PNG Gossip Newsletter - 6 June 2004

Submitted by Editor on Tue, 08/06/2004 - 18:18

**** Papua New Guinea Gossip Newsletter ****

Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip Newsletter -- 6th June 2004.

PNG Gossip Newsletter - 6 Jun 2004
From: PNG.Gossip at
Date: Sunday, June 6, 2004


B** Privacy **/B

If you have subscribed to this newsletter then you can rest assured that your email address will not be sold or passed onto others.


B** Articles for this newsletter **/B

If you have a web site or web page dealing with Papua New Guinea (PNG) and would like to have it mentioned here then please send an email to -- PNGNews at If you are looking for web sites about PNG then you can try a search at -- This link allows you to add your own PNG related site, and also lets you search for keywords of other sites about PNG. The PNG Business Directory, located at -- -- is an excellent site and it has forums, exchange rates - in fact it has so much information the only way anyone can get a full understanding of what is available is to visit the site. I highly recommend this site.

For readers who are not familiar with the geography of PNG I suggest going to this page for a quick start to a link to a map of Port Moresby -- -- and then continue on by taking a look at -- -- and clicking on the "find a map option".

To send messages for the PNG Gossip Newsletter please send to -- PNGNews-queue at

This newsletter is sent via e-mail at no charge. I expect to be able to write one new issue fortnightly, however, life sometimes interferes, and the need to earn a living may create a delay.


B** Disclaimer **/B

Do not rely on the information in the PNG Gossip Newsletter. Apart from the fact that it is a gossip newsletter it is possible that the information could be out of date or inaccurate especially if you are reading this after the date that appears at the top of the newsletter.


B** Tok Pisin **/B

bilas = finery / jewellery / decoration
bilasim = decorate
bun = bone
bun i bruk = fracture / broken bone
bun nating = thin de bilong malolo = day off
de bilong wok = workday
de = day
dukduk = ritual costume representing a spirit
gras, gras
bilong het, hair gras, grass hariap = quick
hariap = hurry, hurry up
haus = building / house


B*** Links ***/B
------------- -- English - Tok Pisin - English online dictionary

Bilas is the PNG word for traditional dress that is often made from such materials as Tapa Cloth. Find out more about Tapa Cloth at --

The Effects of Economic Growth on Gender Roles in Papua New Guinea and the Tolai People ---

Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce -- PNG Institute of Directors -- Rotary Club of Boroko -- Friends of Disabled Association --


B** Coconuts and Tearooms **/B

If anyone is interested in Rabaul then I recommend an excellent book by Pat Boys that covers some of the history of coconuts, tearooms and Rabaul. The book covers the eruption of the volcanoes around Rabaul in 1937 and the preface covers the reason why Pat's book is of extreme historical value. In 1942 the Japanese invaded Rabaul and destroyed irreplaceable records. I recommend that you somehow get to a library and grab a copy of the book titled Coconuts and Tearooms by Pat Boys. National Library of New Zealand ISBN 0-473-01724-5/p

It is copyrighted in 1993 but covers a six-year period in the 1930's. The book started out as ten foolscap, single-spaced pages that Pat's mother had written about her experiences in PNG. With this meagre beginning and a keen interest to preserve a little bit of the history of the Rabaul area and helped by over 200 photographs taken by her father Pat has been able to produce a wonderful 140 plus page book. The only complaint I could find about the book was that I wish the photos were in colour! Now if I could only buy a plantation for the price mentioned in Pat's book but using the money I earn today without subtracting anything for inflation!


B** Common Sense Tips **/B

Here are some common sense tips for people visiting or living in PNG put out by the New Zealand Government. New Zealand has recently upgraded its travel advisory for PNG from "some risk" to "high risk".

- Exercise a high degree of caution at all times especially in public places and areas frequented by foreigners.

- Take security precautions and do not walk alone, especially at night

- Be aware that isolated places such as golf courses, beaches and parks can be dangerous

- Avoid the settlement areas especially in Port Moresby at all times

- Avoid using the local taxi service or buses and rely on the hotel; or a friend for transport

- If you are driving yourself take extreme caution at all times when driving

- If you have an accident in your car do not stop at the scene but drive immediately to the nearest police station.

