P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 16 Feb 2003

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PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay

Welcome to the

Papua New Guinea Gossip Newsletter

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


Links The Golden Years
New Guinea Arts Fast Money Schemes
Real Estate Agents Coffee Talks
Unemployment Holiday & Travel Show
World War II Relic Japanese Ambassador
Air Niugini Menyamya
Maternal Death Rate Births at POM General Hospital
Maternal Health Clinics UNICEF Award
TV Programming Highlands Highway
Bougainville Sport Police Power
Bank South Pacific Reader's Letter
PRL Incident Cost of Bananas
Low Pay Asylum Processors
Vagrancy Act NCDC Politics
Self-Reliance Education "Go Finish"
Cancer Unit Boomerang Aid
Eda Ranu Wau Health Centre
Cockroach Traps PNG Media
em tasol


Articles for this newsletter

To send a message for submission to the PNG Gossip Newsletter -- then please click here.




Neo Melanesian

"Pidgin English"
Tok Pisin
wan one
tu two
tri three
foa four
five / faiv five
sikis six
seven seven
et eight
nain nine
ten ten
wanpela ten wan eleven
wanpela ten tu twelve
wanpela ten tri thirteen
tupela ten twenty
tupela ten wan twenty one
tripela ten thirty one
fiftifaiv fifty-five
wan handet One Hundred




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 24.0 - 24.5 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

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 and Tourism Directory located 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.




Bill Purcell's Website -- http://www.users.bigpond.net.au/billsview/

Bill, a pilot, has sections dealing with Tok Pisin and PNG Aviation in General with special areas on Missionary Aviation Fellowship, PNG Airstrips, Humour and even some airline related humour. This site has more than mentioned above so my tip is to visit and take a good look around.

His section on PNG airstrips carries the following disclaimer. PNG Airstrip Data is published only as a guide to pilots in matters helpful to operations, such as GPS settings, wind characteristics, and surface conditions. The PNG AIP-AGA is the legal document governing aviation operations.

http://www.maipng.com -- This is a new website still under construction but check out what it has to offer.

This web site was advertised on AOL home page on 06 Feb 2003 -- http://travel.aol.com.au/content/prpage.asp?page=png_au

The Investment Promotion Authority has a web site located at -- http://www.ipa.gov.pg.

If you are interested in the critical reality about aid, take a visit to the recently revamped AID/WATCH (Sydney-based) website -- http://www.aidwatch.org.au/. Readers may also find the Mineral Policy Institute website at -- http://www.mpi.org.au/ also of relevance to PNG.

The Golden Years

http://www.keithbuxton.com/ -- this Website is dedicated to Papua New Guinea and includes information on Keith Buxton's forthcoming book "The Golden Years" which spans the years 1956 ~ 1988. Many of these recollections give a wonderful insight into the humour that was so prevalent in P.N.G. with both expatriates and indigenes alike !

New Guinea Arts

I recommend a visit to New Guinea Arts-- http://www.newguineaarts.com -- who have a gallery on Level 8 of the Dymocks building located at 428 George Street. Sydney, Australia For anyone living close to Sydney or passing through a trip in person to one of Australia's largest and oldest company trading in art from PNG. he company has an emphasis on Aid thru Trade. Tel: +61 (0)2 9232 4737 or Fax +61 (0)2 9223 8431




News Items

Fast Money Schemes

Is U-Vistract about to rise again in PNG? I have heard rumours from someone who knows someone else who knows someone else (well you get the picture??) who says an approach has been made to several companies around town for suitable office accommodation to house a "finance company". Off the record it looks as if the doctors behind the finance company could have some connection to U-Vistract. For further information please write to PO BOX 132 at the downtown Port Moresby post office.

Many people in PNG are still looking for money promised by U-Vistract in a fast money pyramid scheme.

An offer by the principal of U-Vistract to bail out the government of the Solomon Islands has been rejected.

