Category Archives: Landowners

Swift Processing Time, Make Banks Compete

Source: PC Online

BY MATTHEW VARI

Chief executive officer of ANZ PNG, Mark Baker has told the Lands Department that it has the ability to create competition among banks in the housing market.

Mr Baker said this during a meeting between major banks and the Land Department in Port Moresby this week.

He said with effective processing times, prices come down on interest rates that aspiring home owners can benefit greatly from.

“If you can get this department to be the best government department, and we can rely on reliable transfer of land title then the banks then start competing with each other,” Mr Baker said.

“Right now because it is static and takes a long time, there is no pressure on us.”

“There are thousands of Papua New Guineans who want to own a home and you have this emerging middle class who want home ownership and they then demand reliable powers and utilities the things we all want.”

Mr Baker told the department it has the opportunity to showcase and drive change in the country, through its mandate.

MP Keen to Address Issue of Squatter Settlements

By : The National

 

Urbanisation and Housing Minister John Kaupa wants to address the issue of people squatting on State land in Moresby North-East and Port Moresby.
Kaupa over the weekend had talks with custodians of land at 7-Mile.
He has taken Urbanisation Office to task in negotiation for conversion of customary land into proper suburbs.
The planning, once in fruition, will see thousands of settlers given an opportunity to own a piece of land with a house.
Kaupa, with Urbanisation Office executive-director Max Kep and senior officers from the office, were at a site known as Faraya behind the PNG Defence Force Air Transport Squadron to meet Moiha clan leaders.
This is the second visit by Kaupa to an area which he sees as having the potential to bring in positive spin-off benefits for landowners.
Kaupa said other stakeholders like Department of Lands and Physical planning, National Capital District Commission, Eda Ranu, PNG Power Ltd and Governor Powes Parkop would be informed once formalities with landowners were established.
He said he had lived at 6-Mile Settlement for almost 25 years and knew problems of land and housing.
Kaupa said he also respected the Motu-Koitabu people as traditional landowners.
“The Moiha clan will get maximum benefit in terms of resettlement and development in their area,” he said.
“We will not repeat the mistakes of the Taurama customary land that saw land owners sell their land randomly, without proper consultation with Urbanisation and Lands Department, or service lines such as water and electricity.”

Over 200 Land Complaints Received

BY MATTHEW VARI ( Post Courier )

THE reopened fraud and complaints unit has so far received over 200 complaints from the public regarding lands issues and allegations of corruption levelled against Lands and Physical Planning Department officers.

Lands and Physical Planning Minister Justin Tkatchenko said last Friday that he will receive a full report this week on all the complaints received so far for further deliberation.

Mr Tkatchenko said some complaints that are verbal in nature still need additional information and investigation.

Since its reactivation over a month ago, he said all those wanting to lay their complaints should ensure proper documentations are provided to the unit independent units to attend effectively to their reports.

“We have received over 200-plus complaints against lands department staff, against lands deals, against corruption within the department and processes that have happened, where people have missed out legitimately on their land,” the minister said.

“Some of the complaints need more information, more investigations: they are more verbal than actual documented. This is what I said from day one: if people want to lay complaints with the Lands Department, not happy with the land deals that have come against them, or whatever the situation may be, they must provide all documentation and evidence to prove that they have been hard done by.”

The minister said an outside independent lawyer has been engaged along with state lawyers to ensure an independent body exists. He said the body and process excludes himself as the minister.

“Most of these complaints will go through the auditing system. We want to make it an independent process, so there will be no interferences at all from those complaints that have come into the department.”

“The complaints department was closed as you know, for whatever reason, for four years.”

“So now that we have opened it, I think a lot of people are not happy with that, but that is their problem.

“We are getting on with the job and making sure that we change the perception of the department from a corrupt department to a well-organised department that will ensure it gets on with its job for the benefit of land and our people in Papua New Guinea,” Mr Tkatchenko said.

 

Nasfund Told To Speed Up Land Case

BY NELLIE SETEPANO (Post Courier )

Waigani National Court has granted interim injunction to National Superannuation Fund Ltd to speed up a land dispute proceedings to an early trial.

This matter relates to the super fund’s state lease land portion 2123 at Nine-Mile in Moresby Northeast, which it claims and also Sanamo Group claims the same.

The superfund alleges that its predecessor National Provident Fund board of trustees, was registered proprietor of the State leases over portion 2123 but expired in 1996.