Most of the above are probably fairly relevant for any visitor to any city in the world although leaving the scene of an accident in some countries would get you into more trouble than you might expect. I don't think you could claim that you came from PNG and it was the done thing!


B** Governor General **/B

The new Governor General elect is former foreign affairs secretary, Sir Paulias Matane. The saga is not yet over because runner up Sir Pato Kakaraya still has a pending National Court challenge over his previous ousting. In this round of the saga Sir Pato only lost by four votes against Sir Paulias in the final round of the ballot. I think the whole country hopes that the nomination is not rushed off to Buckingham Palace until the whole mess is sorted out.


B** Opposition Leader **/B

The acting Speaker of parliament has refused to recognise Peter O'Neill as the leader of the opposition. The Speaker however recognised Peter Yama as the leader until such time that all members of the opposition get together and sort the mess and formally advise the Speaker of the leadership.


B** Bill Skate **/B

Mr. Skate, who was the acting Governor General because he is the Speaker of parliament, stood down from the Governor General's position so he could resume his position as Speaker only to find out that it was not allowed under the Constitution. The general opinion is that if he is fit to be the Speaker then he is also fit to be the Governor General and must therefore be the acting Governor General. So he has now said that he is on leave from both positions neatly sidestepping the original issue. I wonder what pay packet he will be claiming whilst he is on leave?


B** Illegal Border **/B

West Sepik villagers on the border with Indonesia have erected two huge signboards about 12 kilometres into Indonesian territory. Provincial officials believe the signboards may have been erected with help from a non-government organisation. The signs were earlier confiscated by Provincial Affairs officials but were reported stolen. The signs were discovered by an Indonesian patrol and reported to PNG officials. The PNG villagers believe they traditionally own the land. The villages are able to cross over the border without a passport because the 700-kilometre border is largely unguarded and the villagers have border passes.


B** Moresby Shootings **/B

Following on from police warnings that they will shoot to kill in Port Moresby three suspected criminals have been shot dead near Bautama after firing at policemen manning a roadblock. Six others are reported to be in a critical condition in hospital. The NCD/Central Police Commander has said that criminals are already dead even in the preplanning stages of committing a crime. "Police will only confirm your death sentence when they get to you".


B** Misima Gold Mine **/B

After a long history of gold production spanning 115 years the Misima Gold Mine has closed on Misima Island. Since 1989 the Misima Gold Mine has processed more than a million truckloads of ore and paid over K3.7 million in wages to the PNG workforce. Misima started the same year that the Bougainville Copper mine ceased operations dramatically.


B* Healthy School **/B

Wardstrip Community School in the National Capital has opened a cafeteria for staff and students with a view of combating health problems by providing healthy food. The new cafeteria is aimed at discouraging staff and students from buying items from the many street sellers selling junk food of a questionable standard. The school has also pledged to deal with the chewing of betel nut, smoking, consumption of alcohol and graffiti on the school premises.


B** PNG Politics **/B

No sooner was Moses Maladina ousted, as the Deputy Prime Minister and thrown aside, than was given the position of National Planning Minister. Michael Somare is still attempting to juggle the political numbers in his favour. It is amazing how political alliances can change in a matter of seconds when it comes to PNG politics.


B** Eda Ranu **/B

An insider has said that former Peoples National Congress president Mary Karo has been terminated as Managing Director of Eda Ranu effective as of last week. Meanwhile Billy Imar is still the General Manager of Eda Ranu. The board of Eda Ranu have not met yet to appoint a new MD.

Another person seen as not a supporter of the present government has been replaced at City Hall. Michael Malabag has been replaced by Sir Mekere Moruata as the Chairman of the National Capital District Commission.


B** Port Moresby Hospital **/B

The Port Moresby General Hospital has received a donation of K85,000 from the Malaysian Association of PNG. This is part of the amount raised by the association at the association's charity golf day recently. The remainder of the money was distributed to the Port Moresby City Mission, Sir Buri Kidu Heart Foundation, HOPE PNG, Cheshire homes, Missionary of Charity and Canossa School of Life.


B** East Timor **/B

Two soldiers from the Engineering Battalion of the PNG Defence Force are on their way to East Timor to help with the peacekeeping duties there. The two soldiers were farewelled by the commanding officer of Igam Barracks and other unit members in Lae. The soldiers will undertake a three-week pre-deployment course in Darwin before leaving for East Timor.


B** Tourist Rip-off **/B

The Tourism Promotion Authority has blacklisted a tourist operator who has been reported as ripping off two elderly tourists from USA. The two tourists who were to have travelled along the Sepik River and visited the Southern Highlands Province for a moth found the operator did not pay for their trip along the Sepik. The two ladies were fortunate in being able to tell the PNG Prime Minister about their troubles as he was a passenger on the same plane back from the Sepik to Port Moresby.


B** SP Sports Awards **/B

Ryan Pini and Dika Toua have won the main prizes in the PNG SP Sports awards. Ryan Pini represents PNG in swimming and he took out the Sportsman of the year award and Dika, who represents her country in weightlifting, took out sportswomen of the year award. This makes the second year in a row the pair have won the major prize at the annual event. -- -- for previous winners.


B** FAQ's Sports **/B

One of the questions I get asked from time to time is - "What sports are played in PNG?"

The answer is many and varied. Some sports have been played for ever it seems and other sports come and go. The more common sports played are -

Football -- soccer, rugby union, rugby league, touch rugby and Aussie Rules. Other ball sports are cricket, hockey, tennis, squash, softball, lawn bowls, golf, netball and basketball. Indoor cricket and indoor hockey have been played on occasions.

Shooting has been heavily sidelined due to restrictions on the supply of ammunition and equipment but archery has taken a step forward and is gaining in popularity.

Once rallying and speedway were at the front in motor sports but rallying seems to have died a slow agonising death due to security issues and speedway meets occasionally. Go Karts once the domain of Moitaka speedway track was resurrected not so long ago at the PNG Defence Force Air Squadron hanger but can now be found roaring around the Gordon's industrial estate in Port Moresby. Triathlon had a following for a while but the bikes have disappeared off the streets. (See Iron Man article below)

Swimming is ever active with PNG weather making this an ideal way to exercise and cool off at the same time.

People can still be found playing polo, darts, snooker, and eight ball.

Weightlifting has had some interest shown in it after Dika Toua's golden efforts in recent times. Boxing and martial arts, especially kickboxing also has a following in PNG. Stanley Nandex will be fighting at the "showdown at the Crowne event later this month.

Windsurfing was once popular and many sails could be seen off Ela Beach but I think the sport has died completely. Surfing occasionally has an interest with people coming from overseas to surf on the north coast of the mainland. Canoe racing and yachting holds particular interest in Port Moresby. Although the World Sea Kayaking titles were held in Manus a while ago kayaking dies not seem to have any following in the country.

Road running holds regular meets but nothing can beat the effort by Tau John Tokwepota, the Trobriand Iron man, in the 1980 Port Moresby Marathon. Tau John was ready to set off for the start of the marathon by car when his car would not start so the only thing was to do a 5 kilometre warm up jog to get to the start passing his rivals already running the marathon on his way to the official start. He eventually started five minutes and 18 seconds behind the leaders and at the first lap had worked his way up to eighth place. Halfway through the second lap he eased his way into third place about 400 metres behind the leaders. He eventually passed the early leaders and won the race 68 seconds in front of the second place getter. Unfortunately Tau John was attacked by unknown assailants years later and his running career ended but his 1980 run surely must go down as being some sort of record.

Hash House Harriers meet at various locations around the country usually on a Monday evening straight after work.

My apologies to any sport not mentioned above. Perhaps you could write and let me know the ones I have left out. I have deliberately left out PMV drag racing and taxi dodgem from the list of sports. I am still considering whether pothole, zig-zag racing should be included as a sport for most residents of major towns.


B** MV Tara Spirit **/B

The MV Tara Spirit is sailing again after undergoing a major refit after sinking in Port Moresby Harbour recently. The majority of the refit was to the electronics systems that had been damaged by water.


