Papua New Guinea no longer necessarily needs to identify itself as falling within an uncontested Australian and New Zealand sphere of influence.
Although Papua New Guinea is a ‘small state’ it increasingly defies traditional predictions about its international relations and attempts to enhance its security. This article begins by outlining Papua New Guinea’s new geopolitical, regional and economic opportunities. It then considers the continuing challenges that Papua New Guinea faces which may undermine the benefits of these opportunities. This article concludes by arguing that Papua New Guinea may believe that its increasing opportunities have enhanced its power and influence, which may lead to a decline in Australia’s influence, exemplified by the circumstances surrounding the recent Regional Resettlement Arrangement.