Wednesday 18 Sep 2019 | 00:18 | SYDNEY
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Pacific Islands

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

New Zealand’s election: Winds of change

New Zealand has not had a change election since 2008 when John Key swept into power. His reliable successor, Bill English, is locked in a tight contest with Labour’s charismatic new leader Jacinda Ardern. Whichever one of them ends up Prime Minister after Saturday’s contest will occupy the apex

New Zealand election: Another victory salute from Winston?

Two months ago, the New Zealand National Party appeared to be cruising towards a fourth term at this Saturday's election. After the surprise retirement in late 2016 of popular Prime Minister John Key, there was a smooth leadership transition to his deputy, Finance Minister Bill English. English led

Perfidious New Zealand

It's fair to say that the Lowy Institute is not a bastion of rabid rugby supporters. And for the most part that doesn’t matter, but when you're talking trans-Tasman relations, you know nothing if you don’t know rugby. And I’ve stuck my head in enough rucks and mauls to recognise a rugby

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

Paranoia on Aotearoa

Almost 20 years ago to the day, then-Foreign Minister Alexander Downer addressed the University of Auckland on Australia-New Zealand relations: First and foremost, the Australia-New Zealand relationship is a partnership of equals. We do not offer each other unsolicited or patronising advice on how

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

Australia, US and NZ military co-operation augurs well

Last month a combined force from five allied nations, including a fleet of 33 warships and submarines, over 200 aircraft and more than 33,000 military personnel, defeated an ‘enemy force’ in 20 locations across northern Australia. The enemy, of course, was an imaginary one and the battle was a

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

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

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.&

Climate change will place new pressures on LHD vessels

Greg Colton’s article on Talisman Sabre 2017 highlights Australia’s new amphibious assault capacity through the Landing Helicopter Class (LHD) ships HMAS Adelaide and HMAS Canberra. Colton states that 'for the first time in three decades, Australia now has the military capability to back up its

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

Resilience in the post-RAMSI era

Understanding how and when governments might intervene in failing countries is an art rather than a science. It requires detailed knowledge of the country in question, the resilience of the people and systems in relation to the emerging crisis, and the willingness of the people to accept an

An appetite for risk? Food security in the South Pacific

This post is part of the Lowy Institute's South Pacific Fragile States series. The food security situation in the South Pacific is marked by a paradox. While there is increasing availability of – and demand for – protein-rich and resource-demanding food, such as meat and dairy, imports of

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

Understanding resilience and fragility in the South Pacific

This post is part of the Lowy Institute's South Pacific Fragile States series. After the US withdrawal from both the Paris Accord and Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Pacific Islands region is looking for reassurance from Australia and the US. The recent AUSMIN summit did produce a joint statement

Resilience has its limits in the Pacific Islands

Over the next 12 months, the Lowy Institute will release a series of research papers and Interpreter posts examining drivers of instability, and their impact on resilience and fragility, in the South Pacific. Please follow on Twitter: @Lowyinstitute #spfsproject 'Building resilience' has been one

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

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