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IndyWatch PNG and NCD Feed was generated at Australian Local News IndyWatch.

Thursday, 19 April


PNG PM O'Neill begins CHOGM Meeting with Courtesy call to the Duke of York "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister,  Peter ONeill  has begun his range of high level meetings at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) with a courtesy call to HRH Prince Andrew KG, GCVO, CD, ADC, The Duke of York.

During the meeting at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, the Prime Minister and the Duke of York discussed issues of relevance for Papua New Guinea and the Commonwealth.
Prince Andrew is clearly concerned by the recent Highlands earthquake and expressed his sympathies following the disaster, the Prime Minister said from London.

In almost all of our CHOGM-related meetings today, for myself, the Foreign Minister, and senior officials, there was clear concern at the loss of life in the earthquake.

We certainly thank Prince Andrew and our Commonwealth counterparts for their concern, and the support that has been received from partner countries for relief operations.

There are a number of Commonwealth countries that experience earthquakes and other natural disasters, and it is important to share information to enhance planning and future responses.

The recent disaster was a shock to our country and the Commonwealth, as a large earthquake has not been experienced in the Highlands for one hundred years.

The Prime Minister said his discussion with the Duke of York was wide-ranging and covered a range of issues relevant to development and regional engagement.

Prince Andrew is certainly familiar with Papua New Guinea, having visited our country as recently as the Pacific Games in 2015.

"One of the important messages that we are carrying to our Commonwealth partners and business representatives is that Papua New Guinea is a country that is changing.
"We are transforming our nation from traditional communities to a modernising economy in the space of a generation.

"This brings with it challenges, but is also changing lives, particularly over the past seven years that our Government has been in office.

"Particularly in the area of healthcare and education, Prince Andrew is familiar with development in other Commonwealth countries so his views and observations are welcome.

"The policies that we are delivering in education and healthcare is delivering clear benefits to our people and empowering our young generation.

"Around the Commonwealth, a range of development models and policies have been implement with varying results.



New undersea cable initiative to improve internet speed and cost in PNG "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The multi-million undersea cable that Australia will fund, construct and hand-over to Papua New Guinea will transform information technology communications, according to the Minister for for Communications, Information Technology and Energy Sam Basil.

It will help move Papua New Guinea closer to faster, more reliable and affordable IT telecommunication services.

The new Coral Sea cable will bring benefits in greater speeds and bandwidth (10 terabits per second on each fibre compared to 1000 gigabits per second now). It will be 200 times faster than the existing cables and definitely reduce the cost of internet to the consumer..

The pricing structure is yet to be determined which will also depend on the wholesale costings by Dataco. But it will greatly reduce the overall cost of internet in the country and make us competitive in internet costs with other countries.

Minister Basil has thrown his ministerial support including line Government agencies Department of Information and Communications (DCI), National Information Communications Technology Authority (NICTA), and the National Broadcasting Corporation(NBC) to the underseas cable project.

I am also calling on all line agencies which are not directly under my ministry and all National Government stakeholders - to provide every support and assistance to this project which will ensure reliability, affordability and speed in IT communications in the country, the ICT Minister said.

Minister Basil wants to see an all-of-Government coordinated approach on this vital ICT infrastructure led by line agencies DCI, NICTA, DataCo, Telikom PNG and backed by stakeholder Departments Treasury, National Planning, Finance and APEC ICT.

Basil said this in a statement issued after a Meeting with officials from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade led by Deputy Secretary Ms Penny Williams and Australian High Commission in Port Moresby led by Minister-Counselor Mr Benedict David on Monday. Officials from the DFAT-engaged projector developer Vocus were also present in NICTA Office conference room.

Mr Basil was supported by PNG ICT officials led by acting Secretary of Department of Information and Communications, Mr Paulias Korni and National Information Communications Technology Authority Chief Executive, Mr Charles Punana.

The building of the undersea cable will improve telecommunications connec...


Cancer awareness at Tatana Primary School "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Papua New Guinea Cancer Foundation (PNGCF) carried out a cancer awareness program today in Tatana village, Port Moresby.
PNGCF, in partnership with ExxonMobil (PNG) Ltd, conducted its second Healthy Teens School Program (HTSP) for 2018 to the upper primary school students grade 6, 7 and 8 of Tatana Primary School.
PNGCF Health Educator, Jacob Oburi, spoke to the students about what cancer was and how to reduce the risk of acquiring the illness.
He stated that the HTSP was basically about getting the message across to teens in school, especially upper primary and lower secondary school students as they are more susceptible to these habits.
Through this program, we encourage our students not to chew betel-nut, smoke cigarettes, or take alcohol, said Mr Oburi.
We also encourage them to eat healthy. Sometimes we do not want to eat what our mothers cook; we want to eat what we want to eat, but it is important to make healthy choices.
PNGCF Programs Coordinator Priscillar Napoleon stressed on the importance of taking the message home to family and friends to educate them as well about protecting their future from cancer.
Also present at the event, was 2018 Commonwealth Games Weightlifter Silver Medallist Dika Toua, and her sister Thelma who shared their sporting experiences and how important it was to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
The HTSP will continue to conduct cancer awareness programs in Boera, Baruni, Hanuabada and Porebada villages throughout the year.

Picture: students of Tatana Primary School with Commonwealth Games Silver Medalist, Dika Toua. PNGFM


Enquiry to be set over beheading and shooting of youths in Madang "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

An enquiry will be set with a coroners quest to determine the cause of actions by police into the death of youths in Madang in a clash and the beheading of a teacher by criminals that lead to the clash.
ACP Northern Command Peter Guinis said, in the fall of events during the clash, the police reacted in self-defence when patrol bombs were thrown at them resulting in a police officer critically injured and three youths shot at by police.
We will not defend the police if the police were wrong to shoot but with the coroners inquiry set they are ready to answer questions that will be raised said ACP Guinis.
ACP Guinis said preliminary investigations are underway for the deaths that occurred during the unrest.
Meanwhile, Mr Guinis said there are a lot of issues involved in the beheading of the teacher but did not reveal which ones exactly.
He said only investigations will reveal and establish what actually happened.
Guinis has also called for a total cooperation from local leaders in Madang to identify the suspects involved in the beheading of the teacher.
The head has been returned to the relatives and preliminary investigations have commenced and we will need cooperation from local level government leaders, said Mr Guinis.
He added that in these way matters can be sorted out by identifying people involved in the beheading and what actually transpired into the beheading and clash..

Police in Madang:   PNGFM/PNG Today


The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: April 11 - 17, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

New activity/unrest was reported for 3 volcanoes between April 11 and 17, 2018. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 13 volcanoes. New activity/unrest: Ambae, Vanuatu | Langila, New Britain (Papua New Guinea) | Sinabung, Indonesia. Ongoing...... Read more


PNG A Dumping Ground for Inferior Housing "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

PNG is unfortunately a dumping ground for all kinds of inferior products such as electronic goods, clothing, food, etc.  Unfortunately for people wanting to purchase their own home, whether its to live in or for investment purposes, weve also become a bit of a dumping ground for inferior houses and building products.
Co-Founder and Director of PNG construction company Rhodes (PNG) Limited, Andrew Avenell, believes that his  industry should be doing everything it can to mitigate the building and selling of sub-standard homes.  He says that one way to prevent more of these types of houses coming on to the market is to reduce the demand for them through educating the house-buying public.  PNG currently has a relatively unsophisticated house-buying market with many buyers being the first generation in their family to take out a bank loan to purchase a modern, or western-style, house.  People need to be aware that sub-standard homes are on the market and they also need to know how to avoid them.
The advice Rhodes is giving people is to do their homework, shop around, and ask lots of questions.  People have the right to insist on quality and most importantly, ask for evidence of quality.  For example, customers can ask builders and building product suppliers to show them mill certificates to prove that the steel theyre using is high quality galvanised steel as opposed to low carbon and therefore low quality steel.  Likewise, they can demand evidence of Australian Standard (or equivalent) building products and fit out materials.  If the builder cant or wont produce the evidence then its a reasonable indicator that something is amiss and that the quality of the building is potentially suspect.
Other advice Rhodes is giving house buyers is that their home will last longer if they frame it with steel rather than wood.  There is obvious self-interest in this advice as Rhodes builds with steel.  However, its a fact that good quality steel framed homes have a design life of 50+ years whereas good quality termite treatments are typically only guaranteed for a maximum of 25 years.  Avenell points out that most people dont stop to think of the difference between termite resistant and termite  proof.  Steel is termite proof but timber is not.
A significant consideration when it comes to buying a house is obviously affordability.  Advances in technology have resulted in more affordable building materials and building techniques su...


