Monday, August 31, 2009

Impossible shelves

How many shelves do you see? Do you see 3 or 4?

Malaysian investment in Papua New Guinea continues to grow

Caption: Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare and Malaysian High Commissioner to PNG Datin Blanche Olbery prepare to cut a cake marking Malaysia’s 52nd anniversary of independence at the Holiday Inn in Port Moresby tonight.

Malaysian has and will continue to invest highly in Papua New Guinea, says Malaysian High Commissioner to PNG Datin Blanche Olbery.
Ms Olbery said this at a function at the Holiday Inn in Port Moresby tonight to celebrate Malaysia’s 52nd anniversary of independence.
“Malaysia’s investment in PNG is relatively high, as you can see by the number of prominent Malaysian businessmen present here today,” she told guests including Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.
“The prospect of Malaysian investment in PNG remains positive as currently we have strong relations with PNG and our relations can be further enhanced for further investment to be facilitated into the resource sectors of the country.
“To date, the Malaysian private sector continues to have significant presence with investments totaling K3 billion since 1994.
“In addition, Malaysian companies are the leading citizen job providers in PNG owing to large number of jobs created per million kina invested and have in fact generated 36, 000 jobs since 1995.”
Ms Olbery predicted this investment would grow with the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project soon to come on stream.
“With the recent discovery of world’s biggest natural gas reservoir and the LNG project, which is expected to begin its operations soon as well as with political stability in the government, the economic interest in PNG will continue to grow and I believe in near future, there would be an influx of foreign investors and businessmen to invest in this country, including new investors from Malaysia,” she said.

Papua New Guinea tourism industry to be regulated over time


Managing Director

Investment Promotion Authority


The issue of having foreign companies operating as tour operators in the country has been described as complex and “does not have a clear cut business operation”.

For beginners, tourism in Papua New Guinea was never recognised by the Government as a key economic sector until the development of the Government’s 2005- 2015 Medium Term Development Strategy (MTDS).

Being such, the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA), has been focusing its effort on marketing and promoting the destination than regulating the industry.

The PNGTPA in acknowledging the need to enforce industry standards has stated that though there are laws relating to foreigners doing business in PNG and the need to get foreign company certification, work permits and pay tax to the government, it is quite difficult to enforce them given that PNG’s tourism industry is at its infant stage and a lot of work needs to be done in terms of regulation and enforcement. 

 The Authority said that foreign tour operators visit the country on adhoc basis with varying number of days in PNG, furthermore complicates the monitoring of tour leaders or tour operators coming to PNG with their tourists.

The TPA has now taken a step in regulating the industry by developing the Tour Operators Code of Conduct for all operators in PNG and abroad.

This will be the building block to launch into regulating the industry.

This will mean that tour operators will be expected to comply with the necessary rules and regulations of the Government of PNG before doing business in PNG. 

The PNGTPA has pledged to work with other government agencies such as Investment Promotion Authority of Papua New Guinea (IPAPNG), the Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) and the Department of Labour and Immigration and the industry members both domestic and foreign to address the issue without causing any inconvenience for both the operators and the tourists within the short term.

Meanwhile, the Investment Promotion Act states that any one off or an isolated business transaction by a foreign company that is concluded within a period of less than 31 days does not require the company to be certified by IPA to carry on business in an activity in the country.

However, where the business is undertaken repeatedly over time, then that foreign company is deemed to be carrying on business in PNG and is required to be certified by IPA to operate in that business activity in the country.

Is this a rabbit or a duck?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The email exchanges between me and Bruce Copeland

Below are some of the email exchanges between Kokoda Trail “Trek leader and Military advisor” Bruce Copeland and me yesterday.

I leave it to you good people of Australia and Papua New Guinea to make your own judgement.




From: Bruce Copeland [] Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2009 11:42 AM
To: malum nalu; Aaron Hayes; big pat; Bill James; bill shorten; charlie lynn; David Baker; duncan chessell; ecosystems melanesia; Frank Kolma (new); frank taylor; gorethy kenneth; John Miles; kerry.willson wilson; kevan smith; kokoda trekking; kokoda trekking; kokoda track; kokoda trekking; maureen gerawa; noel pascoe; ray baker(backtrack); reg renagi; ruth dicker; simon eroro; Simon Hart; tim noroads; Valker Scholz; Wayne Wetherall; warren bartlett; Wesley Raminai; Gail Thomas
Subject: A series on gay/lesbian AusAID advisors


At last dear chap, you are going to do a series on AusAID gays and lesbians who banned AIDS Holistics in 1992 and blocked in 1995.
 My residential status is known / ignored in high places.
It is actually on my website. You are out of your depth mate. My AIDS awareness campaign is seen to be more important and small boy journalists should know that.
 Write an article on the subject. I have made a statement in this email to be quoted. You only know about this by reading my website along with everyone else. The nation knows and does not care.
Bruce Copeland

Subject: RE: Never to trek with PNG operators
Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 11:06:59 +1000



Trek with a bunch of tax cheats?

