P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 23 Dec 2002

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PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay
Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip - 23 Dec 2002

Festive Season

Meri Krismas na Hepi Niu Yia to all readers of the newsletter. For those that can manage a break make it a good break and for everyone especially those that do not get a break make the most of any small interval where you can reflect on the year that is about to pass and what you hope to achieve in the New Year. Happy New Year!

A very special welcome is extended to any new readers. If you have comments or suggestions to make then please use the contact form


Tok Pisin Links
PNGDF Travel Delays
Missing Tickets PNG Built Yachts
Border Problems Two Mile Settlement
Settlement Clean-up Settler Policy
Measles Outbreak Mutiny
Bougainville Bougainville Home-brew
Fuel Prices Land rates
Privatisation Commission Medical School Support Program
Enga Province Air Crash
Ombudsman Commission Finschhafen
PNGBC Sale Wosera-Gawi
Southern Highlands Hidden Valley
Gas Project Micro Credit
NARI Website PNG Media Sites


Articles for this newsletter

To send a message for submission to the PNG Gossip Newsletter -- please use the contact form

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 in this newsletter, is currently worth around 36.86 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



Neo Melanesian

"Pidgin English"
Tok Pisin English
meri krismas Merry Christmas
hepi niu yia Happy New Year
handet yia century
- -
Jenueri January
Februeri February
Mars March
Epril April
Mei May
Jun June
Julai July
Ogas August
Septemba September
Oktoba October
Novemba November
Disemba December



If you have subscribed to this newsletter then rest assured that your email address will not be sold or passed onto others.

Want to find out more about Papua New Guinea? Try searching at http://www.michie.net/pnginfo and http://www.michie.net/png_faqs. The PNG Business Directory at http://www.pngbd.com is also an excellent place to look for PNG information.

For those who are not so familiar with the geography of Papua New Guinea I suggest taking a look http://maps.google.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.


http://www.nari.org.pg/ -- This is a new website for the National Agricultural Research Institute.

http://www.pngbd.com -- PNG Business and Tourist Directory

Are you a coin or bank note collector then a visit to the website run by the Bank of PNG at http://www.bankpng.gov.pg may interest you.

Help is needed to develop the Frequently Asked Questions at http://www.michie.net/png_faqs. The list of FAQ's has been growing but has slowed down despite the fact that there are still many unanswered questions. The FAQ's are searchable down to a relevant page but then a viewer needs to use their own web browser to search the located page. i.e. most browsers allow you to do a "find in page" -- Control "F" search.

http://www.tis.ac.pg/ -- Tabubil International School

http://www.pngbuai.com -- PNG BUAI (Papua New Guinea Books Useful Articles & Information) seeks to provide a virtual home for a growing collection of research level electronic material on and from Papua New Guinea.



News Items


The PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) maritime unit has done well during a recent joint exercise between the PNGDF and their Australian counterparts. For two weeks three PNGDF patrol boats, HMPNGS Tarangau, Seedler and Dreger and two Australian navy vessels, HMAS Dubbo and HMAS Whyalla, took part in Exercise Paradise.

Travel Delays

It always seems to happen every festive season - planes break down and passengers are disrupted. Some of the horror stories would make you cry. Air Niugini operates out of Moresby as its main hub. This means that many people transit through Moresby but in actual fact get stuck in Moresby for a day or two or three. Some families have to catch 3 or more planes to get home or match an airline timetable with a weekly boat schedule. This is almost impossible in the non-peak period and unachievable in the Christmas period.

One of the "newer" Air Niugini aircraft had problems with oxygen bottles recently so it was out of service for a while making for pure bedlam at Jackson's airport. Many of the airports can not be flown into of a night time so even though a plane may be fixed before darkness a catch up flight is often planned for the plane to arrive at the destination at first light the following morning this then pushes the rest of the schedule for that day out as well. Even the "newer" planes are not so new.

Some of the passenger delays are caused by the fact that due to the Civil Aviation Authority not maintaining runways to the necessary standard Air Niugini planes have to carry more fuel for safety reasons so fewer passengers can be carried. For example, I have been told that planes flying to Rabaul need to carry enough fuel to get to Rabaul and if they can not land there then they have to have enough fuel to fly all the way back to Moresby because the alternate airports in the Rabaul area can not take an F28. I am afraid it is too complicated for me and probably the poor airline passengers who have to suffer especially when their friends let them know that there were seats free on the flight they couldn't get on.

