Rousing Welcome Awaits Prince Andrew

Posted by PNG Today | July 1, 2015 | Posted in , ,

Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Island countries  will welcome the  Duke of York, Prince Andrew as he touches down at the Jackson's International Airport in Port Moresby this afternoon. A large crowd is expected to withness the arrival of HIS Highness Prince Andrew to PNG.  Games Organizing Committee has prepared spectacular welcome for Prince Andre
w. The Queen’s second son will be met by Speaker Theodore Zurenuoc who is acting Governor-General in the absence of Sir Michael Ogio.

This is the second time Prince Andrew will visit PNG and officially open the Pacific Games. He first toured PNG in 1991 when he officially opened the 1991 South Pacific Games.

The official program for Prince Andrew’s arrival released to the media are outlined below.

There will be a 21-gun salute as he steps off the plane and will be greeted by Mr Zurenuoc.

The prince will be presented with a flower garland by a local school girl and then he will be invited to inspect the guard of honour, accompanied by PNG Defence Force commander Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo.

Later, Prince Andrew will proceed to Bomana War Cemetery for a wreath laying ceremony where he will be received by Defence Minister Fabian Pok and later meet with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill at Airways Hotel. He will also visit the Coronation Park, next to the Port Moresby police station, to unveil a plaque tomorrow.

On Saturday, Prince Andrew will depart for the Games Village and be received by Games CEO Peter Stewart where he will further unveil a plaque and commission the Games Village.

Later, at the stadium when the relay baton race concludes, the prince will be invited to accept the baton to be placed on the plinth.

Prince Andrew will be part of the official ceremony on Saturday where he will give the guest of honour speech.

Oil Search Pacific Games Relay visits Parliament

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Prime Minister Peter O'Neill with
Games Relay Baton
Yesterday the Oil Search Pacific Games Relay continued its journey around NCD with the Moresby Northeast electorate hosting the Baton.

The Relay began its run at Parliament House where it was honoured by the Prime Minister accepting the Baton inside the House before carrying it outside to the dramatic front steps.

Here the gathered media and a colourful sing sing group greeted the Prime Minister as he handed the Baton to Oil Search Ambassador Gerea Aopi, who in turn passed it on to NCD Governor Powes Parkop, and then to Moresby North-east MP Labi Amaiu.

Hon. Labi Amaiu took the Baton through the gates of parliament where he was then swamped by people trying to touch the Baton as it began its Relay through the electorate.

Thousands turned out along the way to show their support for Team PNG and to take their part in the Relay.

Next the Relay wound its way, slowly, down Independence Drive and Boroko Drive before heading through the schools and playing fields of Bisini, down past the Taurama Aquatic Centre and through Boroko before ending at Jack Pidik Park.

The afternoon saw the Relay visit a number of Games sponsors, including PNG Power at their headquarters, Coke, Brian Bell and the SP Brewery.

The Relay also took the opportunity to visit the wonderful children at Cheshire Homes. Here the kids were all given the chance to touch the Baton and to shake hands and cuddle Tura, the Games Mascot.

The Oil Search Pacific Games Relay continues its three days of Relays tomorrow, with Thursday being the Moresby South relay and Friday the remaining Hiri west villages with the NCD finale at Sir Hubert Murray Stadium from 5pm


