P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 26 May 2004

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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

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PNG Gossip Blog




Neo Melanesian

"Pidgin English"
Tok Pisin English
hamamas happy
hamamas tru enjoy
hamas how much/many
hamas quantity
hambak annoy
hambakim tease
hambakman / sikibaga annoying / cheeky person
hambakman nuisance
klia clear / empty
kopi coffee
kopra copra
lipti tea leaves
soklet chocolate



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.


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!

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.

World War II wrecks around the Kiriwina part of the Trobriand Islands - Latitude 8° 40' 0S Longitude 150° 55' 0E -- http://www.pacificwrecks.com/provinces/png_kiriwina.html

PNG Diving Sites

The following is sample of some of the web sites dealing with diving in PNG. It is not a complete list and if you would like your organisation mentioned in this newsletter please let me know.
Dive Discovery -- http://www.divediscovery.com//png/
Mike Ball Dive Expeditions - Scuba Diving the Great Barrier Reef, diving -- http://www.mikeball.com/
Diving Liveaboards and Diving Resort Packages in Papua New Guinea -- http://www.divingtravel.com/png.htm
Scuba diving Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. Liveaboard dive charters, PNG -- http://www.png-diveboat.com/
Diversion Dive Travel -- http://www.diversionoz.com/en/png.htm
Peter Hughes Diving, Star Dancer -- http://www.peterhughes.com/phstar/starmain.htm
MV FeBrina -- http://www.febrina.com

Misc Sites

Port Moresby Rotary -- http://www.pomrotary.org.pg
PNG Department of Health -- http://www.health.gov.pg
Rotary adopt a village -- http://www.ram.com.pg/adopt.htm
Satellite Image of PNG -- http://www.cnn.com/WEATHER/Australia/satellite_image.html


News Items

Peter Barter

The Governor of Morobe, Luther Wenge, has said that the only way that the province of Madang will return to normal is if the Inter-Government Minister, Sir Peter Barter, returns as the governor of the province. Mr Wenge is concerned about the political and public service problems in Madang.

Recycling Plant

The government of PNG has signed an agreement to pave the way for a major waste recycling plant in Lae, Morobe Province. The project is expected to commence in six months time and it would involve the recovery of scrap metal. It is hoped that the project would help to clean up the landscape but many people that rely on telecommunications are worried that more copper will disappear from the streets of major towns and find its way to the scrap yard in Lae leaving telephones, fax's and internet communications off the air. It is estimated that the scrap company will eventually be able to employ 2000 people throughout PNG.

Tuam - Morobe

Tuam, located on Siassi Island in Morobe Province, is proving to be a tourist attraction for cruise ships. Tuam offers a mountainous landscape and is reasonably isolated from the rest of PNG. Many large cruise ships have visited over the years and each time the local people benefits by the large sums of money left behind by the tourists for artefacts.

Harbour Fees

The PNG Harbours Limited has increased charges for wharfage and berthing fees. The new fees came into effect on the first of May. It is expected that there will further price increases for all goods shipped through the various wharves around PNG.

Central Public Laboratory

The Australian Government will fund a new K15 million Central Public Health Laboratory at the Port Moresby General Hospital. Included in the funding will be training support to improve the technical and managerial skills of staff as well as raise the standard of service delivery through more efficient use of the laboratory.

Goroka Coffee Festival

The 75 stalls at the fourth Goroka Coffee Festival attracted a huge crowd recently. The main emphasis this year was to focus on encouraging school children to view coffee as an employer. Twenty schools were able to set up stalls at the festival to display products.

Open Heart

Operation Open Heart is set to get under way from the 5th to the 13th of August 2004. The medical team comprises of 25 - 30 volunteer doctors, nurses and support staff. this will be the 11th times that a team has come to PNG to help people, mainly children, with heart defects.

Fishy Payments

A termination payment of over K306,000 to the former managing director of the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) has been questioned because the MD did not have a contract of employment. The Public Accounts Committee has expressed its concern that the resolution supposedly made by the NFA Board could possibly be forged because it appears that the some of the signatures on the resolution do not match the normal signatures of the people concerned. The resolution is also supposed to be signed by seven of the ten board members but only five signatures appear on the document.