Real Estate Agents

Arthur Strachan (Lae and Port Moresby) http://www.arthurstrachan.com.pg
Century 21 -- http://www.century21.com.pg/ and http://www.siule.com.pg/
Kohoy Real Estate -- http://kohoyrealestates.tripod.com/
L.J Hooker --http://www.ljhooker.com
Ray White Real Estate -- monian@online.net.pg
Strickland RE -- http://www.sre.com.pg/
The Professionals -- http://www.theprofessionals.com.pg

Coffee Talks

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has invited the PNG Government to attend a global workshop on sustainable coffee initiative in Geneva, Switzerland.


It has been reported that there are 3 million people eligible for work within PNG and only 270,000 of these have work in the formal sector. The unemployed rely on subsistence farming and their relatives and "wantoks" or the "wantok system" which has many good and many bad points. A wantok is literally a person who speaks the same language as you and with over 800 plus languages and no unemployment benefits in PNG some people might only have a handful of wantok's clambering after their hard earned Kina each fortnight.

The positive side of the wantok system provides hardship alleviation whilst the negative side sees it undermine the economic advancement of entire kinship groups and retards progress towards escaping temporary poverty because it adversely impacts on a household's income.

Holiday & Travel Show

The Raun Raun Port Moresby Holiday & Travel Show will be held on the 29th and 30th of March, 2003. Raun raun in tok pisin literally means to travel. More information will be available on the raun raun website -- http://www.nla.com.pg/raunraun in the coming weeks. The organiser can also be contacted on +(675) 3026817 or fax +(675) 3256985.

World War II Relic

Divers from the Port Moresby Sub Aqua Club have recently found a relic from World War II lying on the seabed close to the Napa Napa oil refinery. The wreck, a Catalina flying boat, was discovered on the 14th of December 2002 in Fairfax Harbour, Port Moresby. Through recent media releases it would appear that the US oil company Interoil plan to move the wreck. It has not been established if the wreck is one of two Catalina's, which were part of the Royal Australian Air Force's Port Moresby-based 11 squadron, numbered A24-3 and A24-6 that were strafed by Japanese fighters during an air raid on Port Moresby on February 28, 1942 and sunk.

Japanese Ambassador

The Japanese Ambassador, Tatsuo Tanaka, has completed his three-year stint in PNG and flown back to Japan on a direct Air Niugini flight. The ambassador has become to be known by the nickname of "grassroots ambassador". Even after his term of duty had ended he was still seen attending functions and still winning friends in the process.

Air Niugini

At the end of the week Captain Karl Wagels will leave Air Niugini after over twenty-five years of service to the company. Captain Wagels is the last expatriate officer flying the Air Niugini Dash 8 aircraft. With the imminent re-fleeting of Air Niugini, due to the aging Fokker F28 fleet coming to the end of a special dispensation to fly into Australia, it is assumed that a few more Dash 8's will be purchased before a major decision is made by the company to find a suitable F28 replacement.

A small advertisement in the local papers announced that Air Niugini was no longer going to provide the meagre drink and biscuits on flights of an hour or less. Some passengers are concerned that although a flight is less than an hour it sometimes takes several hours for a delayed flight to leave and at many terminals there are no facilities for passengers especially those travelling with children to get a drink when waiting for a delayed flight.


The deteriorating main highway in the remote areas of Menyamya and Aseki districts of Morobe Province has forced the closure of a local coffee company that has left tonnes of processed coffee stranded in Menyamya unable to be transported out. People are forced to catch a Public Motor Vehicle (PMV) as far as they can to Watut and then they have to walk the next 20 kilometres to Aseki or Menyamya.

Maternal Death Rate

The maternal death rate in PNG is very high with 400 women dying for every 100,000 live births throughout the country. Professor Glen Mola Head, the head of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of PNG has said that even at the biggest hospital in PNG mothers are still having to give birth on the floor because there are not enough beds. At the village and town level women are dying because of a lack of facilities and transport to bring the woman to health care centres and lack of roads and bridges as well as a lack of professional health staff.

