Posts Tagged ‘National Goals and Directive Principles’

Among the five National Goals as laid in our constitution, my essay is based on the fourth Goal: “for Papua New Guinea’s natural resources and environment to be conserved and used for the collective benefit of everyone, and be replenished for future generations’’.

The natural resources in this respect are basically the minerals (such as gold, copper, etc.), gas, oil, fish, trees/logs, and so on that are mainly exploited in the name of money.

Many people have been making comments that our country’s progress, our peoples’ development, is not picking up well despite the natural resources-base that we have in this country. Some are blaming poor governance, that is, the lack of service-delivery regardless of major revenue generating activities that are going on. It is very alarming to see our revenue generating resources are fast depleting to a level of being irreplaceable. Thus, the outcome of these activities which are supposed to be for our collective benefit are mostly benefiting only the top people up the hierarchy, contrary to our fourth national goal. And it also seems that our future generations will be missing out, if this trend continues.

You would also see that there is no proper educational awareness of cons and pros of our natural resources exploitation activities that are going on in this country. Our national goals are just lying idle, collecting dust on the shelf, without proper dissemination of this very important piece of information to every person. I don’t know if our MPs (the chief policy makers of this land) in Parliament realise the importance of our National Goals and Directive Principles? But these national goals are in our constitution as guiding principles towards the management of this nation. Likewise, it also applies to our top bureaucrats of this nation: they should also be considerate of this goal

Villagers throughout the nation should also be made aware of this national goal so that they can help conserve our environment and natural resources, rather than involving themselves in the devastating activities in the name of ‘development’ promised by exploitative mining, logging, oil palm and other companies.

I am very scared of the way our natural resources are being handled. The way these natural resources-devastating activities are going on at this time in our country is very frightening. These money generating natural resources extractive activities and bush-clearing are going on all around the country rapidly and simultaneously. We must all bear in mind that this is an island nation that we need to take extra preventative measures to safeguard our scarce natural resources that we have at the moment. We have to conserve some of it for future generations’ benefit as well, and not extract everything at one go.

We seem to be rushing out things for today’s survival and/or for personal gains only. We don’t seem to be caring about the consequences that will come upon us as a result of.

Just try to think what your home used to be in the past, say just 10 years ago: the forest that you used to see around has now gone and planting and other activities have been substituted on it. At the same time, the population of this nation is booming in every community. We must also bear in mind that we are not a continent state like Australia or USA. We are only an island nation. I strongly believe that one day there is going to be a down-turn of this nation. And that day in question is fast approaching and will collapse this nation. Our good dreams about this nation will all go down the drain, if we are not seriously considering this fourth national goal for the overall good of this nation.

Therefore, we must try to learn from other countries who once were in our shoes but their economy has now collapsed. Like for example, Nauru. History tells that it used to be very rich in phosphate extractions and used to provide donor-funding to other Micronesian nations in need. But what is Nauru like today? Now that all its phosphate is gone, it is back to zero and worse. Now it is solely surviving from receiving donor funds, and has to accept unwanted developments such as an Australian asylum seeker detention centre.

So what lesson is Nauru telling us? It is about time we need to be very careful in exploiting our natural resources because money is not always everything, nor is it the solution to all our problems. We have to think and do things that will last and sustain this nation as a whole now and in years to come.

– Yorine Inove is a Department of Business Studies student at the University of Technology, Lae.


Wanem skelim blong yu long ol Bikpela Stia Tingting i stap insait long Mama Lo blong PNG?

What do Papua New Guinea’s National Goals and Directive Principles mean to you?

Faivpela Bikpela Stia Tingting i stap long Mama Lo blong PNG. Long  1974, wanpela Komiti ol kolim Komstitusenol Plening Komiti i raun insait long olgeta hap kona blong PNG long kisim tingting blong ol manmeri long wanem samting ol laikim long nupela kantri PNG.

The five goals and directive principles are inscribed in the preamble of PNG’s Constitution. In 1974, a Constitutional Planning Committee travelled right throughout PNG in an unprecedented attempt to articulate the people’s hopes and needs for the new country.

