P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 17 Jul 2001

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PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay

A warm welcome to all readers of the Papua New Guinea Gossip Newsletter - 17 July 2001. A very special welcome is extended to all new subscribers. If you have comments or suggestions to make then please use the contact form.

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This newsletter has been sent out using the List Merge (listmrg.cgi) script by Ron F Woolley of Melbourne Australia. I obtained the script from http://www.dtp-aus.com website. Ron also has other scripts such as a Visitors Book, Graphic, and plain text counters etc. His scripts, as he mentions many times over in his documentation, are not for the beginning perl script installer but for "intermediate" level experienced CGI installers but then again if I can do it then mustn't be too hard!


The 17th of July 2001 is the third anniversary of the tsunami that hit the Sissano area of the Aitape region of PNG. Please take a second or two to remember the many people who lost their lives and don't forget the ones that survived and lost so many of their family and friends as well as their houses and other property.

Goroka Show

The Eastern Highlands show held at Goroka is set to go between the 14th and 16th of September. Major hotels in the town have already been booked out in advance for the three-day event.

Automotive Pricing

The prices of car bits and pieces around PNG show no resemblance to prices anywhere else. A fuel pump went on my car a while ago and the local dealers wanted K800 for the part and of course extra to install it. I managed to get one for under K300 and after a small amount for importing it I still paid less than half of the price wanted in Moresby. I have heard another story recently of the price wanted for a "genuine" car brand stereo system. The system was not anything startling but the dealer wanted somewhere near K5,000 for the unit. I am sure I could buy a reasonable car for that price complete with a stereo system. Most automotive stores will sell you a reasonable stereo for a tenth of the price wanted by the dealer.

Car Dealers

Car Pricing

Boroko Motors has advertised the following prices for KIA motor vehicles including VAT and registration costs.

New Guinea Motors are clearing the following Daewoo vehicles:-

Unlike Boroko Motors VAT and taxes are additional for these vehicles.

Computer Pricing

Whilst giving the automotive suppliers a bash the computer dealers aren't much better. A friend bought a new HP630C colour printer for just a fraction more than a colour ink cartridge for his Epson colour printer. Don't blame the high prices on pure greed though as the conditions in PNG are not the best for the storage of consumable components. My missus, an independent woman, brought an ink cartridge from one of the local suppliers recently only to find all the ink had evaporated and she was only able to print a few pages from the cartridge. Being one of the silent majority all she did, of course, was whinge about it and vowed not to head back to that shop again. Knowing the manager of the shop I am sure something would have been done if she returned it but how many people simply give up and never return?

Computer Companies in PNG


It has been reported by the Privatisation Commission that the Electricity Commission (Elcom) are in debt to the tune of K400 million. It is estimated that every household in PNG would have to pay between K1,000 and K2,000 to clear this debt. Even allowing for the assets owned by Elcom it is considered that they would still be insolvent.

Power interruptions continue to occur throughout the city of Port Moresby.

Elcom was used as an example to stress one of the reasons behind the privatisation exercise.


Vandals have cut the telecommunications cables, which feed the Electricity Commission and other businesses. It is estimated that up to 600 telephone subscribers are affected by the cut. So now we can't even ring the Electricity Commission to find out when our power is going to be restored.

Shark Calling

The annual shark calling festival in New Ireland Province will still go ahead on the 25th to the 27th of July despite a general lack of support.

Passport Scam

A multi-departmental team that will also comprise secret service agents will be looking into the passport scam and other corrupt practices that are supposedly rampant within the Department of Foreign Affairs.


The work on the new roads around Moresby is often becoming more puzzling than a jigsaw puzzle with a missing piece. The roads, poor at anytime, are a nightmare with little or no signs indicating to motorists as to which way to go whilst the road are under construction.

Poker Machines

The Secretary General of the PNG Trade Union Congress has called the proposed banning of poker machines by the government an election gimmick. The Secretary General implied that revenue gained from the poker machines would make it impossible for any government to ban them. He went on to say that the ban should, however, be supported due to the many hardships caused by the lack of money a poker machine gambling household has.

The Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development has also endorsed the move to ban poker machines.


The Chief Justice has blasted by the Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation management and the union for not sitting together to try and resolve the current industrial dispute.

The PNGBC -- http://www.pngbank.com.pg is preparing for a walkout of staff union members. A private talk with the Executive Chairman, Garth McIlwain, has been very reassuring. He explained contingency measures already in place within the bank and also within the other commercial banks in the country. The other commercial banks would be able to take over some of the business of the PNGBC if needed and would not charge the customers for doing it. He also mentioned that electronic banking, (Automatic Teller Machines, Electronic Point of Sale Terminals) and the Treasury would be maintained as a matter of urgency.

Mr McIlwain also said that when he came to the PNGBC Annual Reports had not been prepared for many years. He has had these reports prepared, audited and distributed. The picture painted was not rosy for those years but an assurance has been given that a profit will be announced for this year. With any dramatic turnaround in financial status, especially from a loss to a profit, it is bound to upset staff members due to the hard measures needed to make the turnaround.

