P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 29 Jan 2001

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PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay

Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip Newsletter - 29 Jan 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 29 - 31 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.

Oceania Soccer Club Championships

True to form the Wollongong Wolves have scooped the K3 million winners prize defeating the Vanuatu Club Tafea 1 goal to nil at the Lloyd Robson Oval.

Gulf Cheques

The Bank account of the Gulf Provincial Government is in the red. Businesses in Kerema, the provincial capital, are telling stories of rubber cheques being presented at the bank and the bank telling them that there is no money.

Internet Bandwidth

According to an advertisement currently running in the daily newspapers the following is the bandwidth capacity of the five Internet Service Providers in the country. Be warned the advert is paid by the supplier with the most bandwidth.

Moran Oil Field

Production has now recommenced after Chevron Niugini shut down the Moran oil field due to a sit in protest by disgruntled landowners. The Moran 2 well produces about 3000 barrels of oil a day. The current price of a barrel is approximately US$32. The Moran 4 well normally produces 13,000 barrels a day.


Is it true that the General Manager of one of the Computer companies in town has decided not to take up the offer of going into the cement business?

National Airline

The National Airline has announced special through fares from Port Moresby via Cairns to New Zealand. The next rumour is that they will soon be flying direct to another city in the region if negotiations go well. Another rumour is that Qantas, Singpaore Airlines and Cathay Pacific are set to take over the running of the airline.

Meanwhile, Ben Micah the chairman of the Privatisation Committee has announced that it now looked like Air Niugini would be the first of the government run agencies to be sold off. This is after problems with the Finance Pacific Group of companies has become bogged down with the liquidation of the Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited.

Power Problems

A lightning storm, which struck the main electricity transformer at Taraka, causing major damage, put power off in Lae for five hours the other day. Many small businesses without back up generators suffered greatly.


The opposition has called for a stop to the export of raw copra. Instead, they have said, the copra should be processed locally into cooking oil, soap and other products.

UPNG Medical Campus

The dean of the medical faculty, Dr Mathias Sapuri, has reported a doubling in the number of women tasking on medical studies this year. Of a total of 63 students selected for studies at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 40 per cent of the total new intake for the academic year were women.

Madang Governor

The election of the new governor by the Madang Provincial Assembly last week has been delayed indefinitely due to conflicting directions from Waigani. The position was left vacant after a leadership tribunal dismissed the governor.

The Assembly met last week but in a first past the post election two candidates tied with 12 votes a piece making it impossible to elect anyone.

Oro Province

A monument will be erected in Hohorita village near Mt Lamington and Popondetta to remember the 3000 plus people who died when the mountain erupted just over 50 years ago. K20,000 was collected at a special memorial service marking 50 years to the day of the eruption.

Manus Courthouse

Buildings and assets belonging to the Lorengau District Court were burned to the ground recently. Although the reason is not known arson is expected to be the cause of the fire.

Manus Fuel Ban

The attempted hijack of a fuel tanker on its way to Manus recently may see the province cut off from the supply of fuel. Shell PNG is evaluating the security and safety of further shipments to the province.

The Police Commissioner said that his men are ready to arrest the men who allegedly boarded the ship.


The National Government has allocated K61 million to go towards school fees this year.

The Morobe government has assured parents that it will pay the subsidies to all schools in the province by the end of next month. The Governor, Luther Wenge, has urged parents to meet their share of the commitment in paying school fees.

School fees in Bougainville have hit the K1000 mark this year.

The troubled Goroka University is set to commence on time despite all the problems with recent landowner disputes. The landowners from Okiufa and Asariufa met with Sir Mekere Morauta, Education Minister Dr John Waiko, Lands Minister John Pundari and Goroka MP Henry Smith on Tuesday to settle the claims.

According to a school board chairman schools in Madang Province will be starting this year's school year without the school subsidy in cash or school materials.

Students in New Ireland are wondering when their schools will open. Three schools suffered considerable damage from a recent earthquake and the people had not had the time or resources to restore the facilities and replace the school materials in time for the start of the school year. The three schools are the Lambon, Lamassa and Weittin Valley community schools.

All students attending Wawin NHS have been advised not to travel to Lae until the 12th of February, as the school will be opening late.

Students attending the Popondetta Agriculture College are worse off than the Wawin students as they have been advised not to attend until further notice.

Port Moresby Wet Season

The wet season let everyone know it was around the other day in Port Moresby when the heavens opened and the rain bucketed down. Major flooding of the drains and creeks resulted with some roads becoming flooded as well. Pity the poor road construction workers having to contend with flooded sites.

Taurama Traffic Lights

The traffic lights at Taurama were pulled out at the weekend and replaced with a temporary roundabout to allow for the reconstruction of the intersection.

The 4 mile roundabout seems to be operating with less lengthy delays than what people experienced with the old traffic lights there. The NBC traffic lights went over to a short cycle making it difficult for everyone to get through in a single cycle.

Koki Roads

As mentioned in the last newsletter work has begun on the Koki to Ela Beach road. The road will be four lanes wide built on reclaimed land. The existing one-way Le Hunte road will become a two-way road. The 1.5 Kilometre construction by Curtain Brothers is expected to take 12 months to complete and cost almost K17 million to complete.

Water Problems

Seven schools in Port Moresby owe the local water company more than K90,000. They are Hohola Demonstration, Kaugere, Bavaroko, Ted Diro, Ororo, New Erima and Evedahana community schools. The water was disconnected so the resumption date for the school students is not known.


Officials in Bougainville are concerned that members of a church group who went across the border during Christmas for a religious meeting had illegally brought animals into PNG from the Solomon Islands.

PNG rainforests

The PNG Speaker of the National Parliament came up with a novel proposal at the 9th Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum. He suggested that since most other countries have depleted their natural rainforests they should compensate PNG for the use of the PNG rainforest to make oxygen. This was seen by many of the participants as a way to help PNG stop logging.

Rugby Union

The new president of the Port Moresby Rugby Union is Brigadier General Jerry Singirok. One of the aims of the new executive was to help promote schoolboy rugby and improve the playing surface of the Bava Park. Another aim is to improve the standard of refereeing and coaching.

Internet Service Providers

Computer Companies in PNG

This newsletter is being written and sent via e-mail at no charge. I expect to write one new issue on more or less a fortnightly basis. However, life sometimes interferes, and the need to earn a living may create an occasional delay.

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Created 29 Jan 2001
Updated 18 Feb 2001
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