P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 6 Sep 2000

PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay
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Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip. 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 queue -- 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 about 36 - 37 United States cents but varies on a daily basis.

If you are really keen and want to find out how much the Kina is worth you can find a currency converter for most world currencies 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.

Also remember that the accuracy of the information in this newsletter should not be relied upon - it is, after all, a gossip newsletter.

If a longer URL in this newsletter appears to be broken, please manually cut and then paste the link into your browser.

Aviation Gas

The future of aviation in the country has been threatened by the proposed withdrawal of Shell as a supplier due to the fact that the price controller will not allow a 22.87 toea per litre increase. According to sources, Mobil, the only other supplier of avgas might be forced to do the same thing. Such a move would mean that operators of aircraft requiring avgas would have to import their own supplies.

Give a Kina Campaign

An appeal has gone out to every man, woman and child in Papua New Guinea to donate one Kina towards the development of the country. It is planned that the donated money will be invested and that only the interest will be used.

Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA)

Richard Kassman has been appointed as the new chief executive officer of the TPA. The Tourism Minister made the appointment after revoking the acting appointment of Gard Renson.

National Identity Act

PNG will have its own awards system replacing the awards presented by the Queen. The necessary amendment to the act was passed easily on votes in parliament recently. The highest of the new awards will be known as the Order of Papua New Guinea. The honour will be bestowed by the Head of the State acting on advice of the National Executive Council.

West New Britain

Kimbe police are investigating the assault and kidnap of the Provincial Police Commander by unknown men. The attack comes within a week of the launch of a special police operation code named "Klinim Kimbe". It is believed that the Commander is currently nursing a head injury.

Helicopter Robbery

The investigation into the foiled helicopter robbery of the PNGBC bank in down town Port Moresby should resume again today (6 Sept 2000) despite not being able to locate some of the witnesses.

Milne Bay

The Milne Bay Governor has announced a half a million kina fish processing and packaging plant for the Trobriand Islands. The company will be set up initially on the Losuia waterfront. The Trobs have little else to develop in the way of business development apart from marine resources.

Madang, Kar Kar Island

A K165,000 volcanic recorder has been stolen and vandalised. This is less than 24 hours after volcano observer Roger Middleton appealed to the government to help restore the equipment, which had just been replaced after another theft

Madang, Madang Town

The Madang General Hospital is currently handicap by the lack of an ambulance in the town especially in times of an emergency.

The Foundation of People and Community Development has donated surgical equipment and furniture to the value of K20,000 to the Madang Hospital.

Halla Cement

The PNG Government has sold off its 50% share in Halla Cement to Taiheiyo Cement Corporation. The Govt will receive approx US$8.5 million on the sale, which will help pay off the US11 million owed by the Govt on the loan taken out to finance the original deal.


With the arrival of a special police mobile squad in the Southern Highlands an appeal has gone out to public servants to return to Tari.


Sir Danny Leahy has been appointed as the interim chairman of the board of the Coffee Price Stabilisation Fund.

Koki Point

The roadwork for a four-lane road between Koki and Ela Beach in Port Moresby has begun with soil being dumped at Koki. The project is part of the National Government infrastructure development work for the city.

Medical Symposium

The 36th PNG Medical Symposium being hosted by the PNG Medical Society kicked off this week as part of the PNG Silver Jubilee anniversary celebration events. The symposium is being held in Port Moresby at the recently renovated Parkroyal hotel.

Miss PNG Quest

Delaney Owen who was self sponsored as Miss Morobe has found a sponsor in Ramu sugar. She was originally sponsored as Miss PC 2000 and Morobe Stationery until the sponsors withdraw sponsorship a little under a month after Delaney entered the quest.

The following girls have entered the Miss PNG Quest being run by the Red Cross Society.

National Provident Fund

It appears that the NPF has made genuine donations to worthy organisations although it didn't have the legal rights to do so. The recipients were church groups, charity organisations and sporting organisations. More than K104,000 were made to such organisations in 1998.

East New Britain

A community resource centre will be built in Pomio courtesy of the Japanese government. The Japanese ambassador and the Gazelle Restoration Authority project manager signed a contract for K113,000 recently. Since the volcanic eruptions Japan has extended about K85 million of assistance for various reconstruction projects including the Tokua airport and Radio East New Britain.

Ramu Nickel Project

Due to landowner problems, the proposed Ramu Nickel project in Madang may not commence soon unless the land ownership related issues are settled by the court immediately.

