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

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PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay
Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip - 2 May 2002

A very special welcome is extended to any new readers. If you have comments or suggestions to make then please click here


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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 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



Neo Melanesian

"Pidgin English"
haus building
haus house
haus hut
haus bilong wasim klos laundry
haus kuk / hauskuk / kisen kitchen
haus lotu temple / church
haus luluai bilong longwe ples embassy
haus mani bank (n)
haus pamuk brothel
haus pekpek man? toilet (men)
haus pekpek meri? toilet (women)
haus piksa cinema / theatre
haus sik hospital
haus tambaran art gallery
haus tambaran spirit house
haus win garden house / summer house

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.farawayplaces.com -- A new website to visit occasionaly to see which way it is heading.



News Items

Free Education

Many people are wondering what price the PNG population has to pay for free education. Over 100 children have died in Mount Hagen simply because there are no drugs to fight measles. It would seem that the balance between good health and education has swung too far towards providing free education. The Australian government has attempted to step in by purchasing drugs but this has been too late for the children that have already died.


The University of PNG is planning to open its doors to the general public next April to showcase what products it had developed over 37 years. All the schools (medicine and health sciences, natural and physical sciences, law, business administration, humanities and social science, the centre for research and postgraduate training, enrichment studies and IDCE) will participate during the open day.

Agriculture Workshop

The province of Milne Bay has held its first-ever women only workshop on cultivation of coffee and vanilla in the province recently. The weeklong workshop was held at Bubuleta village that is near the township of Alotau. Dame Josephine Abaijah donated K8,000 towards the seminar.

National Provident Fund

The National Provident Fund has said that it will be able to credit seven percent interest to member's accounts this week. This is the first dividend payment in three years. The interest payment comes after a remarkable turnaround which saw the NPF go from near-bankruptcy three years ago to one of the front-runners in the financial industry today.

Credit Corporation

The Credit Corporation has announced a 20 per cent increase in net profit for last year. It will be able to pay shareholders a dividend of 80 toea per share, which down 10 toea from the 90 toea per share payment in 2000. The top 20 shareholders of Credit Corp include the Teachers Savings and Loans Society, POSF, MVIL and the Federation of Savings and Loans Societies amongst others.

Field Hockey

Due to a stand off between the PNG Hockey Federation and Port Moresby Hockey Association the development of hockey within PNG is being held to ransom. The feud between the two organisations has gone on for too long and smaller centres like Rabaul have been severely affected.

Sports Stars

The 2002 Sportsman of the year has been presented to cricketer, Mahuru Dai and squash player Naluge Guy has received the 2002 Sportswoman of the year at a ceremony held on Friday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.


A new TB clinic opens has been opened at Boana in the Nawae electorate of Morobe province. Patients, from a total electorate population of about 34,000, will now be able to receive treatment without having to travel to Lae for treatment. The Australian Agency for International Aid (AusAID) has been able to donate K60,OOO worth of medical equipment and drugs to the Boana TB clinic.

Telikom PNG

A former managing director of Telikom has received K1.5 million in an out of court settlement. He was sacked by a former Corporatisation and Privatisation Minister for paying himself K120,000 in housing allowance within two weeks of being in appointed to the office of managing director.

Highlands Measles

It has been reported that seven more children have died of measles at the Mt Hagen General Hospital in the Western Highlands. This brings the death toll to over 100 since the start of this year. The Kunjip Nazarene Hospital in the Western Highlands has had to close its doors to patients other than the people of Jiwaka because of a drug shortage. AusAid, through its Health Service Support Program (HSSP), has been able to fly in limited stock of urgently needed drugs to the Mt Hagen base store for hospitals in the highlands provinces.


The Health Minister has reminded parents of the importance of having their young children immunised against diseases. The minister said this when revealing that only 30 per cent of the children in the Western Highlands between the ages of one and five were immunised against measles.

Anglican Church

The Anglican Church of PNG has stopped charging fees to pregnant women and children for the last three years after learning that many women were having their children in villages because they could not afford the fees. It is hoped that this will help to reduce the high number of women dying during childbirth as well as children dying from communicable diseases.

Lae City Authority Fire

A witness has told the coroner that firemen were slow in attending to the fire that gutted the Lae City Authority office complex last year. The witness said that the fire alarm was reported to the Fire Services by telephone twice, but the firemen did not arrive until "more than 45 minutes later" (The fire station is about five minutes drive from the fire location) To make matters worse when the firemen finally arrived, they spent another hour looking for the water main and because the main was old, more time was spent on trying to connect the fire hoses.

World War II

As reported in the last edition Rabaul town is holding a ceremony to remember the coming of the war to the town. Rabaul was a major battleground during World War II.

Wau - Bulolo

A teacher from the Marrianhill Primary School in Wau, (Morobe Province) has been shot dead by a gang during a church fellowship. The township of Wau and fellow teachers in the province are both shocked and angered. Education authorities in the province have suspended primary, high school and vocational school classes for an indefinite period.

Wau Killing

It is believed that two of the gang members involved in the shooting a teacher in Wau are students from his school. A Grade 5 student attending the school is said to have recognised one of the assailants when his hood came off during a struggle. Condemnations of the killing have flooded in from all over PNG.


The deterioration of roads and other infrastructure around the country has severely affected the delivery of health services. Roads in many parts of the country have become so bad that it was now very difficult to deliver any services to the rural population.

Aid Post Medicine

Medical aid posts throughout the country have not received medical supplies since February this year, and have been relying on health centres to supply them. The health centr5es are also suffering. Many diseases around the country cannot be contained because of lack of medical supplies and vaccines.

St John Ambulance

Port Moresby is again without an ambulance service after the national government failed to pay a quarterly grant of K75,000. This seems to be an ongoing occurrence as the service has often had to go out to private enterprise and ask for fuel to run the ambulances. Is this yet another case of free education taking valuable funds away from health issues?


Goroka base Hospital is the latest hospital that has had to reduce the amount of patients it normally sees down to emergency cases only. If much needed medicine doesn't reach the hospital soon then the hospital will have to close.

MP Resignations

Many Members of Parliament have resigned from office rather than face a leadership tribunal. The Public Prosecutor has requested the Police Commissioner to launch criminal proceedings against any former MP who has the resigned to avoid prosecution. It is hoped that the loophole that allows MP's to avoid prosecution by resigning is plugged. The resignations do not affect the MP's nominations to stand for the coming elections, however if they return to power they would be subjected to the same leadership charges.

UPNG Students

The State will pay compensation to two of the three students killed during the student unrest last year, The PNG Cabinet had endorsed a proposal to pay compensation to the two Western Highlands students but the final amount to be paid had yet to be worked out. The deaths resulted from a campaign against privatisation organised by the students.

Coconut Oil

It is hoped that Islanders from Misima in Milne Bay will be able to export coconut oil overseas from a local mill. This follows the issuing of an export license by the Copra Marketing Board. The coconut mill has already produced cooking oil and body oil along with crude soap.

Seventh Day Adventist Pilot

A missionary pilot, Les Anderson, from the United States, flying for the Seventh Day Adventist church has died in a plane crash near Mt Elimbari in Chuave, Chimbu Province.

Morobe Disasters

Another major natural disaster in Morobe province, the second in one month has stretched the province's resources to the limit. Recent floods in villages on the Morobe south coast have left hundreds of villagers homeless and hungry. Over 200 school children have had to be sent home after the floods destroyed a school and five villages. More than 30 houses were swept away.

Port Moresby Roads

What must be one of the oldest highways in PNG - the Sir Hubert Murray Highway - will be completely rebuilt from Badili right through to Erima. The work will also include Morea Tobo Rd to the old Port Moresby airport terminal.

Road Funds

Central, East New Britain, West New Britain, Manus, Morobe and Oro provinces will receive total funding from the World Bank of $US65.9 million (K244 million) for major road and bridge maintenance. It will cover 2600km of national roads and bridges and 1100km of provincial roads and bridges. The project will begin in June this year and continue to June 2006.

Passport Scam

It is anticipated that the report on the passport scam within Foreign Affairs will be dealt with at the next sitting of Cabinet. Many are anxiously waiting to see what has been reported and what has not.


It is hoped that the costly tribal war has finally been settled. The three-year tribal war was put to rest at a recent a peace ceremony in Southern Highlands, however many of the guns used in the tribal fight have not been handed in so whether the "war" has really been settled is not known. The fight resulted in the death of many people, the closure of the province's only hospital, its nursing school, the Mendi High School and affected business worth millions of Kina. Mendi, the capital of the Southern Highlands province became a ghost town and many residents left due to the gun battles in and around town.


Local television station EMTV is now back in Bougainville at Arawa after an absence of more than ten years. This year EMTV has commissioned transmitters to cover Mendi, Kerowagi and Vanimo. It is hoped that Wewak, Laigam and Popondetta will follow shortly. EMTV is now has transmitters at Bogia, Goroka, Kar Kar, Kavieng, Kerowagi, Lae, Madang, Manus, Mendi, Mt Hagen, Porgera, Port Moresby, Rabaul, Saidor, Vanimo, Wabag and Wapenamanda.

Western Highlands

People of the Western Highlands can now monitor the elections following the purchase of a new radio transmitter with the FM band. The equipment is currently in Port Moresby it is hoped that it will be installed in time for the polling and counting. The existing radio station has been off the air for weeks due to vandalism.

PNG Power

A forecasted drought has thrown PNG's major power supplier into a scare as it considers its options to buy standby generators to supply electricity. The company is considering the purchase of ten generators that would help to provide electricity during the drought. This is because the water level at the Sirinumu dam is expected to be too low to provide sufficient water to generate power. Sirinumu is the dam that supplies water to Port Moresby for drinking and hydroelectric generation. Six of the generators would help to supply Port Moresby, two would be installed at Kokopo, East New Britain, one at Alotau, Milne Bay Province and one at Wewak, East Sepik Province .

Thermal Power

The power supply problems on the Gazelle Peninsula might be fixed soon following the signing of a land deal for the construction of a K15-million thermal power station at Ulagunan village in Kokopo. The power station will be able supplement power supply from the Warangoi Hydro supply. The project is part of the Gazelle restoration process following the volcanic eruptions of 1994.

Ramu Power

After a year and a half, PNG Power has managed to reconnect the Ramu generating system to three of the highlands provinces. The power, which supplements existing systems in the highlands, was disconnected at the end of 2000 when the Wahgi River destroyed a pylon. Compensation claims from landowners prevented the speedy restoration of power.

PNG Taro Exports

PNG is currently exporting about 20 tonnes of taro per week to Sydney Australia. It is estimated that K60 million can be made in one year by exporting taro overseas.

Oil Refinery

The contract for the oil refinery at Napa Napa, just outside Port Moresby, has been signed and work will start immediately on the first building at the InterOil refinery. The contract will give work to about 20 PNG tradesmen, and use local materials wherever possible, InterOil will use a refurbished refinery coming from Houston in Texas

Bank South Pacific

The recently amalgamated PNG Banking Corporation and the Bank South Pacific has announced that the new entity is committed to the development of the people and the PNG economy. The new Bank South Pacific now has 43 branches in PNG.


Family groups on the outskirts of Lae city have taken to rice farming to earn money and feed themselves. It is proving to be very hard work and many of the people who first started the project have given up and left their blocks for others to attend to.


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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 12 May 2002
Updated 6 Sep 2007

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