 And you, Bruce, are an illegal alien who has no valid visa to reside or work in Papua New Guinea in whatever capacity, including “Trek leader and Military advisor” as you like to call yourself!

 And I might add “HIV/AIDS Advisor” to that list.


From: Bruce Copeland [] Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2009 10:32 AM
To: Aaron Hayes; andy ng (new); big pat; Bill James; bill shorten; charlie lynn; daniel korimbao; David Baker; duncan chessell; ecosystems melanesia; Frank Kolma (new); frank taylor; gorethy kenneth; John Miles; kerry.willson wilson; kevan smith; kokoda trekking; kokoda trekking; kokoda track; kokoda trekking; maureen gerawa; noel pascoe; ray baker(backtrack); reg renagi; ruth dicker; simon eroro; Simon Hart; tim noroads; Valker Scholz; Wayne Wetherall; warren bartlett; Wesley Raminai; malum nalu
Subject: Never to trek with PNG operators


Malum Nalu
I would like to explain why I would never trek with a village Kokoda group, except perhaps one - either as a trekker or team leader. At least an expatriate team leader may indicate serious involvement by the village trek operator.
 In Australia, I have learned by bitter experience never to deal with any group calling itself a company without an address that I or an agent can visit. An address like Kokoda Fuzzy Wuzzy Trekking is not a proper address "C/- Kokoda Trekking Authority".
 I would never deal with a company with only an email address. They could take my hard earned money and never be heard of again. They could pop up again as Eora Creek Trekking to try the same stunt again.
 I would not deal with a company that does not respond promptly to enquiries. I would not be in interested at all in waiting 2 months for someone to wander down from a village to check their e-mail.
 They may arrive two months late when we are waiting at Port Moresby. Some trek leaders are seen at the email shops. But they are mainly working for Australian trek operators.
 I would be afraid that their porters would not arrive at the start point in time. Village trekking companies may not have a policy of flying their porters.
 I would not deal any company that does not indicate a ready supply of trekking equipment maintained and in good repair ready to start. That includes tents, back packs and communications.
 We will not even talk of whether or not the village trek leader knows anything about the war. It is a common furphy that the grandsons of the fuzzy wuzzy angels are experts on military history. Not true.
 I once listened to one such leader telling the trekkers of the massive battle on Lake Myola in which 2000 Japanese and Australians were killed. The Aussies retreated across the lake.
 Those are the reasons why I would never trek with a village group. At least the Australian groups have a reputation to preserve. Some are the key group in a provincial or urban area.
 I would trek with Aussie groups with a PNG trek leader but never with a PNG group. I speak from 15 years of experience in PNG. With the unknown village trekking groups too much can go wrong.
Who is going to trek to the village to get their money back? The process will be for budding trek owners to work for an Australian trekking company and learn the ropes for many years.
 And learn that PNG time is not acceptable. The cargo cult mentality does not apply to trekking. Trekkers do not just fall out of the sky with money for descendants of fuzzy wuzzy angels. They are not diverted by the Australian trekking groups stealing trekkers with their computers and emails.
Bruce Copeland

Subject: Australians not paying tax to PNG & Australia
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 00:50:16 +0000

Malum Nalu,
My friend Reg says I am to make peace with you. But I had thought we were already at peace. I have long admired the stories of colonial times that you write.
 But you are off the deep end with Kokoda Trekking. Today you wrote a report on the effort of my friend Aaron Hayes and by arrangement of paragraphs, implied that he had set up the Trekking Association because of the illegal action of Australian companies in not paying tax to Australia and PNG.
That is getting cheeky.
 You and Eroro appealing to the basest of cargo cult mentality by which the goodies are going to fall from the sky if villagers build airstrips and light flares.
 But on Kokoda there are going to be Australian trekkers/money falling from the sky and all is needed is a computer and email. Aaron does not say that. But he is seeking to lift standards of village trekking groups even if it harms his own trek group.Like me, he identifies with the village needs.
 Village trekking groups are in increasing numbers. They have been making their email address that of KTA. Intending Aussie trekkers are not going to send an email and wait for someone to wander in from a village to respond.
 I am sure that most Kokoda village groups have never had a trek. And they blame the Australians. Cargo cultists blamed the whiteman for diverting the great white birds carrying the cargo from heaven.
 There is much to running a trekking group. There is need for marketing in Australia. There is need for tents and back packs to be wasked after every trek, stored in Port Moresby and not stolen by wantoks.
 There is need for collecting money from the trekkers, arranging air flights, confirming bookings, arranging transport to and from hotels and arranging porters to be where they are supposed to be. Profits do not come out until bills are paid.
 If large numbers of village trekking groups are running, there will be problems weekly in the trekking season. Trekkers will be left stranded in Port Moresby and Kokoda. There may be fights on the track between Oro and Koiari groups.
 And last but not least, there would be few village trek leaders who have any idea about the war from an Australian view. They would know little about the detail of what happened where.
 ”Ahh, Australians fought the Japanese here".
 They would have to rely on the trekkers having done their own study. But even those trekkers need to have the books related to the ground. Some trekkers come just for the trek. They can contact a village trek group.
 There is a big difference between Australians forming a PNG company and registering their Australian company. There is also double-tax agreements between Australia and PNG. Will PNG trekking companies have to pay tax to Australia and have a company in Australia?
Bruce Copeland
Trek leader and Military advisor

Do you see an old woman or a young woman?

What is the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea's position on the American vote of homosexuals as pastors?

Isaac Teo

Church Secretary

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea

P O Box 80



Reference is made to the American Lutheran Church stand and vote of homosexual clergy to practice and serve in congregations.

 Sir, what would be the ELCPNG position and stand regarding the issue of "same sex marriage" and "ordained practicing Pastors or Church workers" homosexuals serving or to serve in ministry in PNG?

 The news has raised concerns at different quarters among the young Lutherans and the elites.  Majority may not know, they will not understand what may be happening in and around the world.

 Some suggestions have been put forward by different people, whom I have contacts with:

  1. What is the official position of the ELCPNG regarding this issue, approved by the American Lutheran Church?
  2. Can the Bishops Office or the Church Council make a statement?
  3. Can Lutheran Melanesian theologians provide guidance and direction in this issue?
  4. Where are we in regard to LOPC partnership work with ALC?  Can we ELCPNG continue to be partners with this gross un-biblical compromise?
  5. Is ELCPNG going to accommodate and be part of ALC which has voted for and passed what the Bible would declare an "abominable sin"?
  6. Can this issue be taken up in the Synod as an Agenda and a formal statement and stand be made to LWF?

Does ELCPNG still hold onto: Christ Tasol, Bible Tasol, Marimari tasol, Bilip tasol?  Are we going to compromise one of these pillars?

 What will our followers say?  What will the next generation of Lutherans lay their faith and trust on?

 These are some concerns being circulated by young Lutherans in PNG.

 We would appreciate you clarification and light is shed to this concerns. 

 Other wise a non-response, non-action, blind turn will mean our Leaders are in agreement and accepting a teaching or practice that is forbidden by the Bible.


Thank you.

On Behalf of Concerned Lutherans (ELCPNG)



Friday, August 28, 2009

Leading Papua New Guinea woman journalist and writer goes online

Leading Papua New Guinea woman journalist and writer, Euralia Paine, who has written numerous positive articles about Papua New Guinea for many years, now has her own blog
Her first post is titled ‘Ta’tao’n – the dance of the okari nut’.
“I come from an area known as Jiri’ip, which is located on the North Coast of Oro Province,” Euralia writes.
“This is a story and dance from my place and it is called Ta’tao’n.
“The dance is highly-animated and requires a group of dynamic female and male dancers who beat miniature kundu drums and shake rattles.
“There is no singing but the dancers are dressed in brilliantly designed tapa cloaks and colourful headdress.”
Fascinating stuff, and given Euralia’s talent and boundless energy, Papua New Guinea and the world can expect more from her.

The National is back online

The National, Papua New Guinea’s No. 1 daily newspaper, is back online after a nasty glitch had the newspaper offline and affecting its many readers from all over Papua New Guinea and the world for the last couple of weeks.

IT manager Glen Vitou made the announcement as he pressed on the button at 3pm today.

“The site can be viewed now,” he said.

“We have gone live but we’ll continue to improve on the looks of the site.

“We were able to go live yesterday, but because of the images weren’t displayed correctly, we had to sort that out.

“As of 3:00 o’clock this afternoon we turned the offline mode to go live.

“We have updated this week’s entire data into the site, where people can read.

“We still have to add new features such as RSS feeds, contacts and a sub-site for Star Printers.

“We will be continuing to upgrade our site with added features in the near future so keep an eye out for the changes.”

Reduce your odds of dying in a plane crash

Beautiful Simbu - Home in the clouds

This Japanese woman tourist with so fascinated with Simbu culture that she took off her clothes, got into traditional Simbu gear, and joined in a traditional singsing

Check out this new blog Beautiful Simbu – Home in the clouds ( which adds to the growing number of Papua New Guinea bloggers doing something to promote their respective areas.

The blog has been started by a Goroka, Eastern Highland province-based lecturer.

“The Simbu people live in the high mountain terrain of the Highlands of Papua New Guinea,” he writes.

“The countryside boasts some of the most-beautiful and breathtaking mountainous scenery, with fast-flowing rivers, creeks, and waterfalls.

Again, one needs to see it to believe.

“The capital is Kundiawa, a small town catering for almost half a million people.”

Eight-Mile Settlement breaks down the barriers

Youths from Eight-Mile Settlement.-Picture by SEAN DAVEY

Settlements of Papua New Guinea are notorious for being crime hotspots where murder, rape, prostitution, marijuana, homebrew, card gambling and all manner of vice abound.
But from this gloom and doom, despair and no hope disparagement, has come a silver lining to the dark cloud.
It is a powerful story of hope and inspiration that can bring down mountains and transform PNG into the better place we all dream of.
The Eight-Mile Settlement outside Port Moresby is setting the pace for other settlements in PNG by having its own photographic exhibition and establishing its own website which features heartwarming poems and stories written by its residents.
Eight-Mile Settlement is an interesting part of Port Moresby, and of PNG.
It is a 10-minute drive from Port Moresby International Airport.
The community of Eight-Mile Settlement welcomes visitors to come and see what life in a settlement is really like.
It is no secret that Port Moresby has a bad reputation as being a dangerous place to visit, and to live.
Settlement communities in Port Moresby are often especially regarded as notoriously-dangerous places.
However, settlement communities, including Eight-Mile Settlement, are first and foremost communities of people, living together as best they can, trying to work, feed their families, and survive, just like everyone else in the world.
The majority of residents in Eight-Mile Settlement live without power and running water.
There is one main water pipe that comes on twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, and this water supplies around 15,000 people with their daily water needs.
While living conditions in Eight-Mile Settlement are extremely basic, the community works together to promote a peaceful and harmonious environment in which people can live their lives and raise their families.
Most of the people who live in Eight-Mile Settlement come from the Highlands of PNG.
In the community at Eight-Mile they make gardens, and there are two markets where you can buy fresh, locally-grown produce for a fraction of what you might pay in the supermarket.
The exhibition with a difference, titled ‘Life in 8-Mile is Hard’ opened at the University of PNG last Saturday night, continued for all of this week and will next year be featured at the Monash Gallery of Art in Melbourne, Australia.
A difference in that it featured photographs by settlement youth who were taught and inspired by Australian professional photographer Sean Davey.
In what is believed to be a first for a settlement community in Papua New Guinea, Davey has also set up a website entirely devoted to the Eight-Mile Settlement, which showcases their photographs, writings, arts and crafts, paintings and lifestyle.
The photography exhibition that opened at UPNG was part of a gala evening that showcased the fruits of an arts education programme that was run at Eight-Mile Settlement from June 1-7 this year.
Funded by The Law and Justice Sector through AusAID, and facilitated by UPNG, the workshop attracted over 100 local youths from Eight-Mile Settlement each day the workshop was on.
The group was headed by UPNG theatre lecturer and Eight-Mile resident David Motsy.
The workshop focused on four main activities: painting, drama, music and story telling.
“Fruits of the workshop can be viewed at and also I believe that this website is the first in Papua New Guinea devoted entirely to a settlement community,” Mr Davey said.
“While I was facilitating at the workshop, I was photographing in the settlement and interviewing residents.
“Local boys would accompany me and help with introductions and translation.
“I gave them a small digital camera that I had in my camera bag and asked them to start using the camera to photograph as well.
“They really liked photographing and they passed the camera amongst themselves and made plenty of pictures of the settlement, including portraits, landscapes and close-ups.
“One youth, 17-year-old Emmanuel Onom Mel, in particular liked the camera and taking pictures a lot.
“He kept the camera and would photograph everything.
“He was very enthusiastic.
“I downloaded the photographs that the youths made and I was very impressed by the intuitive style in which they were working, photographing very candidly and freely.
“They were getting ‘real’ pictures of settlement life, compared to the more formal and posed photos that I, as an outsider, was making.”
Mr Davey showed a selection of Emmanuel's work, and other youths’, to the curator at the Monash Gallery of Art in Victoria, and he was very impressed by what he saw.
“On the basis of this, he offered to have an exhibition of my work, along with work done by Emmanuel, at the Monash Gallery of Art in February and March 2010,” he said.
Emmanuel Onom Mel, Wanpis Kaupa and Nathan Peter are three young men who have benefited tremendously from the workshop and want to lay the foundation for a better Eight-Mile Settlement and PNG.
Chatting with them over a cup of coffee this week made me realise that PNG has enormous untapped potential among our young people.
“This has been a very fruitful exercise because we had a lot of our young people at Eight-Mile involved,” Mr Kaupa beamed.
“These young people used to waste a lot of time on unproductive things like playing cards, drinking homebrew and smoking marijuana.
“What we have ventured into is something that no other settlement in PNG has done before.
“We have appeared on the front page of The National, have talked on radio and we now have our own website where people from all over the world can learn about us.”
Sean Davey, a bright and ambitious young photographer, says working with the youth of Eight-Mile has changed his outlook on life.
“They (youth) are saying ‘we’re not all drug bodies and thieves’,” he sparkles.
“Over the last two months, Eight-Mile has gone from nowhere to having its own website, appearing on the front page of The National and on the NBC.
“There’s an excitement at Eight-Mile now.
“For me, the biggest thing is breaking down the stereotype of settlements being ‘no-go’ zones.
“I hope that what we’re doing is breaking down the stigma.
“If you provide an opportunity, these guys will take anything that comes.
“These guys are willing to learn and participate.
“I know I’m going back to Cairns (Australia) a better person.”
Sean Davey can be contacted on email

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Local Kokoda Trail operators form association to counter Aussie onslaught

An association has already been formed to further the interests of local Papua New Guinea trekking operators along the Kokoda Trail as well as regulate its lucrative trekking industry and limit the numbers of Australia-based operators.

This follows recent allegations in the media that Australian-owned trekking companies operating along the Kokoda Trail were doing so illegally and cheating the governments of both Australia and PNG of taxes.

Ironically, Australian Aaron Hayes, who runs Ecotourism Melanesia, is spearheading moves to set up this association.

Mr Hayes said that lack of training, resources and lack of tech-savvy was all that was preventing locals from competing in the lucrative Kokoda trekking industry – PNG’s biggest tourism money spinner.

He also revealed how Australian operators were cheating the PNG Government of millions of kina in taxes.

“The Kokoda Trekking Operators Association (KTOPA) we have formed has plans to provide training and support to local operators,” he said.

“Trouble is, we have not been able to get any support from anybody yet.

 “A meeting of the Kokoda Trekking Operators Association will be held at the Ecotourism Melanesia office this coming Sunday, Aug 30, at 2pm.

 “The purpose of the meeting is to discuss a way forward for KTOPA now that Australian operators and some larger PNG operators have decided to form another association.”

Mr Hayes explained the association was set up with a constitution that specified that only PNG-based operators could be full members and Australian companies could be associate members without voting rights.

“This enables PNG operators to stay in control of the association,” he said.

“However, Australian companies don't want to join on this basis, and the larger PNG companies, who shall remain nameless, won't support it because they don't want more operators coming into competition with them.

“We asked Kokoda Track Authority to help us get a volunteer to further develop our operational plan and funding proposals to send to Tourism Promotion Authority and AusAID, but KTA didn't want to help.

“They say they only want to assist an association that represents all operators.

 “This year, some Australian government projects along the track have become a concern to operators and the Australian operators decided they needed to quickly have an association in place to be the mouthpiece of trekking operators.

“Because of the long time it takes to incorporate an association, they decided to meet with KTOPA to find out if we could change our constitution to allow both PNG and Australian companies to be members with equal rights, and they also wanted the training and support programme for local operators to be scrapped from the operational plan, ie, they wanted to hijack the association for their own purposes.

“Max Kaso and I who are the interim committee would not allow this so they decided to set up a new association which will include Australian and PNG operators  but no special help for locals.

“Apparently, this will be announced soon.

 “Meantime, KTOPA will continue to pursue our goals separately, and we will soon be pushing the PNG government to provide some specific support to PNG operators.

“We would like to prepare a proposal for the PNG government to regulate the Kokoda trekking industry and limit the numbers of Australia-based operators and give more access and opportunities to local operators.

“For example, by legislation that requires all Australian operators to sub-contract their trekking logistics to a PNG company that is not a subsidiary of their Australian company, because if an Australian company registers itself in PNG it will still collect all its client payments in Australia and only transfer enough money for operational costs to the PNG subsidiary.

“This means the PNG subsidiary will operate on break-even basis only, will never declare a profit, and will never pay company taxes to the PNG government.

“On the other hand, a 100% PNG-owned company will more likely declare a profit and pay tax.”






Landowners' high demands affect tourism

Major tour operator Ecotourism Melanesia will not be bringing any more Kokoda trekking groups via Popondetta / Buna / Gona until the problem with Kumusi River crossing is resolved.

This is because landowners are charging hugely-inflated prices up to K500 for a group of tourists just to cross the Kumusi River.

The high prices are affecting the entire tourism industry in the area.

Ecotourism Melanesia director Aaron Hayes said while his trekkers were happy to cross the river on rubber tubes, the company could not sustain the high cost being charged by landowners for crossing the river.

“We are happy to pay the local boys a reasonable fee to assist our clients with crossing the river, eg K20 per person, and additional payment for rafting our gear across, but we cannot afford the high fees being charged by the landowners on top which is up to K500 per group,” he said.

“When the bridge was in operation, the landowners didn't charge people for crossing the bridge, so now that the bridge is gone and people are swimming across, we don't understand why the landowners are suddenly charging people to cross the same river by different means of transportation.

“What about people who fly across the river by plane or chopper, are the landowners also charging them for crossing?”

Mr Hayes said his company’s  prices for trekking packages were set 18 months ago,  based on anticipated costs,  and allowing only a modest profit margin because the Kokoda trekking industry was now very competitive and it had to keep our prices as low as possible.

“Extra unexpected costs like these river crossing fees charged by landowners are not budgeted for in our trekking package, and we can't put our prices up halfway through the season, or ask our clients to pay more after they have already pre-paid for their trekking package many months ago,” he said.

“Therefore, our only option is to either pay these unreasonable fees out of our profit margin - which then makes the trek package uneconomical to operate via Popondetta - or re-route all our groups direct to Kokoda and skip Popondetta. 

“If they can make the river crossing costs reasonable, then we can still keep operating via Kumusi and pay them something, but if they maintain these high fees we must stop operating via Popondetta and the Kumusi people will get nothing at all from us.”


New online Pacific media service launched

AUCKLAND (AUT University/Pacific Media Watch): A new online Pacific media service, Pacific Scoop ( was launched today at AUT University’s Maori Expo by Scoop co-editor Selwyn Manning in a live video panel with Maori and Pacific communications students.

 A partnership between Scoop Media and AUT’s Pacific Media Centre, Pacific Scoop is hosted on the existing Scoop website (

 The new site provides up-to-date news stories about Maori, Pasifika and ethnic diversity issues written by student journalists with support from experienced editors, reporters and commentators.

 Contributors will include students from AUT’s School of Communication Studies, the Divine Word University (Papua New Guinea), the National University of Samoa and the University of the South Pacific.

 Manning said today: "The Pacific Scoop hub provides AUT's journalism students and staff a place to foot it with other practising journalists and respected commentators around the region. I'm looking forward to seeing this project grow in popularity and focus on major Pacific issues.”

 Dr David Robie, director of AUT University’s Pacific Media Centre, is the chief editor of Pacific Scoop.

 He says the service introduces a fresh and independent voice of the greater Pacific.

 “We are keen to tell the hidden stories and address important Pacific issues like climate change, human rights and resource development,” says Dr Robie. “Pacific Scoop allows us to highlight important Pacific issues, while also showcasing student journalism.

 “The site will provide a great resource for journalists and members of the public who are interested in detailed and up-to-date information about what is happening in the Pacific.”

 Pacific issues have had prominence on the Scoop website since it was launched in 1999.

 But Alastair Thompson, Scoop’s co-editor and co-founder, says the launch of Pacific Scoop will enhance the website’s Pacific coverage.

  “This partnership will greatly increase our capacity to deliver news and commentary from the Pacific at a time when reporting resources in the Pacific are under great strain,” says Thompson.


·        Contact:
Assoc Prof David Robie, AUT University
Editor, Pacific Scoop  , 021 112 2079


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ABAC urges dialogue on regulatory capital changes, fiscal reforms

Issued by the APEC Business Advisory Council


Meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam on August 24-28, the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) urged the G-20 Finance Ministers to delay changes in regulatory capital requirements until global economic recovery is assured. This is important to avoid restricting lending at a time when it is most needed to fuel economic activity.

In a letter urging APEC Finance Ministers to communicate its views to the G-20, ABAC recommended that such changes be undertaken in dialogue with the private sector. In addition, they should form part of a comprehensive financial reform package that addresses risk management and corporate governance practices, among others.

ABAC also urged governments to carefully implement and coordinate exit strategies from emergency fiscal and monetary measures taken in response to the crisis, in view of their huge scale and impact on the real economy and financial markets.

The Council reiterated its firm and continued support for the work of the G-20 on financial reforms. ABAC expressed its satisfaction with current efforts to promote activity-based regulation and central clearinghouses for credit default swaps, which it proposed in its previous report.

ABAC members will discuss these and other recommendations during their dialogue with finance ministers and leaders of APEC’s 21 member economies this coming November in Singapore.


About ABAC

ABAC was established by the APEC Economic Leaders in November 1995 in response to a call for a private sector body that could advise them on matters of primary importance to business in the region. It brings together up to three business leaders from each of APEC’s 21 economies.


For more information, please contact:

Mr. Martin Yuoon, ABAC Executive Director 2009 at (65) 6827-6886 or at

Mr. Antonio Basilio, ABAC Secretariat at (632) 845-4564 or at

Mr. Naoki Sawaoka, ABAC’s FEWG Lead Staffer 2009 at (813)3240-7264 or at


Business Leaders push for Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific

Issued by the APEC Business Advisory Council


Key business leaders of the Asia Pacific region have agreed that it is now time for APEC to take more decisive actions towards establishing a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) in view of the financial crisis and the stalled Doha Round negotiations. The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) met in Da Nang to finalize their recommendations to APEC Leaders prior to their dialogue in the November APEC Economic Leaders Meeting.

ABAC members expressed caution about signs of the economic recovery and urged Leaders to take steps to ensure that this is sustained. They believe that this can be done if economies resist protectionism, promote global demand rather than just domestic and that they take the opportunity to undertake economic reforms. And that setting a firm timeframe for bringing a FTAAP into reality would send a very strong signal about APEC’s commitment to accelerating the integration of their economies.

“We believe that APEC is in a position to be the champion of free and open trade. Our vision of a FTAAP would not just cover trade but encompass services, investments and behind-the-border issues of concern to business. We see it as an instrument for bringing about inclusive growth where no one is left behind.” said Mr. Teng Theng Dar, the ABAC Chair of 2009.

ABAC also sees the successful conclusion of the Doha Round no later than 2010 as not only providing a major stimulus to global trade and investments but also to deal effectively with persisting protectionism.

Recognizing the upcoming negotiations in Copenhagen in December for an agreement on climate change, ABAC called on the Leaders to empower their negotiators to conclude a meeting with an agreement that provides business with a predictable and stable environment in which they operate. The business leaders are also developing their recommendations on key issues of critical interest to Leaders including climate change, energy, food security and the impact of demographic trends on the availability of labor.

In a separate communications to APEC Finance Ministers, ABAC urged more dialogue on regulatory changes regarding capital requirements and financial reforms.


About ABAC

ABAC brings together up to three business leaders appointed by each of their Leaders of the APEC’s 21 economies. They provide APEC Leaders with information regarding the priorities and concerns of the business sector in the region.


For more information, please contact:

Mr. Martin Yuoon, ABAC Executive Director 2009, Tel: (65) 6827-6886, Email:

Mr. Antonio Basilio, ABAC Secretariat, Tel: (63 2) 845-4564, Email:

Ms. Tran Bao Ngoc, APEC Secretariat, Tel: (65) 6891 9616, Email:


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Land, resources and regulation in Papua New Guinea

By James Wanjik



LAND is very important to people of Papua New Guinea. It is a way of life. No manner of legal gymnastic can change this way of life. Land is Western people’s most prized resource. Thus they do land-banking in Papua New Guinea with licences. Now they are very exposed. No licence processed by the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) is legally valid. I warned the government but miners were very influential. MRA was set up in breach of law. Today my warning is proven true.

No Waigani legal eagle lived life of truth. More questions were raised without legal advice. Keeping MRA guessing I started publishing truths. No lawyer provided response on my views. Today MRA is under siege. It has no way out.

Resource ownership is not a politically powerful issue. It will push MRA mad. This madness we have seen in the media propaganda of late. It pulled wool over the eyes of Waigani that it should be consulted by Members of Parliament on resource ownership. It is a politically suicidal mission. MRA will pay for its arrogance.

Landowners are redirected to MRA. They must take on MRA to be free. Saddling landowners with resource ownership issue MRA thought it would hide. Not so. Plot and plotters are exposed. MRA, its offshoot the new Department of Mineral Policy and Geological Hazards (DMPGH) and the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum are the plotters.

PNG would have been totally powerless had I not warned the government. MRA’s plot was to destroy PNG’s national unity. It would have started with Bougainville. I made MRA to seek Autonomous Bougainville Government’s (ABG’s) consent in a 15-step Alotau Pact in March 2008. It was a political pact.

Legally MRA was already on Bougainville under the MRA Act 2005. It was there in breach of National Constitution. Under section 288 and 290 of the National Constitution the ABG was responsible for mining matters on Bougainville. MRA regretted taking me on just because I had warned Bougainville leaders.

More and more people and leaders are slowly and surely seeing MRA for what it is. It is a counterfeit. It only works for money. Money in illegal tax in illegal production levy. Parliament had been made to look totally powerless. Under section 209 of the National Constitution all government agencies and statutory authorities are required to get prior parliamentary approval of their budgets for a fiscal year. And this includes any revenue measure that might be taken or imposed in a fiscal year. The MRA has been illegally collecting illegal tax in illegal production levy indirectly in 2006 and directly in 2007, 2008 and now 2009. No leader has paid attention to this MRA rot.

The Somare – Temu government lost the plot when they took me on. They did not want truth known. They thought by removing me as Secretary for Mining would be enough to send me powerless. They were mistaken. Position, pay and privileges I lost or were denied me. My voice of conscience they could not silence. Today my voice is more true than their collective lies and deceits.

Landowners would have paid dearly if I was not the Secretary for Mining in 2006 though only for 9 months. The World Bank had in 2005 prepared host of amendments to the Mining Act 1992. Among other amendments the landowners would have paid with no review of exploration licence and licensees would have kept land away from landowners under retention licence. Also the Warden would have assessed compensation. Very disempowering proposals indeed. These proposals are still in the works. The World Bank is back in PNG. This time MRA is the keeper of World Bank money.

The new DMPGH has shown very recently that it has no mandate and cloud to lead review of the Mining Act 1992. Setting up a committee is a cover for weakness.

The truth is the new DMPGH has no legislative basis. The MRA Act 2005 is silent on its roles and functions. No contrary legal advice has been published by the DMPGH to date. It also pulls up some reasons for Waigani’s plot. They did not want me to lawyer MRA out of PNG. Only lawyer who would not do that was Nellie James. She was rewarded with Secretary for new DMPGH. Instead of “appointing” her the government saw it fitting to legally kind of pay paltry sum of “confirmation”. It was odd because Nellie James was not appointed to act in the position of Secretary for DMPGH. No such position was on offer when I was removed as Secretary for Mining.

Landowners will open up can of worms when they take on MRA. MRA will collect DMPGH and PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum to the showdown where landowners will win. Land is our way of life. Resources in or on land are for all people of our land. We must protect our way of life. MRA must go. Long live PNG.

Vying to be Hiri Queen

THREE contestants from Elavala village during the mini festival held in the village last weekend to choose their representative for this year’s Hiri Moale Festival next month.
From left are winner Henao Hale (Miss Elavala) with two other competitors from Elavala, Koani Mea and Igue Pipi.-Picture by AURI EVA of The National

Lie clocks of Papua New Guinea

A famous politician in Papua New Guinea died and went to heaven.
As he stood in front of St Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him.
He asked, "What are all those clocks?"
St Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move."
"Oh," said the politician, "whose clock is that?" "That's Mother Teresa's.
The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie."
"Incredible," said the politician.
"And whose clock is that one?"
St Peter responded, "That's Port Moresby Archbishop's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that the bishop told only two lies in his entire life."
"Where's Somare's clock?" asked the politician.
"Somare's clock is in Jesus' office. He's using it as a ceiling fan."

Pacific Adventist University celebrates its 25th anniversary (please click to enlarge)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Hula

Happy birthday to my beloved wife and Mum, Hula Debe Nalu, who would have turned 33 today, but left us so alone and tragically on Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008.
Memories of the time we have spent together will be cherished forever.
With never-ending love from Malum and our four young children Malum Jr, Gedi, Moasing and Gedi.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush,I am the swift, uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Visit a real Papua New Guinea settlement

The Eight-Mile Settlement outside Port Moresby is setting the pace for other settlements in Papua New Guinea by having its own photographic exhibition and establishing its own website which features heartwarming poems and stories written by its residents.
The exhibition with a difference, titled ‘Life in 8-Mile is Hard’ opened at the University of PNG last Saturday night (Aug 22) and will next year be featured at the Monash Gallery of Art in Melbourne, Australia.
A difference in that it featured photographs by settlement youth who were taught and inspired by Australian professional photographer Sean Davey.
In what is believed to be a first for a settlement community in Papua New Guinea, Davey has also set up a website entirely devoted to the Eight-Mile Settlement, which showcases their photographs, writings and lifestyle.

Debate on major issues not trivial matters: Aihi

Kairuku-Hiri MP Paru Aihi wants debates on issues of Papua New Guinea’s national importance to be intelligent and informative to help policy planners and law makers to reach final decisions for the good and well being of the majority citizens.

Mr Aihi said he has noted with much interest that in recent times there had been much public debate on many pressing issues and concerns affecting PNG and its citizens.

“Since the abrupt adjournment of Parliament on July 29 2009, I’ve followed with keen interest the debate particularly on whether the current Somare-Temu Government should remain in office or be removed,” he said.

“Leaders and people of all walks of life have voiced their concerns about this issue.

“My concerns are that leaders, particularly members of Parliament, should focus and concentrate their debates on major issues and things that matter.

“We should not waste our time, talents and treasure on petty and trivial matters of personal nature, like political and business cronies jumping quickly to defending their mentors when criticised for non-performance or lack of it.

“Instead, we should be debating on more-pressing issues such as endemic corruption that is ravaging PNG, breakdown and open defiance of the rule of law, misuse of public funds, deteriorating state of basic services PNG-wide and the poor delivery of vital government services.

“These are real and critical issues affecting our people.

“We need to be focused and discuss intelligently how best we can contribute to finding the best solutions to our problems.

“Our decision must be based on well-informed advice in our endeavours to resolving issues and problems that confront us.”

Mr Aihi also urged the leaders and the general public to refrain from making personal attacks on leaders and spreading false rumours because such would not do anyone any good.

Papua New Guinea must be wary of miners' lies

By James Wanjik

THE MINERS are here for money to be made from resources of Papua New Guinea. They are not here on charitable mission. Where there is money there will be mines. Seeing is believing. No amount of lies and deceits of PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum will change that.

The PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum should keep out of landowner issues. No lies and deceits of Greg Anderson will be believed. Real landowners will tell Greg Anderson to explain who actually benefits from exploration. None other than mining companies. They benefit by selling geological information on PNG resources.

Look at Frieda example. It is over 40 years and the area is still under exploration. The landowners are the same though some of their forebears would have parted for life after.

On the Chamber’s website they boast of over 200 tenements. Majority of these are exploration licences and many are still awaiting consideration.

Mining tenements are not many. They number as the number of mines we have. These are mines which load people including landowners with problems money cannot buy or recompense. Nothing is more exemplary as the Ok Tedi mine’s environmental pollution of Ok Tedi and Fly Rivers System.

Now PNG is taken for a ride yet again by the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum. They do not want landowners stopping exploration companies making money on PNG resources. Here is vested interest hidden in lot of words.

When exploration leads to production then Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) will collect production levy from mining companies. MRA is unconstitutional. It is operating illegally. It was set up by outsiders including Greg Anderson. The MRA has no legal standing to process mineral tenements and to enforce them. This is another vested interest of Greg Anderson. Landowners must rock MRA to rock PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.

The warning has been out. Landowners will push MRA out of PNG. Then mines will be lawless. There is no mandated regulator of mines. MRA is a counterfeit. It is the issue for the take.

Landowners have two options. Raise resource ownership and be stuck with MRA or remove MRA for landowners to move miners out of their land.

Politics of resource ownership and regulation will kill the mining industry. When it does PNG will suffer. MRA is the rot which must be removed now.