P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 12 Feb 2002

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PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay

Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip - 12 Feb 2002. 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 25 - 26 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"
wanpilai - playmate
polis - police
polisman - policeman
politisen - politician
armi - army
pikinini - baby
baman - barman
bin - beans
kapten - captain
masta / bos - boss
man bilong wokim gaden - farmer
presiden - president
misus kwin - queen
prai minista - prime minster
brata - brother
susa - sister
bratasusa - siblings
bulsitman - conman
stuakipa - storeman
papamama - parents


I've found a website with some information and photographs about Bob Gurney, the address is http://au.geocities.com/pjholm Don't forget to check out the weather for Gurney airport in Milne Bay Province listed below with other PNG weather pages.

http://www.altnews.com.au/kali/ - a web site dealing with Manus. This site also has a map of the main islands of Manus.

http://archaeology.about.com/science/archaeology/library/atlas/blpapua.htm An archaeology site with links to archaeological excavations at the Kamgot site, on the island of Babase, New Ireland and also a link to Origins of Agriculture in New Guinea.

Tolai tubuan and dukduk masks: unique photos from the 1960's http://www.art-pacific.com/artifacts/nuguinea/nbritain/tolaiduk.htm

Learn more about the Tolai's of East New Britain at http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/lcj/women/ch5.pdf. Note PDF/Adobe Acrobat file. (Google will give you html translations if you can't view PDF files, search for Tolai and tubuan.)

The weather in PNG has been considerably wetter than usual. For those interested weather details for around PNG can be obtained from the following weather sites. (http://www wunderground.com and http://weather.yahoo.com)

Blood Donation

The Port Moresby city firefighters have donated 35 bags of blood to the Red Cross. The Blood Bank requires up to 600 bags of blood a week but usually only manages to collect about one third of that amount. The Red Cross Blood Bank is appealing for residents to come forward and donate blood.

Western Province

The Fly River Provincial Government has presented its budget of K45 million for the year 2002 to the national Government for approval by the Minister for Treasury and the Prime Minister.

RH Trading

The newly finished RH Cash and Carry supermarket in the industrial complex area of Gordon's burnt to the ground on Friday night. Firetrucks were on the scene within minutes of receiving the alarm but were unable to get in to put the fire out due to tight security. The Fire Department now wants to know how the building was ever approved for occupancy when it did not meet basic safety and fire standards. The RH Cash and Carry Store is owned by Malaysian logging company Rimbunan Hijau.``

Plea Bargaining

A PNG Judge has suggested that plea bargaining should be introduced in PNG to help cut down on lengthy court cases which are clogging up the court system and causing a backlog of cases going back for months. Criminal law does not currently allow for plea-bargaining but there is nothing to stop this being enacted.

Telephone Charges

The charges paid by telephone users for local telephone calls are set to rise by 35 percent. Residential line rental has been increased from K3 to K7 a month, business lines from K10.71 to K20 a month and untimed local calls from 22 toea to 30 toea a call. Luckily mobile phonme call rates will saty the same at 1 toea per second for local and STD calls. It is hoped that the new charges will increase revenue by 7 per cent before Telikom is privatised in April.


A mother from Gerehu is attempting to revive the Port Moresby North/West netball competition that was disbanded in 1995. Elsie Kavora has made it her personal ambition to see the competition revived. The competition is attracting more and more interested groups as the word goes out. It is hoped that the competition will provide an outlet for mothers to do some thing away from their normal household duties.

ANZ Bank

A reader has asked the question whether the ANZ Bank is on a permanent go-slow. It seems that the service is grinding to a halt and the only thing the customers can do whilst they wait in the queue to be served is listen to the un-answered telephones.


A national company based in Goroka is trying to keep quiet its trials with a herb that so far appears to have responded positvely to HIV/AIDS. The full extent of the claim by the company is yet to be ascertained until tests are carried out overseas. Even if it proves not to be a help for AIDS sufferers it is still an indication that more research must be done on plants in the rapidly diminshing rain forests within PNG and around the world before all the plants are lost forever. Traditional medicine and the use of locally grown herbs is an area of medicne that needs further investigation. The use of traditional medicine has been included in the National Health Plan 2001-2010.