National Fisheries

The National Fisheries Authority (NFA) has paid K8 million to the government. This is the second for the year with the NFA presenting a K10 million cheque to the government in April of this year. The payment was mainly made up of retained earnings for the NFA. The Finance and Treasury Minister said the money would be used to support general government spending on goods and services.

Ashdown Medal

Professor John Reeder from the Institute of Medical Research in Goroka will be presented with the Ashdown Medal from the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine in Cairns next month (June 2004). This is one of the highest honours that is given out by the College and is in recognition of contributions to tropical medicine. Professor Reeder's contribution has been in the area of research on malaria and he has published over 60 articles in international scientific journals during the last 15 years.

Lae Airport

There has been yet another call to open the old airport at Lae to third level airlines. Part of the old airport has already been sub-divided and it may be difficulty to get the land back. A road also goes across the old runway from one side of Lae to the other.


The price of petrol has risen by about 9 toea per litre. Aviation fuel has remained the same. Diesel and Kerosene has also increased due to rising oil prices. Air Niugini is still considering raising airfares for exactly the same reasons.


The three by-elections currently underway around the country have received K3.4 million worth of assistance from the Australian Government. The funding will allow the elections to be staged in accordance with Electoral Commission procedures and ensure the integrity of the voting process. Australia has also provided support for Transparency International to have observers at the polls.

Miss PNG Quest

Four girls have entered the Miss PNG Quest for 2004. The girls have been challenged to use the money raised last year as a benchmark for what they themselves should be able to raise. Last year K458,000 was raised by the contestants for the work of the Red Cross in PNG.

UN Concert

The United Nations Concert held by the Port Moresby International School was successfully held last Saturday. Participants from all over the world including many traditional dancers from the various provinces of PNG took part in the event.

Immunisation Project

Health Workers in Rabaul have commenced a one-week immunisation project. The project will cover immunisation against polio for children up to five and children from 6 months to 10 years old will be treated against measles. The children will also be treated with capsules for night blindness.

Unlicenced Firearm

The Kokopo Magistrates Court has charged an expatriate for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. The man claimed that he had sent away a licenced shotgun for repair and thought the same licence would cover the smaller rifle. The man has been fined K1000 over the incident.

Lae Quarantine

The lack of a Quarantine Officer in Lae is causing additional, unnecessary costs for importers. The importers are having to pay extra money to the National Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA) in Port Moresby to have goods cleared. The Lae importers are having to pay courier costs, "fast tracking fees", storage fees and on top of this the cumulative effects of the goods being delayed. The NAQIA has said that they lacked qualified staff to be able tom locate an officer in Lae to speed up the clearance of goods.

Coca Cola

The price of a litre of Coca Cola is now K3.20 in some shops. It was not so long ago that Coke was a kina a litre. Coca Cola have finally recently introduced vanilla coke. Coca Cola are also responsible for the distribution of Schweppes products in PNG giving them a virtual monopoly in the soft drink market. Since they have had this the prices have increased many times in a short space of time.


The people of Kavieng are upset with the governor of New Ireland (Ian Ling-Stuckey) following the death of former governor Paul Tohian. It has been said by the chairman of a local level government that the governor has shown a lack of respect to the previous governor by not even making a public statement or even sending a private condolence message to the family of the former governor. It has been reported that the New Ireland Provincial government has not contributed anything towards the funeral expenses. Dignitaries from outside the province and more than 5000 other people attended the funeral but the present governor did not bother to attend the funeral of his political rival.

Human Rights

A report by the US State Department has said that there is a pervasive lack of law and order, poor economic growth and a deteriorating infrastructure in PNG. The report was mandated by the US Congress and is called the Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The US Record 2003 - 2004. Human rights inside and outside USA by US citizens is also under question in recent times.