ExxonMobil Announces 84 Percent Increase in Pnyang Resource, Potential Expansion in PNG "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

2 trillion cubic feet of gas added to Pnyang field resource estimate
Recoverable resource now estimated at 4.36 trillion cubic feet of gas
Supports three-train LNG plant expansion concept

IRVING, Texas Exxon Mobil Corporation today announced that the size of the natural gas resource at the Pnyang field in Papua New Guinea has increased to 4.36 trillion cubic feet of gas, an 84 percent increase from a previous assessment completed in 2012. The increase supports a potential significant expansion of operations in the country.

The independent recertification study by Netherland Sewell and Associates follows the successful completion in January of the Pnyang South-2 well, located in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea.

The results support ExxonMobils discussions with its joint venture partners on a three-train expansion concept for the PNG LNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant near Port Moresby, with one new train dedicated to gas from the Pnyang and PNG LNG fields and two trains dedicated to gas associated with the Papua LNG project.

The increase in the estimated resource size of the Pnyang field helps illustrate the tremendous growth opportunities for our operations in Papua New Guinea, said Liam Mallon, president of ExxonMobil Development Company. We are working closely with our joint venture partners and the government to progress the Pnyang field development proposal and secure the licenses needed to develop this world-class resource.

The development concept, which would add approximately 8 million tons of LNG annually, would double the capacity of the existing LNG plant operated by ExxonMobil. 

This investment would extend our gas pipeline infrastructure into the countrys Western Province and have a meaningful and lasting economic impact for Papua New Guinea and its people, Mallon said.

The Pnyang field is located within petroleum retention license 3, which covers 105,000 acres (425 square kilometers). ExxonMobil affiliates operate the license with a 49 percent interest in the block. Affiliates of Oil Search have a 38.5 percent interest and JX Nippon has 12.5 percent interest.

Papua LNG is seeking to commercialize the Elk-Antelope fields located in petroleum retention license 15 in the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea. An ExxonMobil affiliate holds 37.1 percent interest, and affiliates of operator Total S.A. and Oil Search Limited have 40.1 percent and 22.8 percent interest, respectively. 


Bountiful May harvest beckons in Markham Valley "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Trukai Industries domestic rice production efforts in Markham Valley will produce the single largest rice farm outside of Australia, with project stakeholders looking forward to a bountiful harvest towards May this year.

 The Trukai team has been able to plant over 200ha of rice with their landowner partners in the UMI area, which has progressed steadily from just a pilot trial to what will be PNGs largest domestic rice farm.

Its a journey that has really just started towards fulfilling PNGs domestic rice aspirations, but what is happening now is the result of working through these challenges and overcoming them, said Trukai Rice Development Manager Humphrey Saese.

According to Saese, rice farming in PNG comes with great difficulty, especially under rainfed conditions in such a tropical environment.

Understanding the dynamics of rainfall requirements, pest pressure, diseases and more importantly landowner issues and cultural barriers, is a complex blueprint to execute, he explained.

When we first started advertising our interest to engage landowners some five years back, we received overwhelming interests from all over Papua New Guinea, including growers from the Morobe province.

There are many out there who want the dream of growing rice to become a reality, but the truth we have to face is there are many challenges and hurdles we need to overcome in this nation to be able unlock the true potential of rice farming.

In 2015, through the Morobe provincial government, Trukai made contact with Chingwam Cooperative in the Markham district. This was followed up with a pilot trial plot of 6ha, delivering over 20tons of paddy to the mill. In 2016, the area was increased to 40ha though rice love moisture, the excess moisture from the rain, presented challenges and also tested the ability of the crop to adapt and grow.

We then had to overcome what was potentially extensive brown plant hopper damage of our 40ha rice plantation, Saese said.

Luckily for us, the pest incursion occurred in isolated pockets and our team were quick to respond with approach control measures, allowing the crop to finish off with a record produce of 140 tons.

Mr Saese said the commercial venture continues to gain momentum with almost daily phone calls, test messages, an...


Malcolm Turnbull courts Pacific leaders amid China push "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Malcolm Turnbull used talks in London overnight to reassure Pacific Island leaders including the Prime Minister of Vanuatu of Australia's reliability as a partner following revelations of preliminary discussions with China to establish a military base on Vanuatu.

Turnbull, who said last week that any such move would be a direct threat to regional peace and stability, expressed such views to Vanuatu's Prime Minister Charlot Salwai.

Salwai assured Turnbull he had no plans of allowing China to establish a military footprint in his country.

I rule out, I rule out," he said after the meeting.

Vanuatu was never dreaming to become a military base one day. It is not in our culture, it is not in our tradition.

Amid concerns about China using soft diplomacy to spread its influence in the region, Turnbull also had a meeting upon arrival in London Wednesday with his Solomon Islands counterpart Rick Houenipwela, and Fiji's Prime Minister and Cop23 President Frank Bainimarama.

Last week, in a bid to counter China, Australia sent a high-level delegation to the Solomon Islands to confirm its commitment to build an undersea internet cable between the two countries. The project was originally going to be installed by Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei.

Turnbull reassured Houenipwela that Australia would fund the cable.

China's use of soft diplomacy measures such as infrastructure building and loans to increase its influence in the Asia-Pacific is of growing concern to Australia and her allies and is a significant item of discussion at this week's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.

With 11 of the 15 Pacific Island Forum nations being members of the Commonwealth, efforts being made to counter Chinese influence also include persuading Britain to redirect more of its aid money to the Asia-Pacific post Brexit, and to push for former French Pacific colonies to become Commonwealth members and give Paris a greater stake in the region.

Salwai noted that a port built in his country with a loan by China and which sparked concerns about it being used one day for military purposes, was cheaper than a separate port the Japanese funded.

We don't invest in a project that doesn't have a return, he said.

He said the wharf funded by the Japanese was more expensive than the one we got the loan from China.

The one in...


New Zealand pledges US$1 million to support Bougainville referendum "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


Port Moresby, 18 April 2018  The Government of New Zealand has strengthened its support to the National Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG), the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through a one-million-dollar (US) contribution to UNDPs Bougainville Referendum Support Project (BRSP).
Endorsed by both governments at the Joint Supervisory Body meeting of December 2017, the BRSP aims to support the Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) to deliver an effective referendum.
The BRSP will assist the BRC through technical expertise, the procurement of operational items such as voter registration equipment, and outreach activities including the production and distribution of awareness materials. The project will also conduct training of media and other key partners on their respective roles in the referendum process.  
The project will coordinate closely with activities funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund and other international partners to support the National Government of PNG and the ABG not only to hold a successful referendum, but also transition peacefully through the post-referendum period.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator for Papua New Guinea, Gianluca Rampolla, said: The United Nations continues to work with both the National Government of PNG and the ABG on the implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, and the successful staging of the referendum constitutes a significant aspect of this work.
We are incredibly privileged to have a supporter such as New Zealand, and we look forward to furthering this relationship.
Sue Mackwell, the New Zealand High Commissioner to PNG, hopes that their funding will encourage other international partners to also support the project.
The pea...


Tools of the trade: Australias new investment in global health R&D "IndyWatch Feed"

The global market for medical products is shaped mainly by the demands of wealthy consumers. It rarely calls into being the tools needed to combat diseases that afflict primarily poor countries therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines, as well as technologies that prevent the spread of disease such as insecticide-treated bed nets. Where such products do exist, its often down to the needs of tourists and soldiers and those products tend to fail over time as microbes and vectors evolve to evade our defences.

At the same time, governments and publicly or philanthropically funded research institutions generally do not have all the expertise required to discover, develop and create production pathways for such products.

Thats where Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) come in. PDPs are lean, not-for-profit public health intermediary organisations. They catalyse the discovery and development of global health products by bringing together public and private sector research and development expertise across a broad portfolio of product candidates. Some candidates succeed, some fall by the wayside.

The net effect of the 16 major PDPs work over the past two decades has been an impressive reinvigoration of the pipeline of tools for global health. Most importantly, a growing number of these tools have been approved for use, are under consideration by regulatory agencies, or are in late-stage trials.

