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Pacific links: PNG election drama, bringing Pacific languages to life

Papua New Guinea's post-election dramas, a new report on logging in PNG, and VR bringing Pacific languages to life.

Photo: Commonwealth Secretariat flickr
Photo: Commonwealth Secretariat flickr
Published 2 Aug 2017 

  • PNG’s Parliament will sit today for the first time since the election and is expected to vote for Prime Minister and Speaker. Peter O’Neill has said that his coalition has secured 56 members, enough for him to reclaim the position of PM. Stefan Armbruster provides an excellent overview here.
  • The end of the election was not without drama. Last Thursday, the elected member for Ijivitari, Richard Masere of the National Alliance party, suffered an attempted kidnapping by members of the People’s National Congress Party.
  • On the same day, former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta was named as the winner in the seat of Moresby North-West but the Returning Officer went rogue and declared the third placed candidate Joseph Tonde in front of a small group of media, the candidate and his supporters. Soon after the Electoral Commissioner announced the second declaration was invalid and confirmed Sir Mekere was the winner. Morauta released this statement about the incident, and Sir Mekere Morauta discusses it in the video below:

  • PNG’s Treasury has released its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, an important reminder of the priorities for the next government. Paul Flanagan highlights the economic mismanagement of the former government.
  • Global Witness has released a new report on the shocking impacts of illegal logging and associated land grabs in PNG, which documents the failure to screen out illegal timber from global supply chains. The Financial Times has summarised the report here.
  • Linguists and academics are using virtual reality technology to bring an archive of endangered Pacific languages for life in Australian museums.  
  • A new exhibition, ‘The Long Story’ will open on 19 August at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art to explore representations of history, connection to land and the contestation of public image and space in contemporary Pacific and Asian art.


Pacific Research Program

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