Ol i bin askim, ‘wanem kain kantri yumi laik lukim?”

They asked, ‘what kind of society do we want?’

Ol skelim ol tingting  blong ol manmeri na kirapim dispel ol Stia Tingting

These goals and directive principles are the result.

1. Integral human development.
We declare our first goal to be for every person to be dynamically involved in the process of freeing himself or herself from every form of domination or oppression so that each man or woman will have the opportunity to develop as a whole person in relationship with others.
2. Equality and participation
We declare our second goal to be for all citizens to have an equal opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, the development of our country.
3. National sovereignty and self-reliance
We declare our third goal to be for Papua New Guinea to be politically and economically independent, and our economy basically self-reliant.
4. Natural resources and environment
We declare our fourth goal to be for Papua New Guinea’s natural resources and environment to be conserved and used for the collective benefit of us all, and be replenished for the benefit of future generations.
5. Papua New Guinean ways
We declare our fifth goal to be to achieve development primarily through the use of Papua New Guinean forms of social, political and economic organization.
Tasol, Tripela Ten–Seven krismas bihain long indipendens, dispel ol Bikpela Stia Tingting i no karim kaikai long laip blong ol man-meri-pinkini  insait long PNG.

However,  37 years since Independence, the universal rights belonging to every Papua New Guinean man, woman and child expressed in the goals are yet to be realised.

Man i bin go pas long raitim Mama Lo, John Momis i tok PNG i stap nau long bikpela hevi. Maski i gat bikpela divelopmen i kamap insait long kantri planti lain i wok long bungim hevi yet – graun i lus taim ol bikpela wok bisnis i kamap na dispel wok long daunim sindaun blong yumi aninit long ol Bikpela Stia Tingting long Mama Lo.

As former Constitutional Planning Committee member John Momis said recently, PNG is at an important crossroads in its history. While it has great opportunities, it also faces extremely grave challenges – customary land is being lost as commercial development increases in PNG, and this threatens our potential to secure the rights expressed in these goals.

Long dispela as nau, mipela askim yu long wanem ting blong yu long ol Faivpela Stia Tinting.

So we are asking you to describe what these goals mean to you.

Yumi stil nidim ol Faivpela Stia Tingting o nogat? Na sapos yumi nidim, yumi inap kirapim ol long stretim future bilong yumi o nogat?

Are the five goals still relevant in PNG today? And if they are, can they be resurrected and used as the basis for a new discussion about ‘which way for PNG’?

To read the Constitution, click here. To read the CPC’s 1974 report, click here.

To listen to Our Pacific Ways being interviewed on Radio Australia about the essay competition, click here.

To watch short films featuring John Momis  discussing writing the Constitution, click here and here.

To watch a video about the National Goals and Directive Principles, click here.

“We must not be afraid to make a detour from wayward ways and go back to the past that the National Goals and Directive Principles of our Constitution prescribe for us”

“The constitutional fathers dreamt that one day we would be free. We worked very hard to look at the needs and the aspirations of the totality of the highly diversified – culturally, linguistically, even religiously – people of Papua New Guinea. And we tried to come up with something that would form them to become a great people with a great vision and motivate them to take the necessary steps to become activators of change and development, not mere passive recipients of goods and services.

It is sad that we have leaders of this country who are, for their own political and selfish ends, prepared to sacrifice the collective good of the people of Papua New Guinea. Using political parties … as vehicles of convenience to get into power, to manipulate and exploit the people of this country.

We have been marginalised.  And we are marginalised because a number of our leaders have been bribed.

And that is why young people today must unite and be educated with those universal, perennial values that are very important for any nation. We must not be afraid to make a detour from wayward ways and go back to the past that the National Goals and Directive Principles of our Constitution prescribe for us.

We have some hope of reversing the situation that is fast developing this country with detrimental consequences of making Papua New Guineans totally dependent on government hand-outs and so on. PNG I believe now stands at the threshold of a new order. But we have a great mission to liberate and empower our people not only objects of development, but subjects of development as well. We must be the agents of change. We must not be prepared to be told ‘yu no can askim plenti question.’