When the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, launched Australias Health Security Initiative for the Indo-Pacific region in October 2017, she announced that Australia would commit $75 million over five years to support the work of PDPs from 2018. This represents the Australian aid programs single largest commitment to global health research and development, and a 50% increase in PDP funding in annual terms.



We Need A New Sacrifice To The Aussie Altar Of Anzac Honesty "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Its that time of year again, Anzac Day, when mainstream media, politicians and shock jocks find a whole new expression of honesty to be outraged at.

A couple of days ago, New Matilda journalist Ben Eltham sent out this tweet:

As most will recall, we have a brief but impressive history of flogging people for expressing truthful statements that dont align with the official Anzac myth. It all began in 2015 with the heinous anti-Australian Australian, Scott McIntyre, a former journalist with SBS who tweeted about atrocities committed by Anzacs during the war.

Remembering the summary execution, widespread rape and theft committed by these brave Anzacs in Egypt, Palestine and Japan, McIntyre accurately and outrageously wrote to his Twitter followers.

And then this: Not forgetting that the largest single-day terrorist attacks in history were committed by this nation & their allies in Hiroshima & Nagasaki.

A nation lost its shit, and McIntyre lost his job. As an aside, he had another crack in 2016.

In 2017, we found a whole new target controversial journalist Yassmin Abdel-Magied, who used April 25 to tweet: Lest. We. Forget. (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine.)

Abdel Magied wasnt just hounded out of her job she was hounded out of the country (and last week deported from the US for having the wrong visa).

But the woman Australia apparently most loves to hate appears not to have learned her lesson, if her response to Elthams tweet this week is anything to go by.

Abdel-Magieds response sparked this thoroughly...


Samar Exits MRA "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Post Courier | April 17, 2018

Mineral Resources Authoritys (MRA) managing director (MD) Philip Samars term in office has expired since April 9.
Mr Samar served as the managing director for four years since his permanent appointment as MD from 2014-2017.
He was appointed acting MD for the MRA in 2012, a post he held until 2014 when he was made permanent.
The outgoing managing director also took the opportunity to thank the Prime Minister Peter ONeill and the government for the opportunity given to lead the MRA in the last six years since 2012.
Mr Samar thanked the Prime Minister for his confidence in appointing him to be head of the statutory authority responsible for regulating the exploration and mining sector in PNG. The last six years have been the highlight of his career over the last 21 years as a public servant.
I am privileged to serve the government, the people of Papua New Guinea especially the mining project stakeholders and the exploration and mining industry.
I am satisfied I have done my part in nation building through managing the MRA and servicing the mining industry. Since the MRAs establishment in 2007, the statutory authority has performed well in regulating and promoting Papua New Guineas mineral sector, he said.
Mr Samar said for the last 10 years, the mining industry has been t...


Fincorp donates K40,000 to PNG Highlands Earthquake affected communities "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The assistance for earthquake hit communities continues and this time the Finance Corporation (FinCorp) Limited has jumped on board with a generous donation today.
FinCorp, part of the Grand Columbia Limited group of companies, presented a dummy cheque of K40, 000 through the Church Partnership Program (CPP) or CAN-DO church partnership, led by Caritas Australia and the United Church of Papua New Guinea (UCPNG), seeking to address the needs of the most affected communities in Hela and Southern Highlands provinces.

Managing Director for FinCorp, Tony Witham, stated that he was pleased with the efforts churches and other communities who reached out to help the earthquake affected areas.
When we saw the devastation that happened in the Southern Highlands like everybody, we thought that we would like to give a small donation to people who have worked there and have helped the communities there, said Mr Witham.

While presenting the cheque to UCPNG, Mr Witham stated that he had loved the work they had done and encouraged them to continue.
Meanwhile, following a comprehensive needs assessment undertaken by Caritas Australia, United Church and ADRA, it was decided that UCPNG will be using the money to procure and distribute starter kits a spade head, a bush knife, an axe, a hammer, and a file which will allow families to rebuild their homes. PNGFM/PNG Today


Ok Tedi Mine Landowners Get Share Certificates "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Post Courier | April 17, 2018

The people of Western Province finally own 33 percent of the giant Ok Tedi Copper Mine following the handover of equity share certificates by Ok Tedi Mining Limited Board Chairman Sir Moi Avei to Governor Taboi Awi Yoto yesterday in Kiunga.

OTML is now a third owned by the people of Western Province, Sir Moi told a large gathering of locals and invited guests in front of the grand Cassowary hotel.

We have heard so much about this 33 percent. Is it every going to happen? The board in its wisdom made a decision that the only way to move this share transfer is loan MRDC K30million to pay for the stamp duty. Governor the stamp duty has been paid. OTML is now one third owned by the people of Western Province, Sir Moi Avei told the excited crowds.

He also said this ensures that politics cannot interfere now because they own more than thirty percent of the min...

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Wednesday, 18 April


A new take on violence in Indonesian Papua "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

GettyImages-626968530mini.jpg A new take on violence in Indonesian Papua
Violence outside the spectacle of insurgency continues, as mundane as it is pervasive.

The interpreter THURSDAY 19 APR 2018 | 05:41 | SYDNEY

A new take on violence in Indonesian Papua
BY Bobby Anderson
Adrian Morel
18 April 2018 07:00 AEDT

Last years hostage stand-off in Indonesian Papua had hardly ended before more armed clashes began. Most violence in Papua is assumed to be an issue of indigenous people threatened by the state. But this assumption is anecdotal.

Despite the wealth Indonesia earns through Papuas abundant natural resources, a dearth of government services results in ordinary Papuans having the lowest incomes, the lowest educational levels, and the highest mortality rates in the country.

Support for independence is certainly widespread. But in an effort to quantitatively analyse violence in Papua and Papua Barat, we examined the 200815 National Violence Monitoring System (NVMS), a database of Indonesian district- and provincial-level newspapers.

NVMS was essentially an exercise in collective newspaper reading, where dozens of analysts captured and coded every violent incident reported across Indonesia, digging through provincial archives dating back to 1998.

Most violence and not all killings make the news, especially in Indonesia where large parts of the country lack journalists and police. But NVMS remains the most comprehensive and methodologically sound dataset available. (NVMS regrettably ended in 2015 when the funding expired.)

We studied 2014 data the final year of NVMS, when it captured 200,000 violent incidents nationwide and earlier. We honed in on homicide, ass...


Pitching beyond the aid enthusiasts three simple aid messages "IndyWatch Feed"

We need to communicate aid better is a constant chorus among those working in aid and development in Australia. Against the background of major aid cuts and the integration of AusAID into DFAT, parliamentarians tell the aid community we need to sell the message better. Minister Julie Bishop has said, support for our invaluable aid program has to come from home, from the Australian taxpayer. So the Australian taxpayers must support it, and that will come with a better appreciation of its purpose, its intent and the outcomes. The winning 3-Minute Aid Pitch from the 2017 Australasian Aid Conference was that we need to communicate aid better. Agencies band together to campaign for Australian aid. DFAT earnestly tweets happy snaps of aid events and initiatives. And yet something isnt working: further deep cuts to aid are being floated and the public seems largely indifferent.

So: are there some simple aid messages that we aid enthusiasts in government, NGOs, academia, and the private sector can use when we engage with non-aid enthusiasts? We know that aid and development assistance is complex. There are a multitude of issues and strands that can be bewildering for those of us working in this sector, let alone those who dont. We easily slip into the jargon of aid and development, but it can be like putting up a brick wall against those whose support for aid we actually want to encourage.

Here is an attempt at three simple messages to help explain the aid program:

Message #1: Overseas aid is less than 1% of Australian Government spending

The aid community talks about Australia only spending 0.22% of GNI on aid, against the UN target of 0.7% and with that sentence alone weve probably lost most of our potential audience. So lets talk about a more commonly understood idea,...


In times of crisis the true worth of a leader is measured "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Bryan Kramer - settling the crowd
MP Bryan Kramer walks down the road with colleagues after speaking with a Madang crowd


KUNDIAWA - Madang, a town once dubbed as Beautiful Madang and in even earlier days The Pearl of the Pacific because of its scenic beauty, has been experiencing serious civil unrest including murder and destruction of businesses and state property in recent times

This crime and disorder has disturbed the tranquil blue waters, large furry flying foxes, arrays of colourful crotons and hibiscus, pleasant hotel facilities and, perhaps most regrettably, the renowned friendliness of the local people.