Land problems are often difficult to sort out in PNG because many "tribes" traditionally have rights to the land, which may go back hundreds of years even though those rights have not been exercised since the white man came to PNG. The present "owners" may in fact only have been squatters for the last 75 years.

Sogeri Cultural Show

The National High at Sogeri has once again held a successful cultural day with performances by students from all regions of PNG. The Show, officially known as the Sogeri Sing Sing Day also provided the school with an avenue to raise funds for a new classroom complex containing 16 classrooms, a conference room, office and storage rooms and a modern auditorium. The show attracted visitors from Taiwan, Japan, India and many other countries. The classroom complex is to replace the 16 classrooms burned down in 1997 and 1998.

National Language

Does PNG have a national language from the 800 plus languages within the country? No! English makes a half-hearted attempt, Pidgin goes a long way and Motu sneaks in on the Central side of PNG. Now it seems that none of these main languages have to be spoken by foreigners wishing to work in PNG nor do they have to have a command of any of the other 800 plus. The Trade and Industry Minister told Parliament recently that English was not compulsory for foreigners who want to do business in PNG. Chris Haiveta disputed that stating that the new labour laws clearly stated that English was a must for foreigners who wanted to do business.

Aussie Rules

The University Bulldogs have won the National Capital District Rules Football premiership after defeating the Koki Dockers.


It is rumoured that Wayne Bennett, the coach of the Australian Rugby League premier team, the Brisbane Bronco's, will be in PNG in October.

Boroko Foodworld / Steamships
A reader has submitted this little bit of gossip.
I understand that the new Steamships GM was un impressed recently when visiting Boroko Food World, to see a number of Steamships employees shopping there.
May be a direction soon that it is expected that Steamships Employees shop at Stop and Steal and not the opposition, can anyone confirm this?
Could there be a message there !!!!

Is it true that not only is Air Niugini getting a new Managing Director but is it also about to have a new General Manager Commercial in an attempt to return the airline to a profitable status?

Another rumour floating around is that Telikom is currently in the process of selling logs to help finance a multi million kina fibre optic cable between PNG and Australia. Telikom have refuted the rumour.


Here are some very interesting links that tie the Lihir project to Sandline / Executive Outcomes. These are the mercenaries who were hired by a previous PNG Prime Minister to put down the rebellion in the North Solomons province.

As mentioned by the submitter of the links - "If you have the time, this is quite interesting reading......"


Here is a quote from the above link.

In Papua New Guinea, Friedland's Venezuelan subsidiary Vengold has a stake in a gold mine with Rio Tinto on a volcanic outcrop called Lihir that lays some 700 kilometres northeast of the island of New Guinea. The miners plan to dump 4,600 tonnes of waste rock an hour to a spot 1.5 kilometres from the coast into an area which has one of the highest marine biodiversities in the world. The arrival of the company in the island has already caused problems because of the arrival of job seekers from other islands and the introduction of alcohol, resulting in the opening of the first-ever jail on the island

It is interesting to note that Vengold Ltd rated a mention in the Post Courier today (6 Sep 00). The former chairman of the National Provident Fund apparently used K1 million of proceeds from the sale of shares allotted to the chairman as a director representing the fund on the board of Vengold Ltd.


And a quote from that article

Ivanhoe Capital Corporation, whose head office is in Singapore, has the same Vancouver address as Diamond Works: 200 Burrard Street. Along with Robert Friedland, Diamond Works has bought a 40% interest in the Lihir project in Papua New Guinea: the largest known unexploited gold deposit outside of South Africa. The Lihir project and Mount Kare project (also in Papua New Guinea) are essential for the economic "recovery" of this former Australian colony.


And a quote from the above link

In their discussions at the Cairns hotel, Buckingham and Spicer would no doubt have told the PNG officials of the success of Executive Outcomes in Angola and Sierra Leone, in securing and protecting mines. In a controversial due diligence report prepared for Carson Gold (now Diamondworks), there is an interesting reference to the closeness between mining and mercenaries. The report - prepared at the same time as Spicer and Buckingham were in Cairns - states "Both Sierra Leone and Angola have been under the duress of civil war, but peace has been achieved largely through military assistance provided by Executive Outcomes, Branch Energy's parent company, to the government of these countries."

Prices (Advertised Specials)


With the arrival of the international company called Flight Centre it is hoped that travellers will now have access to some cheaper fares than what has been available. Examples of these prices from Port Moresby and return are below:

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Created - 6 Sep 2000
Updated - 18 Feb 2001
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