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40 million kina payload of Maseratis arrives in Moresby

Maserati - handle with care
Uploading the first Maserati - handle with care


PORT MORESBY – Forty white-jacketed Maserati Quattroporte luxury cars estimated to cost a lazy million kina each have been airlifted to Port Moresby for the three-day APEC forum next month.

Air Cargo News reports that AirBridgeCargo (ABC) Airlines operated two Boeing 747-8F charters to ferry the brand new vehicles from Milan in Italy to Papua New Guinea.

“The vehicles are being used for the comfortable and safe transfers of key representatives of the participating countries,” the trade publication said, adding they will “provide high-end chauffeuring services”.

It was also good to learn that “ABC’s dedicated team of highly-skilled and experienced professionals strictly followed all internal procedures to guarantee the secure and seamless transportation of the luxury vehicles”.

20 cars in white protective covers were loaded onto each flight under the careful supervision of ABC personnel to ensure they arrived in perfect condition.

“We are delighted to have been given this latest opportunity to provide another red-carpet service for these luxury sports vehicles,” said Sergey Lazarev, ABC’s general director.

Maserati-loading“With the special procedures and processes we have in place, as well as the availability and expertise of ABC’s loading specialists, both charter flights were operated in full compliance with the customer’s and shipper’s requirements.

“We continue to see growth in demand for our services from the automotive industry as well as from customers across all of the major sectors we support and this puts us on course for another successful year of growth,” Sergey added, interpolating a little advertisement for his company.

It is unknown what use the PNG government will have for 40 near-new Maseratis post-APEC but the million kina vehicles, while not suitable for most of PNG’s challenging roads, will look a treat carrying ministers and senior public servants on the recently rehabilitated boulevards linking Waigani to Ela Beach.


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Andy McNabb

It looks as though the people who purchased these Maseratis are a bunch of cheapskates.

They could have gone for a classier car such as the Rolls Royce Phantom - there is a convertible (Drophead) at $AUD 1,075,000, and an automatic handwaver could have been fabricated (such as Her Majesty has).

APEC needs style and class, not some cheap Italian banger with square wheels.

Arthur Williams

Do they mean 'selling off' as they did - didn't - with that government Falcon now the PM's preferred plane.

Arthur Williams

Thanks for correction Michael re Taskul VW. Dick seemed far more capable than my sad bank clerk efforts.

Believe he was technician with P&T in Kalgoorlie. I know he was most appreciated by folks in Balimo especially missos if they had a problem.

He later went onto logging in Gogodala area and seemed to be dab hand with the sawmilling machinery.

Always assumed it was he who set up the telephone system on Taskul.

Did you fix the VW with the oversized wheels to get traction on that mud?

Peter Salmon

Talk about history repeating itself. Was it back at the time of self-government that 20 grey Mercedes (with red upholstery) were purchased from Kriewaldts for official celebrations and had to be returned to the dealer in response to the adverse response from the hoi polloi?

They were then sold off privately at a greatly reduced price, I remember a Buin trade store owner purchasing one of them.

Philip Fitzpatrick

The purchase of forty very expensive Italian motorcars to be used for a few days during APEC and then sold off seems to be an incredibly stupid and callous act on the part of the Papua New Guinean government.

It makes you wonder what they are trying to prove with such unabashed extravagance.

“Maserati eh! Emi samting nating, olgeta man meri blong PNG save raun long dispel kain kar. Ol tisa, dokta na olgeta raun olosem, pasin blong mipela tasol.”

Perhaps more than anything else, this episode aptly illustrates the irrationality and chaos that characterises Papua New Guinean politics and governance.

Is it any wonder that democracy and the Westminster system of government has failed so miserably in such a place?

When logic and order comes up against the irrational and the chaotic it stands no chance at all.

Not that logic and order don’t have their own problems, especially if they are overdone like we in the west tend to do.

Running a country that is based on irrationality and chaos by trying to impose on it the sort of regimentation that passes for governance in the west doesn’t sound like a very good idea at all.

It’s a pity we didn’t realise this before 1975.

When the vast majority of people in Papua New Guinea get up in the morning they probably have only a vague idea about what they are going to do for the rest of the day.

Go to the garden? Try a bit of fishing? Laze about in the sun? Who knows? Let the day decide. Whatever needs doing will get done, one way or another.