The latest incident involved the death of three local youths believed to have been murdered by settlers, a tragedy that led to further public panic, civil unrest and disruption to the towns water supply.

But, unlike major unrest in other years that continued for weeks, last weeks unrest was quelled in reasonable time with services and businesses quickly restored thanks to the presence and leadership of Bryan Kramer, the Member for Madang in the national parliament, along with police and other community leaders.

Bryan Kramer played a decisive role in restoring peace and reinstating the water supply, a vital utility in an urban area which had been damaged during the unrest.

Kramer went to the site of the water supply with police, PNG Water and PNG Power and assessed the damage to the water pump.

PNG Power went to collect parts to replace those that were damaged, but didnt return.

Kramer didnt leave. He stayed at the reservoir cajoling PNG Power personnel to return with the parts and get the pump fixed, only departing with the police after the water started flowing again.

I cant think of another member of parliament in Papua New Guinea who has ever done that or who would do it.

But Kramers role did not stop there. He is now conducting meetings with the relevant stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the frequent civil unrest in the province and restore the town to its former glory as a tourist destinati...


The Inquisition Tentacles Are Spreading. "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Ive written about Ralph Drollinger before. Hes one scary lunatic christian, and he wields way too much influence in the current regime. Hes crowing again, over all the progress hes making. Its as well to remember that Drollingers idea of progress is to bring back the inquisition or something like.

Ralph Drollinger, who runs fundamentalist Bible studies for dozens of members of Congress and President Trumps Cabinet every week, said in a fundraising letter this month that his group has been blessed by God with extraordinary growth beyond our wildest imaginings in foreign nations across the globe and most notably in former Soviet Bloc countries.


We noted last fall that Drollinger is aggressively expanding his operations both at the local government level in the U.S. and in national capitals around the world. His April 4 letter includes some details about the latter:

In the last few months discipleship Bible studies have been established to Parliamentarians in Romania; Ukraine; Fiji; Papua New Guinea; and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. A ministry is about to begin in Guatemala, and before fall, we expect work to be completed for ministries in the Central and South American nations of Peru; Ecuador; Brazil; Mexico; Uruguay; and Paraguay, as well as in the European city Riga, Latvia.

Work is current an ongoing with partners to establish discipleship Bible studies in Berlin and Bonne [sic]. We are enthusiastically pursuing an opportunity to plant a ministry in the European Union Parliament, a body of 600 Parliamentarians from 26 Western and Eastern European nations who meet two weeks every month in Brussels, Belgium and one week every month in Strasbourg, France.

We thought the Lord did not want us in the Middle East, but to our great surprise discussions are currently underway to establish a ministry in a Muslim majority nation in the Middle East.


Although Drollinger is quick to complain about news coverage he believes is unfair, his letter says a story published in a German newspaper helped attract new friends. And Capitol Ministries has been gushing about a recent BBC story that the grou...


On writing, PNG literature & the voice of the diaspora "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Rashmii Bell & Tess Newton Cain
Rashmii Bell and Tess Newton Cain


BRISBANE - I recently caught up with Rashmii Bell over lunch in Brisbane, and asked about her background and experiences as an author. I began by asking Rashmii to tell me about her background, and what she is currently involved in.

Rashmii hails from Sio, Morobe Province, in Papua New Guinea, having being born and lived in Lae, as well as Port Moresby and (presently) Brisbane.

She was educated in Australia, and has lived between there and PNG since 1990. She studied at Griffith University, obtaining a degree in psychology and criminology and she has more than 10 years of experience working in case management within adult and youth corrections services.

And now?

RASHMII - "Im a little past nine years while Ive been at home. Ive just been raising children. But, Ive always enjoyed reading. I read everything, read every day. And writing, I have been writing for myself, but I only just started having my work published in the past three years"

I went on to ask what Rashmii considered to be the most significant milestones in her journey as an author. Her first, and possibly most significant milestone, was seeing her work published on the PNG Attitude blog, edited by Keith Jackson. More recently, her role as editor of My Walk to Equality has provided new opportunities:

RASHMII appearing at the writers festivals, the Sunshine Coast festival this year, and then Brisbane Writers Festival, both in 2016 and 2017, which has really, I think, for the majority of the emerging contemporary PNG writers, thats a huge thing for us to know that Papua New Guinean literature is being mentioned at these international events.

In a similar vein, I asked Rashmii what she thought were the things that had the most influence on her voice as an author. She explained to me that she focuses on long form writing, with her pieces best classified as opinion and comm...


Great Barrier Reef at unprecedented risk of collapse after major bleaching event "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The record-breaking marine heatwave in 2016 across the Great Barrier Reef has left much of the coral ecosystem at an unprecedented risk of collapse, research shows.

A new study published in Nature finds that the surge in sea temperatures during the 2016 bleaching event led to an immediate and long-lasting die-off of coral.

This, in turn, led to vast swathes of the reef being transformed into highly altered, degraded systems, which are now vulnerable to total ecological collapse, the authors conclude.

The large-scale loss of coral is a harbinger of further radical shifts in the condition and dynamics of all ecosystems, they add, if global action on climate change fails to limit warming to 1.5-2C above the pre-industrial baseline.

Turning white

The Great Barrier Reef is the worlds largest coral reef, stretching 2,300km from Papua New Guinea to the coast of Queensland, Australia. Over the past two decades, the Great Barrier Reef has seen four mass bleaching events, most recently in 2016 and 2017.

Coral bleaching is primarily caused by prolonged exposure to high sea temperatures. Under continued heat stress, the corals expel the tiny colourful algae living in their tissues known as zooxanthellae leaving behind a stark white skeleton.

The algae provide the corals with energy through photosynthesis. Without them, the corals can slowly starve. Healthy corals can live from two to several hundred years.

The mass bleaching event of 2016, which took place in the summer months of February, March and April, was the most devastating on record, affecting 94% of reefs surveyed...


PNG Presence - making life easy when you move to PNG "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Watna mori
Watna Mori
Kevin alo
Kevin Alo


PORT MORESBY Watna Mori and Kevin Alo have come up with a really good idea a relocation agency that will help expatriates settle into Papua New Guinea, from airport meet and greet to providing cross-cultural training.

Their company, PNG Presence, was established last year to support and provide all the practical assistance people need so they can focus on foreign companies and individuals transitioning into Papua New Guinea. You can link to the PNG Presence website here.

Kevin and I are both lawyers, said Watna Mori, co-founder and director of PNG Presence. Kevin is registered to practice in PNG and I am registered in NSW.

We are a multi-disciplinary team with an extensive network within the government, private and not for profit industries in PNG, regionally and internationally.

We also have a partner in Australia, called Australian Presence, that helps provide services to Papua New Guineans whether migrating to Australia or transitioning their business to Australia, she said.

Our team consists of experts in business advisory, marketing and advertising, corporate governance, cultural and community liaison, regulatory and compliance, visa...


PNG Communication Minister wants protection for Facebook users "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Papua New Guinea Communications and Information Technology Minister Sam Basil has directed his line agencies to find out how to protect the privacy of Facebook users in Papua New Guinea.
Basil, pictured, issued the directives to the Department of Information and Communications and the National Information Communications Technology Authority on Monday
It comes in the wake of a United States Senate and class action court hearings to ascertain whether Facebook Inc failed to protect the privacy of its users in the United States and United Kingdom.
Personal data, chats, pictures, and contact details of Papua New Guinea Facebook users are on the same Facebook Inc database.
Basil said he had been monitoring the US Senate hearing on Facebook and the class action court case against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica in the light of the security of millions of PNG Facebook users.
Facebook, as a social network, came into to Papua New Guinea riding on the infrastructure of telecommunications and IT service providers, Basil said.
The Government, swept along by IT globalisation, never really had the chance to ascertain the advantages or disadvantages and even educate and provide guidance on use of social networks like Facebook to PNG users.
The two cases involving Facebook shows us the vulnerabilities that PNG citizens and residents face on their personal data and exchanges when using this social network as well as other social network.
Basil said he needed to take an informed and appropriate action on behalf of PNG citizens and residents using Facebook and other IT social networks.
I am aware that Facebook use in PNG is not limited to personal chats and blogs, he said. It is also used as a forum for advertising by individuals, organisations both public and private, to post and download public notices, position vacancies and job searches, real estates and other commercial activities. more on PNG Technology News site : PNG eHow


Janet Albrechtsen on the Turnbull Government's determination to let the ACTU get away with whatever it wants "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Janet Albrechtsen brings us a stunning expose of ACTU chief Sally McManus and her fantasy world in The Australian today. The Australian's headline and promotion of the article don't really do Janet's content and research justice: In fact the article is aimed squarely at the Turnbull Government which should have...