PNG Politics

The Prime Minister has carried out a major reshuffle of his cabinet in the name of creating stability. Moses Maladina, the Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister has been dumped along with five others that were in the cabinet. Mr. Maladina has declared his allegiance to the Prime Minister.

Those who are out are - Moses Maladina, Kappa Yarka, Tom Tomiape, Peter O'Neill, and Peter Oresi.
Those that are now in - Mathew Suine, Mathew Gubag, David Basua, Brian Pulayasi, Posi Menai, Ben Semri, Petrus Thomas, Atimeng Buhupe and Roy Biyama has been moved from Higher Education to Labour and Industrial Relations.

PNG now has a new opposition leader. Peter O'Neill, the head of the People's National Congress Party (PNC), has replaced Andrew Baing who had only just replaced Sir Mekere Morauta for about two weeks. This all happened after the defection of Sir Mekere to the ranks of the government. Andrew Baing said the PNC is the largest party in opposition with 13 members so it was right to give the job to the leader of that party.

Hiri Moale Festival

It is believed that the Hiri Moale Festival committee are still trying to pay for debts incurred for the staging of the 2002 festival. Claims have also been made that the committee may be seen to have a bias towards the Motu-Koita people. Any readers have any comments?

Breakdown Service - Port Moresby

A nationally owned company run by Managing Director Jerry Singirok has started a 24-hour roadside security service for members. The service is initially only available in Port Moresby. The concept developed around the fact that security of motorists especially after dark has worsened and the police are unable to attend even if they can find petrol for their vehicles. Service teams capable of proving security and helping with a broken down vehicle will be on call 24 hours a day.

Tuna Airfreight

A local company is making inroads into the airfreighting of fresh tune from predominately Lae to the overseas market. The company will ship the tuna from Port Moresby to Cairns bypassing the direct Air Niugini service to Japan. The local company has negotiated with an Australian airfreight operator to airlift PNG tuna for the Japanese market using two aircraft with a combined payload of over 50 tonnes. Using this method of freight should ensure that the fresh fish arrives in time for the Friday and Saturday fish markets in Japan whereas the Air Niugini service arrives late Saturday night after the market has closed. The local company hopes to be able to eventually ship the tuna direct from Lae to overseas ports.

NARI Rambutan

The National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) has recently introduced three rambutan clones to PNG. The three clones were selected from superior female tress that have proven to be high yielding and with excellent fruit quality. Rambutan is an important fruit crop in the high humidity of the tropics. Rambutan was first introduced to the Bismarck Archipelago in 1929.

Governor General

The epic to find a replacement for Sir Silas Atopare as Governor General of PNG drags on. Yet another round of nominations has been made and now everyone is waiting patiently to see whether this will be the time to elect a real Governor General or just another chance to continue the mess. This time a lady, Nahau Rooney, has managed to convince enough politicians to sign her nomination form so PNG may have a woman as the GG.

Air Niugini

Air Niugini had to suspend flights to Lae recently when navigation equipment was damaged. An arsonist set fire to the cables controlling the navigation lights. The Civil Aviation Authority spends over K500,000 every year replacing and repairing damage to airport systems and facilities caused by vandalism.

Prison Study Leave

A prisoner, on day release to attend university, has had his leave to study curtailed after he failed to return to Bomana jail after classes recently. He has now been banned from further study and relocated to the maximum-security unit. The prisoner, a solder who took part in the Moem Barracks mutiny, decided to stay with friends on Friday night and returned to the prison on Saturday.


Some of the 800 plus languages spoken in PNG are under threat of becoming extinct. The Summer Institute of Languages has reported that at least six languages have been lost since 1950. Five more have less than five speakers remaining. The major problem appears to be the widespread use of Pidgin.

Traffic Police

The traffic police in Port Moresby are without transport. Vehicles belonging to the Traffic Division are off the road due to financial problems. The division is unable to purchase fuel, replace tyres or do general maintenance and repairs on the vehicles in their fleet. It is hoped that money is found soon so the division can get back on the road and do the job it is meant to do.

PNG Media

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-- 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 26 May 2004
Updated 26 May 2004

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