Papua New Guinea has grappled with economic instability for years, exacerbated by generally declining global commodity prices, increasing national debt and allegations of fiscal mismanagement. None of this is helped by high rates of population growth and unemployment. Now the coronavirus pandemic
Papua New Guinea remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth.
Many women and girls walk kilometres for days when heavily pregnant in order to access health facilities. Just ten years ago, women and girls in rural districts would only visit a clinic as a place “to go die
One of Papua New Guinea’s most prominent social media users is also one of its most prominent politicians. Police Minister Bryan Kramer etched out a profile as one of the country’s most recognisable figures first as a blogger, then as a vocal opposition MP, and now as a member of the
Jon Philp, who commenced as Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea early this month, is the 16th to serve as Australia’s lead diplomatic representative in Port Moresby. I know from experience that the role is unlike any other in the Australian foreign service. The incumbent has the
West Papuans continue to fight for independence with the support of many Pacific nations. Despite Indonesia’s opposition and the recent impact of COVID-19 on the region, the resolution of West Papuan grievances may have stalled but nationalist sentiment has not been quelled.
For a few weeks it has seemed like PNG might have been engaged in a “phony war” against coronavirus.
Only two cases had been confirmed across the nation of around nine million people. One was a foreign mine worker who was quickly sent out of the country once his positive test was confirmed.
It’s been a volatile week for the PNG Hunters.
The Papua New Guinea rugby league team was celebrating on Sunday after staging a late comeback to clinch a 32-30 win against the Souths Logan Magpies in the first round of the Queensland Intrust Super Cup last weekend.
The Hunters were supposed to
Ambullua is a remote community located in upper Jimi District, Jiwaka Province, in the Highlands Region of Papua New Guinea. The population of approximately 7000 is almost entirely reliant on the Catholic Church for basic services, with minimal government or donor assistance.
The journey to
A review is underway into Australian aid policy, with consultations run across the country, and the public, scholars, and aid groups alike offering submissions – some of which are expected to be released in the coming weeks. Early indications from the Minister for International Development and
Bougainville’s president John Momis has long been a towering figure in local politics. President for two consecutive terms since 2010, he was a leading instigator of the archipelago’s early secessionist movement in the 1970s while still a Catholic priest, then an important facilitator during the
The recent announcement of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Government to cease all negotiations with one of the United States’ largest oil and gas companies, Exxon Mobil, over the P’nyang LNG project, a new gas field in PNG, has broader implications for the US and Papua New Guinea.
At first glance
In a referendum to decide on a future political relationship with Papua New Guinea, a 97.7% majority of Bougainvillean voters have chosen independence. The referendum voting process is now formally closed. A 40-day petition period passed without any complaint lodged, and international observer
As 2019 winds up, Lowy Institute staff and Interpreter contributors offer their favourite books, articles, films, or TV programs this year. Or in this case, a destination…
As far as capital-cities-as-a-bubble go, Papua New Guinea’s Port Moresby is probably the world’s most effectively en-
Piled into the back of an overcrowded ute – appropriately named the “Highway Slave”, although formally known as a Public Motor Vehicle – we made the nine-hour expedition across bumpy, unsealed roads and through rivers without bridges to the district of Siwai to act as observers in
“Joyous” and “excited” aren’t the first adjectives I normally reach for to describe Buka town, but they are the ones that best encompass the mood here these referendum days.
Buka is the administrative capital of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and centre of operations of the two-
Regional museums and arts centres in Australia and Papua New Guinea are, in general, underfunded or insecurely funded. Yet these places offer significant opportunities for cultural, social, and economic development in remote and regional areas. The cultural heritage and arts sectors hold unrealised
For two weeks from this Saturday, Bougainvilleans will exercise their right to say whether their autonomous archipelago on the eastern edge of Papua New Guinea should become an independent country. This long-awaited referendum was at the heart of the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement, which marked
PNG’s supplementary budget passed the parliament last month (October) and represented Prime Minister James Marape’s first tangible policy stance after forming government in May. Compared to the previous forecast, major changes could be seen everywhere – in expenditure, debt, and revenue. PNG
This article is based on the podcast series “Developing” featuring interviews with PNG journalists, industry leaders, and politicians.
Papua New Guinea has gained a reputation – at least, in international reporting on the country – for being corrupt, violent and poor, yet also a
Papua New Guinea is in the grips of a confusing debate about the state of the 2019 national budget, including the Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey, Shadow Treasurer Joseph Lelang, and former prime minister Peter O’Neill. It is difficult to determine who is stating the facts as a matter of national
The referendum to take Bougainville a step closer to full independence finally looks set to start on 23 November, after the issuing of the writs late last month. Voters will have a fortnight to reach the polling places, which will close on 7 December. The Referendum Commission, chaired by former
Papua New Guinea continues to reform its education sector. In recent years, the spotlight has been on teaching quality. Research by the World Bank indicates that teacher effectiveness is the most important school-based predictor of student learning. Despite this, PNG has lacked a clear roadmap and
“Our dead are never dead to us until we have forgotten them”. I remembered this line of George Eliot as I rattled around Port Moresby in a bus these last few days searching for remnants of colonial New Guinea for a book I am writing. Papua New Guinea was Australia’s only colony, and before
Prime Minister Scott Morrison showed he was serious about the Pacific “step up” when he ensured that his first overseas visit was to the Solomon islands and the first foreign dignitary he invited to host was Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape. The visit by Marape represented a
On 23 November this year, Bougainvilleans will vote in a referendum to decide whether they wish to stay part of Papua New Guinea or become an independent nation.
