P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 11 Dec 2000

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PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay

Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip - 11 Dec 2000. A very special welcome is extended to any new readers. If you have comments or suggestions to make then please e-mail them to giaman@png-gossip.com

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To send a message for submission to the PNG Gossip Newsletter -- please e-mail your contribution to pngnews.queue@png-gossip.com

Remember that this mailing list is mainly meant for people who have an interest and already know a little bit about the people and geography of Papua New Guinea. The PNG Kina, which is mentioned from time to time, is currently worth somewhere around 31 - 32 United States cents but varies on a daily basis.

If you are really keen on finding out what the Kina is worth a currency converter for most world currencies can be located at http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/moni.html

For those who are not so familiar with the geography of Papua New Guinea I suggest taking a look http://maps.expedia.com and then click on the find a map option. Go to this link for a quick start to a link to a map of Port Moresby. http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/pom-map.html

Also remember that the accuracy of the information in this newsletter should not be relied upon - it is, after all, a gossip newsletter.

Weather Map

For those of you interested in what the weather is like over PNG then you can pay a visit to James Cook University who offer the following website -- http://marlin.jcu.edu.au/JCUMetSat/globehlast.gif for those who are interested in the weather.

An even better site is located at -- http://wwwghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES - This is the NASA site, which requires a bit of driving to get the best picture but is definitely worthwhile. On the page mentioned you must scroll down until you find the title - "Weather images of Japan, Australia, the West Pacific and Asia from GMS-5". Once at the correct part of the page you then decide whether you want Visible, Infrared or Water Vapour (Infrared looks good) maps of the area. Once you have decided click on the correct icon. This will take you to an input panel where you then have to select the quality, zoom factor, map colour etc. I have been told 85% quality and a yellow map at high resolution (4km res) is good enough for the National Airline of PNG to give to its pilots so why not try that as a starting point but people located on the ground rather than in the air may find other maps of more benefit so please experiment until you find something suitable. If you happen to come across another site I would love to be updated with the link.

Weather Forecast

For those simply interested in a weather forecast then the following options are available for various towns in the various provinces --

Another weather site is located at: - http://www.intellicast.com/LocalWeather/World/Oceania/PapuaNewGuinea/PortMoresby/Forecast

Newspaper Sites

For any one interested in the news of PNG then visit these newspaper sites for all the up-to-date news and sports results.

Post Courier -- http://www.postcourier.com.pg

National -- http://www.thenational.com.pg

The Independent -- http://www.tiare.net.pg/independent

Poverty Line

One third of the PNG population live below the poverty line set as US$1 per day.

Minimum Wages

Many see the increase in the minimum wage from K22.90 to K60.94 per week as a crippling move. Some of the experts are calling this a 163 per cent increase whilst others are saying it is a larger increase of about 270 per cent based on the fact that the K22.90 was a fortnightly minimum wage and the new wage is per week.

Ramu Sugar has taking out advertisements stating that the new minimum wage may force it to cease labour intensive agricultural operations and layoff workers. The company has strongly urged the government to critically review the minimum wages board recommendation

It is estimated that there are only 200,000 people in the PNG workforce out of an estimated population of 5 million.

Television Station

Approval has been given for an American religious television station. The PNG Telecom Authority has granted a nationwide non-commercial broadcast licence to 3ABN (3 Angels Broadcasting Network). Many people have welcomed the granting of a licence to a second broadcaster within the country.

PNG Gas Project

The government is struggling to raise the 30 per cent it would like to invest in the PNG gas project. It has obtained $US100 million from the European Investment Bank but much more is required.

National Capital District

Sir Michael Somare has blasted the National Capital District Commission for failing to maintain Port Moresby in a clean and tidy state. Sir Michael said he was appalled at the unkempt image of the city. He also criticised design of some of the new roads around the city wondering if they had been planned by professionals or people like himself with no training.

East New Britain

The former governor of East New Britain (ENB), Francis Koimanrea has won the Pomio open by-election. The former deputy governor, Leo Dion, has won the regional ENB seat and is eligible to become the Governor of the province. The returning office was disappointed with the number of people who voted. Only 38,000 out of a possible 200,000 eligible voters voted in the by-elections.

Sir Rabbie Namaliu says the poll results reflect community confidence in the way the province was governed. He said, "He had no doubt that the people had voted for the new members because of their quality".

