P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 24 May 2002

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PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay
Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip - 24 May 2002

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


Neo Melanesian Links
Quotes Spears and Ballots
St John Ambulance More Resignations
Election Special Nuns
Illegal Fishing Salt
Phone Book BSP
InterOil Manam Island
PNG Business Council Highlands Highways
Textile Centre Privatisation
Electoral Rolls Electoral Posters
Public Libraries Election Fever
Fine Arts Exhibition Aust-PNG Art
Holy Sites Exhibits Women Candidates
Military Politics Hockey
Kimbe Oro Settlement
Air Niugini Fiji Service Asylum Seekers
Technology Chimbu
Wau Shooting Balus
The Kina Tuberculosis
East New Britain PNG Media

Articles for this newsletter

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

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"
tok say
tok word
tok baksait gossip about
tok bilas ridicule
tok bilong bipo yet fable / myth
tok bilong ol tumbuna tradition of ancestors
tok bokis secret language / parable
tok grisim flatter
tok gude greet
tok gumi tall tale
tok hait secret
tok insait conscience
tok pait controversy
tok ples local language
tok tru speak the truth
tok tru truth
tok / toktok talk
tokautim sin confess
tokim tell
toksave advertisement
toksave information
toksave / tok save long explain
toktok conversation
toktok long talk about
toktok wantaim converse with
tokwin rumour

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.


The anecdotes located at http://www.global.net.pg/cusopng/anecdotes.htm have been written by expats living in PNG and have been produced to give newcomers, to some of the smaller towns, a sense of what it is like to live in PNG.

For a snapshot of village life in Hoploi, Papua New Guinea please visit -- http://lucy.ukc.ac.uk/Sonja/Oliver/hoploi/hop1.html titled "A village, an anthropologist, two goats and a meal..."



News Items


Here are two quotes that might be appropriate for the coming elections.

"Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything."
      ---Frank Dane

"Nobody can deliver sustainable development to people because development is not a product. True development is a process of empowering people and communities to plan, implement and maintain a better future for themselves."
      ---Carol Kidu

Spears and Ballots

J O I N     T H E     A D V E N T U R E !
Deep within the mountains of Papua New Guinea a documentary team is capturing the colour of Enga. Election Time in Enga Province occurs once every five years, prompting months of celebration, sing-sings, rallies and feasts. It is a period of cultural colour and political tension.

Explore the remote Highlands in the daily journal, view stills of the best footage and communicate directly with the team as they unravel the mysteries of Papua New Guinea's tribal heritage.

Visit http://www.farawaypictures.com

St John Ambulance

Regarding the article in the last edition about the fact that the St John Ambulance was broke. A reader has written in wondering if the personalised number plates, the St John Ambulance recently had fitted to their vehicles, were a donation or whether the money came out of the ambulance funds?

More Resignations

More Members of Parliament have resigned as the Leadership Tribunal investigates allegations of misconduct in office by them.

Eastern Highlands Governor Peti Lafanama, the Member for Kandrian/Gloucester in West New Britain, Peter Arul, and Minister for Privatisation, Vincent Auali are the latest to tender their resignation letters to the Speaker of Parliament. The others to resign have been Mr. Wama, Bevan Tambi (Jimi MP), Peter Waieng (Kundiawa/Gembogl), and Mr Mollok.

Election Special

The Post Courier has admitted defeat - it cannot give political space to all the candidates so it will produce a special newspaper so it cannot be accused of bias. They aim to be able to get at least one newspaper to every village in the country in early June before the elections. They have sent out a short list of questions to all political parties asking about various policies etc.

The Electoral Commission website is located at http://www.pngec.gov.pg


The nuns who were recently attacked, the Handmaids of our Lord order, said they would not be scared into leaving their base of the past 46 years. The nuns live at the Nine-Mile area on the outskirts of Port Moresby. The nuns lost food and personal property along with a television set and radio used by all the nuns in a recent attack.

