‘Well I dreamed I saw the knights in armour coming sayin’ something about a Queen / Look at mother nature on the run in the 1970s’ - Neil Young, from After the Gold Rush
BRISBANE - Rio Tinto’s recent destruction of the Juukan Gorge indigenous rock shelters in the Pilbara region of Western Australia attracted extensive media attention and resulted in a federal senate inquiry.
It also led to several resignations of senior executives, humiliated but richly rewarded with golden handshakes.
Continue reading "After the gold rush, the funerals" »
The bulldozers move in on ATS. Marape says he wants them out - but is he being truthful?
NOOSA – I thought this was going to be a good news story, but now I'm not too sure.
Late last week, Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape seemed to move with lightning speed to stop a developer evicting residents and destroying homes at Port Moresby’s ATS settlement.
However, just as I was putting the story to bed last night, I got some disconcerting news. But first some background.
Continue reading "Can ATS repel the Chinese challenge?" »
Isaac Salip and Komolong ensure the white copra undergoes correct sun drying
DAVID KASEI WAPAR
| Story & Pictures
MADANG - Mirap, a neglected community in the Sumkar District, is the first to host white copra production in Madang Province, thanks to the initiative of a local farmer.
Copra production along this stretch of the Madang–Bogia Highway has seen better days.
Continue reading "White copra project kicks off in Madang" »
Michelle Rooney - "Women are the target of police and municipal authorities who often resort to violence"
MICHELLE NAYAHAMUI ROONEY
| Centre for International Private Enterprise
An abridged extract from ‘Papua New Guinea: Centering the ‘People’s Economy’ in Covid-19 Recovery’. You can link here to the full paper
WASHINGTON DC – Papua New Guinean women are the backbone of the PNG ‘people’s economy’, but they face cultural and social challenges that undermine their resilience and ability to sustain their engage in the economy.
They are the primary caregivers for the country’s burgeoning young population.
Continue reading "Status of women in 'the people’s economy’" »
PNG consumer price index 2018-21
PORT MORESBY - Ten years ago, a bag of 10kg rice cost something like K20. Today, stores sell a 10kg rice bag for between K31 and K35.
Ten years ago a live chicken cost K20. Today it’s K40. By the look of things, the price of live chickens will go all the way to K50 - my prediction for 2023. And we probably wouldn’t notice it.
Continue reading "Social safety net saves us, but we need more" »
| PNGi Forests
PORT MORESBY - For more than 25 years, deep in the remote and inaccessible tropical forests of Papua New Guinea, a huge industrial complex has been operating.
Foreign owned companies have been bulldozing tracks, felling huge trees, cutting logs and dragging them to the coast to be loaded onto ships and sent overseas.
Continue reading "New website reveals secrets of the loggers" »
PORT MORESBY – A discussion paper just released by the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute proposes that PNG create more jobs by discouraging imports of consumables, or goods for immediate consumption, and expanding exports.
Consumables are goods used by individuals and businesses that need to be replaced regularly because they are used up or wear out.
Continue reading "PNG: Import less consumables & create jobs" »
The PNG Forest Authority has failed in its mandate to ensure the sustainable management of PNG’s forests and is pushing back against government reforms
| Act Now!
PORT MORESBY – The increase in duty on round log exports introduced in Papua New Guinea’s 2020 budget is already having a positive effect.
Analysis by community advocacy group Act Now! shows that the higher export duty has increased government revenue and driven down log exports in line with government policy.
Continue reading "Log tax increase must be defended" »
Clothes hanging over a muddy beach at Daru island, just four kilometers from the Australian border
ADELAIDE - I think Michael Kabuni's analysis is basically correct. Australia's policy in relation to Papua New Guinea has indeed been deficient and reactive in some respects.
While I agree that the proposed Daru fisheries deal should bring economic benefits to PNG and the Western Province, I wonder how significant the benefits will be in the long term.
Continue reading "China: Strings implicit & designed to entrap" »
ADELAIDE – Why are Australian taxpayers funding Papua New Guinea’s 111 parliamentarians with $2.9M (K8 million) each for District Services Improvement Fund, and other discretionary funds, with little accountability and proper procurement process?
When Charles Abel was Treasurer from 2017-19, he tried to wind back these funds in the budget, but was over-ruled by prime minister Peter O’Neill.
Continue reading "Australia sleeps on job as China nears" »
Daru, capital of impoverished Western Province, is the planned site of a major Chinese fishery. It will generate many jobs. But Australia opposes the idea
| Asia & the Pacific Policy Society
WAIGANI - Last November, Chinese company Fujian Zhonghong Fishery Limited signed a memorandum of understanding with the Papua New Guinea government to set up a K700 million multi-functional fisheries industrial park in Daru, Western Province.
