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30 April 2019


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Maholopa Laveil

Nice article. Seems like your only thrust here is collective diplomacy as PNG's need of Pasifika, which I concede may be important for a few geopolitical issues, although with little direct relevance for the majority of PNG'eans.

However, apart from the tiny islands with a few people who depends on the sea, the vast majority, 85% of PNG'eans still depend on the land, and will do so after our minerals are exhausted.

I would contend: PNG is Pasifika out of Pasifika's necessity. Pasifika, beginning with the MSG has always regarded PNG as the big brother - electoral funds for Fiji, South Pacific Games funding for Samoa, the continual trade relations (and relenting of trade partners when trade war ensues: bully beef trade war saw Fiji throw in the towel in 2016) and many other past instances of PNG's importance in the region.

PNG's main trading partners, aid donors, sources of FDI, international financiers, come from the West and Asia. That we are Asian by necessity goes without saying, for PNG the Pasifika concept holds no tangible benefit save neighbours to which our altruistic nature's may be exercised.

Touching collective hardship PNG shares with Pasifika as a consequence of climate change, unlike Pasifika, PNG need only look unto itself for solutions to this problem.

In short, PNG holds a lot in common with the Pacific: geography, common ancestry, history, and not least, some similar problems.

However, PNG's pathway forward and indeed, the answers to a lot of her problems has never and will never come from the Pacific.

Jonathan Tilomu

I enjoyed reading this article.

Chris Banga

Martyn raised a common dilemma faced by many, if not all people from the Highlands /inland. But I agree that we are Pacifika by necessity as discussed by Patrick.

I share my reflection /experience from the 2018 Young Pacific Leaders Conference.

Bernard Singu Yegiora

I enjoyed reading this article.

Philip Fitzpatrick

This is a well argued article of the type we have come to expect from Patrick Kaiku and puts paid to Martyn Namorong's simplistic argument.

Pasifika as a metaphor has been around for a very long time and it is much more than just a description of a geographic region.

As metaphors go it is an extremely attractive one and encapsulates more than anything else a distinctive way of life and thinking that is often cited in opposition to the less attractive western one.

Pasifika as a concept combines both Melanesia and Polynesia and stands in stark contrast to its neighbour South East Asia.

The suggestion that PNG's future lies with SE Asia is, I think, a dangerous one. There are many aspects of SE Asian culture that don't sit well with the idea of Pasifika.

Not the least of these is SE Asia's adoption of the western concept of extreme neo-liberalism.

Despite PNG's current crop of greedy little politicians it is a road that PNG does not need to go down and which might destroy its unique place in the world.

Lindsay F Bond

The upthrust of Montane's granular grande
is increasing the presence of PNG as place.
Upstart of independence,
free to assess, assume and assert,
PNG has its parlance.
Upheaval of society through 100 years
is attuned by converse of charts and choices.

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