P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 6 Jun 2004

[ Search Newsletters | Newsletter Home | Previous | Next | Newsletter Index ]
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 use the contact form

Articles for this newsletter

To send a message for submission to the PNG Gossip Newsletter -- please use the contact form

PNG Gossip Blog




Neo Melanesian

"Pidgin English"
Tok Pisin English
bilas finery / jewellery / decoration
bilasim decorate
bun bone
bun i bruk fracture / broken bone
bun nating thin
de bilong malolo day off
de bilong wok workday
de day
dukduk ritual costume representing a spirit
gras / gras bilong het hair
gras grass
hariap quick
hariap hurry/ hurry up
haus building / house



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 29.5 - 30 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.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.


http://www.calibercreations.com/pisin/ -- English - Tok Pisin - English online dictionary

Bilas is the PNG word for traditional dress that is often made from such materials as Tapa Cloth. Find out more about Tapa Cloth at -- http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/X/X-tapaclot.asp

The Effects of Economic Growth on Gender Roles in Papua New Guinea and the Tolai People --- http://www.calibercreations.com/pisin/PNGstudy.htm

Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce -- http://www.pomcci.org.pg
PNG Institute of Directors -- http://www.icd.org.pg
Rotary Club of Boroko -- http://www.rotary.org.pg
Friends of Disabled Association -- http://www.foda.org.pg


PNG Recipes

Learn to make dishes from Papua New Guinea featuring coconut, fruit, vegetables, and fish. --

Strange Meals

Thanks to Rick for the following link -- http://www.familyhaven.com/travel/melanesianman.html -- Make sure you are not eating when you read the contents of this page!


News Items

Coconuts and Tearooms

If anyone is interested in Rabaul then I recommend an excellent book by Pat Boys that covers some of the history of coconuts, tearooms and Rabaul. The book covers the eruption of the volcanoes around Rabaul in 1937 and the preface covers the reason why Pat's book is of extreme historical value. In 1942 the Japanese invaded Rabaul and destroyed irreplaceable records. I recommend that you somehow get to a library and grab a copy of the book titled Coconuts and Tearooms by Pat Boys. National Library of New Zealand ISBN 0-473-01724-5</p>

It is copyrighted in 1993 but covers a six-year period in the 1930's. The book started out as ten foolscap, single-spaced pages that Pat's mother had written about her experiences in PNG. With this meagre beginning and a keen interest to preserve a little bit of the history of the Rabaul area and helped by over 200 photographs taken by her father Pat has been able to produce a wonderful 140 plus page book. The only complaint I could find about the book was that I wish the photos were in colour! Now if I could only buy a plantation for the price mentioned in Pat's book but using the money I earn today without subtracting anything for inflation!

Common Sense Tips

Here are some common sense tips for people visiting or living in PNG put out by the New Zealand Government. New Zealand has recently upgraded its travel advisory for PNG from "some risk" to "high risk".

Most of the above is probably fairly relevant for any visitor to any city in the world although leaving the scene of an accident in some countries would get you into more trouble than you might expect. I don't think you could claim that you came from PNG and it was the done thing!

Governor General

The new Governor General elect is former foreign affairs secretary, Sir Paulias Matane. The saga is not yet over because runner up Sir Pato Kakaraya still has a pending National Court challenge over his previous ousting. In this round of the saga Sir Pato only lost by four votes against Sir Paulias in the final round of the ballot. I think the whole country hopes that the nomination is not rushed off to Buckingham Palace until the whole mess is sorted out.

Opposition Leader

The acting Speaker of parliament has refused to recognise Peter O'Neill as the leader of the opposition. The Speaker however recognised Peter Yama as the leader until such time that all members of the opposition get together and sort the mess and formally advise the Speaker of the leadership.

Bill Skate

Mr. Skate, who was the acting Governor General because he is the Speaker of parliament, stood down from the Governor General's position so he could resume his position as Speaker only to find out that it was not allowed under the Constitution. The general opinion is that if he is fit to be the Speaker then he is also fit to be the Governor General and must therefore be the acting Governor General. So he has now said that he is on leave from both positions neatly sidestepping the original issue. I wonder what pay packet he will be claiming whilst he is on leave?

Illegal Border

West Sepik villagers on the border with Indonesia have erected two huge signboards about 12 kilometres into Indonesian territory. Provincial officials believe the signboards may have been erected with help from a non-government organisation. The signs were earlier confiscated by Provincial Affairs officials but were reported stolen. The signs were discovered by an Indonesian patrol and reported to PNG officials. The PNG villagers believe they traditionally own the land. The villages are able to cross over the border without a passport because the 700-kilometre border is largely unguarded and the villagers have border passes.

Moresby Shootings

Following on from police warnings that they will shoot to kill in Port Moresby three suspected criminals have been shot dead near Bautama after firing at policemen manning a roadblock. Six others are reported to be in a critical condition in hospital. The NCD/Central Police Commander has said that criminals are already dead even in the preplanning stages of committing a crime. "Police will only confirm your death sentence when they get to you".