Unfortunately, debate in Australia surrounding this proposal has not extended beyond Australia’s security concerns as to what this project means for Western Province people.
Continue reading "Reacting to China: The cost of intervention" »
David 'Kitch' Kitchnoge - news of his appointment to a top PNG financial post brought joy to social media
| Nambawan Super
PORT MORESBY - Chairman of Nambawan Super, Reg Monagi, has announced that David Kitchnoge, a sometime contributor to PNG Attitude, has been appointed Chief Investment Officer, the fund’s top investment job.
‘Kitch’ Kitchnoge is a well-respected and experienced investment professional with nearly20 years’ experience in PNG’s financial sector.
Continue reading "Kitch’s brilliant career rocks Facebook" »
| DevPolicy Blog | Edited
PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea plans to conduct its fifth national census in July this year.
The last census in 2011 was considered a failure.
This means that, if this census goes ahead, the 2021 census will be the country’s first chance in more than 20 years to gather complete socio-demographic information from across the country.
Continue reading "Another PNG census risks failing" »
Jerry Kapka and a pensive Scott Waide at the Kongo coffee factory near Chuave
| My Land,My Country
LAE - Two years ago, we were passing through from Western Highlands and stopped by at Jerry Kapka’s coffee factory along the Chuave section of the highway.
Mr Kapka is the owner of Kongo Coffee, one of the biggest brands in Papua New Guinea.
Continue reading "Aaah, that highlands coffee...." »
Fly River at Kiunga (OTML)
BANGKOK – The recent visit by an Australian diplomatic team to meet the Western Province governor in Daru resulted in another flare-up in the a chronic, complex and damaging sore that has long been festering away four kilometers from Australia’s northern border.
It will take cool heads with real vision and a genuine sense of shared purpose to tackle this.
Continue reading "Western Province - resource rich & deeply poor" »
Governor Taboi Awi Yoto meets in Daru with Australian High Commission officials. "Australians working behind my back," he says
TABOI AWI YOTO
| Governor, Western Province | Edited
DARU - As expected, lately there has been an increased Australian interest in Western Province after the signing of the memorandum of understanding for a Chinese-led fisheries park on Daru Island.
Last week a team of Australians [from the High Commission] came to Daru to meet with the provincial government to discuss the fisheries park.
Continue reading "Governor: Oz talks on Chinese fishery fail" »
John Conroy - writes on the neglected part of PNG's economy without which the country would probably not function
JOHN D CONROY
CANBERRA - In my recently-published book, The Informal Economy in Development, I have tried to explain what ‘informal economy’ means, and why it matters for Papua New Guinea.
Economic informality is often misunderstood and disrespected. My book argues that many kinds of informal economic activity are socially-useful.
They should not be banned and informal workers should not be treated unfairly.
Continue reading "The people who put food on PNG’s table" »
Under the watchful eye of Huawei, PNG DataCo lays the Kumul submarine cable off Vanimo
| The Yegiora Files | Edited
MADANG - Technology is increasingly becoming an important part of human life and most of what we do today is influenced by our use of technology.
As a developing country, Papua New Guinea is seeing technological changes unfold with the help of China.
Continue reading "Huawei’s vital role in digital rise" »
Sir Mekere Morauta - brought Papua New Guinea back from the brink of economic disaster
| DevPolicy Blog
CANBERRA - Following independence, the Papua New Guinea economy fared relatively well. From 1980 to 1994 it grew at an average of 4% a year.
It was a bumpy ride though, with peaks and troughs in growth, notably the closure of the Panguna mine in 1989 and the start of the Kutubu oil project in 1992.
Continue reading "Morauta’s masterclass in economic reform" »
| My Land, My Country
SINGAPORE - French oil major Total is at the final stages of settling the terms for Papua New Guinea’s second major natural gas development, the proposed $13 billion (K45 billion) Papua liquefied natural gas project that will double the country’s gas export capacity.
Days before its executives were to arrive in the capital Port Moresby to seal the deal, prime minister James Marape’s government was shaken by a political crisis.
Continue reading "Your resources: a warning for poor nations" »
|PNG SME Magazine
LAE - Mande Chicken is a small manufacturer nestled within Gabsongkeg near Nadzab.
Owner Tim Numilengi, a food science graduate, has worked in the marine food manufacturing sector and with various development programs around the Pacific Region for several years.
