The Lowy Institute Conference here in Auckland wrapped up last night.
I have to catch the dreaded 6am flight, so I thought maybe I’d forgo the sleep and make use of the fast, cheap internet access to upload some pictures from the Auckland trip, and also to write a quick post before I began my 6 hour flight back to PNG. (I’ll just sleep on the plane).
I’ll write a bit more on the conference this week, but what became apparent to me both in the conference and in the corridors with the attendees was that PNG had an enormous role to play in the Pacific.
The theme of the conference was based around opportunities in the pacific and time and time again PNG’s name was brought up in terms of resources and opportunities to take the country to a new level.
Outside and in the corridors a number of Pacific Islanders kept reiterating that with issues like the governance and future of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and as an extension of that the situation in Fiji and West Papua, PNG was really the only country with the resources to set the path for a new Melanesia if only it had the political will.