Independent state occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, in the western Pacific Ocean, north of Australia. The southern portion of the country, Papua, was united administratively with the northern U.N. mandate of New Guinea in 1949, as Papua and New Guinea. In 1972, the name of the territory became simply Papua New Guinea. In 1974, it achieved self-government under Australian authority and, in 1975, became independent. The country retains close ties with Australia. Papua New Guinea has numerous tribal divisions, with 750 local languages, so the maintenance of the country's territorial integrity is a major priority. A secession movement in Bougainville brought violent outbreaks, beginning in 1973. The Bougainville rebels declared independence in 1990, although government forces reoccupied the island in 1991, and the rebels have been on the defensive since 1994. Indonesian incursions from West Irian occurred in 1978.
The territory formerly constituting German New Guinea, the northeast portion of the island of New Guinea, in the South Pacific Ocean. New Guinea was occupied by Australia in 1914 and administered by Australia under a mandate from the League of Nations and, after 1947, under a mandate from the United Nations. New Guinea joined with Papua in 1949 to form the territory of Papua and New Guinea. The name later was changed to Papua New Guinea.
NORTH WEST PACIFIC ISLANDS
Stamps issued: 1915-1923
During World War I, Australian forces occupied the German possessions in New Guinea and the adjacent islands. Australian stamps overprinted "N.W. Pacific Islands" were used on Nauru from 1915 to 1916 and in former German New Guinea from 1915 to 1924.
A former German protectorate, comprising the northeastern portion of New Guinea and the adjacent islands. Regular German stamps were used from 1888 to 1898 when they were replaced by separate issues. In 1914, the area was occupied by Australian forces, and stamps of New Guinea replaced those of the German administration.
An island off the northeast coast of New Guinea, in the Pacific Ocean. Formerly part of German New Guinea, the island of Neu-Pommern was renamed New Britain, when it was occupied by Australia in 1914. During 1914/1915, German New Guinea and Marshall Islands issues, overprinted "G.R.I." and new values in sterling were used. In 1915 these issues were replaced by those of the North West Pacific Islands. After World War I, it became part of the mandated territory of New Guinea.