Births at POM General Hospital

Port Moresby General Hospital sees more than 10,000 pregnancies a year or 30 births a day. The hospital has only 22 delivery beds and during peak times some mothers have their babies on the floor. There are only three to four midwives a shift to supervise them so unfortunately this means that some ladies have to deliver on the floor and many do not get to see a midwife for their necessary hourly observations but even this is far better than at village and town level.

Maternal Health Clinics

This year the Health Department hopes to be able to hold maternal health clinic (MHC) patrols and improve health centres in a bid to reduce the high rate of mothers dying from childbirth and preventable diseases. The department will be working closely with the provincial health departments to improve the delivery of medical supplies to health centres and aid posts. These should be available at no cost and the department will educate the communities about the need to prevent mothers from dying unnecessarily.


To help lower the maternal death rate within PNG the United Children's Fund (UNICEF) will make an award to the health centre that is able to report the highest increase in new born deliveries in a year. The award will be cash for health workers and training for others.

TV Programming

One of the questions that I get asked frequently is - "what sort of television do you watch?"

I'll list some of the stations that we are able to receive. Along with our local TV station EmTV (http://www.emtv.com.pg) we also have access to several satellite broadcasters such as -

+- HBO
+- Cinemax
+- National Geographic
+- Star Movies
+- Star World
+- Star Sports
+- BBC
+- Country Music
+- Cartoon Channel
+- Discovery Channel
+- Nickelodeon
+- Hallmark
+- etcetera
+- Australian Channels (ABC, GWN, SBS, Central)
Some people have access to other channels and still we can't find anything decent to watch.
For more information please pay a visit to http://www.hitron.com.pg who offer microwave and cable redistribution of satellite services.

Highlands Highway

It is expected that ExxonMobil will announce the halt of fuel supplies to the Highlands of PNG. ExxonMobil, the largest supplier of fuels and lubricants to the PNG market, is expected to blame the deteriorating state of the Highlands Highway on its decision to halt its products and services to the country's most populous region. The insurance broker for the fuel transport company has complained that the rate of accidents and mishaps faced by the fuel freighters are very high.

Bougainville Sport

A representative of the Bougainville Soccer Football Association (BSFA) has said that more participation from the government and business houses is required so that Bougainville can produce excellent sportsmen and women. This follows on from a successful Bougainville soccer tournament held in Arawa recently.

Police Power

The Police force head quarters has experienced the full force of the power company who has pulled the plug on the force for an outstanding power bill of K420,877.88. The Defence Force and Correctional Services also had their power cut but they have managed to find the money to pay the outstanding bill. It has been reported that government departments and statutory authorities owe PNG Power about K6.4 million in unpaid electricity bills.

Bank South Pacific

The Bank South Pacific expects to announce a dividend for its shareholders later this week. The Bank is currently being grilled by

Reader's Letter

The following is from Noel Spalding who worked for the Posts and Telegraph from 1969 to 1973 and then Unitech in Lae from 1973 to 1982.

I, as an ex P & NG and PNG ite ('69 to 82) appreciate the emails and news.

I have a bit of an interest in old PNG literature and am always interested in trading same..,

The old publishing ventures such as Vunapope Press in Rabaul and Kristen Press in Madang produced many, many small run books.

Trading these on eBay or sold .com and bibliofind.com is not really effective as the people who would be interested in buying / trading / swapping would be more the readers of your newsletter.

Maybe a trading link of PNG memorabilia could be created on the newsletter.

An example is a book I have that is 250 gsm soft cover stapled of 119 sheets of octavo printed on one side one side only Titled English - Kuanua Dictionary. The Methodist mission in Rabaul "created" it. The printing method? Spirit duplicator!!!! The front cover is titled by offset.

An item like this has very little relevance outside of the PNG Community at large, and items of the like maybe of interest to be associated with the newsletter, there is the possibility that such a trading "venue" may be diluted by traders wanting to offer other products or services.
-End Quote

Do any readers have thoughts or comments?