But we have many problems, because when you try to redirect a warship that is set on a course, it is not easy. But it does not give us the excuse not to try.

I think that the National Goals and Directive Principles are still very relevant. And if all of us tried to implement (the vision) enshrined in the National Goals and Directive Principles, Papua New Guinea would be a better place.

National sovereignty and self-reliance are very, very important. National sovereignty calls on leaders not to sell their people’s rights. Not to allow this country to be ripped up and raped by foreign investors. National sovereignty calls on leaders to reject bribery. National sovereignty calls on leaders not to use public funding to make investments overseas while their constituents are barely making enough money to buy medicine, school fees, and so on.

Self-reliance means embarking on a massive program of empowering people to get involved in small scale socio-economic activities. Activities that would take into full account the Melanesian way.

We are communal peoples. Social relationships, interdependence, to us is very, very important. We don’t want to marginalise people. We don’t want to compete and destroy one another. We want to collaborate, we want to form interdependence. Interdependence: we are all leaders. We depend on one another.

Good leaders must be servants. Good leaders must be educated enough to appreciate the values of human dignity, the right of each citizen to participate, the right of each citizen to have a say, the right to have a voice. We are all equals. Good leaders should not have the license because of their position to make policies and decisions that are detrimental to the common good.

In my view, every province in Papua New Guinea should be given greater autonomy. Giving autonomy to Madang, for example, doesn’t mean Madang would want to secede – nogat. Giving autonomy means you are now structurally forcing this highly centralised and bureaucratised government in Port Moresby to give the people of Madang their due. The sources of revenue, sources of employment, sources of information should be decentralised. The national government should not usurp the role of the provincial governments.

If you look at the natural resources that are being destroyed and are being developed today, what are the tangible results of the exploitation of the people’s resources? In 1974, PNG leadership was talking about a need for sustainable development. For ecological balance. Preserving our rainforests and only using what we need, and not destroying the beautiful rainforest and the seas we have.

As active agents of change, we can create an educated, intelligent, just society for PNG. Out of the many combinations of tribes and languages we can create a very good country with all its differences, and create an independent spirit right throughout the nation.”

To watch short films featuring John Momis  discussing writing the Constitution, click here and here.

To watch a video about the National Goals and Directive Principles, click here.

‘Media Freedom Day ‘ address at Divine World University, May 4, 2012

My name is Awayang Namorong. I am a writer and street vendor.

I am here to tell you what you already know.

I am here because you believe in the dignity of all human persons.

You believe that all human beings are born with inalienable rights and that governments are created by the People for the purposes of protecting those natural rights.

You believe that all Melanesians have certain inalienable rights conferred upon them by Nature and kastom at birth.

I am here because you believe in the defense of those rights.

I am here because you believe that in defending those rights we contend upon the fundamental questions of governance and the use of land and resources for the benefit of Our People and the preservation of Our Papua New Guinean Ways.

If we are to talk about media freedom, we are to talk about creating enabling mechanisms for the purposes of defending Our People and promoting and preserving Our Papua New Guinean Ways.

With the deregulation of the telecommunications industry in recent times, the Information Superhighway has been opened up to millions of our fellow citizens.

It is imperative that all Papua New Guineans to seize this opportunity to articulate our hopes and dreams. A national conversation has began online and must continue to happen. However, conversations can invariably become just noise if people do not know the parameters of the discussion.

Indeed, what’s the point of having media freedom if we end up just viewing the same commercials viewed in totalitarian states?

The parameters of a National Conversation should be defined around achievement and adherence to the Five National Goals and Directive Principles.

The free press has a role in ensuring accountability to Our National Goals and Directive Principles.

1. Integral Human Development

The State has become a tool for suppression of women and men in Papua New Guinea through its misguided education system, its exploitation of workers and the distortion of national wealth. The writers of the Constitution wanted the State to be an enabling mechanism for the empowerment of all citizens such that they would be free from oppression and would have opportunities for self improvement and fulfillment.