Campaign launch: Celebrating and defending customary land "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

17 Apr 2018 | ActNowACT NOW! launches a new multi-media campaign 'Celebrating and Defending Customary Land'-- the most valuable and important asset available to most Papua New Guineans.


AkzoNobels new strategy sees it move out of retail sales "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Paint company AkzoNobel is taking a new strategic direction in Papua New Guinea, according to Chief Executive Officer, Navin Raju. He tells Business Advantage PNG that the prospects for growth are sound.

Paint company AkzoNobels Navin Raju Source: Akzo Nobel

In the past we were more trade and retail focusedover the counter sales, says Raju.

The new direction now is that the company will be focusing on supporting the resellers and AN is moving out of retail sales.

The reason for moving out of retail is that we will not be competing with our own paint resellers but supporting them with increased marketing presence.

We have closed down our warehouse and retail sales stores in Hagan and Kokopo and appointed distributors to distribute and grow the business in these areas.

I must say that in Hagen in last three months, there are already been huge signs of improvement.


Raju says the PNG paint market is growing slowly but the company has nevertheless achieved extensive growth over the last six months.

He says the company is no longer manufacturing in PNG. It is part of the new overall strategic direction of Akzo Nobel PNG.

Raju expects that once the new strategy is in place the company will strength...


Brian Bell Group investing heavily for growth in its 60th year, says Chairman "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Diversified corporate and retail enterprise Brian Bell Group is celebrating its 60th year in 2018. Chairman Ian Clough tells Business Advantage PNG the company is investing in people, infrastructure, and new retail strategies in preparation for its next phase of growth.

Brian Bells Ian Clough

This year is a real milestone for us. There is only a small number of organisations in Papua New Guinea that have been around longer than 60 years and we are proud of this achievement.

We are still building for the future and we are 100 per cent PNG-owned.

What started as a small gun shop on Ela Beach in 1958 has grown, as a result of the hard work of thousands, to be one of PNGs most recognisable brands and a contributor to the economy.


Clough says the company is making multimillion kina investments in warehousing and distribution, and is expanding its portfolio through property development.

On top of our largest distribution centre being built at Gerehu [in Port Moresby], we are building an executive apartment project in Port Moresby that is designed to provide opportunities not only for our own people but for the wider market.

There are plenty of business opportunities in PNG.

In the last two years and the coming two years, the Group will have seen some of our largest infrastructure investments in our history. We are also scoping to expand our Mt Hagen operation in the near future.

Our enterprise is evolving in how we think, how we operate, and how we connect globally.

PNG is in the early phase of expanding global recognition. The global investors that will be attracted to PNG via APEC and other key programs will bring international brands and companies to our shores.


Clough says he sees some positive indicators that the economy is beginning to emerge from the downturn.

We see some good early signs for activity. It is looking like the next 12-to-18 months are going to be reasonably challenging. The recent earthquake has been devastating for the people in the area affected but we also see some headwinds as a result for the economy.

However, aft...


Campaign Launch: Photo Diary "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

ACT NOW! launched its new camapign, titled 'Celebrating and Defending Customary Land', on April 17 in Port Moresby.

More than 30 people attended the launch event, including representatives from ten different media outlets and various civil society groups.

Camera crews set up their recording equipment

The lights were dimmed for the first screening of the new television advert

Eddie Tanago explained why customary land must be celebrated and defended

Every word was recorded by the TV crews

Campaign publications were popular with the media and other guests

Eddie Tanago answered questions from the audience.

All set! Oselle Tamanabae ready to greet the first arrivals

Paul Barker from the Institute of National Affairs in discussion with Eddie Tanago





TUESDAY, 17 APRIL, 2018 | 20:44 WIB
Freeport to Close Grasberg Mine Operation

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta The management of PT Freeport Indonesia will close the operation of the open-pit gold mine in Grasberg, Mimika, Papua.

Executive Vice President of PT Freeport Indonesia for Sustainable Development Sony Prasetyo, said that Freeports production in 2019 will be reduced by 80,000 tons per day from the previous 200,000 tons per day.

"It is a technical condition, the open-pit mine in Grasberg is about to close, and by 2019 it is expected to stop, now it is already cannot be exploited, the only way we exploit it is from below or underground," Sony said in Timika on Monday, April 16, 2018.

Meanwhile, underground exploitation cannot be immediately carried out because there are still issues that must be solved, including the permits. However, if the government gives permission for underground mining exploitation, the result will not be optimal until around 2021 or 2023.

Sony said closing the open-pit mine will affect several things, including revenue. In addition, when he was asked about the possibility of having layoffs, Sony said it will be tough decision to make.

"I have not seen [the possibility for a lay off]. For this company, an employee is a valuable asset, s...


How Maori landowners access development finance "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Accessing finance to develop land in Papua New Guinea is the biggest stumbling block to creating wealth, jobs and an economic base for future generations. In New Zealand, Maori economic development is forging ahead, with the active support of banks and investors. In the second of a two-part series, Kevin McQuillan examines NZ banks lending criteria.

Tainui Group Holdings Pierre Tohe. Credit: TGH

When it comes to loaning money to Maori organisations wanting to develop their land, banks look at security, cash flow and character, according to Pierre Tohe, currently General Manager-Engagement, at Tainui Group Holdings Ltd.

Between 2011 and 2016, Tohe led the Bank of New Zealands Maori Business Team, which involved developing a Maori business strategy for the bank, building relationships with Maori tribes, cultural training, and developing new banking products and services.

Land value

What really opened all the NZ banks eyes to the potential value of Maori land development came about after a really comprehensive study in 2010 by Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL), which estimated the value of the Maori economy at NZ$37billion (K88 billion), Tohe tells Business Advantage PNG.

It made the bank realise that we needed to be forming relationships with Maori.

The nature of security is a big issue for all secured lending, but banks are no longer rejecting applications simply because land is collectively owned.

Some of that wealth came about as a result of recent settlements with the NZ government, that occurred a result of breaches under the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi. Maori were compensated for land confiscations and/or the use of land without compensation.

Since 1989, 54 settle...




I returned to Port Moresby this morning after addressing an ethnic clash in Madang, restoring peace and essential services that were cut off following a week of social unrest. An issue triggered by a clash between local people of Madang and street sellers.
My trip back to the Nation's Capital is to deal with a number of unfinished business including filing formal complaint with both the Ombudsman Commission and National Fraud Anti corruption Directorate against National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop over his involvement in awarding K250,000 a month contract to a foreign fitness instructor.
So it was a surprise to sight an article published by the National today, entitled "MORI: YOGA FIRM HAS HELPED MANY."
It reported Minister of Commerce and Industry Wera Mori's claiming that the foreign company, Yu Yet PNG Ltd was duly-registered and met all statutory requirements to operate in the country.
Minister of Commerce and Industry was responding to my question put him in Parliament two weeks ago, raising the issue in relation to irregularities over the company's IPA certification.
The company's sole shareholder is Ms Fazilah Bazari, a Malaysian National of Indian decent who is accused of being involved with Governor Parkop.
The IPA records confirmed that she named the Governor as a referee in her CV and more disturbingly a copy of the company's bank statement revealed that it was being funded by the NCDC before it acquired it's IPA certificate.
For some reason the Minister ignored these facts and instead claimed despite the negativity being portrayed by the public, we must look at the successes of Yu Yet PNG.
It has kept a lot of young people off the streets and giving hope to those who think that they have no future, especially our young people who have migrated into the city and have participated in this programme. We, as citizens of this country, are affected by lifestyle diseases and the programme addresses some of those issues pertaining to personal health and hygiene.
I want to make it clear: Im not here in defence of Governor of National Capital District (Powes Parkop), he said.
I like to dismiss the claims that Yumi Yet was operating illega...


Harvard Environmental Law Review Calls For Precautionary Approach to Seabed Mining "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Harvard Environmental Law Review Calls For Precautionary New Legal Standards

Post Courier | April 17, 2018

Today, the Harvard Environmental Law Review published an article entitled, Broadening Common Heritage: Addressing Gaps in the Deep Sea Mining Regulatory Regime. The article provides a new perspective on the incipient global industry of seabed mining, heralded as the next extractive frontier despite growing concerns and opposition from civil society, scientific experts, and indigenous groups worldwide.