It is perhaps the high point of a 20-year peace process that in turn followed a gruelling, 10-year battle for independence waged between
It wasn’t long ago that Hela Province, in Papua New Guinea’s southern highlands, wasn’t a province at all, and hardly attracted the attention of the outside world. Now in just a few short months, it has found itself very much in the spotlight.
The May election of James Marape as Prime
A new call to split trade negotiation from diplomacy in Australia has once again underlined how the rise of China has unsettled traditional frameworks for making policy about economic and security interests.
The divide between neo-liberal economic policy approaches
Last week, the Australian government hosted Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape on an official “Guest of Government” visit, just two months after Marape assumed the leadership of its nearest neighbour.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison pulled out all of the stops, with
When so many external “experts” have contributed reflections on the violence last week in Papua New Guinea’s Hela province, there is, I recognise, a point where another outsider does little more than fatigue and enrage local people. Nonetheless, I feel motivated to contribute to debate on the
The last few months in Papua New Guinea’s politics have been described as political “chaos”, “turmoil”, “upheaval”, “crisis”. The Australian newspaper even went so far to describe PNG as a “potentially disintegrating neighbour.” For Papua New Guineans, it was a mere harkening
Gender equality is fundamental to human development. Papua New Guinea is Australia’s closest neighbour and biggest recipient of Australia’s bilateral development aid globally – but significant and persistent inequalities remain when it comes to the status of women in society, sexual violence
Scott and Jenny Morrison stepped out into the humidity of Solomon Islands historic Henderson airport earlier this week to a legacy Pacific welcome, a mix of indigenous traditions and colonial pomp.
Being decked in finely wrought shell necklaces by young island maidens before inspecting the tiny if
When the news broke that Peter O’Neill had finally resigned from PNG’s top job last Thursday, it spread instantaneously, lighting up mobile phone screens across the country.
It was social media, much more than PNG’s traditional news outlets, that had bored away relentlessly at O’Neill’s
The past two weeks have been an anxious wait and see in Papua New Guinea politics, and will continue to be so until such time as a vote of no confidence takes place, if at all.
On 6 May, prior to the PNG parliament’s last sitting, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill released a statement that his
Two Port Moresby hotels have been the backdrop for the story of PNG politics this past weekend.
Members of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s government are perched in the Crown, looking over the CBD as they negotiate to stave off a determined parliamentary challenge.
Up and over Burns Peak –
In the three years Sir Mekere Morauta was Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, from 1999 to 2002, he pursued an ambitious reform agenda. Some parts of that legacy have fared well, like the privatisation of the country’s state bank. Others, like political party reform, have fallen over in the
The ABC Managing Editor Asia Pacific, Kellie Mayo, has subsequently disputed aspects of this article; read her response here.
Bougainville – the autonomous region of Papua New Guinea which suffered a brutal 10-year civil conflict in the 1990s – was due to have a referendum in June to
Getting the leaders of five Asia-Pacific nations together for the photograph amidst the tumult of a APEC Leaders Summit in Port Moresby last November was a triumph of logistics.
But the last-minute scramble to get an upside down Papua New Guinea flag turned the right way up was maybe a sign of how
Just a few kilometres separate Papua New Guinea and Australia at their closest point.
But when it comes to migration procedures, people on both sides of the Torres Strait can sometimes feel like the countries may as well be on separate planets. Visas remain a constant obstacle to building a
The aid industry is complex. Dozens of bilateral donors, hundreds of multilateral agencies, and thousands of non-governmental organisations litter the development landscape in all corners of the globe.
In aid jargon, this is known as “fragmentation”. Conventional aid-effectiveness literature
With just under six months before Bougainvilleans go to the polls to decide if they want independence from Papua New Guinea, last month’s APEC leaders’ meeting in Port Moresby gave fresh impetus to assertions that Bougainville is yet another fly caught in the web of influence and counter-
You get the sense that while Donald Trump didn’t make it to Papua New Guinea for the APEC Leaders Summit, his reality TV producers could have had a hand in how it played out.
APEC 2018 had it all: conflict, romance, an exotic setting, and a dramatic finale that will keep trade diplomats on
Three weeks ago, the American Journal of Transportation reported that Air Bridge Cargo Airlines had delivered 40 Maserati sports cars to Port Moresby. One of the first social media outlets to report this news was in a Facebook post by Emmanuel Narakobi, runs the blog Masalai.
Narakobi was then
I never set out to make a film. But, as many filmmakers seem to discover, the story found me.
I have always been interested in the power of sport, and in 2014 I moved to Papua New Guinea to work in media and communications for the NRL-run, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-funded League
It’s been quite a week for Papua New Guinea’s national government and the evolving relationships it will have with the country’s provinces in the future.
Last Friday, PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Autonomous Region of Bougainville President John Momis finally agreed on the
There is disquiet among many for how post-conflict Bougainville society will evolve over the next generation if impunity reigns for the wartime horrors.
Over the next few months, the spotlight in our immediate region will turn to Bougainville and its referendum on independence from Papua New
Papua New Guineans tell each other with pride and excitement that the eyes of the world will be upon them 40 days from now, when they host the APEC Leaders Meeting in Port Moresby on 17-19 November. They are not fazed that Donald Trump won’t be there.
His representative, Mike Pence, is
The condemnation of China last week by Nauru’s President Baron Waqa at the Pacific Island Forum leaders’ meeting may have been bolstered by Taiwan’s substantial investment in that tiny Pacific nation of 13,000 people. Nauru is one of six Pacific countries to have diplomatic relations with