I lived in Papua New Guinea for 1 year in 77/78. It was not long after it was made independant by the Whitlam regime. The time I spent there was enjoyable and at the time the country was a rather friendly place. There was and still is huge potential in the natural resources and people. Talking to a few friends I still have there and reading the latest news shows that PNG is on a not so slow spiral into central american style banana republic. The rule of law is almost non existant, the wantok culture dominates and corruption is everywhere.
May people have argued that PNG was made independant before it was ready, some say it should have remained an Australian territory indefinately, either of these things would have made the life and prospects for the average person there much better. A new study makes an arguement that the longer a country was colonised the better the life of the inhabitants now. I am sure that this is applicable in the sorry case to our north.