We see today, all around us a disempowered people exploited by foreigners and attracted to the Darkness of Neon Lights.

2. Equality and Participation

The writers of the Constitution wanted every citizen to have the opportunity to participate in and benefit from the development of this nation.

Of course, if the State fails to achieve Goal Number 1 it is inevitable that the citizens become mere spectators in their own land.

Equality and Participation is more than just royalty payments, fortnightly pay, jobs and spin-off benefits. It is about a people being in control of their national economy, national politics, and all other national realities.

It is also about participating in the national conversation about issues that arise.

3.  National Sovereignty and Self-reliance

The writers of the Constitution wanted this nation to be economically and politically independent.

The first thing we all need to realize is that for over 50 000 years we were politically and economically Independent.

WE need to realize that Ccolonization was a process of systematically undermining that economic and political system that ensured that prior to that we as a people did not depend on AUSAID funding, international investments, World Bank loans and foreign consultants.

In pursuing foreign investment, foreign loans, foreign trade and foreign ideas we are perpetuating this colonial agenda of undermining our sovereignty and becoming more dependent on foreigners.

4. Natural Resources and the Environment

The mismanagement and plundering of our natural resources that is currently unfolding seems to be going generally unnoticed. Our People are a landed people and as such are dependent on the interactions in the environment for their survival.

If this nation is to survive for perpetuity, its people will need good soil to grow food, clean water to drink and to harvest food, clean air to breath and an environment that sustains Our Papua New Guinean Way of life.

After all our fish, timber, oil & gas and minerals are looted, the only thing we hold to is the knowledge of our ancestors that instructs us as to how we survive on the Island of New Guinea. This is the reality in places where exploitation activities have ceased following the looting of natural wealth.

If we sacrifice, our soil, our clean water, our clean air and our clean environment, how will we survive as a race, when all the looters are gone.

We’ve talking about preventing genocide. We’re talking about addressing the systematic destruction of Our Papua New Guinean heritage and identity.

We’re not trying to save the environment. We’re part of the environment we live in and we’re in effect talking about saving ourselves.

5. Our Papua New Guinean Ways

Most critics of Papua New Guinean Ways say that we’re such a diverse country such that it is impossible to have clearly defined Papua New Guinean Ways. The writers of the Constitution dealt with this issue and they argued that there are common themes that recur in various indigenous societies.

All Our Papua New Guinean Ways are anchored on customary land ownership. We own Land and the connection we have with Land is sacred. Land ownership is Identity and Dignity within Melanesian Society.

The current movement to “free up land” as the AUSAID and World Bank sponsored Government puppets call it is in effect an attempt to “grab land’ and imprison our people.

What good is a job if the pay isn’t enough to take you to next fortnight?

What use is a job if you always have to borrow from the buai seller in order to survive?

What use is a job if you cannot save money and pay for education and healthcare?


Ladies and Gentlemen, after 36 years of Independence, surely we have to change course in our nation’s Development Path. We need to recognize also that what has unfolded in the past years of so called freedom from colonial rule is indeed the perpetuation of colonialism. Colonisation has a Black Face and black leaders whose very corrupt existence in ensured by the systems and structures left behind by colonial rule.

The National Goals and Directive Principles are undermined by the very own Constitution within which they are written. Section 25 of the Constitution makes them redundant.

We are beginning to understand upcoming elections stand no chance of improving the dismal status quo of non-representation.

As we come to see – sooner than we may have thought – the O’Namah Government is just as bad as Somare’s regime, it’s becoming clear the revolving door of self-interested politicians will continue to spin, no matter how we vote, this election or in another five years’ time.
As a result, some are now talking more seriously about political reform. A recent blog post  by former kiap Paul Oates argued PNG’s parliament needs an Upper House to review legislation before it becomes law.
We question whether reinforcing the Westminster system – an imposed system that, Senate or no Senate, is collapsing around the globe – is the right approach.  Should we be thinking of more fundamental reform? Should we be talking about a political system based on our realities and founded on our Pacific values, rather than on a foreign imposed model that’s not working for us?