Continue reading "Mande Chicken battles against Covid impacts" »
| The Yegiora Files | Edited
MADANG - The island of Daru has become the centre of attention after a Chinese company announced its proposal to build a multi-functional fisheries industrial park on the island and received encouragement from the PNG government.
There have been both negative and positive reactions to the project based on the economic, political and security interests of various state actors.
Continue reading "China, Daru & the fisheries business" »
Small freighter docked at Port Moresby
WAIGANI - The World Trade Organisation (WTO) was established to enforce rules governing trade activities amongst member countries.
Essentially trade liberalisation is the idea that there should be less government intervention in international trade, allowing for the free flow of commodities and services across national boundaries.
Continue reading "Can PNG take advantage of trade liberalisation?" »
Anthony Uechtritz and Augustine Mano, managing director of the Mineral Resources Development Corporation
PETER KARL UECHTRITZ
CAIRNS - I've read the book, ‘Too Close to Ignore: Australia’s Borderland with PNG and Indonesia’, by Mark Moran and Jodie Curth-Bibb, and while I agree with its general drift I can't help thinking that the authors are being a little optimistic with their possible solutions.
I worked in the neighbouring Gulf Province in 2015-16. My younger brother Anthony has worked in Gulf (upper Purari) for nine years.
Continue reading "Realising the promise of the swamps" »
Boat harbour, Daru (The Guardian)
ADELAIDE – I’m reading the fascinating, ‘Too Close to Ignore: Australia’s Borderland with PNG and Indonesia’, by Mark Moran and Jodie Curth-Bibb, recently reviewed by Stephen Howes for DevPolicy Blog.
This whole subject of borderland relations is of increasing importance to both Papua New Guinea and Australia and Howes’ review was republished in PNG Attitude.
Continue reading "Reflections on the borderland dilemma" »
Chinese-flagged fishing boat ( Artyom Ivanov, Tass)
| The Guardian | Judith Nielson Institute
Link to the full story here
SYDNEY - A $204 million (K527 million) Chinese-built fishery plant planned for a Papua New Guinean island could allow Chinese-backed commercial vessels to fish legally in the Torres Strait.
The plan has raised concerns about unregulated fishing in the same waters, potentially threatening the Australian industry and local PNG fishers.
Continue reading "Chinese fisheries project in Daru raises alarm" »
| My Land, My Country
LAE - How much of the economy do we own? All the prime shop spaces in our towns and cities are owned by foreigners.
Can we easily get financing for a business? No. If we do get it, are the terms PNG-customer friendly? No. And shop space rentals are unaffordable.
Continue reading "Our country is being taken away from us" »
Mouth of the Fly River
BANGKOK - I read with interest Professor Howes' assessment of the huge disparity in the provision of services between communities in the Torres Strait Islands and the Middle and South Fly Districts in PNG.
I had the good fortune to visit and work with many communities in Middle and South Fly in 2006 and between 2009-2014 and offer these thoughts.
Continue reading "A solution is available to a run-down Fly" »
PNG's Lihir gold mine
| Pearls & Irritations | Edited extracts
You can link here to the full article
CANBERRA - The Marape government’s approach to foreign investment – and to governance generally – marks a significant, and welcome, shift away from the sometimes dubious deal-making that marked his predecessor’s approach.
In May 2019 James Marape succeeded Peter O’Neill as prime minister of Papua New Guinea. O’Neill had been under pressure for some time, over allegations of corruption and of his handling of issues associated with major resource projects and foreign borrowing.
Continue reading "Marape’s new approach to foreign investment" »
President Toroama encouraged young Bougainvilleans to use their innovative ability to find solutions to problems
| Office of the President
BUKA - The Autonomous Bougainville Government is to embark on a program of creating youth employment opportunities through small to medium enterprises (SMEs).
President Ishmael Toroama said this week that youth capacity building and leadership are a focus of his government, saying they are a good way of encouraging local enterprise.
Continue reading "Toroama wants youth to move into enterprise" »
Barrick Ltd is using a treaty between PNG and Australia to claim compensation for PNG's refusal to grant an extension of its expired lease at the Porgera gold mine
| Michael West Media | Extracts
SYDNEY - After 30 years extracting gold, committing environmental and human rights abuses, the operator of Porgera mine is suing the PNG government for not extending its licence.
It is using an Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause in a Free Trade Agreement to sue, a clause made famous when US multinational Philip Morris tried to sue Australia over its tobacco plain packaging laws.
Continue reading "Barrick using Oz law to sue PNG over Porgera" »
Isaac Lupari’s alleged financial dealings with Paladin raised in Australian parliament
| The Sunday Age
CANBERRA - The chief secretary of the Papua New Guinea government, Sir Isaac Lupari, allegedly approached a director of controversial Australian immigration detention contractor Paladin for financial support, according to evidence provided to a Senate committee in Canberra.
