Thursday 22 Feb 2018 | 05:38 | SYDNEY
What's happening on

Papua New Guinea

Favourites of 2017: PNG speaks

As a close observer of Australia’s nearest neighbour, I often lament how little commentary there is on Papua New Guinea's short history from a local perspective. The most contemporary example is former prime minister Julius Chan’s autobiography, which gilds the lily on a few too many

What next for Papua New Guinea?

It has been a tumultuous year for Australia's nearest neighbour. The protracted and controversial elections in Papua New Guinea took up most of 2017, with Peter O'Neill winning a second term and cementing his position as the most formidable politician of his generation. The government

No course correction in PNG budget

It is no secret that the Papua New Guinea economy is facing some very tough times. The collapse of global commodity prices, a severe drought, an ongoing foreign exchange crisis, and questionable government spending have all contributed to a dramatic reversal of fortunes for a country that just four

Pacific island links: Sogavare out, COP23, Manus and more

By Euan Moyle, an intern in the Lowy Institute's Pacific Islands Program. Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has been ousted after a vote of no-confidence in Parliament. He has said the mass resignations last week that preceded the vote were due to the reintroduction of an anti-

Cleaning up the Manus damage

Last Tuesday saw the official closure of the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre, the Australian-funded and managed detention centre for unauthorised boat arrivals in Papua New Guinea. Originally opened in 2001 as part of the Howard government’s Pacific Solution, the centre was closed by the

Pacific island links: PNG politics, Ambae, Tsai’s visit and more

By Euan Moyle, an intern in the Lowy Institute's Pacific Islands Program. Sam Basil, leader of the Pangu Pati, has been appointed a Minister for Communications, Information Technology and Energy in the PNG Government, several weeks after he defected from opposition. PNG opposition MP Bryan

Lessons from the PNG elections

This is the fourth of several articles for The Interpreter by Lowy Institute Nonresident Fellow and former long-term Papua New Guinea correspondent, Sean Dorney who was in PNG for the elections as part of the Commonwealth's PNG Election Observer Mission. You can find part one here, part

Will the PNG election ever end?

This is the third of several articles for The Interpreter by the Lowy Institute’s Non-Resident Fellow and former long-time Papua New Guinea correspondent, Sean Dorney who was in PNG for the elections as part of the Commonwealth’s PNG Election Observer Mission. You can find Part One here, and

PNG’s unreliable electoral roll

This is the second of several articles by the Lowy Institute’s Non-Resident Fellow and former long-time Papua New Guinea Correspondent, Sean Dorney, who was in PNG for the elections as part of the Commonwealth’s PNG Election Observer Mission. The first post in the series is here. Voting in

Papua New Guinea's election surprises

This is the first of several articles for The Interpreter by Lowy Institute Nonresident Fellow and former long-time Papua New Guinea correspondent Sean Dorney, who was in PNG for the elections as part of the Commonwealth's PNG Election Observer Mission. The most surprising thing for me about

Peter O’Neill returns for a second term

Papua New Guinea’s Parliament has today returned Peter O’Neill as Prime Minister for a second five-year term, defeating a spirited coalition of parties known as ‘The Alliance’ in a vote 60 to 46. The returning Prime Minister will have many questions to answer for the general conduct of

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

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

Pages