B** Holiday Inn Robbery **/B

The Holiday Inn (Islander Hotel) has been the victim of a well-planned hold up by criminals. The well-dressed criminals entered the building yesterday (Mon 31 May) as early as 8am and waited patiently in the lobby of the hotel to rob the weekend takings at about 9am. The robbers fired shots at a security guard manning the boom gate at the entrance to the hotel before crashing through the barrier an escaping with an undisclosed amount of money.


B** Smokers **/B

It was reported on World No Tobacco Day that as many as eight out of every ten patients being treated for heart attack at the Port Moresby General Hospital are smokers and most of them are in the age group of between 35 and 45. The Health Minister has said that this is of great concern to because the country would lose most of the people in this age group to smoking related diseases.


B** Iron Man / Triathlon **/B

The town of Wewak is planning to host the Sepik Iron man competition. The iron man competition consists of swimming, running and cycling events. This, the first event to be staged by Wewak, will consist of a relay event rather than one individual doing all the events. Four competitors, one swimmer, two runners and a cyclist, will take part as a team. It is hoped that this will build interest for a proper triathlon in 2005. So far 11 teams have indicated that they will take part in the event to be held over the coming Queen's birthday weekend.


B** PNGDF **/B

The PNG Defence Force has received a donation of non-combatant military equipment from the Indonesian government. the supplies consisted of 2000 sets of uniforms including boots, caps, belts, and webbing as well as 4.8 tonnes of food rations delivered by an Indonesian Defence Air force plane from Jakarta.


B** Jeepneys **/B

The much talked about Jeepneys should have arrived from the Philippines and be unloaded from the ship at Port Moresby Wharf by the time you red this article. (6 June). The PNG Jeepneys being taller and wider have been modified from the usual Filipino design. The Jeepneys will be able to carry 26 - 30 passengers and will powered by a reconditioned Isuzu engine. The four prototype vehicles will be tested to see if they comply with the government standards for mass transport. i.e. do they have an engine and at least 4 wheels? Once initial approval is given it is planned that the two vehicles will be shipped to Lae and tested in along the Highlands highway and to Madang to give operators and commuters an idea of the vehicles capabilities. The other two will be on trial around Moresby and Central Province.


B** Coming Events **/B

The Mila Mala Trobriand Cultural Festival will be held from the 6th to the 9th of July. Contact Serah Clark on +675 641 0800 or email to -- konki at


B** Basic Health Services **/B

It has been reported that basic health services are not reaching most of the rural areas. Bad roads and a rapidly decaying law and order situation are preventing even the most basic of services reaching the people. Many Rural Aid posts are closed leaving many rural health workers with out a job. This has led to an increase in the death rate from diseases that should be considered curable.


B** Shipping **/B

Twelve of the ports used for international shipping in PNG have been declared as being compliant with international security measures for shipping ports. Any country with ports that are not compliant by the 1st of July would not be allowed to receive or send cargo around the world. The review, funded by the PNG - Australia aid program, makes PNG one of the first countries in the Pacific region to be compliant.


B** Air Fare Increase **/B

Due to rising fuel prices Air Niugini has joined other airlines and advertised an increase in airfares for passengers. The company mindful of the already high cost of air travel in PNG has said that the increase will only apply to international passengers. Air Niugini has claimed that the increase has added another K1.6 million every month to the fuel bill. It has also said that if the price of fuel goes down below the figure they budgeted for fuel for 2004 then they will also remove the fuel surcharge. Each passenger will now pay an extra US$10.50 per sector flown.


B** Oil Search Limited **/B

Shareholders have approved the issue of 550,000 performance rights to the Managing Director of Oil Search. MD, Peter Bottten, has also taken part in the Sydney, Australia, segment of the Olympic Torch Relay to Athens. The company made an after tax profit of US$89.6 million in 2003. This was 62% higher than the record set in 2002.


B** PNG Media Related Sites **/B

Post Courier Newspaper -- The National Online Newspaper --

Tree House Productions --

PNG Business Directory -- PNG Tok Pisin -- Chin H Meen -- or Chin H Meen -- EM TV (Television) -- Hitron (Cable TV) -- Religious Television Association --

** .oOo. **/B

In Tok Pisin / Neo Melanesian - em tasol or in English That's All

For other ways of saying "that's all" please pay a visit to --

--- Gia Man



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