The injunction granted by Colin Makail yesterday is also to stop repetition of various court proceedings over the same matter and for a speedy trial as the court found inconsistencies in the decade old matter.

Yesterday the court heard that the many events took place since the superfund’s state lease over the disputed piece of land expired in 1996 and time was needed to examine and identify the facts pertaining to the dispute and the real issues in contention between parties to resolve the dispute.

This delayed any court decision.

The dispute includes overlapping of boundaries and conflicting land board decisions between the Yawenaik Holdings Ltd, surveyor general, Department of Lands and Physical Planning, NCD’s lands and physical planning board, the registrar of titles and Sanamo Group.

Various decisions subsequently led to the creation of a new portion 3162 consisting of 46.55 hectares.

The new portion registered in the name of Sanamo in August 20, 2013, has since been subdivided into 393 residential high covenant leases.

NCDC gives K1mil for Sirinumu, Iarowari Road

The National

By HELEN TARAWA

THE National Capital District Commission has allocated K1 million for the upgrade and sealing of the final  5km of road from Sirinumu to Iarowari, in Sogeri.

Parkop said that was the plan they had put in place and he has called on stakeholders to do their part to resolve the landowners’ demand.

The landowners forcibly took the keys from officers in charge of the dam on Friday in an attempt to close it. They were complaining about the failure of the authorities to upgrade the road.

Armed with a restraining order from the court on Saturday, PNG Power officials and NCD police went to Sirinumu and took the keys from the landowners.

Parkop said that since Friday he had been working with PNG Power acting chief executive officer Alex Oa, Metropolitan Superintendent Ben Turi, Central police commander Liamo Asi, Central Governor Robert Agarobe, Kairuku-Hiri MP  Peter Isoaimo and president of Koiari local level government Ogi David to resolve the matter.

“We eventually got the landowners to hand over the key to the valve at the dam and hand over the vehicle they illegally seized to PNG Power. I am pleased that the situation has gone back to normal,” Parkop said.

Committee to Address SABL

By : The National

LANDS and Physical Planning Minister Justin Tkatchenko has announced a Customary Land Advisory Committee to deal with Special Agriculture Business Leases (SABL) once and for all.

Tkatchenko said SABL was a long outstanding issue and one that was advertised all around the world.

He said the committee was a National Executive Council decision.

“It is a NEC decision that was handed down under the previous minister and I am now implementing it because I see it as one of the most important things of the department that needs to be rectified immediately,” he said.

“SABL has been a major issue for our people of PNG, especially our customary landowners, and has been causing our people to go to court to protect their rights to their land.”

The committee will hold a weekly meeting to get issues resolved.

The advisory committee will assess all SABLs to ensure the legitimate existing leases are secured, Tkatchenko said.

He said there were 175 SABLs that were recommended by a commission of inquiry and about 400 smaller ones issued to small stakeholders.

“At the end of the day, it’s all those ones that have caused controversy would be assessed to see if they would be cancelled or not,” Tkatchenko said.

“This is the tip of the iceberg. It’s just the start and there are a lot of things that are outstanding on customary land.”

He said the committee would look into the findings of the commission of inquiry and will finalise the findings and assessing them and making sure that they find a solution.

No more SABLs are being issued.

“Those that are illegal will be cancelled and those that are genuine will continue,” the minister said.

“We will review every single one (SABL). We don’t want to scare off investors that are doing the right thing by the landowners.”

PNG Takes Credit for Climate Change Work

By : The National

THE contributions PNG has made in addressing the global issue of climate change are high and cannot be measured, says Environment, Conservation and Climate Change Minister John Pundari.

“We all know that in this age and day, we all are challenged with the impacts of climate change. For us as a nation, and given our own challenges economically, we may not be able to contribute the kind of money contributed by developed and industrialised nations who are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

“But we can contribute in a meaningful way and in a valuable way and in ways that money is unable to measure.

“Money is unable to have a value in our contributions that is by way of our protected environment which the scientific community describe as a carbon reservoir or carbon sink to absorb the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere,” Pundari said.

“We can look at the abundance of our virgin rainforest, our coral reefs and the abundance of flora and fauna that live in it.

“That carbon reservoir and stock as they are called in the scientific world, are the contributions that PNG stands firm to contribute to the global community and that is something money cannot be able to measure,” Pundari said.

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