Illegal Fishing

A Defence Force patrol boat is escorting three fishing vessels to Port Moresby after being caught fishing illegally in PNG waters by a joint National Fishing Authority and PNG Maritime elements exercise. The vessels were caught during routine surveillance.


A salt refinery has opened just outside Port Moresby. The Chinese government provided a loan of US$10.75 million to help the salt project get underway. The salt will be used for local consumption and hopefully will be exported as well.

Phone Book

The PNG Phone Book has been caught previously with glaring spelling mistakes. The year 2000 edition had the word millennium spelt incorrectly on the front cover. Unlike this newsletter where hopefully mistakes are forgotten about a telephone presents those mistakes on almost a daily basis for a year.

This year, in the Yellow Page section, an advert for the National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority says that "cooked ore" is acceptable and some goods are not allowed entry "accept under controlled" conditions. Yellow Pages - http://www.yellowpages.com.pg

If you want to check a PNG phone number then a quick trip to http://www.telikompng.com.pg/WhitePages.aspx


Bank South Pacific plans to spend over K100 million over the next five years to fully integrate its information technology network in all branches in the country.


The Prime Minister has launched the final phase of the construction period for PNG's first oil refinery. The final construction phase will take about 20 months, with the first oil expected to flow from the refinery at the end of next year or in early 2004. The oil refinery will have an expected capacity of 33,500 barrels of oil a day.

Manam Island

Manam Island has erupted recently and destroyed several food gardens in the surrounding area. The volcano last erupted in December 1996 and killed 13 people.

PNG Business Council

Mel Togolo was elected unopposed as the new president of the Business Council of Papua New Guinea. The council's membership comprises of businesses operating in the country. The group General Manager of Kina Securities was elected as vice president.

Highlands Highways

The president of the Mount Hagen Chamber of Commerce has said that most of the Highlands provinces are at the verge of a major tragedy, due to the worsening state of the Highlands Highway. Due to the cost of additional repairs to vehicles transport companies are talking about increasing the freight cost by 40 per cent. The tea export industry is threatened because tea cannot be moved far enough over the rough roads and export schedules are not being met.

Textile Centre

The Trade and Industry Minister recently opened the women's textile training centre (WTTC) in Port Moresby. Women will now be able to learn sewing and garment designing skills.


It is hoped that the agenda for privatising State-owned enterprises will deliver to the community both short term and long medium-term benefits and provide funds to reverse the trend of services costing more and quality decreasing.

Electoral Rolls

The Electoral Commissioner has said that all candidates and supporters can obtain copies of the Voter Common Rolls for a price of 40 toea a page.

Electoral Posters

Some of the election posters put up to advertise various aspiring politicians have drawn widespread concern as to whether they are being truthful. I thought all posters were only allowed to be A4 (that's similar to American letter size paper). One poster or is that a billboard is a great deal bigger than that.

Public Libraries

The National Libraries Service is looking at ways to reduce overcrowding in public libraries. This is compounded by the fact that most schools do not have adequate in house library facilities for students to use. The attendance by the general public has declined at libraries simply because the school children have taken over most libraries to complete assignments and general study.

Election Fever

Two policemen and a candidate have been taken hostage in the Southern Highlands by an armed mob of 2000 believed to be supporters of a sitting MP from the province. Other reports say that supporters shot dead a policeman and are holding four people, the candidate and three policemen, hostage.

Fine Arts Exhibition

To mark the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, a Fine Arts Exhibition, entitled "20 Portraits and other Works", is being held early next month at the Holiday Inn in Port Moresby. The public viewing will be on June 5 and works will be available for sale.

Aust-PNG Art

For residents of Port Moresby an exhibition celebrating the artistic traditions of the Australasian and Pacific region has opened at the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery. The exhibition will be in the Sir Alan Mann Gallery until June 25. An extensive collection of prints from Arnhem Land, Bathurst and Melville islands, Torres Strait Islands, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and the Pacific islands will be on display.