Of course the union sees the story from another viewpoint so it looks as if industrial action is bound to happen possibly crippling the country yet again.

The PNGBC staff union's industrial advocates, Lawrence Titimur, was sacked from the Department of Personnel Management last month, and not on Wednesday during the heat of a renewed industrial dispute over a reported K100 million log of claims.

Exchange Rates

From the Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation (PNGBC)

Financial Related Info


It has been reported that there are almost 4,000 people in PNG who are living with HIV. However, due to the inadequacies of the reporting system there could be as many as 15,000 cases in the country. It is believed that of the reported number a total of 1336 cases have developed into AIDS and 249 have died from AIDS.

Correctional Services

The jails around the country are to grow their own rice. Keravat jail in East New Britain Province has succeeded with its own rice growing and as a consequence been able to reduce costs.

British VSO

Despite the US based Peace Corps reporting that it has only suspended it services to PNG and not withdrawn as reported here recently the British Volunteer Service Overseas will continue to work closely with the PNG government especially the Health and Education departments.

An Australian with the Australian Volunteers International organisation still thinks highly of PNG despite being robbed recently in the city. The volunteer works with Cheshire Homes for handicapped children. He had just finished picking up ice cream for the children when thieves stole his backpack containing drivers licence, a camera and medication.

Badili Vocational School

The Vocational School in Badili has received equipment from businesses houses and the Rotarians. Am electrical fault recently caused the loss of the various areas at the school. The upholstery and cane furniture workshops, refrigeration, plumbing, typing, computing and welding classrooms were all gutted by the resulting fire.

Pacu Saga

National Fisheries Authority (NFA) has now classified the "man-eating" fish in the Sepik River as being good for eating and not a killer. The NFA spokesman said that he has not been able confirm any deaths from people being bitten by the fish.


The deputy chairman of the Tourism Promotion Authority has said that a very active committee needs to be established to attract tourist to the country in the aftermath of the recent riots. Tourists from Germany, USA and Japan have been warned not to visit PNG. It is reported, by Sir Peter Barter, that the governments from these countries have put out terrible warnings about visiting PNG despite Port Moresby returning to a calm state.

Fire Fighters

The fire fighting capacity of the Waigani and Gerehu areas has been severely crippled by the malicious damage to a fire engine during recent student unrest.

Catholic Priests in Politics

The Western Highlands Governor, Father Robert Lak, has said that the Vatican's representative in PNG has no jurisdiction over the local clergy in PNG. This was in response to the Vatican's representative saying that priests should not be running for politics in PNG. Father Robert went on to say that he is only answerable to his Bishop on Church matters which, in this case, was the Archbishop of Mount Hagen.

Public Servants

Existing Public Servants, who wish to contest the 2002 elections, have been warned not to campaign during public service hours of work.


The Institute of PNG Engineers is holding their 2001 PNG Conference titled "Engineering Solutions to Alleviate Poverty in the Third World". It will be held between the 22nd and the 24th of August at the Holiday Inn Conference Centre.

Trade Fair

The PNG Made Trade Fair for this year will be held at the Sir John Guise Stadium during November (from the 9th to the 11th).

Corn Beef

Due to world prices and a shortage of beef the price of corned beef in PNG is set to go up by 16 percent. The price increase will be in two stages. The first stage will see an eight percent price hike followed by another eight percent in six-months times.


It has been said that one woman is raped in PNG every five minutes.

Police have put out a warning for people attending the SDA Crusade at Sir John Guise Stadium to be careful on their way home due to opportunists being out on the prowl for unsuspecting victims. The Crusade is being televised around the world.

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Articles for this newsletter

If you think you have a PNG page worth mentioning then please send email to PNGNews@png-gossip.com. If you are looking for websites about PNG then you can try a search of a site located at http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/pnglinks.html, which lets you add your own PNG related site, and also lets you search for keywords of other sites or for a bigger PNG related search take a trip to http://www.pngnetsearch.com. The PNG Business Directory is also in the process of compiling a very good list of PNG orientated websites. It is located at http://www.pngbd.com

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

This newsletter is being written and sent via e-mail at no charge. I expect to be able 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.

Remember that this mailing list was originally intended for people who have an interest and already know a little bit about the people and geography of Papua New Guinea. The Papua New Guinea Kina (PGK or simply K), which is mentioned from time to time, is currently worth somewhere around 29 United States cents but varies daily depending on movements of other world currencies and the costs of various imports and exports around the country.

If you really want to find out what the Kina is worth on the world market then you can find a currency converter for most world currencies located at http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/moni.html - another currency converter, with a local flavour, is located at the Papua New Guinea Business Resources Directory http://www.pngbd.com.

For those who are not so familiar with the geography of Papua New Guinea I suggest taking a look at the following link http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/pom-map.html.

Important Note: - all people reading this newsletter must 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)

Balus - Aeroplane

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Created 17 Jul 2001
Updated 17 Jul 2001
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