Deep sea mining has been framed by proponents as a lucrative mineral windfall with minimal impacts, says author Julie Hunter, attorney and Clinic Fellow at the University of British Columbia. This narrative entirely disregards recent scientific information linking the deep seabed with major climate regulation and biodiversity functions. Destroying these ecosystems before more can be learned about them not only risks major health a...


In brief: LNG production resumes earlier than expected, and other business stories "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Production resumes at the LNG plant as more reserves found, BHP Billiton to be sued over alleged environmental damage, and talks with China over a free trade agreement. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

ExxonMobil reports gas production has resumed at the PNG LNG project, following a temporary shutdown of operations after Februarys earthquake. Production was not due to start until early May. LNG exports are expected to resume soon.

ExxonMobil has also announced that gas reserves in its Pnyang field in Western Province are 84 percent higher than previously thought, and this could potentially expand the Pnyang field facilities for the PNG LNG project. However, Petroleum Minister, Fabian Pok, reportedly says it is the governments understanding the Pnyang field will be a standalone project.


The Government reportedly says it will sue Australian mining giant BHP Billiton for alleged environmental damage in the Western Province when the company was operating the countrys largest copper mine, Ok Tedi, in the 1990s.


Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Rimbink Pato, has reportedly had talks with China about establishing a free trade agreement. A feasibility study, and related Memorandum of Understanding, are expected to be signed in November, when Chinas President Xi Jinping visits PNG for the APEC Leaders Summit.




A Chance to Curb Abuse in Mineral Supply Chains "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


(HRW) This week, a gathering of governments, companies and civil society groups at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris will assess companies efforts to curb serious abuses in their minerals supply chains.

Money from mining minerals like gold or cobalt used in smart phones and laptops has fuelled armed conflicts and the mining itself can result in dangerous pollution.

This annual meeting is a chance to review the implementation of the OECDs Guidance on sourcing minerals responsibly, now widely recognized as the standard by which companies should conduct themselves.

This is crucially important. Many companies still fall short of the Guidance and risk contributing to human rights abuses. Human Rights Watch has documented how civilians have suffered in armed conflict situations when armed groups have fought over access to mines. Communities near mines have faced ill-health and environmental harm as mines have polluted waterways with toxic chemicals. And children have risked their lives when working in small-scale mines in Mali, Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines.

We recently scrutinized 13 well-known jewellery companies for their sourcing practices and found that none of the companies were fully in line with the OECD Guidance. Most of the companies we analysed did not sufficiently assess human rights risks, had no or only partial traceability for their gold and diamonds, and failed to provide comprehensive public reports on their responsible sourcing efforts.

While this weeks meeting can and should discuss whether progress has been made, it cannot measure how the OECD Guidance is being put into practice. What is needed is government oversight. So far, governments have provided little, prompting Human Rights Watch and other civil society groups to call for change and outline what such a monitoring mechanism could look like. The OECD secretariat has taken a positive step by putting the issue on the agenda of this weeks meeting and requesting governments to provide information.

It is time for governments to make a commitment to check what companies on their territory are doing to protect human rights in their supply chains. They should name the companies that are making progress, as well as those that arent.

Communities affected by abuses in mining deserve their protection.


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Tuesday, 17 April


Oil Search Ltd. hurt by Papua New Guinea quake "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

by Daniel J. Graeber,
April 17, 2018

A major earthquake in Papua New Guinea is partly to blame for a 24 percent loss in revenue and a 36 percent loss in production, Oil Search said Tuesday.
Production and revenue are down considerably from the fourth quarter for Oil Search Ltd. following a February earthquake in Papua New Guinea. Photo courtesy of Exxon Mobil

Oil Search is a partner in a liquefied natural gas facility and oil production in Papua New Guinea. In a report on operations through March 31, the company said its first quarter production of 4.84 million barrels of oil equivalent was 36 percent lower than fourth quarter 2017
"This reflected the shut in of Oil Search-operated production and the PNG LNG project following the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck the PNG highlands on Feb. 26," the company stated.
Exxon Mobil said Friday that one train -- the part of its plant that turns gas to liquid -- is back in service. The second train will restart once the plant's production increases.
Exxon shut down much of its infrastructure and evacuated non-essential personnel from the areas impacted by the quakes. Oil Search said some of the transit infrastructure, bases and a refinery were damaged, but "the operating facilities generally withstood the earthquake well, with no loss of oil or gas containment identified."
The company added, however, that while production was disrupted, there was no impact on plans to expand LNG activities. A total of three trains are expected in the LNG development concept.
Nevertheless, Oil Search said its insurance loss adjuster outlined an initial estimate for damages to its assets at between $150 million and $250 million.
The International Monetary Fund said the economy in Papua New Guinea had "slowed sharply." More than 270,000 people still need humanitarian assistance following the quake. Oil Search said about 200 people died as a result of the quake and many residents are w...


Tonga's transgender community fights for visibility from the conservative Pacific Kingdom "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Transgender women and gender-diverse 'leitis' in the conservative Pacific Island Kingdom of Tonga say, "they cannot be silent anymore" about their fight for visibility.

Joey Joleen Mataele is one of many in Tonga's island chain who identifies as a 'fakaleiti' or simply 'leiti', which translates roughly from Tongan as "like a lady".

"The role of leitis in our society is more of a housewives role, a domestic worker, we're known in the public eye in our churches and for helping the youth programs, but when it comes to our personal choices, that's when the barriers start," she told the ABC's Pacific Beat program.

Leitis often identify as women or men who dress and behave in a feminine way, but mainly don't identify as either men or women.

Ms Mataele is the President of the Tongan Leitis Association, a group at the centre of a new documentary released at the weekend in Londoncalled Leitis in Waiting, a year-long exploration of what life is like for transgender women in the country.

"It's been years of dreaming that our story would be recorded and be heard and be distributed to the world," she said.

"I think this is a great achievement for us to be able to do this. And it's a tool that we will be able to use.

Ms Mataele's father was a politician and a member of Tonga's elite, and her family has a close relationship with the country's royal family.

In the documentary, Tonga's Princess Salote Lupepau'u Tuita describes her mother's relationship with a young Joey:

"One memory my mother has is of when Joey was a toddler and he had very, very feminine features and really, really curly hair.

So my mother had a life-sized doll as well and she said 'you're prettier than my doll' so she put the dress of her life-sized doll on Joey and put his hair in ringlets and would take him around.

It was completely, it was you know, it wasn't to mock him or anything, she just loved it.

Since then, he's always been that special and close to her."

Yet despite her connections in the upper echelons of Tongan society, her place within the community remains a struggle.

While in some cases leitis are accepted as caretakers and workers, they are also outlawed, shunned and even face jail time.

Tonga's Civil Offences Act criminalises cross dressing and sodomy, with bot...


PNG Earthquake Response Logistics Situation Update (16 April 2018) "IndyWatch Feed Niugini" | April 16, 2018

Logistics Operational Updates

Click for full report

Australian Defence Force (ADF) C-130J was available until 15 April. After the departure of ADF C-130J on 16 April, out of the submitted Request for Assistance (RFA), over 70 MT of WFP and IFRC food and non-food items still require air assistance from Port Moresby to Moro and Mt. Hagen and from Mt. Hagen to Moro.

New Zealand is also considering to partner with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) to provide a subsidised flight service in which aid agencies can access, through a booking request system, cargo space with a 50% cost reduction. Funding decisions are due this week, and New Zealand will be able to confirm the outcome at next weeks meeting.

Oil Search Limited (OSL) has granted the use of their Moro facility as a logistics hub for operations to the earthquake affected areas that are only accessible via helicopter. OSL wrote to the Office of the Emergency Controller outlining the scope of their support. A WFP Logistics Officer has been deployed to Moro base as the focal point for coordination in support of the Logistics Working Group.

While many access roads are being re-established, last-mile transport to locations only reachable via helicopter continues to be a major constraint for the response. The Logistics Working Group is working on identifying commercial options to ensure that remote communities can be reached, however it needs the cooperation of the cluster leads to identify those communities.


PNG PM O'Neill in London for Commonwealth Meet "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Papua New Guinea Prime  Minister Peter ONeill is in London to be part of the 25th meeting of the heads of government of the Commonwealth (2018 CHOGM) of Nations.

