By Alastair Davis, an intern in the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program.
- The Panama Papers leak involved Pacific states, with Niue and Samoa identified as the fifth and sixth most popular tax havens in the leaked documents.
- Former politician Dame Carol Kidu is suing to prevent the release of a documentary about the eviction of settlers from the proposed venue for the 2018 APEC Leaders' Summit in PNG. Dame Kidu says the documentary misrepresents her role in the events.
- The Asian Development Bank has downgraded Papua New Guinea's expected growth rate to 4.3%, and projects slower growth in 2017, in line with 2016 PNG budget estimates. The government is seeking a US$250 million loan from the IFC to address foreign exchange shortages.
- Papua New Guinean Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court to dismiss orders preventing the anti-corruption task force from investigating himself and Finance Minister James Marape, citing the decision as an example of a 'vibrant and independent judiciary'.
- Former Papua New Guinean Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta released a statement criticising the political leadership's attitude towards public institutions, and called on the Prime Minister to resign. Morauta accused the government of eroding the independence of institutions and undermining the rule of law.
- Jenny Hayward-Jones responded to the debate sparked by her most recent Lowy Institute paper, Papua New Guinea: Old challenges for new leaders.
- In an effort to strengthen relations with the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Indonesia is considering appointing a Special Envoy to the South Pacific, with West Papuan affairs an element of the portfolio.
- Cyclone Zena has hit the Pacific just weeks after Cyclone Winston, with Fiji and the Solomon Islands suffering the effects of floods, and Vanuatu issuing emergency warnings. Below, two Fijian police officers on patrol: