P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 18 Mar 2001

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PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay

Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip - 18 Mar 2001. 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

For those of you who prefer to access the latest editions of the PNG Gossip Newsletter via a web page with links, use the address below. Readers whose e-mail application does not use "clickable" text links (such as AOL) may find this Web page more convenient as well http://www.png-gossip.com/news. Once there you will be able to navigate to the latest newsletter. Also sometimes, in the email edition of this newsletter, the email application can not place a long link (url) on the one line so if a long URL appears to be broken, please manually cut and then paste the link into your browser or use the link mentioned above.

Articles for this newsletter

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 28 - 30 United States cents but varies on a daily basis.

If you really want to find out what the Kina is worth on the world market then you can find a currency converter for most world currencies located at http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/moni.html - another currency converter, with a local flavour, is located at the Papua New Guinea Business Resources Directory http://www.pngbd.com.

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.

PNG newspaper sites

Post Courier -- National -- The Independent

PNG Related Links to visit

Not too far from the town of Port Moresby is the Island Resort of Loloata. They have a web site at http://www.loloata.com.

Take a look at DIVErsion Dive Travel & Training in Cairns, Australia at http://www.diversionOZ.com/epngdive.htm

Another site worth visiting, especially if you are into diving is http://www.walindi.com

http://www.worldskip.com/papuanewguinea - - This site is being revamped at the moment so if you pay a visit this week it may look totally different in a few months time.

This link -- http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/2716.html points to a book about PNG -- here are the opening sentences from the publicity blurb for the book

Just Talk examines the often-overlooked role of gossip and rumour in creating power in small Melanesian communities. The Kwanga of the East Sepik Province of Papua, New Guinea think that malicious gossip is almost as dangerous as sorcery.

I have mentioned a couple of maps above that will let readers see what and where PNG is here is another map of PNG http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/single_image/0,5716,3345+bin%5Fid,00.html courtesy of Britannica.

Is this USA?

After recently discussing with a close San Diego reader about a recent incident over there I was horrified to read the following in The National after also hearing about it from a Koro Kid.

The principal of the Korobosea International School, Dr Drew Davis, confirmed that two students were expelled from the school the previous Friday for allegedly being in possession of a gun whilst on the school premises.

It is rumoured that one student had the gun whilst the other had the bullets. For The National on-line article visit http://www.thenational.com.pg/0314/nationframe2.htm

Salvation Army

A gang of criminals has stolen office equipment worth K10,000 from the Salvos community service office in Badili.

Rotary Club

Dale Palmer, the president of the Port Moresby Rotary Club, has presented Professor Kevau from the Sir Buri Kidu Heart Institute with K17000 worth of support computer and other equipment for blood pressure research currently being undertaken by the institute.

Defence Force

More than 500 soldiers and their families and the Governor General celebrated the 50th anniversary of the First Royal Pacific Island Regiment last weekend.

The Defence Band did not play at this event because the equipment they use is worn out. The Freemasons club in Port Moresby heard about the problems and have donated a set of bagpipes and maintenance items worth more than K1000 to help the band play at future ceremonial occasions.

Defence Force Report

The report mentioned in last weeks newsletter concerning the Defence Force has recommended that future commanders should be appointed by a special appointments commission made up of the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, Chief Ombudsman and another leading Papua New Guinean in the same way the Chief Ombudsman is appointed by a special appointments commission.

Many servicemen have said they are planning to resign en masse if the Government stands firm on its decision to reform the Defence Force. The Prime Minister has announced that the plans will be shelved for now.

This week disgruntled soldiers broke into the armoury and stole high-powered weapons. It has not been confirmed how many were actually stolen although a number of 30 has been mentioned. The Government has ordered an investigation into the armoury break-in.

Parliamentary Services Pay

Staff of the Parliamentary Services unit could not be paid recently as there was no money in Parliament's general account to pay them. It has also been rumoured that members of parliament could not get their pay as well.

Tourism Promotion Authority

Sir Peter Barter, the deputy Chairman of the Tourism Promotion Authority board, has been urged "to resign or keep his place on the board by keeping his mouth shut". The Minister for Culture and Tourism made these comments over comments made by Peter Barter about the suspension of the chief executive officer Richard Kassman. The Minister suspended Mr Kassman over allegations that he had been making decisions to engage consultants and spending TPA funds without an approved budget.

PNG has recently won first prize for the best stand and the biggest international tourism exhibition in the world. PNG competed against 16000 exhibitors from 150 countries to win first prize.

Air Niugini

It is anticipated that the national flag carrier will re-introduce direct flights to Japan sometime this year possibly to Narita. The airline also plans to announce low cost packages to various destinations within PNG. Direct flights to Sydney at the end of this month have already been announced.

Goroka Water

A team of Japanese workers are currently doing a feasibility study on the upgrade of the water supply in Goroka. A preliminary study identified Goroka, Daru and Vanimo as being towns that urgently require an upgraded water supply. The water supply in Goroka was built in the early 1970's and was meant to cater fro a population of 10,000. it is estimated that 60,000 people live in and around the township of Goroka.

Lae Water

It is said that urgent measures need to be taken to protect the environment and the lives of those who live in the city of Lae and in the villages that hug the shoreline of the Huon Gulf due to the lack of resources to monitor the water pollution level and to enforce the guidelines on safe waste management.

Lae Roads

Heavy vehicles are damaging the new roads in Lae. The roads funded by AusAid at a cost of about K80 million are beginning to break up less than six months after they were finished.

Wards Road

Wards road through from Murray Barracks to Hohola has been officially opened this week. The road cost the National Capital District Commission K14 million.

Le Hunte Rd

Le Hunte Road and Mayon Street have been converted into a two-way road as Healy Parade was closed off to allow the development of the new four-lane road between Koki and town.

Morobe Province

Due to fears about the health of students and teachers, 700 students at Dregerhafen High School in Finschhafen, have been sent home due to ongoing water problems at the school.


It is anticipated that a rehabilitation centre being funded by the Madang Provincial Government will be opened next month for prisoners at Beon Jail.

University of Technology

UniTech will be conducting its 33rd annual graduation ceremony on the 30th of March. His Excellency Tatsuo Tanaka, the Japanese Ambassador to PNG, will be the guest speaker.

Police Helicopter

After coming back from being repaired the police helicopter has been seen very infrequently in the sky above Port Moresby. The pilot has been snapped up by a commercial airline that simply offered more money than what the police force could offer. The position will be advertised shortly but if the money isn't right it may be hard to attract a suitable applicant.

Foreign Exchange Rates

The Bank of South Pacific has advertised the availability of daily foreign exchange rates and brochures on bank products on their website located at http://www.bsp.com.pg.

Mail from USA

This is a warning for anyone in USA sending anything to PNG via sea mail. My annual Christmas cake order from USA has turned up. Every year this is ordered in early to late September and whilst other cake orders sent sea mail are received in Australia well before Christmas the PNG delivery is always delivered anytime from late March to May.

Medicinal Herbs

It has been reported that the Health department are developing patent laws to protect the many traditional plants and herbs used in traditional medicines.

It is also hoped that people who are using traditional plants will be able to teach students the proper use of the plants to treat people.


The infant mortality rate in PNG has been reported, yet again as the highest in the Pacific Islands region. 15,000 babies less than one year old die every year in PNG. The maternal mortality rate is also the highest in the region with 3,700 mothers dying from birth complications every year.


The search by BP for the contaminated kerosene has turned up four more victims in remote villages of PNG. The total now stands at five people dead and 43 injured as a result of explosions associated with the contaminated kerosene.

Milne Bay

Milne Bay province has been selected to host a pilot tourism project. The pilot will be centred on eco-tourism and obtaining the maximum benefit for the whole population of the province not just for the tourist operators.

Port Moresby Power

Residents of the National Capital are still experiencing blackouts throughout the day despite plenty of water being available for hydroelectric generation at the Sogeri dam.


It has been tipped that the census preliminary figures will show that PNG has a population of over four million. It is expected that the figures will be presented to parliament soon. The final results should be known by August this year. The census cost an estimated K48 million.

PNG Forums and Discussion websites

Financial Sites

Weather Forecasts around PNG

Alotau -- Bougainville -- Daru -- Kainantu -- Kavieng -- Kimbe -- Lae -- Madang -- Mendi -- Mt Hagen -- Oksapmin -- Popondetta -- Port Moresby -- Rabaul -- Vanimo -- Wau -- Wedau -- Wewak

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Created 18 Mar 2001
Updated 27 May 2004
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