P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 2 Sep 2002

[ Newsletter Home | Previous | Next | | Search Newsletters | Newsletter Index ]
Click here for most recent Newsletter
PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay
Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip - 2 Sep 2002

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


Teachers Pay Budget
Caritas Cultural Day Central Show
Fuel Prices PNG Handcrafts
Ramu Sugar Export Boost
Privatisation Lae Cancer Unit
Medicine for Lae Medicine for Nonga
Eco-Tourism Melanesia Literacy Week
Hagahai Papala Bank
Kokoda Memorial Match Tolukuma Cyanide Spill
Mt Ulavun - Bialla Air Niugini
Wrecks and Reefs Sogeri High
PNG Media Em Tasol

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 23-24 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 Pisin English
wan one
tu two
tri three
foa four
five 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
wan handet one hundred

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.


Pacific Arts
Carolyn and Ron at Pacific Arts advise that they have just posted an article and photos on Bundi bark cloth butterfly dancers at http://www.art-pacific.com/artifact.htm

Yacht Club
The Royal Papua Yacht Club has a website located at http://www.rpyc.com.pg and also http://www.royalpapua-yc.com.pg

Musical Instruments
Traditional Papua New Guinean musical instruments are primitive and fall mainly into the percussion and wind categories. Visit -- http://pnghandcrafts.8k.com/g-drums.html for more information. See story about PNG Handcrafts below.

Sorcery and its Social Effects Amongst the Elema of Papua New Guinea -- http://www.alastairmcintosh.com/articles/1983_sorcery.htm

If you are looking for ancestor figures or totems then a visit to http://www.magellantraders.com/ng_totems.html may help you or at least point you in the right direction.

Rose Gallery
Rosalie Christensen was an artist, teacher, voyager, explorer, photographer, mother and gardener who spent much of her life battling cancer and lupus. She lived in America, Australia and Papua New Guinea raising two children alone over 3 continents.

A sample of some of the pages about PNG at rosegallery.com can be found at http://www.rosesgallery.com/sinai-ramu-bunapas-masks.html with black and white photographs located at http://www.rosesgallery.com/pngbwphotographs.html.



News Items

Teachers Pay

The Post Courier -- http://www.postcourier.com.pg -- has reported that more than 100 teachers in schools in the Morobe Province have not received their pay cheques and that the cheques may have been sent to another province. It is fortunate that most of the teachers have their pay deposited into bank accounts.


The new Somare government has passed its first budget. This budget sees no new taxes but heavy cuts in some areas in an attempt to arrest the deficit that, up until now, was looming for the end of the year. This budget will be valid up until the new one is handed down in November for the year 2003. The government is making use of new legislation to gain an extra K4 million from the National Gaming Control Board. The politicians are giving themselves a 15 percent pay cut but it not clear which part of their many allowances will be cut by 15 percent. It doesn't sound like that the 15 percent will be from their total package.

Caritas Cultural Day

The Caritas Girls School in Port Moresby has recently held another successful cultural day at the school. Many of the local politicians were able to attend.

Central Province Show

The Central Province Agricultural Show was held at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium in Port Moresby two weekends ago. This is the first show, since it started in 2000, to be held in Port Moresby, 50 stalls were set up for show goers to inspect what can be grown and produced in Central. Each of the five districts of Central Province weer represented. (Kairuku, Rigo, Goilala, Hiri and Abau).

Fuel Prices

The price of petrol in major centres has dropped to K1.945 per litre. Despite being price controlled some service stations in Port Moresby were charging slightly more than the old price of K1.963 before the decrease. People who have diesel vehicles, however, will be slugged an extra 0.7 toea per litre. The cost of diesel in main centres should now be K1.496 per litre.

PNG Handcraft Exports

PNG Handcraft Exports (http://pnghandcrafts.8k.com) is a small web-based business supplying Papua New Guinea artifacts to overseas buyers. Casmiro Maia and Frank Arua own the business, two young men both aged 22 from the Goilala District of the Central Province. After completing Grade 10 with no prospects of further education, they decided to start their own business. A friend who works with computers suggested marketing artifacts on the internet, and with their friend's help and using borrowed equipment they set up a simple website in 1999.

Establishing yourself, as a reliable Internet trader, is very difficult these days, especially when you are based in a faraway country like PNG which buyers in the USA and Europe are reluctant to trade with. Casmiro and Frank heard many stories from clients about having been ripped off by other people in PNG to whom they sent money and never received anything in return.