Sir Isaac is one of PNG’s most experienced officials and is perhaps the second most senior figure in the government behind Prime Minister James Marape.
Continue reading "Lupari said to have demanded payment from Paladin" »
| Asia & the Pacific Policy Society | Edited extract
CANBERRA - Two-thirds of Papua New Guinea’s small and medium-sized businesses have been forced to close their doors as a result of Covid-19.
PNG has had a tapered increase in Covid-19 cases, with 578 cases and seven deaths now recorded amidst low testing numbers.
Continue reading "Virus’s huge impact on PNG small business" »
LYANNE TOGIBA & BEN DOHERTY
| The Guardian | Judith Nielson Institute
PORT MORESBY - The plan for the largest mine in Papua New Guinea’s history carries a risk of catastrophic loss of life and environmental destruction and “appears to disregard the human rights of those affected”, according to United Nations officials.
In an extraordinary intervention, 10 UN special rapporteurs have written with “serious concerns” to the governments of Papua New Guinea, Australia, China, and Canada, as well as the Chinese state-owned developers of the gold, copper and silver mine proposed for the remote Frieda river in the country’s north.
Continue reading "Frieda mine plan ‘disregards human rights'" »
Business Coalition for Women Newsletter
PORT MORESBY - This year our organisation has focused on expanding the support we can provide to encourage women in leadership.
We have done this by increasing varied training opportunities for women, they include our Certificate IV in Leadership and Management, the Senior Executive Women Program and the PNG Directorship Course, which we’ve partnered with reputable companies to provide.
Continue reading "Women’s business coalition focuses on leadership" »
| World Economic Forum
COLOGNY, SWITZERLAND - Papua New Guinea is one of the most challenging parts of the world to run a digital business. But this is changing.
Prime Minister James Marape is leading a digital transformation agenda that aims to harness the potential of technology to spur development and trade.
Continue reading "Working towards a digital revolution" »
ADELAIDE - The situation with respect to Australia’s seasonal workers, deplorable as it is, simply reflects the truth about the so-called ‘gig economy’ that has now been created here and elsewhere in the world.
It is a form of economy that would be immediately recognisable to, say, Charles Dickens or Karl Marx, because its essential characteristics are not dissimilar to those of many workers in the mid-19th century.
Continue reading "Take heed, they’ll exploit you if they can" »
Despite the deputy prime minister launching reform recommendations, PNG's informal economy continues to struggle
BUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO
PORT MORESBY - When the first audit of Papua New Guinea’s informal economy was launched in 2019, it generated a sense of optimism for the future of this important sector of the nation’s economy.
But a year later, despite legislation and policy encouraging the growth of the informal economy, its participants remain voiceless – and depressed.
The informal economy is estimated to involve 75% of the PNG population.
Continue reading "Despite rhetoric, informal economy struggles" »
The lineage is strong - Paul Kurai in front of the yar tree at Ela Beach in Port Moresby which his father is said to have planted during colonial times
WABAG - Paul Kiap Kurai is probably among just a few Highlands businessman, if not the only one, who has given away a successful business entity to a clansman on a golden platter.
He gave the Neneo Construction company to his Kamainwan people of Kaiap as a gift so they too would benefit from the proceeds of his blessings.
It was an action rarely seen in competitive Highlands society.
Continue reading "Maintaining the Kurai legacy" »
Woman panning for gold in Bougainville
| Human Rights Law Centre
MELBOURNE - Mining giant Rio Tinto is responsible for multiple human rights violations caused by pollution from its former mine in Bougainville.
For 45 years, the Panguna copper and gold mine on the island of Bougainville was majority-owned by the British-Australian mining company, but in 2016 Rio Tinto divested from the mine, leaving behind more than a billion tonnes of mine waste.
Continue reading "Living with Rio Tinto’s deadly legacy" »
Kuimas project area map
STANLEY ARURU PUNDIYE
| CEO, Kuimas Minerals Company Ltd
PORT MORESBY - While the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum pleads with the Papua New Guinea government to postpone reforms to the mining act, issues affecting resource owners are being ignored.
The changes to the mining act are being addressed by parliament to fix possible issues that may affect foreign investors.
Continue reading "Whose side is the Chamber of Mines on?" »
The dramatic decline in formal sector employment in PNG, 2013-20
STEPHEN HOWES & JOTAM SINOPANE
| DevPolicy Blog
CANBERRA - There is no doubt Covid-19 is causing great economic damage all round the world, and Papua New Guinea is no exception.
One estimate from the PNG Trade Union Congress is that more than 10,000 jobs in the private sector have been lost due to the pandemic and the subsequent state of emergency.
Continue reading "PNG’s job crisis & Covid-19" »
Belden Namah - "The Marape government has totally failed the people at a time when they need their government the most"
BELDEN NAMAH MP
| Leader of the PNG Opposition
PORT MORESBY - The price of gold has taken off around the world as the Covid-19 pandemic pushes investors to turn away from currencies to buy gold but PNG is missing out because of the continued closure of Porgera gold mine.
The government of prime minister James Marape is fully responsible for this loss of revenue because of its decision to refuse an extension of the special mining lease to Canadian miner Barrick and the protracted court proceedings that have resulted.
Continue reading "PNG missing out on gold 'explosion'" »
| My Land, My Country
LAE - Papua New Guinea’s environment minister has tried to ease tensions over the proposal to dump mine waste into Huon Gulf in Morobe Province.
Wera Mori says it has not been decided if tailings from the K17 billion Wafi-Golpu project will be disposed using deep sea tailing. But he also admitted that the construction of a tailings dam is not part of the plan.
Continue reading "Mine waste debate divides Huon people" »
Eaglewood collectors. They do not know the true value of this highly sought after wood and are ripped off by unscrupulous traders
TUMBY BAY - In 2012 I was trekking through the hills north of Amau in the Central Province carrying out a social mapping study.
I overnighted in several small villages and hamlets staying in local houses and enjoying the hospitality of the owners. Sitting around a fire in the evening is a great way to collect social mapping data.
A popular topic of conversation at the time was garahu or eaglewood. This was something completely new to me and I pricked up my ears.
Continue reading "Eaglewood – friendly PNG villagers ripped off again" »
"Young came to have more profound impact on the Wopkaimin than any previous colonial administrative or army patrol. He made ethnographic observations but more importantly recorded that the streams seemed to contain copper deposits"
EX KIAP WEBSITE - I have often meant to write of my 24 day patrol to the Star Mountains (Wopkaimin) in August and September of 1966 and the finding of copper sulphate presence in that remote north western corner of the then Western District.
There has been some confusion as to who first discovered evidence of copper leading to the Ok Tedi venture, hence this article.
Continue reading "The finding of Ok Tedi" »
PORT MORESBY – A month ago, on Wednesday 17 June, the Papua New Guinea parliament passed a mining amendment bill suppressing the participation of landowners in the development of PNG mineral resources projects and promoting the participation of the State.
The bill provides a legal basis for the government and foreign investors to take their cut of the pie but the position of landowners’ equity is not very clear.
Continue reading "New mining act poses economic threat" »
Morata street stall
EDDIE TANAGO PAINE
PORT MORESBY - On the eve of Papua New Guinea’s state of emergency shut down, little did informal vendors know how this sudden decision would snap their daily livelihoods.
While the state of emergency was a crucial measure to prevent the spread of the virus, the restrictions imposed had a devastating impact on the majority of urban people.
Continue reading "Covid-19 & the urban poor" »
A billboard advertising Justin Parker's company, Golden Valley (Australian Financial Review)
| National Affairs Correspondent | The Australian Financial Review
SYDNEY - The lockdown has been good to gold. Since early February it has rallied more than 10% as investors predictably sought shelter in the precious metal during these uncertain economic times.
But some of that sheen has come off this rally in recent days after The Australian Financial Review revealed industry standards around ethical sourcing, or ‘conflict gold’, were hollow at best.
Continue reading "Oz gold industry goes on trial" »
Alluvial gold miners, Dantanai, Kieta District. A Human Rights Watch investigation found illegal artisanal gold miners around Porgera routinely use mercury, a poison which has had significant health impacts on both miners and their families
SAM JAY KAUPA
The unlawful extraction and export of gold is a scandal in both Papua New Guinea and Australia. Among the major beneficiaries, it seems from a recent investigation by the Australian Financial Review, even the respectable institution, the Perth Mint. Sam Jay Kaupa is an experienced mining engineer and manager with extensive domestic and international experience - KJ
PORT MORESBY - There is a question people need to ask. Why can’t the central bank of Papua New Guinea buy gold to curb smuggling and build reserves to stabilise the plummeting kina?
The mining sector accounts for about 9% of GDP and the overall resources sector contributes about 26% of GDP. This will continue to rise with the current demand for cobalt, a by-product of the precipitate from Ramu Nickel.
Continue reading "Gold stolen on a massive scale" »