SOME readers’ comments on Mathias Kin’s excellent piece, PNG a victim of flawed nurturing, inferred that Australia left Papua New Guinea with legacy systems ill-suited to the country's needs.
While I am sure that Australia relinquished its colonial role with unseemly haste, it did not leave behind a fundamentally unsound constitutional, legal and administrative system.
Since independence, the onus has been entirely on PNG's elected leaders to use and modify that system to better meet the country's needs.
That they have spectacularly failed to do so is no reflection upon Australia, but tells you a great deal about the "Melanesian Way".
The ugly truth is that incompetence, venality, greed and corruption have proliferated more or less unchecked amongst the country's political and business elites.
By passively accepting this or, in too many cases, enthusiastically participating in it, Papua New Guineans have effectively "normalised" corrupt conduct.
Until such time as PNG seriously tackles the cultural underpinning of this behaviour, notably the wantok system, nothing is going to change.
Australia's legacy to PNG was a history of broadly honest, well intentioned and generally enlightened administration, combined with a proven, viable and effective constitutional and legal framework.
Despite this, and PNG's huge natural resources, things have not gone well.
The clear source of the country's problems was, is and will remain its apparent incapacity to actually use the Australian legacy systems for the greater good of the people.
It is up to Papua New Guineans to fix these problems: Australia cannot and will not do so for the very simple reason that any imposed reform will not last.
As Lenin famously said of Tsarist Russia: "What is to be done?"
The answer to that question lies in the hearts and minds of Papua New Guineans.