Casmiro and Frank actually started out by auctioning a few small items on the eBay website, under the user name "pnghandcrafts". Bidders seemed to be willing to take a risk and bid on low-priced items even if the seller was a never-heard-of newby from PNG. However, once a few small auctions had been completed and the goods had been delivered safely to the customers, the positive feedback comments left on the eBay website by buyers about PNG Handcrafts became priceless references for other potential customers to read. This encouraged clients to trust PNG Handcraft Exports with larger orders.

The business now has a regular clientele of artifact collectors from all over the world, and while the turnover is still relatively small compared to the long-established artifact suppliers, income from this web-based business now supports Casmiro's and Frank's extended families living in Port Moresby. The website shows a selection of PNG artifacts and handicrafts which are readily available. Once an e-mail order is received from a customer, Frank and Casmiro go out and buy the items from suppliers and markets in Port Moresby and ship them to the customer. This way they don't have to tie up their money in a warehouse full of stock - they simply procure to order. The advantage for the customer is that a wider range of items is available through the website than would normally be available from any one artifact shop.

Some customers also ask for other types of artifacts not shown on the website and Casmiro and Frank sometimes go artifact hunting in other provinces. Many customers are people who have lived in PNG before and on their return to their home country they have realised they didn't have enough mementos of their time in PNG. Accordingly there are a lot of orders for bilums (string bags), Trobriand carvings, and kundu drums that are sent overseas to ex-PNG residents.

Last year Frank was interviewed on the Chit-Chat program on the local TV station to talk about what it's like to be a young man trying to run a business in PNG. Frank said that they had more trouble trying to establish their credibility locally than with overseas customers. He mentioned that at first they had trouble even getting in the door of banks, shipping companies and government departments, who couldn't believe that these young Goilala men were the owners of a company exporting artifacts overseas. Every time Frank tried to cash a company cheque bank staff rigorously questioned him, and every time he tried to fill in application forms and other paperwork he was told to go away and come back with his boss. "But I AM the boss".

PNG Handcraft Exports invites you to visit their website at http://pnghandcrafts.8k.com.

Ramu Sugar

It looks as if the initial Public Offering of Ramu Sugar shares will be oversubscribed. The government is selling off its 50 percent holding in the company. For further information please visit the Kina Securities website -- http://www.kina.com.pg. The offer closes on the 12th of September. Over 6 million shares are on offer at K1.26 per share.

Export Boost

The Government will embark on an export-driven economic strategy focusing on the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors as part of its five-year recovery and development plan.


Privatisation is to be reviewed and downgraded to selective and partial privatisation with emphasis on contracting management and selected other functions to the private sector.

Lae Cancer Unit

The Minister for Health has revealed that a machine manufactured in Canada in 1963 and used for treating cancer in Lae may have been faulty. The equipment may be faulty because patients treated by it were not showing any signs of improvement. A new machine will cost approximately K2 million and the minister will be attending a World Health Organisation meeting next month where he will seek assistance for a replacement machine. The machine is the only one in the country. Cancer is the fifth biggest killer in PNG.

Medicine for Lae

The drug shortage at the Angau Memorial General Hospital is far from over. The Health Department has released funds to import drugs cleared from the Lae wharf but the drugs and other medical consumables have yet to reach the Angau hospital and then distributed to other hospitals in the Highlands and Mamose regions.

Some of the drugs have been earmarked for Kimbe, West New Britain, to assist in the treatment of volcano victims. A rise has been reported in sickness due to the destruction of water and food supplies in the volcano affected area.

Medicine for Nonga

The shortage of drugs has also affected the Nonga Base Hospital in East New Britain. The Hospital has had to defer operations indefinitely and patients have been told to wait until the drug supply is rectified. Wherever possible the hospital was purchasing drugs from private pharmacies but some of the specialist drugs are not available from pharmacists.

Eco-Tourism Melanesia

EcoTourism Melanesia (http://eco-melanesia.8k.com) is a website promoting ecotourism in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Aaron Hayes, an Australian who has lived and worked in both PNG and the Solomons, runs the site. The website provides travel and tour information for most PNG provinces, focusing on attractions in the rural areas and accommodation that is owned and operated by locals.

The site features a range of village guesthouses, village home stays and nature lodges that are not listed in the glossy tourist brochures. Aaron laments that most of the marketing of PNG tourism focuses on the large resorts and hotels, many of which are owned by foreign companies. The smaller, village-based tourism enterprises owned by the local people are given short shrift by the tourism marketers and the overseas travel wholesalers because they are seen to be sub-standard, unreliable and hard to contact. Another problem is that small operators don't pay booking commissions, so travel agents don't make any money out of them and they steer their clients towards the commissionable packages with big tour companies instead. The answer to this problem, according to Aaron, is to educate the village tourism operators about the tourism industry and help them meet some of the requirements of the overseas travel agents.