The PNG Gallery is open Monday to Friday 9am to 2.30pm and on Sunday from 1 - 3pm.

Holy Sites Exhibits

Another exhibition is also on at the National Museum and Art Gallery in Port Moresby. This one is featuring images of Christian, Jewish and Islamic holy sites in Israel. The exhibition will on until the end of this month. (May 2002)

Women Candidates

Four women who are contesting the forthcoming elections under the banner of the Melanesian Alliance said they would be in the mainstream of the party if elected and help form government.

The four are existing Moresby South MP Lady Carol Kidu, Susan Setae, a candidate for Moresby North East Open, Sarah Maima Garap (Sinasina-Yongomugl Open) and Donna Harvey-Hall for Bulolo Open. The ladies are very determined to get a strong women caucus in the mainstream of the party.

Military Politics

The Defence Minister, Mathias Karani, has pledged to ensure that his ministerial role does not come into conflict with that of the commander and the military hierarchy. He said soldiers were trained professionals, therefore, it was right that the commander took charge of his men.


Port Moresby hockey seems to be getting organised. 40 players, who were put through their paces against themselves and the stopwatch, attended a training session held on Sunday morning. Watching the players train was pleasantly surprising as normal training sessions have always reminded me of a mothers club meeting. Good luck to them as PNG Hockey has really been dead for several years except that it refuses to die. Now if only they could attract a few more young players to the training sessions I would be convinced that hockey was back on track.


The Lakemate jail in Kimbe, West New Britain Province, has been closed indefinitely for health reasons. Inmates are being transferred to Kerevat jail. Health officials ordered the jail closed because the sanitation was very poor, the drinking water was unsafe and living conditions were generally unhygienic for prisoners.

Oro Settlement

Around 2000 people living at Oro settlement just outside Port Moresby can now have water running into their houses if they make a commitment to pay for the water themselves. Eda Ranu has already installed 10 taps for communal use.

Air Niugini Fiji Service

The Fijian High Commissioner has said that Air Niugini is considering starting direct flights between Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

Asylum Seekers

It has been announced that it is costing Australia taxpayers over K800 per day per refugee held in Manus. This is three times as much as what it costs if the same refugee was held in Australia.


An Australian military communication instructor has said that people in Papua New Guinea are technologically disadvantaged. He said that PNG children do not have the opportunity to use computers.


Police barracks, funded by AusAid to the value in excess of K5 million, have recently been opened at Mirane in Kundiawa, Chimbu Province.

Wau Shooting

Community leaders recently have handed over the man suspected of pulling the trigger in the shooting of the teacher in Wau to police. The man was the third suspect wanted by police for the fatal shooting of the late Anthony Pohunu in Wau several weeks ago.


I have spent a little bit of time updating the "balus" records located at http://www/michie.net/balus. It is a task that will never be 100 percent accurate but I have managed to add another 20 aircraft records. All help from anyone and everyone would be appreciated. If you have any records of planes flown in PNG since before the country was known as PNG up to the modern day please send that information to balus.update@michie.net -- Note: Balus in this instance means aeroplane and helicopter. Were there ever any airships operating in this part of the world?

If you have any old photographs even remotely dealing with air transportation in PNG you can also send a scanned copy of them to me via the above email address. All contributions will be acknowledged on the web page.

The Kina

The Kina has continued to fall against the Aussie Dollar. Rumours say that it will stop when the Kina gets to 37 Australian cents. It is currently 47 cents to the Kina and a few years ago the Kina was worth AUD$1.50 or better. How low will it really sink?


Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be the biggest killer in PNG. Children and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 are the ones mostly at risk.

East New Britain

It has been reported that services such as fishing, health, education and commerce were lacking in the Lassul Bainings area of East New Britain province. The local level government president has said that 20 people have died due to the lack of health services and the only health centre closed in August 2001.


PNG Media

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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 24 May 2002
Updated 23 Aug 2002

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