The origin and setting of the national goals and directive principles in the process of writing the constitution of Papua New Guinea

Kari, Sam Sirox (2005) The origin and setting of the national goals and directive principles in the process of writing the constitution of Papua New Guinea. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis reveals the origins and meaning of the National Goals and Directive Principles, the processes leading to their tabling, discussion and drafting and the role of the Constitutional Planning Committee and Australia in this process. This thesis investigates for the first time the vision embedded in the National Goals and Directive Principles. The vision of the five National Goals and Directive Principles compelled post- independence governments to deliver social, economic and political development with consideration to equality, economic self-reliance, national sovereignty and protection of the natural environment. The goals were integrated in the constitution of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, however the National Goals and Directive Principles were ignored or only given passing acknowledgement by successive governments. The National Goals and Directive Principles were a road map, which the new nation could follow when the colonial rulers Australia had departed, but some subsequent policies actually contradicted the aspirations, advice and nationalist blueprint declared in the constitution.

The translation of the National Goals and Directive Principles to policies implemented by government departments and debated in the House of Assembly comprises the final, but significant, element of this investigation. There has been no major study on the declaration of the National Goals and Directive Principles although 29 years has passed since independence.

This thesis reveals the genesis of a national vision and ideas expressed by an educated indigenous elite in Papua New Guinea but mostly influenced by expatriates and foreign consultants over the brief period between responsible government and full independence (1959-1975). The thesis argues that it was more a foreign than home-grown idea that Papua New Guinea would be a viable nation. It identifies the origin of the idea that a nation needed a unifying set of guiding principles and how this vision ended up being embedded in the constitution of the new nation. The central assertion of this thesis is that a vision of the new nation was never agreed upon nor did it emerge from the unique cultures, knowledge and history of Papua New Guinea's people. It argues that Papua New Guinea went through the expected, conventional process of decolonisation and constitution writing, and that declaring a national vision was never central to the rapid development of a political structure. The National Goals and Directive Principles were made to look like a collective indigenous vision, but they emerged from foreign ideas, theory and practice and were used by an educated elite obsessed with and overwhelmed by the rush to take over political and economic power. There was no long-term national vision merely the continuation of the colonial order and the maintenance of borrowed, western ideas, disguised as a national discourse.

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ID Code: 16071
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Quanchi, Alan & Poulgrain, Greg
Keywords: Papua New Guinea, national goals, directive principles, constitution, Department of Trade and Industry and Commerce, independence
Department: QUT Carseldine
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:56
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:42

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