Meantime, Ecotourism Melanesia has taken upon itself to provide a booking service for village guesthouses and tour operators. Using all available communication methods - including barefoot bush runners! - Ecotourism Melanesia can book travellers in to village-based accommodation in out-of-the-way places such as the beautiful Tufi Fjords in Oro Province, riverside villages in the Middle Sepik, and various islands in the D'Entrecasteaux group of Milne Bay Province.

Running a website covering all of PNG and the Solomons is a big job for one person and the website is still being worked on, but all the visitor information for each province is on file and website visitors can e-mail Aaron for any information not yet available on the site.

Aaron Hayes
PO Box 24
National Capital District
Papua New Guinea
Ph/Fax (+675) 321 5343

Literacy Week

The seventh National Literacy Week will be held from the 8th to the 12th of September and will be hosted by the Madang Provincial Education Department. A wide range of activities has been planned for the week including a traditional display of how the Hagahai people communicated. The small province of Madang with an estimated population of 365,106 from the year 2000 census has approximately 126 language groups in the province and can only boast a literacy rate a little better than 50 percent. The Hagahai's, were the last people in PNG to become literate. About 20 percent of the languages in Madang have alphabetical translations.


There are several articles on the Hagahai people of PNG and the patent rights (US patent 5,397,696) for the human DNA material of the these people --





Papala Bank

The bank set up by U-Visitract, the failed pyramid money scheme, faces more battles in court. The latest being for non-compliance of court orders. Two directors of the controversial "Royal Reserve Bank of Papala" will face contempt of court charges for not complying with court orders that required them to provide documentation and reveal certain identities within 48 hours recently.

Kokoda Memorial Aussie Rules Match

Four children of soldiers living at Taurama Barracks in Port Moresby have been lucky enough to be able to perform cultural dances at the Aussie Rules Kokoda Memorial football match. The children were sponsored by the Tourism Promotion Authority to perform dances during the match between the Sydney Swans and Richmond Tigers on Saturday. Originally 24 children aged between 7 and 18 were to travel but due to financial difficulties only four were able to dance. The PNG Junior Aussie rules football team - the Binatangs played in the warm up match. It was estimated that over 100 people from PNG performed in an official capacity at the Kokoda Memorial match in Sydney.

Tolukuma Cyanide Spill

Representatives of Hevi Lift (PNG) Ltd and Tolukuma Gold Mine, have been asked by Leaders of the seven clans affected by a one-tonne cyanide spill over two years and a half years ago when they will be compensated for the spill. The companies concerned have taken steps to avoid further spillages but have not had the time to work out a compensation details.

Mt Ulavun - Bialla

Villagers close to Mt Ulavun in Bialla, West New Britain Province, are extremely concerned as eruption activity on the Mt Ulavun volcano becomes more frequent. A team of experts, from Port Moresby, are in the province to carry out a proper investigation of Mt Pago and Mt Ulavun. The National Government has given K1 million for disaster operations. The Post Courier had a nice front-page photo of a brand new K300,000 vehicle just purchased by the provincial government with an article stating another one is on back order. Does this mean that not much of the K1 million is left to pay for disaster related items?

Air Niugini

The financially troubled airline has received a great deal of bad press recently for a 7.5 percent increase in airfares that came hard on the heels of the Boeing B767 lease. Bart Philemon, the Minister for Finance and Treasury, has said that "the code-share agreement with Qantas and B767, according to an independent assessment of Treasury and accounting firm Deloitte, will produce a net profit of between K30 to K36 million per year for the airline." Many armchair aviation experts are saying that this is a make or break exercise for Air Niugini.

Wrecks and Reefs

"Wrecks and Reefs around Port Moresby" is a book that documents the history of early shipwrecks and World War II wrecks that lie in the waters around the capital of Papua New Guinea. This book is primarily intended to be a guide for scuba divers and it includes tales of cannibals, retribution for a ruthless Japanese submarine that took the lives of innocent citizens and the mystery of a lost airliner that disappeared along with thirteen unfortunate souls.

The books includes information on the history of diving in the Port Moresby area from the days of the early hard-helmet pearl divers to the modern self contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba). For overseas scuba diving visitors there is a chapter on accommodation available in the area. The website for the book is located at http://www.datec.net.pg/~mecba.

Sogeri High

The Sogeri National High School has had to send many students home due to a blocked septic system at the school.



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 http://pnggossip.com/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 click here.

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

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

[ Newsletter Home | Previous | Next | Search Newsletters | Newsletter Index ]
Click here for most recent Newsletter

-- THE END --

Some of the above 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 use the contact form

Click here for most recent Newsletter


Created 2 Sep 2002
Updated 2 Sep 2002

Sponsored by

©2002 - 2008 Gia Mann