ENB Quakes

The estimated cost of repairing damage caused by the recent earthquake on the 16th of November is expected to be in the vicinity of K14 million.

Integrity Bill

The parliamentarian integrity bill was passed 84 - 0 with unqualified support from the opposition. Basically if a parliamentarian switches political parties he or she will have to face a by-election. This along with other measures has been passed in a hope to stabilise parliament. The bill also sets out how much money can be donated by individuals and companies towards the running of political parties.

2001 Budget

The parliamentarians have also passed the K3.9 billion 2001 Budget as well as four other major appropriation bills.

Parliament adjournment

Parliament has now adjourned until the 23rd of July 2001

Squatter Settlements

An associate professor in geography at a University in Tokyo has said that the squatter settlements around Port Moresby should not be blamed for the crime of the country. They should also not bee seen as the breeding place for criminals. He said that "criminals live everywhere both in settlements and legitimate suburbs".

Air Niugini Hill

The land that Air Niugini Hill, Korobosea, is situated on is being claimed by the Vamaga clan of Kira Kira (Kila Kila). It is believed that the privatisation of Air Niugini has hurried the claim along. The hill was originally known as Koboka. The clan says they have been waiting 37 years for adequate compensation for not only Air Niugini hill but also the land that Caritas Girls School and the PNG Harbours Board housing estate are situated on.

Jackson's Airport

The second stage of the Jackson's redevelopment project should be completed by February. This stage includes the air traffic control tower as well as the installation of communication equipment around the airport. The new tower has been seen as a white elephant after the external building work was completed in time for the opening of the new domestic and international terminals in March 1998.


The Asian Development bank is boosting small loan schemes within the country by providing US$9.6 million. The money will provide micro-finance services to small enterprises and saving services throughout PNG.

National Provident Fund

NPF members will have their contributions written down by only 15 percent rather than the tipped 55 percent. The government will pay the NPF K60 million over a 15-year period. The K60 million will be indexed to the Consumer Price Index so the value will not be eroded over the 15-year period.


Orogen Minerals Limited is expecting to have an outstanding financial year due to the boost in oil prices recently. This is in addition to the exceptional production from the 20 per cent share in the Porgera gold mine

Yama Security

The judge reviewing the claim by Yama Security that the National Capital District Commission owed the company K7 million for breach of contract has said the amount awarded should only be equal to the lost profit as a direct result of the termination of the contract. It is anticipated that this amount will be somewhat less than K7 million.

International Education Agency

Maureen Stubberfield, the well-known principal of Murray International School, is going finish after almost 34 years in the country.

Bugandi Secondary School

540 students graduate from the school in the 37th graduation ceremony making this the biggest graduation ever for the school.


An effort is being made by the UNESCO to sponsor seventeen students from the University of PNG in their research into and documentation of the many dying languages in PNG. There is a fear that many languages with a small number of speakers are slowly dying out. It is hoped that the students will be able to develop alphabets and get them to be used in schools in the respective areas where they are spoken in a bid to save the languages.


Since 1999 there have been no courses available to train librarians due lack of funding. There is also a distinct lack of access to electronic technology for the existing librarians.

Police / Soldiers Clash

There has been another altercation between the defence force and the police force this time as a result of an allegation that police beat up a soldier who had been stopped at a police roadblock and arrested. The Prime Minister has ordered an investigation into the incident, which saw the burning of a fraud squad police vehicle near the army barracks.

Police Vehicles

The NCD police chief would like the two police vehicles burnt by soldiers, one on the 23rd of September and the other recently, to be replaced by the Defence Force.

Police Guns

It has been revealed that 40 police guns out of a total of 264 purchased between 1998 and 1999 have gone missing. It is not sure whether the missing weapons are in safe hands or dangerous hands.

Pyramid Scheme

The principle of the failed pyramid scheme called U-Vistract has failed in his bid to have his two passports returned so that he can travel overseas at a recent sitting of the National Court.

PNG Diving

Once again photographs of underwater scenes have won a prominent position at a world underwater photography festival. Photos won gold, silver and bronze at the annual Festival Mondial de L'image Sous-marine.

A few dive sites and dive boats are listed below. As with any links appearing in this newsletter please let me know if you find a new link or find that one I have mentioned is no longer active or perhaps the page has moved.

Accommodation Sites

Recent Exchange Rates

PNG newspaper sites

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Created 11 Dec 2000
Updated 11 Dec 2000
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