Guinea that, despite the two

PNG is changing and we need to keep up

Sean Dorney is right when he says that Australians should take a stronger interest in Papua New Guinea. Sean is a consistent advocate of this cause. He is one of the leaders of a special Australian ‘tribe’; those who have been touched by PNG, and who will have it in their blood forever. I'm a

PNG's budget in urgent need of repair

Part 1 of this series on the PNG economy looked at the double dilemma of an overvalued currency and falling foreign reserves. This second and final part examines the urgent need to reset fiscal policy. When Papua New Guinea's budget for 2015 was handed down in November last year it contained many

Australia's PNG solution: The seeds of sectarianism?

As part of the 'Sectarianism and Religiously Motivated Violence' Masters course run by the Lowy Institute's Rodger Shanahan at ANU's National Security College, students are asked to write an article on contemporary sectarian conflict. This piece by William Stoltz was judged the best of those

For Australians, is PNG a partner or an obligation?

Papua New Guinea will commemorate 40 years of independence from Australia this year. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is using the anniversary to promote the changing nature of Australia's relationship with PNG. In a speech earlier this week she said:   There are challenges and

Australia-PNG diplomatic spat needs swift resolution

Papua New Guinea has reacted to Australia's recent decision to establish a diplomatic post in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville by banning Australian travel to the province. This spat is proving to be an irritant not only for the friendly relationship between Canberra and Port Moresby, but also

Quick comment: Alex Rheeney on PNG politics

In August, Papua New Guinea's Peter O'Neill will mark three years in office as prime minister. The Australian's Rowan Callick recently described him as 'a remarkable figure' and 'the most powerful politician PNG has produced since Michael Somare'. Yesterday I had the chance to talk with the editor

PNG Prime Minister speaks up on West Papua

    Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill did something remarkable last Thursday. In a wide-ranging policy speech at a leadership summit in Port Moresby, he acknowledged the oppression of the people of West Papua. It was the first time an incumbent prime minister of Papua

Pages