PNG slams NZ media critic on Pacific Games venues

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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

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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.

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill wishes Good luck to Team PNG

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Prime Minister Peter  O’Neill has  wished  good luck to Team PNG who will take part in the 2015 Pacific Games.  O’Neill urged Papua New Guineans to rally behind the Games and make it a memorable event.
“Please extend the support to not only our PNG athletes but all the others. They are our visitors. We must not forget our Melanesian way of welcoming visitors,” he said.

Prime Minister O'Neill also opened two facilities worth a total of K400 million, commending all those who had worked hard to get them ready for the Pacific Games.
He opened the K280-million Games Village at the University of PNG, and the K120-million refurbishment of the Jackson Airport international terminal. He said he had some misgivings on whether the Games Village would be completed on time to accommodate more than 3000 athletes and officials.
The events start on Friday but the official opening of the Pacific Games by Prince Andrew is on Saturday evening.
“This is not a one-man show. It takes a team of people to deliver it and it takes each and every one of you to play your part so that we can deliver world-class infrastructure that we all should be proud of,” O’Neill said. 
The village has 1078 rooms in 10 blocks, which can accommodate more than 4000 athletes and officials.
The construction of the facility began in February 2013. It will be used by university students after the Games.
“This facility is not going to serve this one-off event,” O’Neill said. 
“They have been deliberately built so that we can pass it on to educating future young leaders and of course citizens off our country. There will be over 4000 students using this facility going into the future. 
“We are going to work with the university in making sure that we have the maintenance and the management of this facility so that we maintain the standard that we all expect.”
On the airport renovations, O’Neill said: “We must believe in ourselves that such infrastructure developments can be done in PNG.”
Joseph Tupiri, the acting managing director of the National Airport Corporation, said the renovation work took 20 months.

Meanwhile, participating Teams from the other countries started arriving  this week. The Pacific Games will be opened by his Highness Prince Andrew on Saturday. 

Pacific Games Relay in Port Moresby

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The Oil Search Pacific Games Relay started its journey around NCD with the Moresby Northwest electorate hosting the Baton before it was run in to the team Papua New Guinea farewell at Murray Barracks.

The Relay around Moresby Northwest was organised by the NCDC and began its run in Gerehu.

Huge crowds watched as the Baton was run by the appointed runners through the suburb and then down along Waigani Drive.

The Relay passed by the large secondary schools at Gerehu before travelling past the Nature Park and University before heading through the commercial district at Waigani and swinging a massive right hand turn through the Waigani traffic down Wards Road, to Murray Barracks.

The students of Murray Barracks Primary School lined Wards Road where the Relay slowed down down to allow them all to touch the Baton.

The Baton was then taken to a number of Games sponsors during the afternoon with visits to Steamships Hotels and then on to the Napa Napa Refinery so the Puma Energy staff could see the Baton.

The Baton then made a surprise stop at Papa Village before being taken through the PNG LNG site for photos with the staff and Oil Search NCD Ambassador, Gerea Aopi.

The PNG LNG Project is a 6.9 million tonne per annum (MTPA) integrated LNG project operated by ExxonMobil PNG Limited. The gas is sourced from the Hides, Angore and Juha gas fields and from associated gas in the Kutubu, Agogo, Moran and Gobe Main oil fields.

From there the Baton was run into the Team PNG event at Murray Barracks where Team PNG, over 700 strong, was farewelled by the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and all their families.

The Relay team was invited to share the Relay experience with the team and talk about the overwhelming support they have witnessed for the team as they travelled across the country over the last 96 days.

The Oil Search Pacific Games Relay continues its three days of Relays today with Wednesday being Moresby North-east, Thursday Moresby South and Friday the remaining Hiri west villages with the NCD finale at Sir Herbert Murray Stadium from 5pm.