Let’s start with the root problem: the majority of Papua New Guineans do not feel represented by the current political system. The reasons for this are complex, but can we identify a few of the major flaws?

One thing we need to look at is the number of MPs we have: 109 seats is way too many for people’s concerns to be meaningfully addressed. When 2000 public servants quit their jobs to contest the election, a seat can be won by someone who gets enough of his wantoks and mates together, or buys enough of them. These candidates see the current National Election as a lottery – if they get voted in, they win the spoils of corrupt politics (sponsored by those same foreign corporations supposedly bringing ‘economic growth’ to PNG).

So slashing the number of seats in Parliament would be a start. But even after doing so, the issue of MPs’ accountability to their electorates is not resolved. Money and power is concentrated in Port Moresby, hence the vast majority of local communities get totally neglected, government after government. They lack access to essential health services, school facilities, road access, because their member isn’t based there. He’s in Port Moresby, where he doesn’t have to answer pesky questions about the lack of medicine or electricity from his local constituents.

There are reportedly growing calls for independence among various PNG provinces. This suggests people want to be closer to the decision-making process. A better system of government would be decentralised, so that political leaders were based closer to the communities they are meant to serve. By bringing the decision-making base closer to home, we can ensure greater accountability by leaders across the nation.

And that brings us to the most fundamental reform – a return to the National Goals inscribed in our  Constitution. It declares, in its National Goal for Equality and Participation, that:

WE ACCORDINGLY CALL FOR the creation of political structures that will enable effective, meaningful participation by our people … and in view of the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of our people for those structures to provide for substantial decentralization of all forms of government activity.

In talking about political reform, let’s not constrain ourselves to the box of the current Westminster system. Let’s go back to the forgotten goals of the Constitution, which captured the traditional values which our Melanesian cultures are built on. If the current political system does not respect those values – or those of our Constitution – perhaps it is time to talk about a system that does.

A few questions niggled in the back of my mind a few days ago after a long discussion with friends. We talked about the expectations that the Papua New Guinea education system embeds in our minds.

After more than 30 years since our colonisers (supposedly) relinquished direct control over our affairs, our education system – their education system – continues to perpetuate engrained notions that are far from reality. Those notions are reinforced by our families. We teach our children to study for an academic qualification in order to get a job and to support ourselves. Many of us have not – and probably never will – come to the realistion that the education system prepares us to work for a production system instead of taking control of the means of production.

Every year, the government talks about the high rate of unemployment. “There aren’t enough jobs out there for young people coming out of university,” they say. It is because we are educated to believe in the illusion that our young people will somehow be absorbed into a ‘job market’. It doesn’t teach us that we can create jobs for ourselves.

Nor does it teach us to have pride in working on the land to make a living. Hence a young man or woman is considered a ‘success’ if she leaves home to work for a commercial company. No matter that they work much harder and make much less money (see this video if you don’t believe it) – they are considered more successful than that buai seller (that buai entrepreneur) by the road, who’s making twice as much, and is able to stay close to his community and his values.

Have we really sat down to think about who it was that designed our education system? Do we realise that this system was designed by people from another culture who don’t own land? Sure, it taught us to read and write and speak a foreign language that we use to converse with other people around the world. But does the education system teach us who we are? Does it teach us our strengths as a people? Does the education system teach us the value of land (i.e land, sea, air, bush etc) in the context that we own resources and are in a position of power?

Why do we listen to those who tell us that the ‘wantok system’ can’t be integrated into business? Why do you think a Chinese businessman will buy from one of his own? Isn’t that the ‘wantok system’? When will we take stock of our many strengths and realise that along with land, that we own, the traditional structures that we use to pay for bride price and funerals can also be used to pool financial resources needed to start businesses? When will we realise that we can create, on OUR own land, environments where everybody from children to adults have an income without having to work for someone else?

* PNG Constitution National Goal 1, ‘Integral Human Development’: WE ACCORDINGLY CALL FOR education to be based on mutual respect and dialogue, and to promote awareness of our human potential and motivation to achieve our National Goals through self-reliant effort.