PRL Incident

The police are looking for the Minister of Tourism to interview him over an incident that is alleged to have happened at the Papuan Rugby League (PRL) club on the 30th of November last year where it has been alleged that he threatened a university academic with a gun. The Minister is currently in Madang attending his election petition trial and the police hope to catch up with him on his return to Port Moresby.

Cost of Bananas

The Agriculture Minister, Moses Maladina, has commented on the high cost of imported bananas for sale on the supermarket shelves especially when bananas grow without very much effort in the lush tropical conditions around various parts of PNG. Mr Maladina said the nation had to reduce its dependence on imports such as fruit and vegetables.

Low Pay

Hundred of casual workers working at the Niugini Tablebirds factory at Six-Mile near Lae have walked off the job to protest about the low pay they receive. The rising cost of providing for a family has meant that the casual workers do not earn enough to keep their families in food let alone to be able to put their kids through school.

Asylum Processors

Twelve PNG public servants are now able to help in the processing of asylum seekers to determine whether they are genuine refugees or not. The Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, has officially handed over some of the certificates to the successful people.

Vagrancy Act

The Minister for Internal Security has made a call on the National Government to devise long-term mechanisms to deal with situations like ethnic fighting which occurred recently between the Western Highlanders and the Menyamyans in West Taraka (Lae), Morobe Province.

NCDC Politics

Just as things at the National Capital District Commission appeared to be settling down after the change of Government the Speaker of Parliament, Bill Skate, has thrown a spanner in the works by removing the financial powers of the Chairman, Jack Pidik. Financial control now rests with the City Manager Bernard Kipit. Many people have said that Mr Pidik appeared to be heading the troubled Commission in the right direction for the first time for in a long time. Government Minister has taken out a court injunction to protect the NCDC's money during the current turmoil.


The Governor General, Sir Silas Atopare, has challenged PNG people to become more self-reliant during the country's current economic hardship. He has called on the people to go back to the land and cultivate it to reap the benefits.

Education "Go Finish"

An Australian couple that have retired from the Education Department are stranded in East New Britain waiting for their entitlements from the Department. The couple were farewelled in December as they prepared to return to Australia, but they are still waiting in Rabaul for their final payout. The couple have taught for 34 years in schools throughout PNG.

Cancer Unit

Another plea has been made to repair the solitary cancer unit in PNG located at the Angau Memorial Hospital in Lae. Successive governments have failed to address the issue. The Morobe Tutumang members passed a motion recently to take this course of action because of the seriousness of cancer in the country.

Boomerang Aid

Aid from Australia has often been referred to as boomerang aid because a great deal of the aid money given by Australia is fed back to Australia because, ultimately, the providers of goods and services, including costly management agents, are still Australian dominated.

Eda Ranu

A new board of directors led by PNG Harbours Board deputy chairman Timothy Bonga has appointed to head the Port Moresby water supply company - Eda Ranu. Eda Ranu is Motu for our water. Mr Bonga is expected to resign as the deputy chairman of the Harbours Board to take up his new appointment.

Wau Health Centre

The health centre in Wau, Morobe Province desperately needs funds for urgent maintenance work. The centre is in a seriously run-down state and needs to be restored back to its original state. It has not seen any major maintenance work carried out since it was built by a gold mining company (New Goldfields Limited) in the 1950's.

Cockroach Traps

A reader is after information on cockroach traps and where can they be obtained.

The ones that I recall in PNG were larger, hexagonal, two-piece plastic (blue) with neat little aluminium trapdoors that allowed you to put some breadcrumbs in a centre portion and the cockies passed thru the trapdoor -aaahhh to find no way out. We then left them on the front steps in the morning sun to die a sunburnt death. They had no chemicals - which was a big plus.
-end quote



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-- THE END --

Some of the ways of saying "that's all" are courtesy of Liz and her friends at the University of Technology in Lae. -- http://www.unitech.ac.pg

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Created 16 Feb 2003
Updated 16 Feb 2003

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