Papua New Guinea is among 54 Commonwealth Heads of Government Leaders who kicked off the first day of the meeting yesterday.

Mr ONeill is accompanied by Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Rimbink Pato and other leaders.

The summit was originally scheduled to be hosted by Vanuatu at the end of 2017 but was moved to the United Kingdom because Vanuatu was no longer able to host the event due to the damage done by Cyclone Pam to the island nations infrastructure.

The position of Commonwealth chair-in-office, held by the government leader of the CHOGM host country, will be transferred at the summit from the Prime Minister of Malta to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who will hold the post until the 26th CHOGM expected in 2020.

The theme of the summit is Towards a Common Future. The British hosts have set out four main goals for the summit:

Prosperity: boosting intra-Commonwealth trade and investment;

Security: increasing cooperation across security challenges including global terrorism, organised crime and cyber attacks;

Fairness: promoting democracy, fundamental freedoms and good governance across the Commonwealth; and

Sustainability: building the resilience of small and vulnerable states to deal with the effects of climate change and other global crises.

Under consideration will be: A Commonwealth Blue Charter on ocean governance, a Commonwealth connectivity agenda for trade and investment, a declaration on cybercrime, and revised Commonwealth guidelines on election observation in member countries.

This is the first CHOGM held following the United Kingdoms decision to withdraw from the European Union, a decision which has resulted in calls for Britain to strengthen its economic ties with and play a greater role in the Commonwealth.

Papua New Guinea also has a youth participation contingent led by National Youth Development Authority boss Norit Luio. Press Release


People moves: Bank South Pacific, Bougainville Referendum Commission, 2019 Asia Pacific Business Forum "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Ni-Vanuatu to head up BSP operations in Port Vila, former Irish PM nominated to head the Bougainville Referendum Commission, new Chair of the 2019 Asia Pacific Business Forum

Bank South Pacific has appointed Nik Regenvanu as its new Country Head in Vanuatu. He replaces Stuart Beren, and will be the first Ni-Vanuatu to lead the business in the country.


Former Irish Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern, who championed the Good Friday Northern Ireland peace deal in 1998, has been nominated to head the Bougainville Referendum Commission. Prime Minister Peter ONeill and Bougainville President John Momis both confirmed the nomination.


David Morris, the Chief Representative, Pacific Islands Forum, Trade Commissioner based in China has been appointed as Chair of the United Nations ESCAP Asia Pacific Business Forum 2019 replacing outgoing Chair, Lee George Lam.


The post People moves: Bank South Pacific, Bougainville Referendum Commission, 2019 Asia Pacific Business Forum appeared first on Business Advantage PNG.


NCD prevention and control: special challenges in the Pacific "IndyWatch Feed"

My earlier blog summarised some key findings from WHO reports about NCD prevention and control globally and in the Asia-Pacific region. What does the recently released WHO NCD Progress Monitor 2017 report reveal about the NCD challenge in the Pacific?

First, it confirms the importance of NCDs as a source of death in the Pacific. NCDs now account for over 80% of all deaths in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga; over two thirds of all deaths in the Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu; and over half of all deaths in Papua New Guinea.

Second, Pacific Island countries (PICs) have a relatively high risk of premature (i.e. between 30 and 70 years of age) deaths from any of the four main NCDs: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases. Premature deaths are important because they can usually be prevented or at least postponed, and they affect those of working age population. Graph 1 below shows the risk of premature deaths from any of the four main NCDs for those countries in the Pacific for which estimates are available.

Graph 1: Risk of premature (30 70 years of age) death from any of the four main NCDs in the Pacific

Importantly, WHO also states that PNGs population has the highest probability out of 194 countries in the world of dying prematurely from any of the four NCDs. There are inevitable data and methodological limitations in making such an important finding. For example, there are rarely estimates of the risk of premature NCD death for countries with a population of less than 200,000, several of which are in the Pacific and which may have even higher probabilities than PNG of premature death from one of the four NCDs. Nevertheless, what can be said with confidence is that relatively high levels of...


China is spending up big on gifts to PNG for APEC summit "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Convention centre (Eric Tlozek)
International Convention Centre - one of China's many gifts to PNG for APEC (Eric Tlozek)

DENNIS SHANAHAN | The Australian | Edited extract

CANBERRA - China is rapidly outspending Australia in providing aid and gifts to Papua New Guinea to ready Port Moresby to host the APEC forum as Australia implores Britain to give more to the South Pacific.

Financial aid from China to the region for a new world order has become a vital topic at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London this week before Britains departure from the EU and as Chinese influence grows in Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

PNG is Australias largest single aid recipient but, since Port Moresby was named as the host for the APEC forum in November, China has been pouring in funds described as gifts.

They include money to build a new convention centre for the APEC leaders, six-lane highways and other massive roadworks to help PNG host its biggest event in history.

The convention centre cost is $35 million with a six-lane drive between the centre and parliament estimated to cost at least $40 million. Costs for other projects, including highway upgrades, have not been disclosed.

Australia is providing $108 million supporting PNGs hosting of the summit.

Australian minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells told British and Commonwealth leaders and officials in London that this years CHOGM was being held at a momentous time.

She said there was a new world order and change of focus in the UK from its closest neighbours to a more expansive view, which we hope will result in a renewed partnerships in the Indo-Pacific.


Bougainville divisions put Panguna redevelopment on hold "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Derelict equipment at the abandoned Panguna mine on Bougainville - conflict surrounds its reopening


NOOSA After some months of heated debate on Bougainville, the autonomous provinces president, Dr John Momis, has announced an indefinite moratorium on re-opening mining at Panguna.

The debate was accelerated by the bitter rivalry of two companies, Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL) and RTG, both of which want to re-establish the mine and have been supported by different groups on Bougainville.

Dr Momis told Don Wiseman of Radio New Zealand that divisions between landowners have led to a decision on mining being delayed at least until next years referendum on Bougainvilles political future.

We don't want to cause a split amongst the landowners because we have a referendum coming, Dr Momis said. We want to make sure we unite our people. There is a definite divide and until the people are united we will not proceed with any mining.

Determining Bougainville's future is more paramount right now, he told Wiseman. It is the priority we are focusing our attention to, to make sure that the people of Bougainville are united, so we don't want any other issues to undermine this unity.

I can't see how the landowners can unite before the referendum. If they do, then that will be good and we will look at other possibilities.

Dr Momis said his government, which had earlier supported BCL to redevelop the copper and gold mine, had some problems with rival company RTG.

In fact they are causing a lot of confusion and division in the community and we are not prepared to go ahead while this situation prevails.

We have made it very clear to the landowners that unless they are totally united and they are prepared to subject themselves to the rule of law and so on and so forth, the ABG will leave the reserve [moratorium] in place.

Responding to Don Wisemans question about whether the Bougainville government was looking at other industries, Dr Momis said timber development and other industries...


Customary land pathway to a sustainable future for all of us "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Land is LifeACT NOW!

PORT MORESBY One of Papua New Guineas leading activist groups has launched a new multi-media campaign, 'Celebrating and Defending Customary Land'.

Customary land is the most valuable asset available to most Papua New Guineans but its role and importance is often misunderstood or misrepresented, particularly by outsiders.

Too few people realise customary land supports an economy estimated to be worth K40 billion a year, provides jobs and incomes for three million farmers and provides housing and a sense of community for more than seven million people.

Many outsiders and local elites like to describe customary land as 'idle', 'undeveloped' and 'a barrier to development', but the opposite is true.

Customary land is the only resource on which PNG can build a sustainable future that benefits the majority of the population rather than just a tiny minority.

But if we are to realise this opportunity people must be empowered to defend their customary land and must not to fall victim to the false promises of those who want to take it away from them.

This is particularly important as we struggle to cope with our population explosion, which will see numbers almost double by 2050, and food security becomes even more of a pressing global issue.

Already some countries are looking to acquire customary land in PNG to feed their own people while the threats from the foreign owned logging and oil palm industries are ever present.

Adding to these threats are the international banks who want to use customary land as security for loans and a government which continues to push its dangerous land registration agenda and encourage incorporated land groups.

ILGs give control over communal assets to a few individuals and open the door to corruption and, ultimately, alienation. 

It is to help address the urgent need for better information at all levels of society about customary land, its values and the threats, that Act Now! is launching its new campaign.

The campaign includes a captivating television advertisement that will be broadcast on EMTV and a range of publications including reports, brochures, factsheets, infographics, videos and posters. 

