Through an academic exchange arrangement between the New Zealand Institute for Pacific Research (NZIPR) and the PNG APEC Study Centre, I had the opportunity to present my research at the NZIPR Oceans & Islands Conference held at the University of Auckland on 29-30 November 2018. My research paper titled ‘Accessing secure customary land for commercial opportunities in Papua New Guinea’ was amongst other research papers presented under the theme of ‘Pacific environments and extractive industries: managing land and natural resources’.
We are extremely proud to be wrapping up another successful year at the New Zealand Institute for Pacific Research. Last month we hosted over 120 delegates and fantastic keynote speakers from around the Pacific region at the Oceans and Islands 2018 conference. Thank you to everyone who participated and contributed to making our first conference a memorable experience. You can view our live tweets from the conference and some images from each day here.
Foreign aid is an important resource for the Pacific Islands, and for many countries is a major point of engagement with the region. Yet public information at the project level is sparse, often lacks detail, and is difficult to access. This lack of transparency reduces the effectiveness of aid.
Debate on the Pacific region’s role in global geopolitics has deepened in 2018. The focus has turned to the Korean Peninsula, China-US relations, China-Pacific Island dynamics and what a shift to ‘Indo-Pacific’ as a descriptor means. Regional security cooperation, ongoing regional and trans-regional trade negotiations, have also formed a big part of the picture.
Recently, debate has been lively and vigorous in response to the Government signalling a shift in foreign policy towards the Pacific Islands region.