Bio & Contact

The Garamut is Papua New Guinea’s leading political blog and was established in 2008.

Deni ToKunai (aka “Tavurvur”) studied business and law at the University of Waikato, New Zealand.

He hails from Duke of York Island in East New Britain and is the third of four siblings to a Papua New Guinean father and New Zealand mother.

While studying in NZ, Deni became the first Papua New Guinean to be elected as SRC President of a NZ University in 2010, and was successfully re-elected for a second term in 2011.

He has served on several boards and held several directorships in various capacities, most notably the Waikato University Council under the leadership of former NZ Prime Minister Jim Bolger; University Sport NZ; NZ Tertiary Education Commission’s LAC; and as Chairman of Student Job Search Inc NZ.

In 2008, Deni started his leading political blog The Garamut using the nom de guerre “Tavurvur” and has secured a growing loyal readership – both domestically and internationally.

He has established himself as one of PNG social media’s leading political commentators and is regularly interviewed and quoted by media organizations in Australia and around the Pacific.

Deni’s observations and political commentary have been reported in the New York Times and The Economist, and his blog posts and tweets are regularly picked up and reported on by Australian media and New Zealand media including industry publications and news websites.

In 2012, The Garamut gained international acknowledgement as the number one source of information and news about the PNG 2012 National Election.

Deni provided up-to-date and accurate election coverage of all results via Twitter (@Tavurvur) and his blog.

He aims to provide original and meaningful opinion on issues affecting Papua New Guinea.



Francis Fukuyama’s paper: Governance Reform in Papua New Guinea

53 Responses to “Bio & Contact”

  1. turagu, thanks for the link. it is good contributing a piece of our thoughts on png’ples blg yumi’ on the web.

  2. Thanks for the link too…

  3. blogrolled yah, squad. Already like your work upon first glance. Will be back 4 more.


  4. Thank you for introducing us, Tavurvur, I hope to be able to share your love of PNG sooner rather than later. ness

  5. Thanks and keep it up.

  6. love your work 🙂

  7. Hi Sam – wondering if you’re still with Sunday Chronicle. I heard you talked about this paper and seen first couple of publications when left for Oz. Surprised now to bump into it again on the cyberworld; not only that it is in full swing but had gone on-line. I’m in deed impressed. Good job – keep it up!
    PS: Pass my hallo to John & Getru in PNG Pawa, at Holola. Robert, Adelaide SA

  8. Robert,

    Thanks for your comment – I do believe that you have the wrong person? I’m not too sure who Sam is. Or maybe you meant to post your comment on the SC’s website?


  9. HI,
    I stumbled across the interview about Malaria and intrigued to hear you have had it several times. I am travelling to PNG in June (from Australia) for work. Can you advise on preventative medicine – some sites say see a Dr, some say buy medicine over the counter at a pharmacy – lots of different ideas – do you have any advice?? tks, Jackie

  10. Jackie,

    I’ll send you an email. Thanks.


  11. Hi
    Great site. Wonder if its possible to seek support from you to use parts of the materials for a research project on buai chewing, if its a traditional cultural practice of our society. Copyrights clearance ofcourse. Really a project for short docomentary at university here in Melbourne. Acknowledgements guaranteed.

  12. Fantastic and great site.
    Wonder if you can support interms of copy right clearance use of some parts of materials and if possible any footages of our local people etc chewing buai like in ceremonies or feastings. I kind of browsing net for more details and I came across this, so any thoughts?
    This is for a research project at uni here in Melbourne, for a short documentary film as cultural aesthetics in our society. You will credited and acknowledged at the end of the production of course.
    Askim tasol if its ok otherwise, I will understand. God bless.

  13. its a shame after working for lammana at the heartige park hotel in the soloman island that bill matthews the project manneger he has no respect for the locals or the expacts that work for him we worked for 3 months plastering on the hotel and brought it up to speed then 1 night he and the head chippie[Phill cooper] came and home invadered our place of stay ending in a fight. after we picked them up of the floor and sent them on there way.we did not say a word till now because we are still waiting for the tools that were broken to be replaced but after 3 months promised by bill mathewers still not fixed up and then when we got home our pays were wrong and the tax free work was a lie the job was not close to 3 stars till we got there and did our bit, then he sacked us hopeing we would never to reveal his dirty little secret i hope him and the sectary get caught out by his wife as the cheater he is because she is a lovley person regards bundy boys

  14. Real cool… The best site i’ve visited since 98


  15. I think you are doing a wonderful job with this website so far.

  16. well this sure will help me with understanding alot. thanks for the link, now im ready to kill my essay paper.