Unchanged PNG Hunters Team named for Round 17 match against Redcliffe Dolphins

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PNG Hunters coach Michael Marum has named an unchanged side that thrashed the Central Queensland Capras 68 - 4 last week  to prepare for the round 17 match against Redcliffe Dolphins on Sunday.

The game at the Dolphins Oval is set for kick-off at 1.40pm.
The SP Hunters will be chasing their 10th consecutive win in order to consolidate the second spot on the Intrust Super Cup points table.

Following Sunday’s game the Hunters will be on bye which allows players selected in the PNG Rugby League 9s team for the Pacific Games to prepare for the July 11 to 12 competition at the Sir John Guise Stadium.

The full SP Hunters side is:
1 Stargroth Amean, 
2. David Lapua, 
3. Noel Zeming, 
4. Thompson Teteh, 
5. Adex Wera, 
6. Israel Eliab ©, 
7. Ase Boas, 
8. Henry Noki, 
9. Wartovo Puara, 
10. Esau Siune, 
11. Brandy Peter, 
12. Timothy Lomai, 
13. Lawrence Tu’u.

14. Nickson Borana, 
15. Atte Bina, 
16. Willie Minoga, 
17. Enock Maki, 
18. Bland Abavu, 
19. Roger Laka.

Coach: Michael Marum

Hospital Ship USNS Mercy provides critical medical care to six survivors in Bougainville

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USNS MERCY SAVES SIX -- The hospital ship USNS Mercy provided critical medical care to six survivors of a vessel lost at sea near Carteret Atoll. The six injured people, including an 18-month old infant, were flown via helicopter from Han Island, a small land mass off the coast of Carteret Island in Papua New Guinea to the Mercy where they were immediately provided medical care.
“All patients are currently in good condition,” said Capt. Melanie Merrick, the commanding officer of the treatment facility.
The Government of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea contacted the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby to request assistance transporting the civilians, who were survivors of a ship reported lost at sea June 27.
The Mission Commander of Pacific Partnership 2015, Capt. Chris Engdahl, directed his maritime operations center aboard Mercy to launch one of its helicopters to pick up the injured and transport them to the ship for medical support.
The injured had swam ashore after being lost at sea June 27. On that same day, Mercy received a request for search and rescue support from the Chief Secretary of Bougainville through the U.S. Embassy, which reported a small boat missing at sea along with nine passengers, one of whom was an infant. The boat had been in transit from Buka to Carteret Island.
In response, Mercy launched two helicopters, both with Navy search and rescue swimmers on board, to search the area, but they were unable to locate the boat or any survivors.
Mercy is currently in Papua New Guinea for its second mission port of Pacific Partnership 2015. Pacific.

Photo credit: US Embassy, Port Moresby, PNG

Prime Minister O'Neill Demands Investigation into Consular Support for Deceased Papua New Guinean in the United States

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PNG Embassy Staff and Ambassador
 Rupa Abraham Mulinain USA
 turned blind eyeon death of  a student. 
The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has sought information form the Department of Foreign Affairs over claims that Papua New Guinea’s Embassy in the United States did not provide sufficient support to the family of a citizen who recently passed away due to a medical condition. Correspondence from family and friends of the Late Enoch P. Melsom, from Mt Hagen, and a number of related social media posts have raised serious claims that the Prime Minister said need to be answered.
“A young man has died in tragic circumstances and his family feel let down by our diplomatic staff,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said after receiving some of the correspondence. “On behalf of the family of this young man I am demanding answers from our foreign officials through a formal investigation. “Our diplomats must be available to help Papua New Guineans abroad, particularly in their times of need and grief.
“When a life is lost, Papua New Guineans more than people from other countries, expect that the body be brought home and help is often required to do so. “Returning the body home is of utmost importance in our culture and the Department of Foreign Affairs has an obligation to do all they can to assist in this process. “I expect a full report to be prepared immediately by the Department.” The Prime Minister offered his condolences and prayers to the family of the Late Mr Melsom, saying he was a young man who had a bright future ahead of him before losing his life to a brain tumor.
“The Late Enoch Melsom was following his dream to be a pilot and was progressing well with his studies,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said. “To be taken by a tumor at a young age is terribly sad and my prayers are with Mr Melsom’s family. “May I offer condolences on behalf of the Government.” The Prime Minister said appropriate action will be taken following investigation of the claims.­­