Misima Gold Mine

After a long history of gold production spanning 115 years the Misima Gold Mine has closed on Misima Island. Since 1989 the Misima Gold Mine has processed more than a million truckloads of ore and paid over K3.7 million in wages to the PNG workforce. Misima started the same year that the Bougainville Copper mine ceased operations dramatically .

Healthy School

Wardstrip Community School in the National Capital has opened a cafeteria for staff and students with a view of combating health problems by providing healthy food. The new cafeteria is aimed at discouraging staff and students from buying items from the many street sellers selling junk food of a questionable standard. The school has also pledged to deal with the chewing of betel nut, smoking, consumption of alcohol and graffiti on the school premises.

PNG Politics

No sooner was Moses Maladina ousted, as the Deputy Prime Minister and thrown aside, than was given the position of National Planning Minister. Michael Somare is still attempting to juggle the political numbers in his favour. It is amazing how political alliances can change in a matter of seconds when it comes to PNG politics.

Eda Ranu

An insider has said that former Peoples National Congress president Mary Karo has been terminated as Managing Director of Eda Ranu effective as of last week. Meanwhile Billy Imar is still the General Manager of Eda Ranu. The board of Eda Ranu have not met yet to appoint a new MD.

Another person seen as not a supporter of the present government has been replaced at City Hall. Michael Malabag has been replaced by Sir Mekere Moruata as the Chairman of the National Capital District Commission.

Port Moresby Hospital

The Port Moresby General Hospital has received a donation of K85,000 from the Malaysian Association of PNG. This is part of the amount raised by the association at the association's charity golf day recently. The remainder of the money was distributed to the Port Moresby City Mission, Sir Buri Kidu Heart Foundation, HOPE PNG, Cheshire homes, Missionary of Charity and Canossa School of Life.

East Timor

Two soldiers from the Engineering Battalion of the PNG Defence Force are on their way to East Timor to help with the peacekeeping duties there. The two soldiers were farewelled by the commanding officer of Igam Barracks and other unit members in Lae. The soldiers will undertake a three-week pre-deployment course in Darwin before leaving for East Timor.

Tourist Rip-off

The Tourism Promotion Authority has blacklisted a tourist operator who has been reported as ripping off two elderly tourists from USA. The two tourists who were to have travelled along the Sepik River and visited the Southern Highlands Province for a moth found the operator did not pay for their trip along the Sepik. The two ladies were fortunate in being able to tell the PNG Prime Minister about their troubles as he was a passenger on the same plane back from the Sepik to Port Moresby.

SP Sports Awards

Ryan Pini and Dika Toua have won the main prizes in the PNG SP Sports awards. Ryan Pini represents PNG in swimming and he took out the Sportsman of the year award and Dika, who represents her country in weightlifting, took out sportswomen of the year award. This makes the second year in a row the pair have won the major prize at the annual event. -- http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/spawrds.html -- for previous winners.

FAQ's Sports

One of the questions I get asked from time to time is - "What sports are played in PNG?"

The answer is many and varied. Some sports have been played for ever it seems and other sports come and go. The more common sports played are -

Football -- soccer, rugby union, rugby league, touch rugby and Aussie Rules.
Other ball sports are cricket, hockey, tennis, squash, softball, lawn bowls, golf, netball and basketball. Indoor cricket and indoor hockey have been played on occasions.

Shooting has been heavily sidelined due to restrictions on the supply of ammunition and equipment but archery has taken a step forward and is gaining in popularity.

Once rallying and speedway were at the front in motor sports but rallying seems to have died a slow agonising death due to security issues and speedway meets occasionally. Go Karts once the domain of Moitaka speedway track was resurrected not so long ago at the PNG Defence Force Air Squadron hanger but can now be found roaring around the Gordon's industrial estate in Port Moresby. Triathlon had a following for a while but the bikes have disappeared off the streets. (See Iron Man article below)

Swimming is ever active with PNG weather making this an ideal way to exercise and cool off at the same time.

People can still be found playing polo, darts, snooker, and eight ball.

Weightlifting has had some interest shown in it after Dika Toua's golden efforts in recent times. Boxing and martial arts, especially kickboxing also has a following in PNG. Kickboxer, Stanley Nandex will be fighting at the "showdown at the Crowne" event later this month.

Windsurfing was once popular and many sails could be seen off Ela Beach but I think the sport has died completely. Surfing occasionally has an interest with people coming from overseas to surf on the north coast of the mainland. Canoe racing and yachting holds particular interest in Port Moresby. Although the World Sea Kayaking titles were held in Manus a while ago kayaking dies not seem to have any following in the country.

Road running holds regular meets but nothing can beat the effort by Tau John Tokwepota, the Trobriand Iron man, in the 1980 Port Moresby Marathon. Tau John was ready to set off for the start of the marathon by car when his car would not start so the only thing was to do a 5 kilometre warm up jog to get to the start passing his rivals already running the marathon on his way to the official start. He eventually started five minutes and 18 seconds behind the leaders and at the first lap had worked his way up to eighth place. Halfway through the second lap he eased his way into third place about 400 metres behind the leaders. He eventually passed the early leaders and won the race 68 seconds in front of the second place getter. Unfortunately Tau John was attacked by unknown assailants years later and his running career ended but his 1980 run surely must go down as being some sort of record.