Herbal Medicine

A quick walk around the streets of Port Moresby, especially Tabari Place in Boroko will find many people selling all sorts of herbs and traditional medicines. One such herb, known as Babi in Garaina has reportedly cured diseases such as sexually transmitted diseases, malaria, tuberculosis, asthma, paralysis, typhoid, heart diseases, and joint back/knee problems. The medicne sells for betwen K30 and K40 per bottle.

Kokoda Track

Plans are underway to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the trail being used during the Second World War. A twelve day event will be held from April the 15th to the 26th with eleven of those days being taken up walking the trail from Kokoda to Ower's Corner near Sogeri just outside Port Moresby.

European Union

The second largest aid donor to PNG, the European Union has urged the Government to maintain new infrastructure. Anthony Crasner made the appeal at the opening of the K75 million Ramu highway at Menya village in the middle Ramu area of Madang Province.

Overcrowded Schools

The hunt is on around PNG to find the school wiyth the most students in a class. Some schools have been reported as taking 70 to 72 students per class which was too crowded for a teacher to handle. Even the recommwended number of 45 per class is still considered too many for one teacher to handle.

Chris Haiveta

The MP responsible for Mining has had his car come under heavy gunfire on the way back to Port Moresby from his home village in the Gulf province. The minister escaped unhurt but a policeman providing security received pellet wounds to the head and is recovering in the hospital.

Tari Airport Project

The former transport minister, Bart Philemon, has raised serious concerns on the viability of the Tari airport project. He is concerned that a proper feasibility study was not undertaken first. The K60 million Tari airport project was officially launched recently by Civil Aviation Minister, Ludger Mond, and the suspended Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru.

National Museum

The National Museum has been robbed yet again. This is the seventh burglary in the last two years. This time computers, a printer, cameras and a fan were stolen. The cost of replacing the items and repairs to the museum are estimated to cost K80,000.


Paias Wingti has said that privatisation of key goverment run institutions, such as Telikom, Elcom, Air Niugini, the Water Board etc, will mean that taxes will be paid by the new owners to the government whereas when the Government ran the institutions, there were no profits made at all.

Rainbow Roads

After all the troubles at City Hall work has resumed on roads in the Rainbow Estate near Gerehu in the National Capital. The current manager and Board of City Hall have made a commitment to fund the roadwork. The Board had been under immense pressure from Rainbow residents to get on with the job.

Anglican Church

The new Bishop elect of the Anglican Diocese of Port Moresby, Peter Fox, has arrived in the country from England where he was the General Secretary of the Melanesian Mission for the past 6 years. He was also the Priest in Charge of Harpsden cum Bolney, Henley on Thames. He was previously in PNG as the parish priest of St Mary's Anglican Church, Gerehu in the early 1980's.

City Hall

I believe that yet another struggle over the power to run the Port Moresby city hall will go ahead today or tomorrow.

Tourism Authority

The suspended head of the Tourism Promotion Authority has been given his marching orders by the Tourism and Culture Minister, Sir Pita Lus despite a pending courtcase. It has been reported that not one official of the Tourism Authority turned up when security guards were sent in to recover a vehicle, laptop computer and other items. Apparently there is still some doubt as to whether the Minister has the power to terminate staff of the Authority.

Priest Attack

The Catholic Church's Auxiliary Bishop for Bereina, Bishop John Ribat and a parish priest, Father Casinuiro Duffey, survived a blast of gunfire from criminals in a Port Moresby city street recently when they were travelling back from Jackson's International Airport after dropping off other church officials . The pair were able to keep driving and escaped despite a barrage of shots peppering the side of their vehicle.