Gore's phone ring in court

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A leadership tribunal chairman unknowingly ordered a person out of the court room, and not to return after a phone call interrupted a hearing.
The phone however belonged to the leader in question.
She is the Minister for Community Development, Youth and Religion Delilah Gore.
Coincidentally the Sohe M-P is before the tribunal over an incident involving her mobile phone when on board an Air Niugini flight from Popondetta to Port Moresby last year.
The phone rang for a while disturbing the proceeding.
The flight attendant involved in the plane scuffle, last year was giving evidence of the incident, when Gore's phone rang.
Tribunal Chairman Goodwin Poole was quoted as saying, " We don't need another demonstration."
Gore's lawyer advised the tribunal members that the phone belonged to the leader. (Minister Gore)
The judge clearly distracted told everyone to switch of the phone even though they were "NOT in a plane".
The tribunal started yesterday (29th June, 2015) and continues through this week.

Asaroka Secondary School to shut down

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Asaroka Secondary School in the Eastern Highlands Province is at the brink of being closed down due to health risks posed by the high number of student enrollments.
Public Health Director of the Eastern Highlands Provincial Health Authority Dr. Max Manape revealed this following a monitoring visit to the school recently.
Dr. Manape said that four classes are currently being conducted at the mess hall and is calling on the Education Department, the local Daulo and Goroka MP and other partners to quickly intervene to address the issue and other long term health risks before August 2015 or the health authority will close down the school.
Dr. Manape’s call comes after the school experience a typhoid outbreak in late April this year with over 40 students confirmed to have typhoid and the school was closed for a week.
He said the long term health measures recommended by the Eastern Highlands Provincial Health Authority was for the school to build new dormitories, classrooms, toilets and ablution blocks for both male and female students.
Dr. Manape said the school is currently implementing the short term measures of building over 20 pit toilets, minimizing number of boarding studentand installing new water tanks.
Dr. Manape said many facilities in the school was build for use by 800 student population and with the current increase in enrollment of over 2000 student it has put more pressure on the facilities thus raising the threat of diseases like typhoid.
He said the school really needs the education department, provincial government, and the district administration to step in to address the health risk.

Pacific Games Village opened

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The 2015 Pacific Games Village has been officially opened by Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill today.
The world class facility cost the government K280-million.
Mr. O'Neill thanked all who contributed towards the completion of this magnificent facility, as its not a one man show.
He says it will not only serve this event but help contribute to educate future citizens of this country when it's handed over to the University of Papua New Guinea.
O'Neill was accompanied by NCD Governor Powes Parkop, Finance Minister James Marape, Attorney General Ano Pala and Sports and 2015 Pacific Games Minister, Justin Tkatchenko

Air Niugini to purchase jet aircraft to serve Port Moresby - Vanuatu route

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Papua New Guinea's National Flag Carrier Air Niugini is purchasing another jet aircraft, a FOKKER 70, to boost its current jet fleet.
The second FOKKER 70 will service the new route to Vanuatu straight out of Port Moresby daily, unlike the current arrangement which is via Honiara in Solomon Islands, on a weekly basis.
The current route is service by Fokker 100. The new Fokker 70 should be available by next month. Fokker 70 had a wider and longer range than FOKKER 100, thus it can travel longer distance unlike F100.
General Manager Commercial Domnic Kaumu said  that Air Niugini's new route is aiming at linking up all Melanesia Spearheard Group of Countries through the Airline Industry.
Mr Kaumu was speaking during the Air Niugini's maiden commercial flight to Vanuatu last week.