Hash House Harriers meet at various locations around the country usually on a Monday evening straight after work.

My apologies to any sport not mentioned above. Perhaps you could write and let me know the ones I have left out. I have deliberately left out PMV drag racing and taxi dodgem from the list of sports. I am still considering whether pothole zig-zag racing should be included as a sport for most residents of major towns.

MV Tara Spirit

The MV Tara Spirit is sailing again after undergoing a major refit after sinking in Port Moresby Harbour recently. The majority of the refit was to the electronics systems that had been damaged by water.

Holiday Inn Robbery

The Holiday Inn (Islander Hotel) has been the victim of a well-planned hold up by criminals. The well-dressed criminals entered the building yesterday (Mon 31 May) as early as 8am and waited patiently in the lobby of the hotel to rob the weekend takings at about 9am. The robbers fired shots at a security guard manning the boom gate at the entrance to the hotel before crashing through the barrier an escaping with an undisclosed amount of money.


It was reported on World No Tobacco Day that as many as eight out of every ten patients being treated for heart attack at the Port Moresby General Hospital are smokers and most of them are in the age group of between 35 and 45. The Health Minister has said that this is of great concern to because the country would lose most of the people in this age group to smoking related diseases.

Iron Man / Triathlon

The town of Wewak is planning to host the Sepik Iron man competition. The iron man competition consists of swimming, running and cycling events. This, the first event to be staged by Wewak, will consist of a relay event rather than one individual doing all the events. Four competitors, one swimmer, two runners and a cyclist, will take part as a team. It is hoped that this will build interest for a proper triathlon in 2005. So far 11 teams have indicated that they will take part in the event to be held over the coming Queen's birthday weekend.


The PNG Defence Force has received a donation of non-combatant military equipment from the Indonesian government. The supplies consisted of 2000 sets of uniforms including boots, caps, belts, and webbing as well as 4.8 tonnes of food rations delivered by an Indonesian Defence Air force plane from Jakarta.


The much talked about Jeepneys should have arrived from the Philippines and be unloaded from the ship at Port Moresby Wharf by the time you red this article. (6 June). The PNG Jeepneys being taller and wider have been modified from the usual Filipino design. The Jeepneys will be able to carry 26 - 30 passengers and will powered by a reconditioned Isuzu engine. The four prototype vehicles will be tested to see if they comply with the government standards for mass transport. i.e. do they have an engine and at least 4 wheels? Once initial approval is given it is planned that the two vehicles will be shipped to Lae and tested in along the Highlands highway and to Madang to give operators and commuters an idea of the vehicles capabilities. The other two will be on trial around Moresby and Central Province.

Coming Events

The Mila Mala Trobriand Cultural Festival will be held from the 6th to the 9th of July. Contact Serah Clark on +675 641 0800 or email to -- konki @ dg.com.pg

Basic Health Services

It has been reported that basic health services are not reaching most of the rural areas. Bad roads and a rapidly decaying law and order situation are preventing even the most basic of services reaching the people. Many Rural Aid posts are closed leaving many rural health workers with out a job. This has led to an increase in the death rate from diseases that should be considered curable.


Twelve of the ports used for international shipping in PNG have been declared as being compliant with international security measures for shipping ports. Any country with ports that are not compliant by the 1st of July would not be allowed to receive or send cargo around the world. The review, funded by the PNG - Australia aid program, makes PNG one of the first countries in the Pacific region to be compliant.

Air Fare Increase

Due to rising fuel prices Air Niugini has joined other airlines and advertised an increase in airfares for passengers. The company mindful of the already high cost of air travel in PNG has said that the increase will only apply to international passengers. Air Niugini has claimed that the increase has added another K1.6 million every month to the fuel bill. It has also said that if the price of fuel goes down below the figure they budgeted for fuel for 2004 then they will also remove the fuel surcharge. Each passenger will now pay an extra US$10.50 per sector flown.

Oil Search Limited

Shareholders have approved the issue of 550,000 performance rights to the Managing Director of Oil Search. MD, Peter Bottten, has also taken part in the Sydney, Australia, segment of the Olympic Torch Relay to Athens. The company made an after tax profit of US$89.6 million in 2003. this was 62% higher than the record set in 2002.

PNG Media

If a friend has given or sent you a copy of this newsletter and you would like to keep receiving free copies then please visit ../news/index.html for instructions on how to join the list.

Articles for this Newsletter

If you think you have a PNG page worth mentioning then please use the contact form.

To send a message for submission to the PNG Gossip Newsletter queue please use the contact form

If you want to subscribe please fill out the application on the following page.

If you want to unsubscribe then select the unsubscribe option on the next page.

ArchivesView PNG Gossip Newsletter Archive

[ Search Newsletters | Newsletter Home | Previous | Next | Newsletter Index ]

-- 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

If you can add to this list then please send email to PNG-News@pnggossip.com


Created 6 Jun 2004
Updated 16 Jun 2004

Sponsored by
©2004 - 2011 Gia Mann