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« Women’s dress & violence: All that’s changed are the standards | Main | A kiap, the Biami people & the construction of an airstrip »

08 October 2017


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Like I said in a previous post Phil, you never know what you've got until you have to do without it.

Would we do it again if we could? In a flash.

Why? Because it was the only job I know where you could actually achieve results and effect real and tangible benefits for the people you worked with.

Love them or hate them, it’s interesting to speculate what Papua New Guinea would be like now if it wasn’t for the kiaps.

What if there had been no kiaps and the country had been thrown open to all the commercial exploiters to pillage? You only have to look at some of the former African colonies to see where that would have led.

What if it had been left to the missionaries to march through the countryside destroying whole cultures and introducing their often ridiculous and destructive ideas about morals and ethics?

What if Australia had simply stood aside and left the Papua New Guineans to pull themselves into the modern world?

These are not difficult questions to answer. Since 1975 a lot of these scenarios have actually developed.

We’ve seen large areas pillaged for their minerals. We’ve seen the vast forests raped by loggers and we’ve seen the fish in the seas surrounding Papua New Guinea carried off in huge mother ship factories. We’ve also seen an Asian invasion of people who now pull the strings of government.

We’ve also seen the almost complete destruction of what were viable cultures and the subsequent breakdown of law and order. We’ve seen women brutalised like never before and we’ve seen lost generations of young men resorting to violence and crime as a way of life.

All this while those pious idiots rant at their pulpits and cut down priceless and magnificent carvings in parliament house.

All of these things have now happened and they are not good. They wouldn’t have happened when the kiaps were there.

Papua New Guinea is an economic and social basket case and the laughing stock of the world thanks to all these developments.

The kiaps were hard, pragmatic men with a very low bullshit tolerance but they were also fair, moral, honest, forthright and incorruptible.

And these are the things that Papua New Guinea desperately needs now.

Hello Keith, I am not looking to post to your website but I could not see any other means of communicating directly with you. I am a retired RAN submariner and a member of the group called 'Find AE1' (see our website at

I would like to talk to you about a matter related to HMA Submarine AE1 and the current community leaders in East New Britain Province, Kokopo and the Duke of York Islands.

Hi Gus - Send me an email to the contact shown at the top of this link with a brief note on what you require and I'll get back to you - KJ

Yes, Keith. We hope to see you there.

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