November 30, 2016

Voter registration in National Capital District begins

Voter registration in National Capital District begins

Enrolment of eligible voters in the National Capital District in preparation for the 2017 national election officially commenced today.
More than 800 enrolment agents will be out in the 12 wards in the capital city to update the NCD Roll for the next 14 days.
City residents are to look out for enrolment teams who will be visiting their areas during this period of time to check their names and details on the Roll and register.
All the enrolment agents from the three NCD Open electorates – Moresby North East, Moresby North West and Moresby South – assembled at Jack Pidik Part at Five Mile this morning to receive their final briefing and instructions.
At the briefing Electoral Commissioner’s Delegate John Kalamoroh officially welcomed the 800 plus enrolment agents as temporary electoral workers of the PNG Electoral Commission and strongly urged them to their jobs well.
“The conduct and success of the 2017 national election depends entirely on you the enrolment agents,” he said.
Mr. Kalamoroh issued a stern warning that any of the enrolment agents cited for taking part in corrupting the enrolment process and the roll will be held accountable and prosecuted under election laws.
He told the agents that there would be citizens who may refuse to enroll or argue with them regarding service delivery.
“You must make it clear to them that your duty as enrolment agents is not service delivery. Your duty is to get citizens registered so that they have a say in choosing a leader of their choice in 2017 to represent them,” Kalamoroh said.
It is compulsory by law that all eligible voters must enroll. A voter who is enrolled is eligible to vote in the 2017 national election.
There will be static teams who will be based at central locations as well as teams who will do house-to-house enrolment.
Mr. Kalamoroh also made it very clear that enrolment agents will have their pays deposited directly into their private bank accounts only after the Commission is satisfied with the outcome of their work.
Meanwhile, NCD Election Manager Terence Hetinu said the NCD Electoral Office in conjunction with Boroko police has put in place a security plan which has the blessing of NCD Metropolitan Superintendent Ben Turi.
Mr. Hetinu said in the event that enrolment teams encounter potentially dangerous and life-threatening situations in their respective locations, team leaders are to quickly alert his office so that police units would be dispatched to retrieve them.
Today was dedicated to awareness on the commencement of roll update in NCD to inform city residents. A convoy of 12 PMV buses loaded with 800 plus enrolments agents from the three NCD Open electorates left Jack Pidik after the briefing on an awareness drive.
The convoy drove from Five Mile to Nine Mile in the Moresby North East electorate and onto Gerehu in the Moresby North West electorate via new Gerehu-Nine Mile access road.
From Gerehu the convoy took the Gerehu back road to Konedobu via Baruni and Tatatana villages and onto Koki, Badili, Sabama, Kilakila, Manu Auto Port in the Moresby South electorate and ended at the APEX Park in Boroko.

November 29, 2016

Korea DPR into final as USA sunk in extra time

Korea DPR into final as USA sunk in extra time

Korea DPR are into their third FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup final after a 2-1 semi-final win, though they needed extra time to see off some brave resistance from three-time winners USA. Korea DPR seemed set for victory after a penalty was converted by Jon So Yun early in the second half, only for Natalie Jacobs to equalise in the final minute of an at-times physical encounter.

It was a match featuring lots of intent, but little in the way of attacking cohesion or creativity until the latter stages, though it was Korea DPR who clearly had the better openings. One of USA’s few sights of goal came on the quarter-hour mark as Mallory Pugh burst into the penalty area with a trademark driving run, only to pull her shot wide.

Perhaps the best chance of the half fell to Korea DPR as WI Jong Sim created a yard of space at the top of the penalty area, only to fire her low shot just wide. The Koreans finished the half stronger than the three-time champions and Kim Un Hwa saw her shot narrowly deflected over, while Kim Phyong Hwa pushed a header into the side-netting from the resultant corner.

Five minutes after the break came a pivotal moment, and it was an unfortunate one for USA. Midfielder Katie Cousins was penalised for handball after sliding in for a tackle and Jon So Yun easily converted the spot-kick. The match became stretched in the final stages as USA pushed hard for an equaliser, with previous goalscoring substitutes Ally Watt and Kelcie Hedge adding an extra dimension in attack.

USA had registered just one shot on target approaching the final minute of the match, yet the Stars and Stripes have proved they can never be written off. Pugh saw her close-range shot blocked and Jacobs, making a first start in the tournament, perfectly pushed a volley over the head of the goalkeeper with her instep.

Ri Hyang Sim saw her fierce shot pushed wide by a diving Casey Murphy, while Kim Phyong Hwa had a gilt-edged chance to win in the last moments of regulation time only to direct a free header at the back-post over the bar. Korea DPR, however, hit back within seconds of the restart as Sung Hyang Sim teed up Ri Hyang Sim who easily slotted after her run into the penalty box went unchecked.

USA were surviving on slim margins and they needed a last-gasp Maddie Elliston goalline clearance from Ri Hyang Sim after goalkeeper Murphy’s initial block.

Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Ri Hyang Sim (Korea DPR). Words/Photo:

US Marines train PNG Military Police

US Marines train PNG Military Police

THE United States Marines Task Force Koa Moana is providing training for the PNG military police regarding security operations for the 2018 Apec meeting in Papua New Guinea.

Task Force operations officer Captain Devin Jewell  told local media  that since PNG would be hosting Apec in 2018, the US Marines had undertaken the training exercise.
“The areas of training are personal check-points, motorcade security operations, personnel control, crowd control and general police functions,” he said.

“We have enjoyed our time in PNG and recommend that future training chances should come about.
“PNG is a unique location in the Pacific with its close ties with Australia which is also closely tied with the United States.”

November 27, 2016

Lae Police & City Authority to curb petty crimes and street vending

Lae Police & City Authority to curb petty crimes and street vending

Street vending and pick pocketing are on the rise again in Lae City hence the Lae Police and the Lae City Council are collaborating to address this through combined foot patrols between the Police Foot beat Unit and the City Councils Law Enforcement Rangers.

Lae City Manager Roy Kamen says these very issues are what caused a riot this time last year and addressing it through this partnership will counter attack and put a stop to these activities.
Mr. Kamen thanked the police for their support further adding that these issues will effectively be dealt with.

Lae Metropolitan Superintendent Anthony Wagambie Jnr said the combined unit will be coordinated by the City Policing Unit of which, one week awareness will be conducted for public knowledge.
“Street vending has become a big issue, major crimes in the city have decreased, but petty crimes are increasing and for an individual to be robbed or pick pocketed and harassed can be traumatizing”
“This work is to safe guard our people and to bring some order and control into the city” said Mr. Wagambie.
He said other areas of concern apart from street vending that may cause congestion of people in public places will also be addressed and tents will be setup at Eriku, Town and Market areas to ensure visibility to the public. PNGFM/ONEPNG
Clinics in PNG face shortage of Medical drugs

Clinics in PNG face shortage of Medical drugs

While the Papua New Guinea Government  continues to push for 'Free Health Care' as one of its core policies, clinics all over the country are still facing shortage of medicine.

One such clinic is the 6-Mile Urban Clinic in Port Moresby.
Serving over a hundred patients per day, the 6-Mile Clinic has been sending patients away with no medicine said to be available in the pharmacy except for panadol to treat those presented with body aches as observed by this newsroom.
A sister in the clinic said this has been going on for a while and the least the health workers could do was to attend to patients and refer them to commercial pharmacies with medical prescriptions.

Meanwhile the sister says the clinic will continue to refer patients to pharmacies until the government supplies medicine to the clinics to boost the depleted stock.
For average Papua new Guineans, this means that they will now have to dig deeper into their pockets to afford medicine on the shelves of commercial pharmacies. PNGFM/ONEPNG

November 26, 2016

PNG Prime Minister O'Neill extends condelences on passing of Fidel Castro

PNG Prime Minister O'Neill extends condelences on passing of Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro passed away this Friday at the age of 90 years in Havana 
Photo: 93.1 Amor
The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Peter O’Neill  has extended condolences to H.E. Raul Castro, the President of Cuba, on the death of his Brother, the Late Fidel Castro, in Cuba overnight.

Prime Minister O’Neill, who arrived back from an Official Visit to Cuba on Friday this week, said at the passing of a world Leader, irrespective of politics, is a time to pause and reflect.
"It was only Tuesday night this week that I had dinner with President Raul Castro and he expressed his concern at the health of his brother,” the Prime Minister said.
"We did not expect that the passing of Fidel Castro would be so soon.