These resources will be used by Act Now! in its lobbying, advocacy and awareness...


Andrew ET Ettingshausen goes fishing in Papua New Guinea "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Former rugby league player and keen fisherman Andrew ET Ettingshausen is lured to West New Britain in Papua New Guinea to chase big-fighting bass, but he is equally captivated by the vibrant culture and volcanic wilderness.

PNG fishing grounds

The surface lure touches down in an eddy beside an upturned tree. It bobs gently for a moment.

Then there is an explosion of water as it is taken, and in a heartbeat a giant bass is heading back to its lair.

I lock my thumb onto the spool and lean back hard on the rod, applying all the pressure I can. The bass, with its tail half out of the water, thrashes like crazy as it pulls my rod dead straight, a position you never want to be in.

The fish, under extreme pressure, kicks again.

No rod flex means I have no control as the big fish surges towards the safety of the upturned tree. I hold on tight and finally get a small wind on the reel.

The fish, under extreme pressure, kicks again, but this time I am able to get a bend in the rod. After five short pumps and winds, I have her head pointed the right way.




Flannery leads program for 2018 Papua New Guinea Investment Conference "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Eminent scientist Professor Tim Flannery will be one of the key speakers at this years Business Advantage Papua New Guinea Investment Conference at the Sofitel Brisbane Central on 6 and 7 August this year.

Professor Tim Flannery

Professor Tim Flannery has had a long career as advisor to government and business on climate issues, as well as being a broadcaster, a widely published author and a former Australian of the Year.

He will provide a keynote speech to the conference on the opportunities and challenges for PNG business in the low carbon economy of the future.

With the measures agreed to in the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement (to which Papua New Guinea is a signatory, alongside 195 other countries) that comes into effect in 2020, now is a perfect time to understand the implications for business.

Flannery is no stranger to PNG, having conducted ground-breaking scientific research in the country over several years.


Over two days, around 30 additional speakers will examine opportunities across all key sectors of PNGs economy. With keynotes, panel discussions, case studies and special presentations, the program promises plenty of variety and substance.

Other confirmed speakers include Paul Sayer (Chief Executive Officer, Nambawan Super), Craig Kirkland (Director of Pacific Islands, Mastercard), Paul Statham (Regional Director, Digicel Pacific), David Hill (Country DirectorPNG, Asian Development Bank), Carolyn Blacklock (Acting Managing Director, PNG Power Ltd) and Augustine Mano (Managing Director, Mineral Resources Development Corporation).

Infrastructure focus

Infrastructure will be a major focus of the conference, with Day 2 dedicated entirely to it. Delegates will hear from major public and private investors in the countrys infrastructurein ports, roads, aviation, energy and telecommunicationswith logistics and transport also covered.

Delegates will learn about ground-breaking innovations.

Two key themes will also inform t...


On sales pitches and taking the public with you on aid "IndyWatch Feed"

Imagine being a door-to-door vacuum salesperson from the worlds 19th best vacuum company, approaching someone who already owns a Dyson, and trying to convince them that your model is better while saying that 80% of people you try to sell it to dont actually buy it.

Our Minister for International Development and the Pacific would sure give it a shot. Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells went to the Overseas Development Institute in the UK last night our time, said the UK should spend more money in the Pacific region and partner with Australia to help us with that little China-in-the-Pacific predicament, but said we couldnt possibly spend more money on such things ourselves because Australians dont like aid.

Australias terrible and declining performance on aid does not put it in a good position to tell other countries what to do with theirs. Influence doesnt come cheap. (Just ask China)

Terrible sales pitch aside, Senator CFWs remark that youve got to take the public along with you on aid is also worthy of examination.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells said the government polling had exposed a big schism between the community and those working in the aid sector who think the complete opposite.

You do have to take your public with you, she said.

In many ways, its true. We know there are differences between views in the aid sector and in the general public we did research on it. But the views are not polar opposites. (See our full range of research on public opinion on aid here.)

The UK government had to work extremely hard to take the public (and Conservatives) along with them when they instituted the 0.7% aid target, so they probably didnt need this pearl of wisdom from a representative of a government that has done absolutely nothing to build public support for or understanding of aid and development.

The hustle started in their own party room. They did it during the austerity period. It was campaigned for on the basis of it being the moral thing to do first and foremost, and in the cou...


Taranaki iron sand seabed mining consent reduced Mori interest to lip service, court told "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Ngati Ruanui iwi went to Parliament to voice its protest against the Trans-Tasman Resources plans to mine iron sand off the Taranaki coast. (File photo: Monique Ford)

Stuff | April 16 2018

Mori interests were not properly considered in the decision to allow iron sand seabed mining off Taranaki, a court has been told.

They went to the High Court at Wellington on Monday seeking to overturn environmental permission for the project.

A lawyer for Mori and fishing interests, Francis Cooke, QC, said as far as they were aware this was a world first for deep sea iron sand mining to be allowed to be undertaken.


Mining interests stalling SA plans to protect more of the ocean "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Ocean scientists say Marine Protected Areas not only protect fish from over-exploitation, but can also help to slow the effects of climate change. Photo: Steve Benjamin

A global ocean protection group has expressed concern that plans to fast-track the expansion of Marine Protected Areas off the South African coast appear to have stalled. 

Tony Carnie |  Daily Maverick | 16 April 2018

Plans to enlarge South Africas protected ocean reserve network have come to a halt, allegedly due to pressure from the oil, gas and extractive mining sector.

This is the claim from Ocean Unite, a Washington DC based global ocean protection group headed by former University of Cape Town international environmental law graduate Karen Sack.

Sack, co-author of a 2013 scientific report which urged the United Nations to establish a new Department for Oceans and a new Interpol-style navy to police the high seas, has voiced disappointment that plans to fast-track the expansion of Marine Protected...

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Monday, 16 April


On writing, PNG literature and the voice of the diaspora "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

I recently caught up with Rashmii Bell over lunch in Brisbane, and asked about her background and experiences as an author. Listen to the podcast, read the transcript, or for highlights of what we discussed, read on.

I began by asking Rashmii to tell me about her background, and what she is currently involved in.

Rashmii hails from Sio, Morobe Province in PNG, having being born and lived in Lae, as well as Port Moresby and (presently) Brisbane. She was educated in Australia, and has lived between there and PNG since 1990. She studied at Griffith University, obtaining a degree in psychology and criminology. She has more than ten years of experience working in case management within adult and youth corrections services.

And now?

Im a little past nine years while Ive been at home. Ive just been raising children. But, Ive always enjoyed reading. I read everything, read every day. And writing, I have been writing for myself, but I only just started having my work published in the past three years

I went on to ask what Rashmii considered to be the most significant milestones in her journey as an author. Her first, and possibly most significant milestone, was seeing her work published on the PNG Attitude blog, edited by Keith Jackson. More recently, her role as editor of My Walk to Equality has provided new opportunities:

appearing at the writers festivals, the Sunshine Coast festival this year, and then Brisbane Writers Festival, both in 2016 and 2017, which has really, I think, for the majority of the emerging contemporary PNG writers, thats a huge thing for us to know that Papua New Guinean literature is being mentioned at these international events.

In a similar vein, I asked Rashmii what she thought were the things that had the most influence on her voice as an author. She explained to me that she focuses on long form writing, with her pieces best classified as opinion and commentary. This is not a genre favoured by many Papua New Guineans and, among those that do, there are very few women, so I think that in itself helps elevate my voice because I am the minority in amongst the commentators out there, among the PNG men.

In addition, the subjects she writes on social justic...

Monday, 21 May


Seriously EMTV: Can we get any lamer-er? "IndyWatch Feed"

The following comment was picked up from Facebook, and sad to say but Im not surprised at all.

EMTV once again takes the honours for being a DUD for a TV station.


EMTV(John Eggins) interview of PO (Peter ONeil) last-night was a big let down. I expected tough questions from Eggins but instead got such a soft kiss-a$& interview. The background video conveniently skipped the NPF chapter of POs life, and Eggins never asked about the controversial laws made by the ONape Parliament, nor his method of gaining power.

Looks like we can expect same treatment of all other Interviews in the Election Focus series.


Oh how I long for gutsy journalism.

by Tokaut Tokstret


yeah and give me QUALITY!


  • * EMTV ELECTION FOCUS is one of this TV stations lame concoction to cash in on the election fever.
  • Give me #QandA any day and I promise you  Ill shut up. I swear.



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