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SUVA, Fiji – July 1, 2015 – Pernix Group, a renowned global firm specializing in power generation, construction and infrastructure development, is set to establish operations in Papua New Guinea in the next two months. 
Pernix Group’s Business Development and Marketing Director, Nirmal Singh, said the ongoing government reforms in trade and investment sector as well as overall investment and business climate in Papua New Guinea had encouraged the company to pursue opportunities that will be beneficial to both Pernix and people of Papua New Guinea.  He said the support from Government and relevant statutory bodies has been very encouraging. 
Mr Singh will be in Papua New Guinea from July 6th-10th to talk to Government, private sector and investment authority officials to pave the way for the establishment of PERNIX PNG.
While in Papua New Guinea, Mr Singh will also hold discussions with potential strategic partners to explore the possibility of a joint venture. He said Pernix Group President, Nidal Zayed, has made it mandatory for Pernix to have a local strategic partner, which is wholly-owned by the locals - in this case Papua New Guineans. The profits of the company will be shared by the PNG people and will contribute and boost the development and growth of its economy.
Pernix has a strong presence in the Pacific. It operates and maintains two separate diesel-fired power generation plants in Fiji and sells electrical energy produced on a wholesale level at a contractually determined rate without risk of fuel price fluctuations. It also operates the power grid in Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu and has strong presence in Northern Pacific.  Pernix is now actively pursuing renewable energy projects as IPP under PPA with the national grid.
Pernix has done several large scale projects worldwide and has undertaken a number of projects for the United States Government abroad including the construction of the American Embassy in Suva, Fiji.  It recently acquired KBR Building Group in the United States and assets of DCK Guam. These acquisitions will expand Pernix’s commercial domestic operations and grow its international business. The acquisitions will also benefit PNG and the Pacific Island countries. With these acquisitions Pernix brings to the Pacific cutting edge technology, expertise and leadership in construction, infrastructure development and power generation.  Pernix now has the capacity to undertake projects of any scope and size in any country around the world.

PNG prepped for home campaign

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A month away from the hype of the XV Pacific Games has helped the Papua New Guinea U-23 side settle into life as a team as they prepare to challenge for gold on home soil.
Assistant coach Reggie Davini says it has been a learning curve for the young side who are being guided by former All Whites coach Ricki Herbert.
“It’s been good, a huge learning experience,” Davani says.
“It’s been a week on the Gold Coast, a week in Kuala Lumpur and two weeks in Thailand, Bangkok.”
And it isn’t just the players who are reaping the rewards of an extended, professional build-up with one of the region’s most successful coaches at the helm.
“It’s been very beneficial for the coaching staff as well as a whole new educational experience for all the players as well,” Davani explains.
“It hasn’t just been about the football, but off the field as well. Travelling, the culture, living a professional life as an athlete and just looking after yourself – the daily stuff – it’s been good.”
The team played ten matches over the course of their build-up against professional clubs in each of the countries they visited.
“We’ve been able to really push the players and the first few weeks they went through a lot physically. On top of the games we really had to push them in trainings as well just to get them ready in terms of conditioning.
“They’ve responded well, we’ve had no injuries and everyone is ready to go.”
In terms of the results they achieved over the ten matches it’s been a mixed bag but Davani insists that the score line isn’t the focus.
“Ricki is not too fussed about the result, it’s more about the performance and the way we want to play. In terms of results it’s been mixed but in terms of the overall objective we are where we want to be, we’re on track.”
Davani says one of the most memorable matches on the journey was against one of Malaysia’s leading clubs in a stadium with a crowd capacity that has only been dreamed of.
“A lot of the players haven’t played on artificial turf or in massive stadiums, and against professional players earning big money we did really well,” he says.
“We lost 2-0 but we conceded in the 75th and 85th minutes and we should have scored two or three goals as well so we created opportunities, and we did that in all the games that we played against these professional clubs.
“Again it’s a learning experience and it’s about taking the opportunities in the big games on the big stage and that’s one of the things we’ve had to take on.”
Looking at the recently released line-up the side has some familiar names, the Komolong brothers Alwin and Felix, Patrick Aisa and Tommy Semmy, and some not so familiar.
But overall Herbert has selected a strong squad with the majority of them locally-based.
One name that emerged as a standout in 2013 at the OFC U-20 and U-17 tournaments is that of defender John Ray. He fell out of favour for the 2014 OFC U-20 Championship but Davani says a change in attitude and focus has led to the former U-17 captain earning a call-up for Port Moresby 2015.
“When we first started the whole process earlier this year, we had a chat with him. He’s one that you can see has a lot of talent, but we just needed to get his mind right for football and get his body in the right shape,” Davani explains.
“He’s probably, on the tour, one of the most improved in terms of his attitude, because technically he’s a great footballer with a lot of potential, and off the field he’s really knuckled down, focused and got himself in the right frame of mind for the games.”
Striker Tommy Semmy popped up on the radar as one of the stand-out performers for Papua New Guinea club champions Hekari United at the OFC Champions League earlier this year and is bound to be a key player for the side during the Games.
“He’s definitely a big player for us Tommy,” Davani enthuses, “just natural, raw talent”.
“He’s playing well for his club and he’s done well in the tour. It’s educational for him too because he’s used playing in a big club with more experienced players at his side. Now he’s with players his age and he’s having to adjust.
“And not only is he a top quality player, but he’s one we’re also looking at to lead the group during the Games.”
With their first match looming against the gold medal holders New Caledonia on Friday 3 July, Davani says the side is ready to get the competition underway.
“The tour has been tough as it’s been a long time away and the players have had to get their heads around the whole programme and what’s expected of them, because it was all foreign to them.
“They’ve come along really well and we’re building that momentum now and to be honest I think we’re ready. We’re looking forward to a big tournament on home soil, in our conditions.”
As well as the defending champions, the hosts have been drawn alongside defending Olympic champions New Zealand and Solomon Islands.
It’s going to be no mean feat to emerge at the top of Group B standings but it’s a challenge Papua New Guinea are approaching head-on.
“I think whatever group you’re in you are weary of everyone, you can’t take anything for granted or underestimate anyone,” Davani says.
“The first one is going to be very important for us. We need a good, positive start against New Caledonia, but I think everyone needs to be on their toes in this competition.”
What Davani and the team hope will make the difference is the vocal, unrelenting support of the home crowd.
Having carried out the majority of their preparations offshore they haven’t been involved in the hype that has been building up in Port Moresby as the capital gets ready to host one of the largest editions of the Pacific Games to date.
And having been out of the loop for so long, Davani says the enormity of this competition is yet to hit the players.
“Only coming in about four or five days before our first game means it won’t really hit them until we get home,” he says.
“But we’re looking forward to it. We’re excited to be playing in front of the home crowd, in front of our family and friends.
“We’re not just playing for the team, it’s for the whole country.”
Papua New Guinea gets their XV Pacific Games and OFC Olympic Qualifying campaign underway against defending Pacific Games champions New Caledonia on 3 July at 3pm on Bisini Field 1 in Port Moresby.
The squad: Charles LEPANI, Alwin KOMOLONG (C), Abel REDENUT, Basil JOFARI, 
Darren STEVEN, Emmanuel AIREM, Emmanuel YAWI, Felix KOMOLONG, Freddy STEVEN, Gimale ESSACU, John RAY, Jacob SABUA, Joshua TALAU, Nathan JAMES, Otto KUSUNAN, Patrick AISA, Papalau AWELE, Pettyshen ELIJAH, Rodney MOBIHA, Sammy RUFUS, Tommy SEMMY, Vincent WORIO, Ismael POLE