Missing Air Tickets

Education authorities in the province have allegedly misused airline tickets to the value of almost a quarter of a million, earmarked for teachers in Chimbu province. The Chimbu Governor, Father Louis Ambane, has ordered the provincial administrator, Joseph Dorapar, to mount an immediate investigation into the alleged financial misuse. About 60 teachers from provinces outside of Chimbu are missing their tickets home for Christmas.

PNG Built Yachts

The Bavaria Yachtbau Company has assembled a 36ft yacht weighing 4.5 tonnes in Port Moresby's Fairfax harbour. The parts took two months to ship from Germany and only three days to assemble it. Another yacht, 2ft longer, is expected to be assembled early next year. The yacht comes in three separate pieces consisting of the rudder, keel and the mast.

Border Problems

Tension is high on the Indonesian (Irian Jaya) side of the PNG / Indonesian border after a recent skirmish between Indonesian soldiers and OPM (Free Papua Movement) rebels. Villagers from PNG are steering clear of the border in fear of an outright clash between the two. An influx of villagers from the Indonesian side is expected in the future.

PNG Defence Force Commander, Peter Ilau, has assured the nation that the skirmish on the border by armed guerrillas and Indonesian soldiers was now quite but is still of serious concern to PNG.

Two Mile Settlement

The settlers at two-mile in Port Moresby have clashed with soldiers from Murray Barracks over the wounding of a soldier recently. After the soldier was wounded the two-mile hill area was closed for half a day while police attempted to defuse the tension.

Settlement Clean-up

The station commander of the Badili police has been tasked to establish who should continue to live in the Two-Mile settlement area of Port Moresby. The police commander, community policing officers and officers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, NCDC health office, Health Department and Lands Department will work in the settlements by going to each house to identifying who worked in Port Moresby. Police statistics reveal that many criminal activities have occurred in or near the settlement in recent months.

Settler Policy

The Metropolitan police chief has said that a national policy on settlements should be established. He said it appeared that there was no policy on law and order and people thought that they could settle anywhere they wished. Under the proposed settlement policy there should be laws that allow landowners or the State to lease land to people who want to settle on land in or near the city instead of people illegally squatting on land.

Measles Outbreak

An outbreak of measles at Henganofi in the Eastern Highlands Province has claimed 17 babies so far (more deaths are confirmed at this stage). The outbreak has been attributed to a lack of a viable Mother-Child-Health (MCH) clinic over the past five to six years where newborn babies are vaccinated. This is due to the fact there are no vehicles for the health sector in Henganofi, the shortage of measles antibiotics and essential drugs and the very poor road conditions in the area.


Out of the 27 soldiers charged with mutiny at the Moem Barracks in Wewak, East Sepik uprising in March this year 24 have been charged. All 27 soldiers had pleaded not guilty to charges of mutiny arising from incidents between March 8 to March 23. The maximum penalty for mutiny is death under military regulation.

During the mutiny the

The barracks were taken back from the renegade soldiers on March 23 2002.

The three soldiers, who had already served their short nine-month sentence, are now under threat by the other soldiers. The soldiers who did not take part in the mutiny are upset that the sentences were too lenient.


The PNG Defence Force is finally withdrawing completely from the island of Bougainville. Since the Bougainville uprising in 1989, it had cost the PNG government on average more than K2 million to keep troops on Bougainville, sometimes as many as 1000 soldiers at any one time, especially during the peak of the crises.

Bougainville Home-brew

The Women's Forum on Weapons Disposal (WFWD) on Bougainville has noted that the widespread abuse of home-brew on Bougainville, mainly by men of all ages, is threatening the weapons disposal program on the island.

Fuel Prices

The price of most fuel has risen yet again. The new price for diesel and other fuels are:
diesel users paying an extra 8.3 toea per litre -- K1.74 per litre
kerosene will pay an extra 0.5 toea per litre -- K1.43 per litre
Aviation gas (avgas) will now pay K1.60 per litre, a decrease of 14.1 toea.
Petrol - no increase in price. K2.04 per litre

Land rates

Statutory organisations that were previously exempted from paying land rates will now have to pay from next year. The organisations concerned are the PNG Harbours Board, the Kopra Industri Koporesin, Cocoa Industry Board, Oil Palm Industry Board, Coffee Industry Corporation, PNG Forest Authority and the Water Board. Also if they get more than 60 days behind with their payments they will be charged an 8 percent interest rate.