PNG wants Australian Authorities to investigate Lawyers featured on SBS Television Program

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Lawyer Greg Sheppard is one of the lawyers featured on
SBS television in Australia. 
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill  has asked the Minister for Foreign affairs, and the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, to engage with relevant Australian law enforcement authorities to investigate comments made by two lawyers that were aired on overseas media in the past week.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon Rimbink Pato CMG MP, and the Attorney General, Hon. Ano Pala MP, will now seek to have the claims, that were aired on SBS television, to be investigated in both the Papua New Guinea and Australian jurisdictions.

"The comments made by the two men in question are alarming and are the subject of investigation in Papua New Guinea," Prime Minister O'Neill said.

"I have sought advice on the most effective way to have these claims investigated from all angles and now we are seeking to ensure that this process takes place in both countries relevant to the claims.

"It is not for the Government to judge these individuals, and all people are innocent until proven guilty before the law, but suggestions of money laundering involving high level officials must be properly investigated.

"Now I expect relevant authorities will undertake their independent investigations and pursue the course of action that they see most appropriate."

The Prime Minister said beyond any legal proceedings, the claims made in the SBS story feed into an old stereotypical view of Papua New Guinea that had developed after Independence.

"For decades Papua New Guinea suffered at the hands of foreign and local people who sought to take advantage of the then young nation. We called them spivs and carpet baggers and over the course of time legislation has been introduced to stop these activities.

"Papua New Guinea of today is a country where there are checks and balances, where digital fingerprints are a tool of investigation and where we have access to the resources of international law enforcement to prevent illicit financial activities.

"We are part of a global legal and economic system where illegal practices of the past can be identified and dealt with."

The Prime Minister called for patience as relevant authorities undertake thorougher investigations.

Oil Search Pacific Games Relay in Abau District, Central Province

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On Friday, the Oil Search Pacific Games Relay had another of its early starts ready for the long drive to Kupiano in Abau District of Central Province.

First stop at the Abau district border was at Upalima where the community carried the Baton in on a people carrier between the students of Upalima Primary and Elementary schools.

Then on to the stilt village of Wanigela where the team loaded into colourfully decorated banana boats to pole the way through the village at low tide, as a brief rain shower hit the Relay.

The Baton runner jumped down into mud up to his thighs and ran out to the water and from there the Baton was then run along the village walkways.

The Baton was then transferred to a traditional double hulled canoe and toured the Marshall lagoon.

A stop at Kelerakwa Village to a sing sing welcome and Relay around the village before being handed over to a former Team Papua New Guinea judo medallist on the racing canoes from Gavuone Village.

Next, a very quick paddle, by the racing teams, across the lagoon entrance and another singsing welcome on the white beach of Gavuone, after the Relay team got carried in over the mud flats.

From here the Relay wound its way through the village with kids piling onto trucks behind the runners until there were more bodies than truck left to see.

The Relay made its way into Kupiano town and was run by community leaders, sports stars from now and yesteryear and school representatives, ending with Sir Puka Temu and Lady Temu at the town oval.

Sir Puka Temu formally thanked the Relay for taking the time to get to Abau, “home of the best mud runners in PNG”.  Sir Temu wished all of Team PNG the best of luck, on behalf of all the people of Abau.

On Saturday the Oil Search Pacific Games Relay woke up in Rigo district and spent its final day in Central Province.
Officially welcomed into Rigo District at Magautou where villagers dressed in bilas witnessed the handover to District CEO.

The Baton was then driven through the villages of Lebugoro and Gomore and a number of schools on its way to Kwikila.

At Kwikila a Relay was run around the town before the Relay headed off to Hood Lagoon where the three villages of Keapara, Alukune and Karawa, known locally as KAK all came to touch the Baton at the Keapara oval.