Contrast that to someone in the west. Wake at precisely 6am, wolf down a hasty breakfast, get to the office at 9am, check the diary, work your way steadily through all your predetermined tasks and knock off at 5pm. A quick beer at the pub, watch telly and then into bed so you can do it all again tomorrow.

How can a society that is attuned to the rhythms of the day hope to transform itself into a society that sees everything in black and white and abhors anything that even hints at nuance?

We in the west are obsessed with order. We have to categorise, analyse and name everything and put it into little boxes before we can deal with it.

It’s a system that just won’t work in a society that is based on subsistence living where flexibility means the difference between success and failure.

You just can’t put subsistence societies in special uniforms, assign them a suitable acronym, design a set of forms for them to use and expect them to function.

But we’ll keep trying no doubt. We’ll repeat the same formula over and over again hoping for a different outcome and never learn.

Papua New Guinea doesn’t need a whole squadron of expensive cars to prove anything. It doesn’t need a flash conference centre on an artificial island and it doesn’t need a horde of five star hotels to impress anyone.

Papua New Guinea is Papua New Guinea.

It is a subsistence society in a fabulous setting with a few mod cons, no more and no less.

When everyone learns to accept that fact maybe things will improve.

Will Self

If public money was used to buy the things,the public have a right to know who they have been on-sold to, how that sale was negotiated, when it was negotiated, by whom it was negotiated and how much they are selling for.

Oh, and they are public property too. Before they can be disposed of, a Board of Survey must be convened and they must be offered for tender as obsolete or unwanted state or public property.

Perhaps they could be donated to transport polio-crippled children to an aid post.

Lindsay F Bond

Beggars belief. “The verb 'to beggar' was coined in the 16th century to mean 'make impoverished; exhaust the means of' … to 'be beggared' was to be removed of all that one possessed.”

Thus, the verb, 'beggared', “used by inveterate spinner of nouns into verbs, William Shakespeare” … that is, reduced or impoverished”.

Wrapping Mosbi in Maserati Quattroporte sedans outpaces the likes of Christo Vladimirov Javacheff.

Perhaps not PNG but a governance that is fast approaching an apex?

Harry Topham

Eons back when Nauru was still flush with money, the then Police Commissioner ordered a new 'official' police vehicle for his use.

Unfortunately when it arrived it was found that the Maserati was too small to fit his portly frame.

I hope for the visitors' sake they have increased the cabin space, otherwise might be a tight fit.

Robin Lillicrapp

Just heard discussion on 3AW (Melbourne radio) of the Maserati affectation for APEC. It was said that the organisers had already onsold the vehicles to buyers after APEC is finished.
No mention of a sale price.

Michael Lorenz

In the interests of historical accuracy, I would like to point out that it wasn't Skunge who reconditioned the VW at Taskul but yours truly.

Skunge didn't know one end of a spanner from the other (although he was a dab hand when it came to stuffed roasted beef hearts).

The first VIP to be conveyed by the the Taskul limo from the wharf to the office was the Kavieng D.C. whose name escapes me at the moment.

Arthur Williams

When the UN decolonisation team visited Taskul in 1971 or 1972, I accompanied the Sierra Leone delegate, I think he was, in Dick Randolph's remodelled VW Beetle.

Only a seat for driver and one passenger the newly reinforced steel floor had gaps in it so you could see the sticky red mud of the station road, sorry track!

We just hung on for grim death side to the door frame. Better that than the delegates had to walk deep in the claggy clay.

No wonder the UN 'Committee of 24' said, “Hell Independence cant be worse than the status quo!”

Twenty years later the car ended being dropped off the wharf where it now provides shelter for the fish and sea snakes. If you are a good diver you can actually touch the old off-road buggy.

Andy McNabb

This is the most ridiculous thing to happen in PNG for decades.

Maseratis are a high performance sports car, designed for "opening 'er up", on well built open roads.

Still they will be handy for driving through some of the slum areas just to see how the poor are coping with no transport at all.

Do hope the drivers have the goggles, scarf, a big fat cigar and a buxom wench in the passengers seat just to complete the picture.

Bruce Phineas

"Meanwhile, our teachers.......need I say more?"

Jordan Dean

When we had the APEC SOM1 meeting, the government purchased a fleet of executive Toyota Prados. Now, another fleet of Maseratis. I hope there's some return on investment after APEC.

Arthur Williams

Must be for Lavongai Island where loggers have built so many miles of roads.

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