Remote Gumine Schools to teach computer lessons

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in

Three schools in Gumine District will make history by becoming the first rural primary schools in the Province, and possibly in the country, to teach computer classes this year. Kama Scholars Foundation (KSF) donated 8 computers to Gumine Primary School, 5 computers to Mul Primary School and 5 computers to Nondri Primary School. Nondri is about 6-8 hours from Gumine Station.
With no road access, Nondri is commonly referred to as “Bomai” because of its remoteness and lack of government services. But KSF assured them that having modern technology at their school is a first step towards the dream for modernization. Hundreds of community members turned up at the ceremony last week to welcome KSF deputy-Chairman Mr Robert Kama and his helpers that travelled the 8 hours journey on foot to deliver the computers and library books. KSF also donated sporting equipment for the youths. .

PNG slams NZ media critic on Pacific Games venues

Posted by PNG Today | June 30, 2015 | Posted in , ,

Papua New Guinea has slammed New Zealand media critic made by New Zealands' All White's Under - 23 football coach Anhony Hudgson. PNG's Minister for Sports and Pacific Games Justin Tkatchenko hit back on the critic and said  that  ' "These negative critics coming from New Zealand is pathetic. Don’t make up stories if you don’t want to play by claiming that the venue is substandard or have squeezed up draws for the games." Mr. Tkatchenko was responding to critics made by Hudson in Sunday Star Times newspaper saying that the venues of the Pacific Games in Port Moresby as ‘crazy’ substandard conditions and crammed schedules.

Tkatchenko said New Zealand as well as other Pacific Islands were consulted and all agreed to go by in the respective sports that were on offer.

"If New Zealand is not happy, then they will have to go and ask the people that represented them. Football was consulted religiously with FIFA and they should consult themselves as we are going ahead with what they have asked us to stage," the Sport Minister said.

Pacific Games football will feature the Under-23 national teams as this will be used as the Rio Olympic qualifier for 2016. The All Whites is concerned now that the set up for the tournament particularly for football is organised poorly.

Hudson was quoted saying: "It is crazy. I feel underwhelmed by just how poorly it has been set up with no  consideration for football or the players. I am shocked because this would not happen anywhere else."

It is understood the NZ football team will not be staying at the Games village because it is not an acceptable standard to live in while the Australian team will be staying at the Games Village.

The Sunday Star Times newspaper reported that their (NZ) Under-23 men will be forced to play five matches in 10 days on a field that was grassed two months ago.

"There has been a huge concern. It’s really, really poor. You have got five games in 10 days – this is unheard of. I have never experienced this anywhere in the world football," Hudson said.

However the recent UEFA Under-21 tournament just completed played five matches in 13 days and most tournaments see off five matches in 11 days. In PNG the football matches will see matches in 10 days – one day difference.

"Everything was done according to what they all wanted. All programs were done in consultation with the organisations of the different sporting codes. So if they are complaining they have to go and see who represented them," Tkatchenko said.

"The venues particularly the playing field at Bisini oval were done by Australian experts who were well over qualified to do the grounds and if they are criticising then they must be criticising the Australian experts."

The recent outbursts from New Zealand is not the first. New Zealand football has been complaining since PNG became the host of the Pacific Games especially when FIFA decided at the end of last year, in consultation with the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) to use the PG as Olympic qualifiers in order to save for two tournaments.

It is believed that New Zealand football have raised issues to suit their own needs in the Pacific but cared less about Island countries needs when it comes to tournaments. Island countries just turn up to play in whatever conditions provided.

Australia and New Zealand will be participating in this year’s XV Pacific Games challenge. It is believed New Zealand will send 65 athletes which includes 23 for Football, 35 for weightlifting and seven for Taekwondo.

Meanwhile, participants from the Pacific Island countries have started arriving in Port Moresby. His Highness Prince Andrew is expected to arrive on Thursday to open the Paciifc Games on Saturday. 

It’s a family Affair

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

Meet Rita Memafu-Lawrence and her two children Laka and Dineheilo, they are all part of the BSP Wantoks team.
t is indeed a proud occasion, they are all keen on doing Papua New Guinea proud, and what better way to do it - as a family.

Rita joyfully explains: "My children have joined hands with me as BSP Wantok Volunteers, and this makes me so proud as a parent and on behalf of my family, I want to say thank you to BSP for giving employees and dependants memorable games experience," Ms Lawrence said.

Rita is employed with BSP, the Official Sponsor of the Pacific Games, as a team leader in the Lending Support Unit. During the games she will lead the Spectator Services crew at the Bisini Sports Centre, Bisini Parade.

If you do go down to Bisini Sports Centre, for soccer, cricket, lawn bowls, touch rugby and softball events and you see a happy, smiling BSP Wantok Volunteer, it will surely be Rita or one of her team mates.

Rita's children Laka and Dineheilo are both University / TAFE students. Both are volunteers under the functional area Athlete Services where Laka will be with the Pacific Games Association (PGA) working alongside the Chef De Mission, Dineheilo is with the International Zone, lucky her she gets to be taught to speak French.

For this Country qualified Netball umpire and her two children they are determined to bring a higher level of spectator services for those attending the 2015 Pacific Games.

"My expectation prompts me to perform to the best I can, based on my BSP's Core Values and its Service Standards. This is a huge challenge, but we can do it," Rita concluded.


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