Bougainville talks on referendum consultation process face delays

10:46 am on 6 March 2020

The governments of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea are still to decide on the consultation process over last year's independence referendum.

Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Voters were asked to choose between Bougainville having continued autonomy within Papua New Guinea or the second option, becoming independent. A 97.7 percent majority voted for option two.

Talks were due to start today but have been put off until next Friday, 13 March.

It is the second postponement of the Joint Supervisory Body, or JSB, meeting.

The minister in charge of Peace Agreement Implementation, Albert Punghau, said there were a number of steps that needed to be endorsed at the meeting before referendum outcome negotiations could start.

Bougainville's Minister for Peace Agreement Implementation, Albert Punghau

Bougainville's Minister for Peace Agreement Implementation, Albert Punghau Photo: supplied

"For now this JSB would want to endorse the process, the consultation process, and also the structure of the consultations, and also the time line of how long we are going to consult on independence before it is taken to the floor of Parliament for the final decision."

Mr Punghau said the delay was down to both governments not agreeing on the agenda for the meeting.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs