Category Archives: Governance

It is Time to Move: PM

BY : The National


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has cautioned the ringleaders of a demonstration at the former Manus regional processing centre and said it is time to move to the new accommodation.

“The Manus centre was established for the sole reason of processing asylum claims, now all claims have been processed and the centre has closed,” O’Neill said.

“The centre will not be reopened and it will be returned to its former function as a Defence Force facility. Given the Supreme Court’s decision, the Government has no choice but to intervene for the wellbeing of both the refugees and non-refugees.

“Those involved in disruption have been identified and appropriate means will be used to apprehend individuals who are causing unnecessary anxiety and violence.

“Their actions are now heading towards a law-and-order situation, as well as a hygiene and sanitation problem, and it will be dealt with as such, whether they are genuine refugees or not.

“There are 610 men on Manus who have been found to be refugees and arrangements are being made to settle them in third countries. There are also 210 men who have been found to not be legitimate refugees.

“Now that the processing of asylum claims have been completed, the relocation exercise is taking place where there is a separation of genuine and non-genuine refugees.

“The locations to where they are being moved have much better facilities than the closed centre, with services and utilities provided for much more comfort and healthier living.

“Our government and the people of Manus are asking all refugees and non-refugees to behave in a peaceful and orderly manner.”

Tasked to Focus on Restoring Public Administration Structure

Press Release


** Acting Provincial Administrator Appointed in Southern Highlands – Tasked to Focus on Restoring Public Administration Structure **

The National Executive Council has appointed Thomas Eluh as Acting Provincial Administrator for Southern Highlands Province.

In making the announcement, the Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, said strong and capable leadership is required to overcome a number of challenges that have emerged in the region.

A distinguished officer of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, Mr Eluh, has been tasked to engage with community leaders to restructure the public service system and restore public confidence in provincial administration.

“As an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Eluh has demonstrated sound judgement and effective leadership,” the Prime Minister said.

“He has wide experience in the public sector, particularly in the Highlands.

“During the course of the recent elections, the Southern Highlands Province experienced a more peaceful polling period than has been seen in many years.

“However, this has since been undermined and this is not acceptable.

“Effective governance must be restored so that people in the province can continue to grow their businesses, and go about their everyday lives without inconvenience.

“The ongoing growth and development of Southern Highlands Province is more important than the ambition of a selfish few individuals.”

PM O’Neill said as Acting Provincial Administrator, Joseph Eluh will work closely with Provincial Police Commander, Joseph Tondop, to improve public order.

“I call on all community leaders in the Southern Highlands to work with Mr Eluh and PPC Tondop to strengthen public administration in the province.

“We all have to work together if we are to see the Southern Highlands Province reach its true potential.

“There is enormous opportunity for small business, particularly in agriculture, in the Southern Highlands.

“The natural attractions of the region are also very inviting for tourists to visit the province.

“With effective leadership we will see these opportunities continue to increase, and with this appointment, we are taking a very big step in the right direction.”

Mr Eluh’s appointment is for a period of three months, during which time he will restore governance structure and systems, ahead of the full-time appointment of a permanent Provincial Administrator.

Clearing a Pathway for Tourism in PNG

By : Post Courier


Understanding the potential market size of niche markets gives a clear pathway to planning how the tourism industry needs to develop its services, infrastructure, itineraries and marketing campaigns to attract new tourists says Jerry Agus, CEO of Tourism Promotion Authority.

“PNG offers a host of products and attractions that can meet the needs of these high-spending niche market travelers,” he added.

With international arrivals in PNG growing by an average of 13% since 2002, the International Visitor Survey shows that tourists have contributed $105 million to the economy in the first half of 2017. Given the numbers, targeting a niche market can prove to be timely for PNG’s tourism sector.

This is according to a report set to be launched in November. The data will be used to help PNG develop its tourism industry.

IFC’s tourism project in Papua New Guinea is focused on supporting the development of tourism businesses, improving tourism-related conditions, and helping to attract investment in the tourism sector.

Hope For Culture To Thrive as Artefact Returns To House

By REBECCA KUKU ( The National )


Restoring cultural decorations of the National Parliament will ensure that the younger generation will not forget their roots, says Grand Chief Sir Micheal Somare.

Sir Michael said the decorations signified the diverse culture of the people of Papua New Guinea and showed their unity in the Parliament House.

He said people must understand the value of the artefacts and know that not only were they a source of decoration but a form of our cultural heritage.

“As we transit into the modern world, the decorations in Parliament will be a reminder of who we were.

“Future generations will see it and ask why the decorations were there and the story will be retold of people with diverse cultures who united to become one country, Papua New Guinea.”

Somare said with over 800 languages and different cultures in the country, it was important that we preserve our history.

“In the 80s when we wanted to build the National Parliament, we wanted it to be a monumental statement that captured the diversity of our cultural heritage,” he said.

“When the constitution was written, people from all over the country were consulted.

“We decorated the Parliament House with cultural decorations from across the nation to show the world who we were, that despite the many different cultures we had united to become one country,” he said.

Sir Michael said that the decorations were a form of identification for the people.

“I am happy that the decorations will be restored but I am also sad because the fact remains that some of those craftsman who designed and created those decorations are no longer with us,” he said.

“And those artefacts that were damaged may not be restored to their original phase.”

Freeze on Public Servants Recruitment: Kapavore


THERE will be a freeze in the recruitment of public servants given the global downturn of commodity prices, says Public Service Minister Elias Kapavore.

But there will be recruitment only for professional and technical staff in the priority sectors of health services, teaching services, disciplined services and revenue-generating agencies.

Kapavore in a statement with Secretary John Kali said a circular would be sent out regarding the restriction on recruitment.

They will be strictly monitoring the attendance of public servants to ensure they perform professionally to deserve their pay.

“We wish to state that the people deserve value for money and that public servants are contracted to give a full day’s work for a full day’s pay,” the statement said.

“Therefore, the Government will soon be installing payroll-linked electronic time-keeping and attendance systems across the country. This will improve productivity and service delivery. In order to make this work for all our public servants, the Alesco Payroll System is being upgraded and progressively rolled out to the districts.

“This will enable the Government to provide payroll services in the districts and at the same time apply greater audit and control over provincial payrolls.”

Southern Governors Unite for Growth

By LUKE KAMA The National

GOVERNORS from the Southern region have agreed to work together and forge new partnerships to grow provincial economies and improve basic services to their people and the region.

Five governors from the region – Gulf’s Chris Haiveta, Northern’s Gary Juffa, Central’s Robert Agarobe, Western’s Toboi Awi Yoto, and acting Milne Bay Governor Tom Cameron and chairman of Motu-Koitabu Assembly Opao Udia met in Milne Bay this week and discussed issues and challenges affecting their provinces and the region.

Chairman of the Southern Regional Governors Conference and Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta told a media conference in Port Moresby yesterday that they were pleased to have such a meeting for the first and had fruitful discussions relating to growing provincial economies and improvement of services to the people.

“Our specific areas of concerns included provincial involvement in licensing and registration powers, public service management and provincial and local level government boundaries.

“We desire to have greater involvement in the process of licensing and registration of companies and activities which includes review of Tax Credit Schemes, Goods and Service Tax, dividends and other tax powers, including gaming and booking taxes,” Haiveta said.

He said the governors wanted to improve compliance by extending Tax Identification Numbers to other major transactions such as licensing.

“We all have agreed to increase provincial revenues because they are key to enhance delivery of basic services.

“We don’t want to depend on the national government because lack of internal revenue is the main reason why many of our people are unable to have good access to basic services because the provincial government needs money to do so,” Haiveta said.

Agarobe expressed satisfaction and reiterated that the Southern governors conference was “a very fruitful discussion” which the governor could collectively work on together to address shortfall in provincial revenues and enhance service delivery and developments.

Carving Restoration Daunting, says Pomat

BY FRANKLIN KOLMA ( Post Courier )


Pre-independence artifacts destroyed in 2013 by the previous speaker of Parliament Theo Zurenuoc, will now be replaced says the new speaker.

Speaker Job Pomat said on Wednesday when starting the restoration of the iconic carvings that the effort was long overdue which his predecessor was ordered on May 30, 2013 by Justice David Cannings to restore them within six months.

“This of course has not happened and that is why after finding out last week, parliament will now ensure the carvings are restored,” said the Speaker.

Mr Pomat said he would abide by the court order which dictates that parliament is responsible for the repair or replacement of the adornments.

The speaker’s office confirmed yesterday that most of the artifacts seized during the 2013 removal operation were irreversibly damaged and that the hard task now would be to ensure that replacement carvings or the repair of the former entities, are reinstated in such a way that is reflective of the ornaments’ former glory.

Back in 2013, former speaker Mr Zurenuoc shocked the nation when he ordered the carvings pulled down and destroyed as part of his campaign to restore, reform and modernise parliament.

During Mr Zurenuoc’s controversial purge, he said that the carvings had an occult link to the bad state of affairs of the country and that their removal was pivotal to positive change. The totem pole that stood in the main chamber of parliament and a 19 carved face lintel above the main door into parliament were removed pending destruction.

Objections from the public saw Prime Minister Peter O’Neill intervene to halt the destructive process, but not before the masks were destroyed and totem cut up into small blocks rendering them unusable.

As it is, Mr Pomat has hinted that it will be a substantially costly endeavor to either repair or replace the artifacts but that it is an exercise that parliament will carry out with haste.

It was reported yesterday that Parliament Counsel Richard Whitchurch said that the restoration project will not be easy because many of the master carvers who made the pieces have died.

Mr Whitchurch said that the search is now on for master carvers potentially from East Sepik or Milne Bay to take up the crucial task of restoring the culturally symbolic carvings.

Mr Pomat while assuring the public of his prominent stand to restore the artifacts, did not mention just how much of the taxpayers money would go into the parliamentary exercise adding that this was a question that parliament would consider and reveal at a later date.

On another note, the speaker said he is still examining Mr Zurenuoc’s plan to install what he called a “Pillar of Unity” in the Grand Hall which would arch over the chamber with the words ‘Word of God’ inscribed at its pinnacle.

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