P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 5 Aug 2001

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PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay

Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip - 5 Aug 2001. 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

Articles for this newsletter

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 28 - 30 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.

Neo Melanesian

"Pidgin English"
Mun Moon
Mun i kamap Moon Rises
Mun i godaun Moon Sets
Nupela mun New Moon

Salvation Army

The Salvos are confident that their annual appeal is on target to raise K217,000. They currently have K190,000 and the appeal ends in September.

Fire Warning

The PNG Fire Services in conjunction with the National Capital Police have issued a firm warning on lighting fires in the city. They went on to say that anyone caught lighting fires would be prosecuted.

East New Britain

Due to the abuse of vehicles owned by the East New Britain provincial government a ban has been placed on the after hours use of the vehicles. Now if only the same thing could be done in Moresby where nearly every second or third vehicle on the road is a government vehicle transporting friends and wantoks to the market or church or even transporting stock for trade stores.

East New Britain, Kokopo

A central square and commercial centre has been announced for Kokopo. It is expected to cost K8 million.

Mount Hagen

The Mount Hagen show is all set to go on the 18th and 19th of August.

Goroka Show

The show is set to run between September the 14th and the 16th. It is expected that 50 singsing groups will perform at the show this year.


It has been reported that Member of Parliament responsible for tourism has already started meddling in the affairs of the Tourism Promotion Authority.

The MP has denied any interference and that he was destroying the tourist industry by his interference.

Milne Bay

The Milne Bay Tourist Bureau can be contacted on +675 641 1538 or fax +675 641 1641 (email - jnsowelu@online.net.pg)

Australian High Commission

The Aust High Comm has a website located at http://www.dg,com.pg/ahc


Unsurprisingly the government has declared that they have borrowed over K645.5 million from friends of PNG to help reduce the interest payments on an existing loan of the same amount from K140+ million every year to under K40 million every year.


The plans by the government to privatise the PNG Banking Corporation, Air Niugini, the Electricity Commission and other govt run bodies continue to fall well behind the deadlines set for sale by the World Bank.


A weeklong anti-measles immunisation program has just finished for children in the National Capital. This is as a result of a recent measles outbreak.

Timber Industry

The deputy PM has admitted that the PNG timber industry is in chaos.


A tribal fight in the Gumine area of Chimbu Province has seen two men shot dead, 80 plus houses burnt and over 2000 coffee trees chopped down.

More Tribal Fights

A teacher has been shot dead and 60 houses burned in the Koroba District of the Southern Highlands Province. The tribal fight started over the death of a pig and quickly escalated from there.


New leaders have been appointed to the Teaching Services Commission. Allen Jogioba has been appointed Chairman and Jerry Kuhena and Michael Pearson have become commissioners.


Three local level governments in Morobe Province are supporting an investigation into the possibility of exporting taro overseas. Both New Zealand and Australia are currently importing taro from Fiji.

Central Province

The Central Province Transport Registry has announced the issue of special number plates to help raise approx K500,000 to help fix the Magi highway.

Badili Vocational

Carpentry students from the school are helping to rebuild a classroom that was gutted by fire recently. The students are currently having classes under a tree.

World Bank

The World Bank will not release a loan of US$35 million until certain conditions are met such as functional reviews of government departments and forestry reforms.

Gulf Province

The refurbished Merchant Vesssel MV Burai has been recommissioned and will provide shipping and freight services between Port Moresby and all ports in the Gulf Province.


The National Provident Fund is hoping to be able to announce K255 million in assets and between K25 and K30 million in the bank by the end of the year.

Catholic Church

The new Archbishop of Madang has been announced as Polish born William Kurtz who first came to PNG in 1967.

United Church

The work on renovating the 111-year-old Ela United Church is progressing well. A recent photograph shows the Church almost dismantled before being moved to a new location on the same site.

Ela United Church (July 2001)


The following list shows the annual growth rate in the population by the various provinces around PNG.

The total population has been reported as 2,661,091 males and 2,469,274 females. (5,130,365 total)


A clergyman has been attacked by criminals in Madang and hospitalised. The SVD Brother was attacked while serving customers from a church run trade store by seven thugs.

Chambers of Mines

Due to a downturn in the mining and petroleum sector the annual seminar held by the Chamber will now become a biennial event.

New Guinea Islands

The New Guinea Islands (NGI) police chief has recently warned police against the use of guns in performing their duties. Many people in the province have the impression that policemen went out to shoot people rather than arrest them and let the courts deal with them.


Port Moresby has had another dose of unseasonal rain.

Weather from Yahoo

Electoral Changes

The Constitutional Commission Chairman has called on all members of parliament to be present in parliament so that they can vote on electoral reforms. Out of the 108 members of parliament 73 of them must vote for any reforms.

Some of the proposed changes are changes to electoral boundaries, the way votes are counted and the resolution of any election disputes within 12 months.

A major change proposed is the adoption of a preferential voting system rather than the current first past the post situation currently use din PNG. Obviously with the 2002 elections around the corner these changes would be implemented after the 2002 elections.


The Prime Minister has said that the current 2001 budget does not rely on the sale of government assets. A full report can be located at http://www.pm.gov.pg and just look for the two recent reports on privatisation.

West New Britain

Boarding schools in WNB are closing their doors after waiting for over six months for school subsidiaries from the provincial government.


The Port Moresby Vipers have been fined and lost their appeal when the PNG Rugby Football League threw out the request for a rematch.

The Vipers walked off the ground during a recent game with the Rabaul Gurias.


The Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) now has a new acting head. Erigere Singin, who headed the Madang office of the TPA, took over from Jim Yompisi who resigned recently.

Internet Speed

One of the local Internet Service Providers has had their International bandwidth bump up to 1536 Kb from 704 Kb. I know people overseas who have far more than that into their own house!


The city of Port Moresby is again facing load shedding. This time the problem lies with a land dispute at the Sogeri / Sirinumu dam. The electricity capacity of the city has been cut in half. As I type this (on a Palm III and external keyboard) the area where I live is in the middle of a six-hour blackout.

ANZ Bank Waigani

This is from a frustrated customer. The "reorganised" ANZ bank Waigani Branch is attracting a lot of criticism about the operation.

They have removed the reception and closed the lending Counter enquiry, directing all enquiries through the staff on the overseas counter.

While the girls on this counter do a fantastic job, overloading them with chequebooks, lending enquiries, access card queries and such has increased the wait for the average customer to around 20-30 minuets for a simple overseas transaction. And do not try ringing the bank you will be lucky to get a response.

With the additional load I guess none of the management thought to increase the number of girls on the counter, this would be a bit to obvious a solution.

This appears to be in line with the Australian banks policy of continually reducing the level of service and at the same time increasing the charges. (better for the shareholders).

It is most disappointing as this ANZ Branch was one of the best banks to deal with until these changes came into force, makes one wonder if any of the managers ever stand outside and look at the customer progress or HORROR actually talk to their customers !!! (no way).

Reply from ANZ

The following was prepared by ANZ Deputy Managing Director, Neil Merrick and has been reproduced in full.

We have never had an "overseas counter" as such at our Waigani branch and chequebooks, overseas transactions, travellers cheques, new account opening, general enquiries etc have all been serviced at the same counter.

However whereas in the past individual staff members were allocated specific functions (ie cheque book clerk) we have recently moved to multiskilling our sales staff with a view to providing one stop service to our customers.

Put simply, if our customers have three different enquiries they now no longer need to go to three separate bank officers to complete their business.

As a result of the recent problems at PNGBC, traffic volumes in all of our branches have increased significantly and it has been increasingly difficult to maintain reasonable wait times. These are expected to reduce now that the PNGBC staff have gone back to work.

Before implementing the recent changes a month long survey of transaction patterns and volumes was undertaken with all staff recording details of what sort of transactions they were handling and how long they took to process same. The current staffing arrangements are based on this data (including employment of part time staff at peak periods), after comparing it to similar data from Fiji and Australia as a reality check. Prior to the last two weeks we appeared to have sufficient staff in place to meet our customers needs in a timely manner. We plan to conduct such surveys on a regular pattern to ensure we keep up with changing customer patterns, business growth etc.

We have received a number of complaints about the telephone at Waigani branch not being answered; ringing out etc and upon investigation it was discovered that whilst our customers could hear a ringing tone when they called the call was not registering at the branch switchboard. This problem has now been overcome with the assistance of the supplier of the switchboard and no complaints re: same have been received in recent weeks.

Comments from Editor

Well, having dealt with banks in many countries and read many news reports all I can say is that the general population has little faith in the banks. The shareholders seem to be getting richer and the little people are getting slugged for everything. It is obvious that when a banker talks about the bank he or she has never been a customer of that bank unless of course they go through the back door to get service or possibly do what a great deal of people are forced to do and that is send a tea boy to do the private banking of an individual.


The striking bank workers have returned to work after almost two weeks of strike action.

It is hoped that the bank will now be able to open all branches again and trade as normal.

Tok Pisin

Here is an article on - Tok Pisin: "The National Language of Papua New Guinea" http://www.siu.edu/departments/cola/ling/reports/Etepa/ Prepared and written by Edward Etepa Here is a paragraph from the article.

The historical beginning of Tok Pisin can be traced in the early 18th century, however, it does not appear fully formed until mid 1885. Its genesis was the result of a gradually stabilizing and expanding contact language which went through the following stages of development: jargon stage, to stable pidgin, expanded pidgin, followed by creolization on the notion of the pidgin/creole life cycle. The history of Tok Pisin is complex, recent research by numerous pidgin/creole linguists have shown that it would be an oversimplification of the situation to suggest that Tok Pisin represents a direct linear descendant of Pacific Jargon English which developed in several varieties in various parts of the South Pacific before the middle of the 19th century as a result of contacts between Europeans and South Sea islanders.

Jimmy Harlindong, who looks after various websites about Papua New Guinea, has announced that he has readied his Pidgin / English / Motu dictionary website located at http://www.pngbd.com/dictionary.php to a stage where it can be used. It allows the user to lookup the meaning of words in all directions. Of course, like any web site, it will never be finished so if you have some words to add or alterations that need to be done then let me know and I will pass them on to Jimmy.

Global Warming

This has been submitted by another subscriber - You may have seen this in a recent edition of The National. Chevron et al funding someone to attend a conference on what seems to be global warming etc. must be the joke of the week.

"CONCERNS that are mounting over the safety of growing populations now crowding the shores of the Pacific Ocean will be addressed at a major conference to be held this week in California, United States. National Disaster Management Office director-general Henry Mokono will represent PNG in meeting with experts from over 20 countries who share PNG's concern that life on the Pacific "Rim of Fire" is becoming increasingly risky. Chevron Niugini and the Kutabu Joint Venture are funding Mr Mokono's trip. The conference is funded by the Circum-Pacific Council."

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Created 5 Aug 2001
Updated 15 Aug 2001
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