"The passing of Fidel Castro is another marker in global politics.
"Regardless of the politics of the time, such as the Cold War in relation to Cuba, when the war is over we all have the time to look back and to be humble.

"Ultimately it does not matter on which side of the politics your stood in a war, but when a warrior passes it is time to pay homage to the person who stood by their convictions.
“The legacy that Fidel Castro leaves for the world is far-reaching.

“Outside the politics, Fidel Castro pioneered the development of pharmaceuticals and healthcare services in his country and these are being extend around the world.
“On behalf of the Government and the people of Papua New Guinea, I extend our sincere condolences to the Castro family for your loss, the passing of a great man of conviction.”

November 25, 2016

Campaign to make Port Moresby city safer for woman and girls

Campaign to make Port Moresby city safer for woman and girls

Hundreds of people turned out for the SANAP WANTAIM campaign walk to Parliament today to show their support for victims of gender based violence and to raise awareness for Port Moresby city to become a safe city for women and girls.

People from all walks of life braced the sun’s heat and joined the walk from Ward Strip school at Gordon all the way to parliament to show solidarity in ending this form of violence. The groups that walked were Ward Strip students, some Bomana prison remandees, youth activists, Yoga enthusiasts, mothers, dads and anyone who had decided to join.

Governor for NCD Powes Parkop was out to show his support and proved his physically fitness too when he walked among all the school children to the Parliament house. He said that to end gender based violence in our communities, everyone had a part to play to help.

“Violence against women and girls, against children and everyone is wrong, and will take a lot from all of us to fight it because violence has been embedded into our way of life, and it has become sort of like a habit... a behavior. So it is our responsibility to change this to make our city become violence free for our women and children also” PNGFM / ONEPNG
Labour mobility from the Pacific Islands into Papua New Guinea

Labour mobility from the Pacific Islands into Papua New Guinea

The Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (PNG NRI) released its latest report today: WHY DO SO FEW PACIFIC ISLANDERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITIES IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA’S LABOUR MARKET? (PNG NRI Issues Paper 22).
The Issues Paper discusses labour mobility from Pacific Island countries (PICs) into PNG.
Although the number of work permits issued to Pacific islanders has increased in the last 10 years, it remains low compared to the overall number of non-citizen workers in PNG. In 2015, 511 foreign work permit holders were from PICs, which is equivalent to 1.2% of the total 41,096 active work permits held by non-citizens. Fijians were the main group of Pacific Islanders, at 413.
It identifies the following reasons for the small number of Pacific Islander workers coming to work in PNG:
• insufficient labour supply in the Pacific countries in areas where PNG also has a labour shortage;
• a lack of economic integration in the region;
• the lack of a functioning regional or bilateral labour mobility scheme;
• the role of recruitment agencies;
• a lack of networks;
• the lack of a qualifications recognition framework; and
• high travel costs.
The paper argues there is scope to increase labour mobility from PICs to PNG by improving collection of labour market data, promoting the Melanesian Spearhead Group’s (MSG) Skills Movement Scheme (SMS), increased efforts by Labour Departments and the introduction of a preferential work permit scheme for Pacific Islanders in PNG.
The full report can be accessed at:
Authorised for release by: Dr David Ayres
Orange Port Moresby with 200 fans

Orange Port Moresby with 200 fans

24th November 2016, Port Moresby: JENNIFER Oii, a young mother of three is a traditional weaver; a skill she acquired from an elder in her village of Kukipi nestled by lowland river deltas and grassland flood plains in the Gulf Province.
A year ago, Jennifer and her husband, James set up Kukipi Women’s Weaving Cooperative, an initiative to tap into the informal sector, thus make a living from the weaving skills of the women in the village. Today, the group has eight members, ages ranging from 16 years to 50 years and have now branched out to men making traditional shields and carving apart from the pandanus fans, mats and placemats.
“City people maybe don’t understand how much work goes into making a traditional object like our fans. We have to paddle upriver to get the pandanus, and then soak it, dye it, weave it and then bring them to Moresby, which is expensive,” she said. “People think ‘oh, this is just traditional things’ and in the craft market some rich people say ‘oh too much, give me discount’.”
The cooperative’s latest project was an order from the UN Women (PNG) office for 200 orange pandanus fans to be used to “orange the world” during the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women in the country.
Pictured are UN Women (PNG) staff members posing with some of the 200 fans which took Jennifer and her friends three days to complete.
The fans which are naturally beige were painted orange to symbolise a bright and optimistic future, free from violence against women and girls.
Jennifer said that by making the fans for UN Women, her small group has learned about the significance of her contribution to a global campaign such as “Orange the World: UNiTE to End Violence against Women”.
“UN Women has supported us to get started. We are very grateful because we have income and are also preserving our crafts,” she said. “I’m pleased we can help end violence against women in our small way.”
Kukipi Women’s Weaving Cooperative’s 200 pandanus fans will certainly splash a generous amount of orange in this part of the world.

November 24, 2016

 Digicel’s brightest stars to be awarded this Saturday night

Digicel’s brightest stars to be awarded this Saturday night

The inaugural Digicel Business Awards will be held on Saturday 26 November, recognising outstanding achievement and effort of Digicel Business staff from across the country.

Gary Cobain, Head of Digicel Business said the awards were established to reward top performers, acknowledge hard workers and motivate all staff across the business.

“We have a very talented team of people that work for Digicel Business and these awards allow us to publicly acknowledge them,” he said.

“We also have many staff that are working hard to improve their skills and it is important that these efforts are also recognised.

“The awards offer a fantastic incentive to help drive our staff to exceed the expectations of our clients and I believe the awards will have a positive impact on our teams across the country.”

In 2017, the Digicel Business Awards will be presented twice yearly in April and November and will celebrate staff across 25 different categories.

The award categories include recognition for both achievement and effort and cover business areas including Sales, Information Technology (IT), Corporate and Technical Support.

There are five awards that reward the best team player in selected business units and the most anticipated awards of the evening are expected to be the People’s Choice Award, Management Award and Director’s Award.

More than 150 guests will attend the formal awards gala, which will be held from 6pm on Saturday 26 November at the Holiday Inn in Port Moresby.  
UN-Supported Microinsurance partnership showcase at 12th international Microinsurance conference

UN-Supported Microinsurance partnership showcase at 12th international Microinsurance conference

Colombo, Sri Lanka– BIMA credits its philosophy of putting customers at the heart of its business with its achievements in advancing insurance coverage in the region.

BIMA recently shared its astounding progress and regional expansion plans in the Pacific at the 12th International Microinsurance Conference (IMC) in Sri Lanka that ran from 15 – 17 November 2016.

Speaking to an audience of over delegate 400 participants and microinsurance experts from around the world on the theme of “Driving growth and sustainability – A business case for microinsurance”, Simon Schwall, BIMA’s Project Manager for the Pacific summarised BIMA’s culture of striving to deliver customer value, convenience and service in partnership with Digicel and Capital Insurance in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and latterly in Fiji.

Schwall said: “we launched our operation in Fiji in June and we’ve already brought over 13 thousand subscribers on board. This is a solid foundation for us to build upon, and shows the strength of the need for insurance in the region. We plan to meet this demand with an ambitious expansion plan which will establish Fiji as a “Pacific hub” for the wider region, creating an opportunity to bring the power of health and life insurance protection to many thousands more families. We will be reaching people living in rural communities in Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga next year, and we are also looking at possibilities

“The performance related grant from PFIP has been critical to accelerating our growth in the region and the viability of our local operations. The funding acts as a catalyst which enables us to move faster and extend our reach to people.”

Michael Carr, Regional Inclusive Insurance Specialist at the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) commented: “PFIP is always looking to partner with companies and others to build or expand markets and bring suitable financial products and services to those who are financially excluded.  We are keen to catalyse the use of innovative technologies, distribution channels and business models.

Every company with a business model like BIMA’s needs to achieve sufficient scale to be sustainable. So the expansion plans that have been announced, while ambitious, are reasonable, particularly when we consider the low levels of insurance penetration that exist in various countries in the region.  Insurance is a product that can benefit anyone. Working in PNG and lately in Fiji, BIMA is an excellent example of what can be done to help spread financial inclusion through affordable and customer-focused products and PFIP is pleased to be a part of this successful journey.”

PFIP’s partnership and investment in BIMA has been made possible through the support of the European Union, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and New Zealand Aid Programme.  source:
Spanish heartbreak as Korea DPR win extra-time thriller

Spanish heartbreak as Korea DPR win extra-time thriller

Korea DPR are the first team into the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup semi-finals after an epic 3-2 extra-time win over Spain in Port Moresby on Thursday.

The North Koreans led by two at the half-hour mark and while Spain drew level midway through the second half, it was the East Asians who found an extra-time winner in a contest that could have gone either way.

Korea DPR settled quicker of the two sides, easing into their trademark passing game and fluid movement. Yet it was from a corner that they broke the deadlock on 18 minutes with a move straight from the training ground. A perfectly-flighted corner from Jon So Yon was met by an unmarked Ju Hyo Sim who powered a header into the net from little more six yards.

The Asian side doubled their advantage on 30 minutes as a poor Spain clearance allowed Ri Hyang Sim to pounce on a loose bouncing ball in the penalty area and lift her effort over the advancing goalkeeper.

Despite the double set-back, Spain fought their way back into the contest and they netted a deserved goal as Nahikari Garcia coolly slotted home a rebound after Patricia Guijarro’s long-range shot was only parried by Kim Myong Sun.

Spain drew level just past the hour-mark, with goalkeeper Kim again at fault. This time Andrea Falcon’s tame left-footed strike was pushed back into the path of Lucia Garcia, who scored easily from close range.

The match became an end-to-end contest with plenty of impressive attacking passages of play, and a tense finale between two well-matched sides remained in the balance throughout the latter stages. The best chance fell to Sung Hyang Sim but the substitute dragged her shot barely an inch past the far post four minutes in added time.

Thirty minutes of extra time followed, with the tone unchanged. It was Korea DPR who eventually made the breakthrough as Kim Phyong Hwa scored the winner, somehow firing a shot through a packed penalty area just a minute into the second period.

The Koreans will now face the winner of Friday’s quarter-final between USA and Mexico. source/Photo:
High-flying Japan cruise past Brazil

High-flying Japan cruise past Brazil

Japan are into the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup semi-finals for the second time after an impressive 3-1 win over Brazil in Port Moresby on Thursday.

A first-half goal from Miyabi Moriya and a second-half double from Shiho Matsubara were enough for the Asians to progress on the back of yet another stylish performance.

Japan dominated goalscoring opportunities throughout the match, commencing with Asato Miyagawa’s shot on the quarter-hour mark which clipped the frame of the goal.

Their pressure started to mount as half-time approached and Mami Ueno let fly over the crossbar, while Hina Sugita did likewise forcing Carla into a save.

Finally the breakthrough came as Yuka Momiki broke into the left side of the area and squared for Moriyato to slot home a few moments before the half-time whistle.

It was almost a case of déjà vu five minutes after the break as Japan repeated their goalscoring move, this time with even more precision. Moriya was released down the flank and her square ball behind the backline rolled perfectly into the path of Matsubara, who could not miss.

Matsubara then failed to find the target by mere inches with a snap-shot, but it was little surprise when she soon nabbed her second and Japan’s third at the midway point of the half. Remarkably, the goal followed a similar pattern as a low cross from the right eluded everyone, before being picked up by Matsubara, who stepped inside a defender and placed her shot into the far corner.

By now, Brazil were being run ragged and the only surprise was that Japan were unable to extend the victory margin. In fact, it was Brazil who pulled a goal back in injury time thanks to a penalty for Gabi Nunes. Source:
PNG Air opens flights to Indonesia

PNG Air opens flights to Indonesia

Airline PNG Air has been given the green light to commence flights to Jayapura in neighbouring Indonesia.
Civil Aviation Minister told the media that the government is satisfied with PNG Air's proposal to operate between Mt Hagen and the capital of Indonesia's Papua province.
Davis Steven says the service was sustainable and would bring many benefits to the airline operator, people and governments of both countries.
PNG Air's Chief Commercial Officer, Paul Abbot, revealed the airline plans to start a tri-weekly service in February next year.
He says it had been a long time in the planning and should bring benefits in business and tourism.
National carrier Air Niugini indicated earlier this year that it was also considering re-introducing a service to Jayapura.
Direct flights to Indonesia's Papua region were discontinued in the 1990s.  Source: Radio New Zealand International

November 23, 2016

Air Niugini outsources Kieta Sales Office

Air Niugini outsources Kieta Sales Office

Air Niugini has outsourced its sales office in Kieta, Autonomous Region of Bougainville to a Travel Agency this week, bringing the total number of offices outsourced so far to three.

The airline’s General Manager, Customers and Markets Dominic Kaumu and Manageress of Poonang Travel Agency, Pamela Dasiona signed an agreement in Kieta on Wednesday to seal the handover/take over arrangement.

Mr Kaumu said ANG will continue to outsource ticket sales and airport services at selected domestic centres as part of the airline’s effort to streamline operations, however its major domestic ports will not be affected.

He said “ While we endeavour to streamline operations, it is also the airline’s way of giving back to the community and we are confident of the people that we appoint to continue the sales and ticketing work for Air Niugini, Poonang Travel Agency is no exception.”

Mr Kaumu also said it is Air Niugini’s way of supporting and promoting tourism in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and in this case, Arawa by partnering with a local who is already in the tourism industry to continue the airline ticketing responsibility. Mrs Dasiona and her family run a lodge and other small businesses in Kieta.

Mrs Dasiona said to maintain services which have been provided by Air Niugini for a long time is not easy, however she is confident they will continue to maintain and operate according to Air Niugini standards.

Poonang Travel Agency is located in the Arevai building in the centre of Arawa town.

“We are happy and humbled for the confidence Air Niugini has in us and will maintain ANG standards as we serve the travel needs of our people of South and Central Bougainville.”

A number of domestic ports serviced by Air Niugini are being outsourced through a carefully managed process, ensuring a seamless transition.

The airline industry around the world is moving towards modern and smarter practices to remain competitive within an ever changing economic and technological environment. To this end, Air Niugini is also getting on board to embrace a change in the way it conducts its business.

Air Niugini will be advertising in the local media with interested parties to undergo a screening and selection process to ensure they have a proven financial and business capability and the capacity to meet aviation regulatory requirements that meet PNG Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (PNGCASA) standards.

So far, Lihir Sales Office in New Ireland, Moro Southern Highlands, Bulolo in Morobe and now Kieta(AROB) have been outsourced. The other smaller ports will follow suit in a carefully managed outsourcing process.

The National Airline Employees Association has been well briefed by Air Niugini management and has been engaged in the process from the outset. Employees affected by the outsourcing exercise are processed appropriately under the terms and conditions of employment.

Corporate Affairs Department
Contestants for 30th Annual PI pageant announced

Contestants for 30th Annual PI pageant announced

The 30th Annual Miss Pacific Islands Pageant Organising Committee has officially announced the contestant for this year’s event which will be held in the home of the pageant, Apia, Samoa.

The pageant will be staged from Sunday 27 November to Friday 2 December with theme, ‘Celebrating our History and Embracing our Future’.

Eight beautiful contestants are vying for the crown, with the pageant night to beheld on Friday, December 2 at 7pm at Gymn 1 in Tuanaimato.

Competing this year are contestants from the Pacific Islands of American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa and Tonga.

The eight Pacific Island beauties are:

Miss American Samoa – Antonina Keka Lilomaiava, 19 years. Employed at the America Samoa Visitors Bureau.

Miss Cook Islands – Tepaeru Helen Toka, 21 years. Frontline Associate at the Bank of Cook Islands

Miss Fiji – Anne Christine Dunn, 24 years. Law Graduate from USP

Miss Nauru – Lucina Detsiogo, 19 years. ICT Assistant Technician of the Nauru Government.

Miss Papua New Guinea – Kellyanne Mariie-Lisa Limbiye, 23 years. Political Science Student at the University of PNG

Miss Solomon Islands – Camilla Grossmith, 23 years

Miss Samoa – Priscilla Olano, 26 years. Pacific Climate Change Portal Technical Assistant at SPREP, Samoa

Miss Tonga – Laura Melaia Renae, 21 years. Ambassador for Bay Area Successful Thinkers Network

The contestants will begin arriving towards the end of this week before the start of the Pre-Pageant week on Sunday November 27.

Corporate tables and general admission tickets for the event are now on sale at the STA Visitor Information Centre in Apia.

The Miss Pacific Islands Pageant 2016 Committee acknowledges the kind support of Sponsors; Taumeasina Island Resort, Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, Koko Pacific by Eveni, and the Government of Samoa.

Follow developments of the pageant on Websote: and Facebook page:

(Picture: six of the eight contestants)
Elementary teachers graduate from Enga Teachers College

Elementary teachers graduate from Enga Teachers College

The graduation of 50 more elementary school teachers this month from Enga Teachers’ College will help improve teacher numbers and learning for students in elementary schools throughout Papua New Guinea.

The graduates were proud recipients of Certificates in Elementary Teacher Training, which qualifies them to teach in Papua New Guinea’s elementary schools, where students are educated from Kindergarten level to Grade Two.

Among teacher graduates were 10 women who completed their training through ‘Australia Awards Pacific Scholarships’, which are funded by the Australian Government for training at select institutions in Papua New Guinea.

Enga Teachers’ College principal Michael Homingu said the addition of the new and professionally qualified teachers will be enormously beneficial for young children, as the first three years of a child’s education are vitally important.

“During kindergarten and from the ages of one and two, children learn a lot of basic skills that we take for granted. But these skills are essential for the child’s future,” Homingu said.

“At elementary school, while beginning to learn the alphabet and numbers, students are also learning how to socialise with others, share, work as part of a team, persevere and care for others. These are essential qualities which will help them to succeed in the future.

“That is why good teacher training programs like those at Enga Teachers’ College are so important. They help ensure our young children are getting taught by trained and skilled professionals,” he added.

Australian High Commission Counsellor (Education) Suzanne Edgecombe, who attended the graduation, told graduates: “If the education you give your students is the building block on which prosperity is based, then you are the engineers and architects building a brighter, better future for your province and your country.

“That is why Papua New Guinea and Australia have worked together to provide in-country Australia Award Pacific Scholarships to 10 of today’s people awarded Certificates in Elementary Teacher Training. Our partnership is based on decades of cooperation and a joint commitment to a prosperous and secure Papua New Guinea.

“Australia’s support to the Papua New Guinea education system – including these 10 scholarships – is helping the country to reach its vision of a smarter, wiser, fairer, healthier and happier society by 2050. This cooperation and vision for PNG’s growth is at the heart of the Australia-PNG relationship,” she added.

Enga Teachers’ College was established in 2011 by the Enga Provincial Government, with backing from the National Government. Currently in its sixth year, Enga Teachers’ College has graduated over 500 elementary and primary more on PNG Education News

(Some of the graduating teachers from Enga Teachers College)
We cannot be muzzled by diplomatic niceties: COP 23 President

We cannot be muzzled by diplomatic niceties: COP 23 President

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Pacific countries ‘cannot be muzzled by diplomatic niceties’ when it comes to climate change.

Speaking at the diplomatic briefing in Suva today on COP 23 and the UN oceans conference next year, Bainimarama said it was suggested to him to be more diplomatic when accepting the Presidency of COP23.

“It was suggested to me at one stage that Fiji needed to be more diplomatic when I formally accepted the presidency of COP-23. No! We are going to press as hard as we can for decisive global action. And Fiji, as the President of COP-23, intends to bring the global community together. And encourage the high carbon emitters and the low carbon emitters to find common ground. Because I passionately believe that only by working together cooperatively and educating the world about the facts of climate change, can we tackle the crisis that confronts us all.

“It is also the time for some plain speaking. For Frank to be frank, which I am always keen to do. In our quest to bring everyone together for a truly global solution – which is in the best interests of all nations in the long run - we will at times have to speak very plainly and frankly.

“We cannot be muzzled by diplomatic niceties. And as President of COP-23, I intend to tell it like it is. Because it is the only way for us all to move forward,” PM Bainimarama told diplomats in Suva.

Bainimarama said countries must get more decisive action to curb carbon emissions. He said there is a growing realisation that even the 1.5 degree cap that the Pacific island nations proposed in the Suva Declaration is not enough.

“And that we may need to rethink that as well if we are to avert an even more grave situation.

“Because those emissions from the industrial nations are putting us all at risk. We must get the necessary finance in the form of grants to build our resilience to climate change. To future proof our nations and their economies. And to future proof future generations.

“We also need the financial tools to strengthen our infrastructure. To build walls to keep the seas at bay. To put our power lines underground. To move our communities out of the path of the rising waters. We need to build our economic and social resilience.
“It is critically important for every nation to join the fight for action on climate change. To support the programme of carbon emission reductions and contribute to the international fund to help vulnerable nations with their climate adaptation, he said.

Bainimarama said the world cannot have the second biggest carbon emitter in the world - the United States - unilaterally withdrawing from this effort.

“We must persuade the American President-elect, Donald Trump, to change his mind about pulling out of the Paris Agreement. Because if he does, then there is no hope for the world to comprehensively tackle this issue.

“Without America, the battle against climate change is doomed. Without America, it is already lost. And as I said in Marrakesh, I appeal to Mr Trump to have a personal change of heart and a public change of policy on this issue.

As you know, I have asked President-Elect Trump to re-examine the evidence and to come to Fiji to meet Pacific leaders and see the impact of climate change for himself. I hope he takes me up on the offer. Because as the President of COP-23, I genuinely want to work with him on this issue in an atmosphere of friendly cooperation,” Bainimarama reiterated.

Bainimarama also took the opportunity to appeal to diplomats, NGOs and the media to help Fiji in organising COP23.

“You are fully aware of the enormity of the task ahead. And we need your support. I want to appeal to the Heads of Mission in this room to talk to your capitals about assisting Fiji. We will also be making direct representations to your respective governments and the multilateral agencies.

“I also appeal to the representatives of NGOs to work together with my Government to make the presidency of COP-23 a success. To make the outcomes practical, achievable and enduring for every global citizen.  We need to work together. All of us.

“ In the next few weeks, I will be announcing a number of appointments to the team that Fiji is building to carry out our duties at COP-23. Apart from the secretariat team in Bonn, we intend to have a dedicated secretariat here in Fiji

And to the journalists who are here today, please do everything you can in the coming months to inform the Fijian people of the crusade that we have embarked on and the progress that we make along the way," said Bainimarama.

Ocean acidification accelerates erosion of PNG coral reefs

Ocean acidification accelerates erosion of PNG coral reefs

Scientists studying naturally high carbon dioxide coral reefs in Papua New Guinea found that erosion of essential habitat is accelerated in these highly acidified waters, even as coral growth continues to slow.

The new research by the University of Miami Rosenstiel School's Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS), NOAA, and the Australian Institute of Marine Science has important implications for coral reefs around the world as the ocean become more acidic as a result of global change.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, measured changes in the structural habitat at two reefs situated in volcanically acidified water off remote Papua New Guinea and, for the first time, found increased activity of worms and other organisms that bore into the reef structure, resulting in a loss of the framework that is the foundation of coral reef ecosystems.

These 'champagne reefs' are natural analogs of how coral reefs may look in 100 years if carbon dioxide continues to rise and ocean acidification conditions continue to worsen.

"This is the first study to demonstrate that ocean acidification is a two-front assault on coral reefs, simultaneously slowing the growth of skeleton, and speeding up the rate at which old reef habitats are eroded, said Ian Enochs, a coral ecologist at CIMAS and NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory and lead author of the study."

Enochs placed pieces of coral skeleton alongside these 'champagne reefs' for two years to allow diverse coral reef communities to settle on them and to understand how reefs respond to ocean acidification conditions.

Using high-resolution CT scans similar to those taken at hospitals, the scientists created 3-D models of the coral skeletons to peer inside the coral skeletons and to see the bore holes left by worms and other organisms. These scans allowed them to measure the difference between new coral material added by calcifying organisms and coral material lost through bio-erosion.

The analysis found that a net loss of coral reef skeletons was occurring due to increased bio-erosion and at the pH tipping point of 7.8, reef frameworks in this region will begin to dissolve away.

“At these reefs, carbon dioxide from subterranean volcanic sources bubble up through the water, creating conditions that approximate what the rest of the world's oceans will experience due to ocean acidification,” said Enochs.

“This is the first study to piece together all of the separate coral reef ocean acidification processes, simultaneously looking at the different organisms that grow and erode reef habitats, and their net effects on one another over time.”.

Hackers steal Millions from European ATMs using Malware that spit out cash

Hackers steal Millions from European ATMs using Malware that spit out cash

ATM hackers who long relied on tactics of stealing payment card numbers and online banking credentials to steal millions are now targeting the bank itself to steal cash directly from the machines.

Earlier this year, a gang of cyber criminals infected several ATMs with malware in Taiwan and Thailand that caused the machines to spit out millions in cash, and the gang members then stood in front of the infected ATMs at the appointed hour and collected the money.

Now, the FBI has warned U.S. banks of the potential for similar ATM jackpotting attacks, saying that the agency is "monitoring emerging reports indicating that well-resourced and organized malicious cyber actors have intentions to target the U.S. financial sector."

ATM jackpotting is a technique used to force automated teller machines to spit out cash.

According to Russian cyber security firm Group-IB, cyber crooks have remotely infected ATMs with malware in more than dozen countries across Europe this year, which forces machines to spit out cash.

The world's two largest ATM manufacturers, Diebold Nixdorf and NCR Corp., said they were aware of the ATM attacks and had already been working with their customers to mitigate the threat.

The cyber criminals have been targeting ATMs for at least five years, but the latest hacking campaigns mostly involved small numbers of ATMs due to the fact that hackers required physical access to the machines to collect cash.

Group-IB did not name the banks targeted in the campaign but said the victims were located in Armenia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands, Romania, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Malaysia.

Both Diebold Nixdorf and NCR said they had already provided banks with information on how to thwart the attack, Reuters reported.

"We have been working actively with customers, including those who have been impacted, as well as developing proactive security solutions and strategies to help prevent and minimize the impact of these attacks," said Owen Wild, NCR's global marketing director for enterprise fraud and security.

The disclosure of the new campaign comes months after two large ATM hacks, wherein hackers stole $2.5 Million from Taiwan's First Bank and $350,000 from Thailand's state-owned Government Savings Bank.

While Group-IB believes the attacks across Europe were conducted by a single criminal group, dubbed Cobalt, the FBI believes the malicious software used in the attack could be linked to the Russian ATM gang known as Buhtrap, the Wall Street Journal reported.

However, citing the tools and techniques used by both groups, Group-IB believes that Cobalt is linked to Buhtrap, which stole 1.8 Billion rubles ($28 Million) from Russian banks between August 2015 and January 2016.
Oil Search Foundation’s program making a difference in PNG communities

Oil Search Foundation’s program making a difference in PNG communities

The Oil Search Foundation’s small grants scheme is helping to make a difference in communities to address social issues, particularly violence against women and girls in Papua New Guinea.

The Foundation’s Women’s Protection and Empowerment (WPE) program started the initiative early this year to support community members and Oil Search staff to develop projects that are culturally relevant.

Oil Search Foundation’s Head of Expansion Programs, Jean Martin said Oil Search staff come from a broad range of backgrounds and the skills, knowledge and tools they gain at work are shared when they return to their communities.

“The grants are an opportunity for our staff to enter into conversations, particularly in relation to violence against women and girls back in their homes. At the same time there is the opportunity to follow these conversations and see how far Oil Search’s tools and knowledge actually reach.”

The scheme was advertised in 2016 and 29 people applied. The applications represent a range of community and staff led initiatives.

The Foundation awarded ten grants ranging from K2300 - K4000 to ten successful applicants for activities in Jiwaka, Hela, Southern Highlands and Port Moresby.

Oil Search Foundation’s Hela Provincial Development Manager, Gorithie Tai is one successful applicant from Jiwaka. Since 2013 she has been the major sponsor of her local rugby team and has used the team to deliver HIV and gender related awareness, education and advocacy in the community using her own resources.

“The grant will help me continue to address issues targeting youth and men which are critical to our development as a community.

I’m able to take the learnings from work at Oil Search to my own people including on how to address social issues, foster respect for women and girls and address the real issue of gender violence,” she stressed.

Gorithie has developed a program that the rugby team will use to campaign and spread awareness about gender based violence. The will speak as men to men about the importance of ending violence against women.

The team will finish off by publicly pledging to continue to be advocates and change drivers to unite and eliminate violence against women.

Charlie Kaipek a vibrant campaigner in the team said women are an integral partner at all levels in society to deliver development outcomes.

“Violence against women does not help us. I will campaign for men to support women and allow them to excel so that they effectively contribute to nation building. I trust women and their leadership.”

Other grants include one staff using the local rugby competition to raise awareness on violence in Magarima and another who will be conducting first aid training for mothers in his village in Kutubu Southern Highlands.

The small grants scheme will continue next year as a means to increase and maintain community conversations beyond the boundaries of Oil Search and across PNG.
Natto congratulates PNG FIFA U-20 girls

Natto congratulates PNG FIFA U-20 girls

Long time Hekari United Football club Manageress Vonnie Kapi Natto took the opportunity to congratulate PNG Under 20 women’s football team who bravely bowed out in the FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup.

“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all the PNG girls who played so bravely in the past few days and closed it off in style with a goal,” says Mrs. Vonnie Natto.

Vonnie said to make into the world cup was pretty hard for PNG as it will take time, effort and proper management with strong discipline.

Vonnie who is the manager of Hekari United club which is the only men's club from PNG that made it to FIFA World Cup after being Oceania Champions in 2010 said hard work and perseverance pays off in the end

“History has been made in 2016 and it may take a while before PNG girls really make it to the next under 20 FIFA World Cup on merit because the competition is so high and only the best teams qualify for a contest as this.”

“Fortunately for PNG, it was given the privilege to take part in the 2016 FIFA Competition as a host nation to participate and this is a bonus for us and history is in the making,” she said.

Mrs. Natto smilingly said, “we (PNG) also made history in the under 20 Fifa World Cup history by suffering the highest scores scored against us and I can say this is really evident of PNG because we do not have soccer academy for girls or boys to breed players of World Cup standard (the one in Lae is closed now).”

“There is no female competition in this country unlike the male, there is no player discipline. All the players played their best with the little skills they knew. Until we improve the competitions for all female, our next Fifa World Cup dream may not materialize,” Vonnie said.

“My vision for this nation as a female heavily involved in soccer is to see that this country build soccer academies in the main centers, have soccer development plans and roll out plans in planning for implementing, increase participation and competition and in that way many raw talents out there will display their potential and make it.”

“To be a participant in Fifa World Cup, the young girls that came to play in PNG sacrifice a lot and they must live a disciplined life. No party for longer hours, no drinking and smoking and many other un wanted social behaviors that are not good for the game.”

“Once found out they are banned. So when we get PNG to that stage we should make to one of under 21 or any other World Cup tournament,” Vonnie added.
Acting PM Sir Leo Dion Opens Kumusi bridge

Acting PM Sir Leo Dion Opens Kumusi bridge

The Acting Prime Minister, Grand Chief Sir Leo Dion opened the reconstructed Kumusi Bridge in Oro Province today.
It is the longest, which is about 285 meters in length, double lane bridge in the country.
It was reconstructed at a cost of K139 million and was funded by the Australian Government through the Transport Sector Support Program (TSSP).
Sir Leo said it will connect more than 100,000 people in the Sohe District and along the famous Kokoda Track area of the province.
“The bridge is a significant milestone which signifies our long and mutually beneficial bilateral relations with Australia that dates back to the heroic days of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels of World War 2.
“I want to acknowledge the Australian Government for their continued support and assistance in rebuilding the bridge.
“I want to convey and express our utmost gratitude and appreciation to the Australian Government for the funding to the tune of K139 million and the expertise by the Australian Government’s International Aid Agency (AusAid) for the project and other projects under the Transport Sector Support Program.
“What we are witnessing today is the result of good working partnership between the National Government, Provincial and Local Level Governments working together with our donor and development partners like AusAid to deliver infrastructure projects like this bridge that will serve our people.
“This is truly a milestone in bridge construction and structures in our country and an engineering spectacle that we should be proud of.
"The successful completion of this project gives us confidence for future partnership under this government proposal to challenge our Australian and New Zealand friends to build a new ANZAC Highway along the Kokoda Track to connect Port Moresby.
“This project is subject to further high level bilateral talks with our two friends,” said Sir Leo.
He said it will serve over 100 000 people of the Sohe District and boost tourism development associated with the Famous Kokoda Track and agricultural activities.
“This Government is investing a lot in infrastructure as the catalyst for economic growth and prosperity right around the country.
“There is like never before an unprecedented development of infrastructure from school to health facilities, roads and bridges and jetties among others.”
Sir Leo said the opening of the Kumusi Bridge is both a blessing and gift from the government and people of Australia to the people of Oro and Papua New Guinea to further strengthen the bond and friendship between the two countries since World War 2.
“Today the people of Oro; it’s your turn to realize the commitment that this Government is providing to you and your children's future.
“Please take ownership of this bridge and it will take care of all your transport needs.”
He also reminded those who gathered to witness the opening to remember those who died during disasters like Cyclone Guba that destroyed and hit Oro province in 2007.
“Nature has not always been good to us and Oro Province has had its share of natural disasters like Cyclone Guba that destroyed properties like the old Kumusi river bridge.
“While we gather here to witness the new two lane bridge opening lets pause and remember those who died during the disaster whilst trying to cross the Kumusi river and from lack of food and health care,” he said.
The 285 meters double lane Kumusi Bridge was constructed within two years using one thousand tonnes of steel.
It is one of the four bridges that were reconstructed with financial assistance from AusAid after it was destroyed by Cyclone Guba in 2007. The other three are Girua, Eroro and Embogo.
The Acting Prime Minister thanked the Australian Government for funding the reconstruction of these four bridges.

November 22, 2016

Four confirmed deaths following New Caledonia rains

Four confirmed deaths following New Caledonia rains

At least four people have been killed and another four are missing in New Caledonia after heavy rain triggered landslides.

The body of 60-year old woman was discovered near Huoailou on the main island's east coast which was worst hit by the torrential rain.

An eight-year old girl was found in a landslide which left her mother injured.

In the same area, a 30-year-old woman and a seven-year-old child were killed in landslides.

The Kanak villages of Ouakaya and Gouareu were hit by landslides.

Communications have been difficult and roads have been blocked in many places, with rescue services having trouble to be able to assist.

In some places 400 millimetres of rain fell in just 12 hours.

French leaders, including Francois Hollande and Manuel Valls, have expressed their condolences.

Photo: AFP

Radio New Zealand
Antibiotics reportedly becoming less effective in hospitals in Samoa

Antibiotics reportedly becoming less effective in hospitals in Samoa

Antibiotics including common pain killers used by hospitals is becoming ineffective in hospital treatments in Samoa because of continued unnecessary usage.

The National Health Services and the Oceania University of Medicine say that certain bugs and bacteria have now been proven to be able to resist antibiotics and they’re causing a big problem for the hospitals.

Part of the problem falls under three parties, doctors who issue antibiotics, the patient or person taking them as painkillers, and the pharmacies releasing them.

"Doctors have to be careful too when they issue out antibiotics to patients. They have to make sure they’re signing out the right one to them and to make sure the time frame to drink these is correct," said Dr. Viali Lameko Head of the Oceania University of Medicine.

Dr Lameko says each of the three parties must own up to responsibilities in managing and controlling their usage of antibiotics for pain killers. Most have been reported by the hospital to be used to repel a simple flu, or a migraine and are being consumed irresponsibly.

"Sometimes when the person who is sick doesn’t come see the doctor, chances are they’re going straight to the pharmacies. What we see is that in order to cut down on the unnecessary use of antibiotics, all three parties must work together to contain it. Otherwise soon drinking strong doses of antibiotics will become ineffective even for surgeries," he added.

The bacteria repelling antibiotics is called antimicrobial resistant bacteria and the NHS and OUM are educating the public on its harmful effects to medicinal antibiotics.

"It’s not just overseas and it’s a real problem. We have to identify drivers of this problem here in Samoa and those drivers are in the three categories I pointed out, prescribers, dispensers and receivers," Dr Lameko added.

"What we need to see is to finalise a plan for resistance against this bacteria and to at least reverse the problem in Samoa. The last thing we want is that in 20 years and we see the continued growth in Samoa and that means most diseases won’t be treatable with antibiotics anymore, at least not in safe doses," he said.

Both the NHS and OUM are pushing pharmacists and prescribers to restrain from dispensing antibiotics. Their hope is that with the continued awareness they are pushing locally, the message may be heard even by the receivers and patients to better build an understanding of the dangers of antibiotics abuse.     LoopSamoa
International conference to showcase PNG’s resource sector

International conference to showcase PNG’s resource sector

Papua New Guinea's longest running international conference, the PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference, is all set to convene on December 5 in Sydney, Australia.

More than 900 delegates and exhibitors from resource and service companies, government organisations, landowner groups, international investors and financiers, and aid organisations will attend the 14th conference at the Sydney Hilton Hotel.

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill will open the conference with a keynote address followed by Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch's presentation on the National Budget and the 2017 outlook.

Other Cabinet ministers who will make presentations include Mining Minister Byron Chan and Petroleum and Energy Minister Nixon Duban, while other ministers, provincial governors and members of parliament are expected to attend.

Chamber Executive Director, Greg Anderson, said the conference has always been a significant event for PNG, not only to showcase the country's mineral and petroleum potential to the international market but also to provide investors and financiers a forum to meet industry players and discuss investment opportunities.

"Despite the depressed global commodity market situation and the impact this has had on the PNG economy, there are some exciting resource opportunities emerging in PNG," Anderson said.

"Mineral exploration in recent years has resulted in the discovery and early appraisal of two significant copper-gold prospects - Kili Teke west of the Porgera mine, and in the Star Mountains north of the Ok Tedi mine. Lihir and Simberi are performing very well and Ok Tedi is well on the path to recovery. There have been two applications this year for Special Mining Leases for Frieda River and Wafi-Golpu projects.

"On the petroleum front, the PNG LNG project has proved to be one of the best LNG start-ups anywhere in the world. With nameplate capacity of 6.9 million tonnes annually, the project was able to ramp up production to a rate of 8 million tonnes per annum in the first quarter of 2016. This has set the scene for further LNG investment in PNG through the P'nyang gas field in Western Province and the Elk-Antelope gas fields in the Gulf Province. Further development is expected to focus on the considerable integration opportunities with the PNG LNG and Papua LNG projects," he added.

"The conference will provide a comprehensive overview of these developments and others within the resource sectors as well as encourage further growth within the industry," he added.

The third day features seminars on PNG Resource Industry Financing, Petroleum Exploration, and Mineral Exploration updates. A trade exhibition will also run parallel to the conference.

The program, including online registration, is available at the conference website Interested individuals and organisations can also email the conference organiser, Margaret Reid, on or contact the Chamber on email or telephone 321 2988 for more information. Press Release
Simbu Governor  wants  fight against cancer seriously addressed

Simbu Governor wants fight against cancer seriously addressed

The Governor of Simbu, says the plight of people afflicted with cancer is an issue that needs to be seriously looked at.
Noah Kool was speaking last Friday when welcoming a group from Goroka which had walked through Asaro to Kundiawa to do awareness and raise funds to purchase a new cancer treatment equipment.
The walkathon is an initiative of the Catholic Diocese of Goroka.
The walkathon is an initiative of the Catholic diocese of Goroka which all people walk for 7 days to reach Kundiawa via Asaro for Gembogl.
"So health is everybody's business. Ino business blo yupla liklik lain tasol.
"Health em business blo olgeta. Yumi olgeta mas sapot.
"Yumi nogat moni yumi mas givim bel blo yumi.
"Na yumi mas beten, olgeta taim olsem displa machine i mas stap lo hauski blo me."
Governor Kool gave them K10,000 and says he will take this matter up with the national government to see how it can come in to support.
Tobias Kulang, the member for Kundiawa-Gembogl pledged K35,000 and Wera Mori the member for Chuave and the Vice Minister for Mining made a commitment of K50,000 and also sponsor a major fundraising dinner in Port Moresby.
The cancer machine costs K10,000 and the group intends to get three, which they plan to have installed in Port Moresby, Goroka and Simbu. NBC News /ONEPNG
12-year-old child who fell asleep in a bus allegedly raped by driver in Fiji

12-year-old child who fell asleep in a bus allegedly raped by driver in Fiji

A 34-year-old bus driver who has been charged with raping a 12-year-old girl, has been remanded in custody until Thursday.

Sanjay Naidu appeared before Magistrate Charles Ratakele and his bail decision is expected on Thursday.

His lawyer Jiten Reddy said that he had filed a formal bail application last Friday and his client’s liberty has been prejudiced as the court registry did not issue a notice since last Friday.

Reddy said that this has resulted in the police prosecution not filing a formal response.

Magistrate Ratakele has given the prosecution two days to submit the response on the bail application.

The matter will also be transferred to the High Court.

Naidu allegedly raped the 12-year-old child along one of the bus stops along Princes Road after the child failed to get off at her intended destination.

Police say what is of great concern with this case is the allegation against the accused where he committed the act fully realizing the vulnerable state of the victim who had fallen asleep during the course of her journey.

The victim had boarded the bus from Nausori and had fallen asleep missing her stop.

It is alleged the bus driver did not attempt to wake the child up.

The alleged offence took place while the driver was on his last trip and committed the offence along one of the bus stops along Princes Road.

The alleged incident occurred on the 12th of this month. source: Fiji Village

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill arrives in Cuba

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill arrives in Cuba

Papua New Guinea Prime  Minister Peter O’Neill is in Cuba for a three-day State visit at the invitation of Cuban President Raul Castro.
He arrived in Cuba yesterday after attending the Apec leaders’ meeting in Peru.

According to a Government statement, O’Neill will hold talks with Castro and sign a memorandum of understanding to establish formal bilateral relations with the country. Current diplomatic ties are fostered through the PNG embassy in New York and the Cuban office in Canberra, Australia.
The two leaders will also discuss trade and economic relations and sign a framework agreement to form the basis of the trade and economic cooperation.

O’Neill and Castro will also sign another memorandum on a health cooperation programme to facilitate the recruitment of Cuban doctors to work in public hospitals in PNG.
Health Secretary Pascoe Kase and other PNG officials had arrived earlier in Cuba to discuss technical requirements and collate information on the expertise and capabilities of Cuban doctors and their medical facilities.
There will also be a memorandum signed on a sports management programme and a visa exchange programme.

The sports programme will involve the engagement of technical expertise in boxing, which Cuba is globally renowned for.
O’Neill and Castro are expected to agree on a visa-on-arrival arrangement for PNG visitors to Cuba and vice-versa.
He is also expected to invite Castro to visit PNG.
O’Neill is the first leader from PNG and the Pacific region to visit Cuba and meet Castro, who took over leadership of the communist island state from his infamous dictator brother Fidel Castro in 2008.

Meanwhile, last weekend in Peru, O’Neill confronted Facebook founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg about the adverse influence of the social network on developing nations such as PNG.
He told Zuckerberg that Facebook was a “tool of disruption in some societies when it also carries misinformation and malicious lies that are wrong, but are never checked for fact”.
Digicel Business launches powerful solutions for small businesses in PNG

Digicel Business launches powerful solutions for small businesses in PNG

Digicel Business launches powerful solutions for small businesses in PNG
Digicel Business has today announced the launch of three new comprehensive service packages that are uniquely designed to help Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) establish and grow their businesses in Papua New Guinea.
The new service has introduced a number of new packages to help business owners achieve more by using the latest technology through Office Essentials, Office Boost and Office Platinum. Each service provides an ‘office in a box’ solution with internet broadband, desk phone, smartphones, unlimited calls and data, which are designed to cater to every communication component a small business owner needs to have a fully functioning office at an affordable price.
Gary Cobain, Head of Digicel Business said Digicel Business is committed to supporting the Papua New Guinean Government’s goal to grow the SME community from 49,500 to 500,000 by 2030, by making telecommunications more affordable and easier to access.
“Today, Digicel Business is proud to promote entrepreneurship in PNG by offering small businesses the opportunity to have access to an international standard telecommunication infrastructure they need to thrive,” he said.
“As the largest and most comprehensive telecommunications provider in Papua New Guinea, Digicel Business is excited to launch this offering to new and existing customers to help them and their business succeed long-term.
“Those business packages are the first of a series of innovative solutions designed to help local small businesses, and encourage their growth, productivity and profitability without compromising quality and value. It offers an opportunity for businesses to deliver quality services to their clients at an affordable price.”
Depending on which package they select, customers will have access to an internet connection of 5 Mbps to 10 Mbps download speeds and from 10GB to 45GB of data usage per month. In addition, the plans include free minutes, unlimited calls, and a free mobile internet broadband data volume of 1.6 GB with free smartphones.
With these smart packages from Digicel Business, small business owners do not have to pick the services they think they may require. Each package has everything a small business needs for their connectivity solutions, such as broadband internet connectivity, desk phones, landline, and Closed Users Group (CUG) plans for up to 10 employees. They also feature 24/7 Digicel Business support, meaning that small enterprises will have access to a dedicated support team, anytime of the day by calling 126.

 “These affordable packages are an expression of our commitment to constantly innovate as we continue to provide the best connectivity and data network services throughout Papua New Guinea,” Gary said. He continues to add, “We also want to provide SMEs access to the same quality of services enjoyed by big organizations to drive their growth and sustainability. At Digicel Business, we are strong supporters of Small and Medium Enterprises and we want to be at the forefront of empowering them to benefit the country’s economy. When small businesses have the support they need, they bring jobs into the market, creating more opportunities for our youth and can bring more stability to our economy.”
“Instead of having to choose from numerous services and technologies, we have made the process easy for business owners to simply choose a package based on the number of staff they employ. Companies will also get these services at a better rate than if they were to purchase them all individually.”

Digicel Launches PNG’s first Games and Entertainment App

Digicel Launches PNG’s first Games and Entertainment App

Digicel is excited to be the first PNG telecommunication provider to launch Funzone, an app that gives its customers access to the latest news music, games and entertainment.

Launched on Friday 18 November 2016, Digicel’s Funzone gives customers a one stop shop for all their mobile and entertainment needs from music, both local and international news to high definition entertainment.

Customers who use the app will also be able to find information on Digicel’s latest products, services and promotions as well as have access to Digicel’s Online Top Up page, allowing them to check their account and top up their phone account with ease.

Digicel PNG CEO, Brett Goschen, said Digicel is thrilled to partner with NewComLive to introduce an app that not only creates excitement for its customers but is also simple and easy to use.

“We are dedicated to continually adding value to our products and services across the country,” he said.

“What better way to ensuring our customers enjoy using their phones than to provide them with an app that gives them access to their favourite games and entertainment.

“We are proud to add this service to our PNG market and to continue developing fun and innovative products for our customers to enjoy.

“We know how much our customers enjoy keeping up with the latest news so they will love the Quick Links section that connects them directly to the best news sources including Loop, ESPN, Forbes, HBO Entertainment as well as a host of wellness, entertainment and sporting sites.”

Other Funzone app features include Voice, which will direct customers to Magic Voice and Lotu Line as well as Club, a Digicel Play initiative that provides the best in television entertainment straight from your smartphone. A Commerce category ensures those interested in finance and economic issues are kept up to date in real time.

Digicel smartphone users can download the app for free from Google Play Store.

Digicel is committed to changing the face of PNG’s telecommunications industry by developing fun, innovative products and services that make it easier for their customers to use their phones.

This service went live to PNG customers on Friday, 18 November 2016.
 APEC Leaders Summit Concludes in Peru – Focus on Quality Growth and Human Development

APEC Leaders Summit Concludes in Peru – Focus on Quality Growth and Human Development

The 2016 APEC Economic Leaders’ Summit has concluded with APEC Leaders releasing the Lima Declaration that seeks to strengthen connectivity, food security and development around the Asia-Pacific.

Meeting in Lima, Peru, under the theme of ‘Quality Growth and Human Development,’ APEC Leaders have committed to maintain focus on advancing free trade.
As part of this commitment, Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, HPeter O’Neill  said APEC will continue to take into account the circumstances of all economies in the region and recognise that not all elements of globalisation are beneficial for all people.
“It is important that we maintain our focus on the arrangements for free trade that have so far served us well over many years,” the Prime Minister said to fellow Leaders at their meeting in Lima.
“Papua New Guinea is fully supportive of the removing of explicit and hidden barriers to trade throughout the region, but it must be in a measured manner.
“Sentiments being expressed by people all around the world today are that Globalisation is not necessarily beneficial for everyone.

“As a result of that, many of the most vulnerable people have been affected by some of the arrangements and agreements that we have put in place over the years.
“Yes, there has been growth, but there have also been people affected by the loss of jobs and income, and many small businesses and micro businesses have not been able to be competitive when larger multi-nationals come into their markets.

“This is particularly the case in emerging economies as well as for some of the developed economies.
“Despite some structural reforms that have been underway in our respective economies, and how we manage our state owned enterprises, these issues continue to linger.
“APEC has a responsibility in ensuring that we work together in enhancing how we move capital, goods and services, and skilled labour right across our economies, so that we can enhance value chains, and continue to enable growth within our economies.”
Prime Minister O’Neill also called on Leaders to enhance focus on APEC’s evolving role and objectives for the forum over the next decades.
“One of the areas that I think we need to look at is APEC’s core focus beyond the Bogor Goals for free trade and investment after 2020.
“APEC needs to look at our objectives, because the regional economy has changed dramatically since Leaders set the Bogor Goals in 1994.
“That is why we must be proactive in charting a new course to better enhance trade and investment in our region.

“It is important that, as a forum, we remain relevant to the dreams and aspirations of our people.
“We must continue to enhance economic integration and create employment.”
The Prime Minister also highlighting the importance of increased regional connectivity and the relevance this has for creating an environment for small business.
“On the issue of integrating the Asia-Pacific and enhancing connectivity, there is more that we can do.

“Today, we live in a world where connectivity should be easy.
“We have more submarine internet cables crisscrossing the globe, we have more flights and more shipping than at any other time in the history of the world.
“But connectivity is undermined by bureaucracy and red tape.
“APEC leaders must take charge so that we can break down these barriers to connectivity.
“Our APEC Senior Officials have the right approach to enhance the Ease of Doing Business but they need our political support.

“When it comes to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the APEC region, we Leaders have to be proactive and create the right environment for them to have opportunity.
“Our small businesses must also be able to better connect and to participate in global supply chains.
“I am encouraged by the reports that we are getting from around the region of the contribution these small businesses are making to the economy.

“It goes to show that we should not just depend on multinationals to build the economy.
“We need to set tangible connectivity objectives that increase the quality of APEC transport networks, modernise customs and border agencies, and open better lines of communication.
“Building capacity around this is very important, and we are encouraged by what has been discussed and agreed to here in Peru.”

PM O’Neill concluded his remarks by highlighting the importance of continuing to deal with climate change and the affect it has on communities and the economy.
“I appreciate the contributions and support of President Obama, President Xi Jinpeng, and other Leaders, particularly at COP-21 in Paris last year,” the Prime Minister said.
“They took leadership of the concerns of many of the smaller island nations, the most vulnerable countries that are threatened by the affects of climate change.

“These nations will no longer be countries if we do not focus on these challenges.
“This is the reality of what we live in now.
“If we do not stay focused, climate change will threaten the development and economic issues that we are talking about in in this forum.
“APEC must continue to remind the world of the threat that is there before us.”
The Prime Minister said he hoped the following year will be another year of achievement for APEC.
“We look forward to the APEC agenda being advanced and concluding another successful APEC year in Viet Nam next year, and in Papua New Guinea in 2018.”
Basil : Pangu Pati intact

Basil : Pangu Pati intact

Pangu Pati is addressing its internal issues in a transparent manner, and is working towards getting its act together before the 2017 national elections.
Parliamentary wing leader, of Pangu, Sam Basil said this in response to suggestions that there is infighting within the ranks of the country's oldest political party.
Mr Basil acknowledged that they have internal issues but he brushed aside suggestions of infighting within the party.

He told NBC News, they address their issues in a transparent way, by making it known publicly, which he says is healthy for the party.
Mr. Basil is confident that they will be a force to be reckoned with in the 2017 national elections.


November 21, 2016

Kokopo residents invited to Yu Em Khax auditions

Kokopo residents invited to Yu Em Khax auditions

Despite the rainy weather, Mt Hagen residents had a great turn up for Digicel Play’s new talent show Yu Em Khax auditions on Saturday 19November.

With interesting performances from this pool of contestants, the top three have secured a spot in the semi-finals from heat number four, which will air this Saturday 26 November at 7pm on TVWAN Life.

Digicel Play’s newest home-grown show, Yu Em Khax is a reality television show showcasing PNG’s most talented entertainers.

Yu Em Khax Head Judge, Calextus Simeon, said it was great to see a variety of performers attend the Mt Hagen auditions.

“The talent in Hagen was of high quality and very interesting. We had the tough job of selecting three outstanding acts that will proceed into the semi-finals from this heat, which audiences at home will enjoy watching on TVWAN Life this Saturday night,” he said.

“We have been overwhelmed by the talent on show to date and look forward to uncovering more unique entertainers in Kokopo this weekend.”

Hagen had its own little surprise acts that got the judges enthralled. With two more locations to go in the lead up to the semi-finals, the Yu Em Khax crew is excited to see what hidden talent Kokopo contestants have.

This weekend, the show’s judges will be in Kokopo to select the next round of semi-finalists from 10am at the Gazelle International Hotel, which is free for residents to participate in.

Digicel Play Nico Meyer encouraged Kokopo locals to audition this Saturday. “Our judges will be in Kokopo this weekend and are on the hunt for the region’s most talented performers,” he said.

“It is free to audition for the show in Kokopo and will likely provide great opportunities for the selected talent, which is very exciting.

“It’s not every day you get the chance to perform in front of talent scouts in your home town so we hope Kokopo residents grasp this fantastic opportunity to show off their talents on Saturday.”

Nico said the premiere season of Yu Em Khax had generated wonderful feedback among Digicel Play subscribers who tune into the show each weekend.

“Digicel Play subscribers can follow the performers through auditions, heats and semi-finals every Saturday at 7pm on TVWAN Life,” he said.

“To ensure our viewers enjoy the airing of Yu Em Khax this Saturday, we encourage them to make sure their Digicel Play TV plans are up to date ahead of time.

“To subscribe, customers can simply visit selected Digicel stores, dial *515# or call 180 1515 to speak with our customer care team today.”

After this Saturday’s auditions in Kokopo, Yu Em Khax judges will host the final auditions for season one in Alotau on Saturday 3 December.

Digicel Play is committed to the growth of the local entertainment industry by producing and developing shows that are produced in Papua New Guinea and feature local talent. Press Release
Australia and PNG launch PNG’s longest two-lane bridge

Australia and PNG launch PNG’s longest two-lane bridge

The Oro Bridges Reconstruction Project is set to be completed this month with the opening of Papua New Guinea’s longest two lane bridge at 285 metres at Kumusi.

The project to restore four bridges destroyed by Cyclone Guba is a landmark achievement for the Department of Works and symbolises the strong economic and strategic partnership between Australia and Papua New Guinea. Australia has provided K139 million to complete this milestone project.

The four bridges at Eroro, Girua, Ambogo and Kumusi connect the people and businesses of the province. Upon completion of this project there will be no wet crossings between the coast at Oro Bay to the Kumusi River.

The Works Minister, Hon Francis Awesa, was pleased to see the project completed on time and on budget.

“This new, world-class infrastructure is an outstanding technical achievement. At 285 metres in length, the Kumusi Bridge is the longest two-lane bridge in the country.”

“I’m delighted that the Government of Australia continues to support Papua New Guinea to deliver our vision for an effective and connected transport network that delivers economic and social development for our people.”

The Minister was also pleased to note that the Department’s engineers had developed many technical skills during the delivery of the project.

“Australia has provided substantial support throughout the process from design and procurement to supervision and project management. The staff at the Department have gained valuable experience and crucial skills.”

The new bridges are built to withstand future cyclones and the impacts of climate change.

Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Bruce Davis, said the new bridges are symbolic of the strong and growing economic partnership between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

“Our two nations have a long history together and a very bright future with many shared goals. Our strategic partnership with Papua New Guinea in the transport sector is central to this.

These bridges will play a key role in the development of the province and our shared objective of achieving equitable and sustainable growth across Papua New Guinea.”

The Kumusi Bridge will be officially opened on 23 November. Bridges at Eroro, Girua and Ambogo were opened in August of this year.
Papua New Guinea can learn from Chinese

Papua New Guinea can learn from Chinese

THE number of Chinese owned businesses have risen in Madang. The Madang Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) has been struggling to establish formal links with this group of entrepreneurs. However, the story is different with the Madang Indigenous Business Council (MIBC) who have been able to make headway in establishing links with this group of businessmen and women. MCCI president Kevin Murray told the Post-Courier that while the rise in Chinese shops was of some concern among members of the business community, it was “inevitable and there was nothing much that could be done about it.” Mr Murray said many of these entrepreneurs were involved in retail and the impact was already being felt on the ground and those hardest hit were the local businessmen. He said the chamber has been on a membership drive and as president he had approached some of the owners to join but had not had much success. However, he said he had not given up, instead would keep trying. “Maybe if they see the value in joining they will, but they have and continue to stick to themselves,” he said. Last year an entity known as the PNG-China Friendship Association (PNGCFA) was launched in Madang. A representative was sent to Madang to witness this occasion. A resident and businessman Chris Cheng was named as the president. President of the MIBC Stotick Kamya had stated the rise in Chinese business in the resort hub was a concern for the council but said it was an issue which was being worked on by government through the reserved list. In-spite of this he said the council had been able to establish contact with executives of the PNGCFA and had made inroads with discussions with them. “It’s not all bad, the Chinese are very enterprising and we could learn a lot from them,” Mr Kamya said.