Privatisation Commission

The Privatisation Commission, now called the Independent Public Business Corporation, was given a bill of K6.8 million by KPMG International Projects Group for work in relation to the privatisation process but KPMG could not say how much of that was for the Pacific Finance Group of companies. The PNG Banking Corporation that is currently under investigation was a member of the Finance Pacific Group of companies.

Medical School Support Program

AusAID has signed an agreement worth K3.2 million for the Medical School Support Program. The K3.2 million program is a continuation of the previous AusAID-sponsored Medical Officers and Nurses Allied Health Program (MONAHP), which ends this month. The program is aimed at improving the quality and importance of doctor-specialist care and public health professional training in PNG.

Enga Province

The governor of Enga has started a new program to pay school fees for the top five Grade 10 students who will continue with Grade 11 next year. The Enga Provincial Government had put a halt to the subsidy of school fees but has committed to continuing to subsidise school fees for tertiary students.

Air Crash

Eight people have died in an plane crash in the Madang province. The victims included former Madang Governor and Rai Coast MP Stahl Musa, the Deputy Governor of Madang Joe Tola, the Madang administration officer Paul Madu and Provincial Works Co-ordinator Saun Yaboi. The Deputy Governor and his party had flown to the Rai Coast in a light aircraft to open a new airstrip at Guhu on the Finnestere Range. They were taking off from the airstrip to return to Madang after the ceremony when the plane crashed into a cliff. Investigations are continuing into the cause of the plane crash.

Ombudsman Commission

Referring back to an item in a previous newsletter one of the readers of this newsletter, who signs his email as "height of confidentiality", says that the foreign diplomat's wife who was working for the Ombudsman Commission is long gone. In fact long before the Commission moved out of the offices at Garden City, Boroko. I believe the Commission still owes money on that rental as well as the new offices down town in Deloittes Tower.


A road between Lae and Finschhafen has been reopened. Three businessmen assisted in the maintenance and clearance of the road. The villagers of Burum, Kuat, Pindiu and Bukawa villages in the Morobe province have now been called upon to look after it.


Te Commission of Inquiry into the privatisation of Finance Pacific and the PNG Banking Corporation (PNGBC) has been told by the Director of KMPG (PNG) that the Central Bank had restricted Westpac Bank's bid for the PNGBC. It has been reported that before the tenders closed the Bank South Pacific (BSP) did not show any interest yet the BSP is now the owner of the former PNGBC. The BSP made its interest known on Sept 26, 2001, well after the deadline lapsed.


The MP responsible for Wosera-Gawi, East Sepik has said that he will have a provincial high school built in his electorate in 2004. Unfortunately no funds were allocated in the 2003 national budget for the purpose. He is hoping that some funding will be made available in the East Sepik Provincial budget.

Southern Highlands

For ease of administration the Southern Highlands Province has been split into three major districts. It will recommended to the National Executive Council that an administrator and two deputies is appointed for each of the eastern, western and central sections of the province. This, it seems, will make them almost like mini provinces with their own treasury and their own public service, law and order committees etc.

Hidden Valley

A Special Mining Lease (SML) for the Hidden Valley Gold Project in Morobe Province should be granted in time for the project to start midway through next year.

Gas Project

The gas project between PNG and Australia has been dealt a blow. Australian Gas and Light, who had said they would buy gas from PNG, has now said that it is unlikely to buy gas from the PNG gas project. Exxon Mobil, the project operators, have assured PNG that they remain confident that sufficient customers will sign up soon to enable the front-end engineering design (FEED) to begin in early 2003.

Micro Credit

A Women's Micro Credit Scheme project has been successfully implemented in the Morobe Province. Under scheme all districts in the province received K20,000. In the Lae district alone 472 projects have been successfully funded under the Scheme, these projects range from the sale of ice blocks and handcrafts to rabbit farming and other informal sector activities.

NARI Website

A new website has started to promote the National Agricultural Research Institute it is can be found at http://www.nari.org.pg.

NARI is a publicly-funded statutory research organization, established by the National Agricultural Research Institute Act 1996 of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, for conducting applied and development-oriented research on food crops, alternative food and cash crops, livestock and resource management issues


PNG Media

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-- THE END --

Some of the above are courtesy of Liz and her friends at the University of Technology in Lae. http://www.unitech.ac.pg

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Created 23 Dec 2002
Updated 23 Dec 2002

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