MTS Discoverer

The Melanesian Tourist Services Discoverer will be cruising on the following schedule for the next few months of the year. This is what has appeared in the newspaper advertisements but it would appear that there is a mistake in the schedule so please check the website at http://www.meltours.com or contact MTS via email at mts@meltours.com

Free Health Care

The governor of Enga, Peter Ipatas has announced the delivery of free medical care in Enga for this year. He has decided to accept the money for free education off the national goverment and use the money he had opriganlly allocated for education in providing health care. He has also presented K200,000 to the University of PNG as a subsidy for students from Enga studying at the Uni this year.

Mount Hagen

The two tribes seeking compensation for the land that the Mount Hagen Secondary School is built on have allowed the school to reopen. The Palga and the Jikla Milakump tribesmen are claiming K900,000 for the school land despite the fact that their ancestors gave the land away to help develop the area.

National Intelligence

It is anticpaated that the new Director General of the National Intelligence Organisation will be former police commissioner and diplomat, Bob Nenta, who will replace Colonel Tokam Kanene.

Ramu Highway

A 126 kilometre long the Governor General of PNG, Sir Silas Atopare and European Union head, Anthony Crasner, has opened section of the Ramu Highway in the Madang Province, costing K75 million. 85 percent of the highway was funded by the European Union with the remainder being provided by the PNG Government.

Diplomatic Postings

It has been tipped that Lucy Bogari will replace Moses Maladina as the high commissioner to New Zealand and former Forests chief Jean Kekedo will replace the long serving high commissioner to England Sir Kina Bona. It is anticipated that other postings will see lawyer Robert Aisi replace Peter Donigi in New York and the ex-Trade and Industry secretary Michael Maue replace Aiwa Olmi in Japan.

Legal Costs

The Solicitor General has expressed his concerns at the high cost of legal fees in PNG. He has said that the ordinary man and woman cannot afford the services of a lawyer.

East New Britain

A small work vessel with 53 passengers and three crew on board recently drifted for three days in East New Britain while the boat's engineer tried to get the engine going. Eventually the MV Minigulai on its way to Rabaul from Kimbe, sighted the boat and rescued the passengers, who were taken to Rabaul and back to Kimbe. The crew of the disabled vessle decided to stay on the boat hoping to get the engine going and bring it to port.

Defence Spending

The Defence force has said that it needs an additional K1.7 million to keep the soldiers in Bougainville. It was reported recently that the soldiers were pulling out due to a lack of funding. Only K700,000 was budgeted this year by the government and this is not enough. It is rumoured that soldiers are begging for food to survive in Bougainville.

University of PNG

The new intake of students at the University of PNG has been branded as the best by the university's vice chancellor, Professor Les Eastcott, at an address at the start of the orientation week for the new students. The students were screened three times before being selected. Of the approxiametely 1000 new intake of students 33 per cent are female.

AIDS Funding

The National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) has received a cheque for K15,000 from the National AIDS Council Secretariat to fund radio advertising. The money will be used to fund a weekly AIDS awareness campaign on the sh9ort wave service.


PNG Squash player, Naluge Guy, has managed to break into the top 60 in the world of women's squash. She is now rated 59th in the Woman's International Squash Players Association rankings.

27th Game Fishing Titles

The 27th Annual Game Fishing Titles are on again in Lae. 300 anglers will compete for prizes at the end of March.


The Office of Civil Aviation may not be able to provide much in the way of facilities for the international traveling public but it has been able to re-fence its training college at six-mile. Many have said that the K30 charge that OCA is collecting for each international passenger departing Port Moresby has been used to pay for the fence rather than pay for facilities for the travelers such as keeping the x-ray machines going and simple little things like toilet paper at the airport.

Field Hockey

The Port Moresby Hockey Association pre-season games start on the 16th of Feb and will run for two weeks. The Port Moresby Association is still suspended from the PNG Hockey Federation following claims of mismanagement. Players will not be eligible for selection to represent their country at events such as the South pacific Games and hockey festivals planned for Cairns Australia this year.

PNG media related sites

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Created 12 Feb 2002
Updated 22 Feb 2002
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