  17. Wow… Your web is very nice and has a good content. I will bookmark it on my browser.

  18. Yeh ……..Your web is so usefull, thanks alot. I start to know more about PNG and things happening in PNG and abroad.

    Thanks alot.

  19. Hi Tavurvur,

    I’ve been following your blog and twitter feed. I love your work. Over the past year your comments and thoughts on PNG politics and and the PNG environment has become required reading for anybody interesting in the country.

    Keep it up.

  20. Thanks Moses – I hope you keep on enjoying my blog.

  21. wow….i really like this websiite, it will gurantee me to express freely my thoughts and opinions about current things that are happening in the coutry such as the current political situation of PNG.

  22. Thanks for the link, great to share some interesting thoughts on PNG and the many challenges that PNG is facing today.

  23. Hmmm, I wonder if you’re a Kaputin? 🙂

  24. ok, will have a chat to a magistrate that I know 🙂

  25. Mmmm, might check with a nightingale then

  26. Tavuvur, I live overseas and your blog is miles ahead of the PNGEC. This begs the question of the people behind this system, their proffesionalism, commitment, and expertise. I have been using your site to update my FB page. Thanks a million. Job well done. PNGEC should have given you the contract to update the whole nation. In fact they should in the next elections. Obviously your system is better.

    • ‘Rowan’ – You flatter me. It does beg the question as to what the PNGEC has been doing? But thank you for your comments, I appreciate it. Rgds, Tavurvur.

  27. Hmmmm, may have the right info now – will watch and see:)

  28. Boina tuna bro..keep it up..

  29. great site, can anyone tell me when this site was published/last updated?

  30. wow! awesome stuff you’ve got here. one could almost mistake you for a journo, but you’re not!….and although you remain a mystery, am proud cos I can feel it in my bones, that you’re from my turf!!!!!!!!!! keep up the good work.

  31. Awesome. Good to finally have your real name.

  32. Your work at keeping those of us who’ve pretty much given up on the two dailies has been outstanding. Your unbiased and informative reporting is a breath of fresh air. Keep up the great work.

  33. Nice to put a name and face to Tavuvur. Keep up your great work Deni, many of us appreciate the time, effort and thought that goes into your blog posts.

  34. Good blog…read all over the world…please keep us informed…!

  35. The Garamut is a favourite blog of mine, providing up to date news, views and information about issues in Papua New Guinea. By my reckoning, it outperformed PNG’s dailies by quite a stretch during the country’s election. It’s great to know the man behind the blog. Thanks Deni, well done! Iauro!

    • ‘TolaiMan’ – Thank you for the support. And thank you for sharing your views on The Garamut over the years. Look forward to meeting you one day – if the chance is provided. Best.

  36. Wow! Good to finally know the man behind the volcano! 🙂

  37. Garamut is so fantastic. The beat is so loud and clear for all to hear. Thanks for the initiative. Joe Lakani

  38. Love your blog and thanks for unmasking yourself

  39. I follow you on twitter but I didnt know how awesome your blog was 🙂

  40. Hi, your blog is great. I’m from Sydney an I think it is a dead shame that I have heard very little about the issues you are writing on within our media, especially considering the weight of the subject matter of your articles, and the relationship between PNG and Australia. Keep up the great work, I’m here reading and pondering!

  41. I heard your interview of BBC World this evening :). It was good to hear you give some perspective on sorcery in PNG. Sorcery is such a complex issue that repealing the act is not going to address fundamental belief’s about how a good number of our people think the world works.
    I think that the provision in the current act (sec 10) that addresses the issue of false accusation’s should be reviewed with harsh penalties put in place so those who play judge and jury can be dealt with under this provision.

    All best,


    • ‘Finah’ – Thank you. I hope that I did manage to provide some context to sorcery in PNG, particularly as the interview was on BBC’s world service – listened to globally. The reality is that no matter how much context I provided, it could not mitigate the negative effects of the tragic event on our country.

      I agree that sorcery is a complex issue and repealing the Sorcery Act 1971 will not address values, beliefs and attitudes. The challenge for our Government is how exactly will they address the issue?


  42. Great stuff…what is your take on the recent asylum issue? Do you think our government just literally sold ourselves?

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