The Rokeach Value Survey was administered to 12 groups of indigenous respondents fluent in the English language and enrolled in tertiary institutions and training programmes in Papua New Guinea (over 1,100 subjects). Average value systems of these respondents were compared with those of three Australian student groups (secondary and tertiary). Marked differences were found in the relative importance assigned to particular values. Values assigned relatively high importance by the Papua New Guinea groups were discussed in relation to lower‐order safety and security needs that may become salient in a developing country, and in terms of the traditional culture and the history of Papua New Guinea, especially the missionary influence, the extended family and wantok (”one‐talk”) systems, possible expatriate influence on occupational roles, and present concern with emerging nationhood. Values assigned relatively high importance by the Australian groups were discussed in relation to higher‐order needs that might become prepotent in a more affluent society. Factor analyses indicated that all 12 groups in Papua New Guinea were fairly similar in their average value systems.