The community of KAK proudly included all previous South Pacific Games participants in the events of the day, including gold medallist cricketers Guma Ravu, Leka Leka, Tuku Raka, Kota Ila and Mari Leka from the 1991 and 1987 games, silver medallist netballers Numa David and Rawa Kali from the 1985 mini games and soccer stars from 1969, Tala Hobart and Wala Walo.

The community sing sing included the Karawa Womens Fellowship Group marching band resplendent in their spotless green and white uniforms.

After boating back over to the mainland the team raced away to the villages of Gaire and Tubusereia, on the way back into Port Moresby.

Gaire village ran a Relay from the highway and through the village where madness reigned as kids and youth scrambled to get a touch of the Baton.

At Tubusereia the Relay into the village ended with formalities, prayer, and dance and song to celebrate the arrival of the Baton. The villagers passed the Baton around amongst themselves, taking family photos, whilst the entertainment played.

This marked the end of the relay outside of Port Moresby, host city for the 15th Pacific Games.

The Oil Search Pacific Games Relay arrives into NCD by lagatoi canoe to Ela beach, on Monday morning to spend the week in the capital before it takes its place as part of the Opening Ceremony.

Photo credit: madNESS Photography

Prime Minister O'Neill Officially opens Taurama Sporting Center

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The Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP has officially opened the new Taurama Sporting Centre this morning (28/06/2015) in preparation for the Pacific Games ahead.
In his opening remarks he stated that Papua New Guinea is the biggest island in the Pacific and has to take a leadership role.
“Let’s not show leadership just in words only that we are the biggest country in the Pacific, biggest economic, most populated country but we must show it in deeds as well,” he said.
On behalf of the country, PM O'Neill thanked all those who have put in great effort in the hard work, leadership and delivery of the infrastructure for the game.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill Outraged and Saddened by Terror Attacks

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PNG Prime Ministers Peter O'Neill outraged and saddened
by Terror attacks. 
The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has expressed outrage and sadness following a series of terror attacks that occurred in France, Tunisia and Kuwait.
“This is senseless violence that serves no purpose,” Prime Minister O’Neill said.
“We offer our thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims of these attacks.
“People from the United Kingdom, Kuwait, France, Belgium, Tunisia and Germany are known to be among the dead and injured, and to each of these countries, Papua New Guinea offers its sympathy and support.
"These attacks, that have occurred during the Muslim holy month, are particularly disheartening to people in the affected countries.
"In our places of worship, I hope Papua New Guineans will pray for the families of those affected by this violence."

WIB Gala night opens doors for Women in Business

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The PNG Women in Business had their Gala Night last night at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Port Moresby.
The night saw some of the ladies had their business products and services put out on display through a fashion parade and it also gave exposure for them to other business houses and potential clients.
According to the President of PNG Women Handcrafts Cooperative Society, Ms Wendy Rodney, she was pleased with WIB in organising this event as it opened up doors to expand her business in selling Bilum wears and bilums to the potential clients that were at the gala event that evening.
Ms Rodney says they now look forward to the WIB Expo set for next month 2nd July at the Constitutional Park in Waigani, that run in line with the Pacific Games so that visiting athletes from other pacific island countries can come and buy their products that will be on display at various venues of the expo.
Pictured is the Designers on stage and a few of their products being modeled by lovely young laddies. Courtesy of Ms Anna Solomon. PNGFM

PNG Hunters thrash Central Queensland Capras 68 - 4

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PNG Hunters thrashed Central Queensland Capras 68 -  4 in round 16 of the Intrust Super Cup competition in Kalabond Oval in Kokopo this afternoon.

The Hunters wasted no time to register first try of the game through fullback Stargroth Amean on the 7th minute.  Thompson Tete followed with a 9th minute try and Zeming converted to take the score to 12-0.

David Lapua scored again for the Hunters at  20th minute to extend the lead  to 16 - 0.  On the 29th minute Noel Zemings scored to further extend their lead to 22 -0.

Zeming followed up with his second try only three minutes later, moved in and split the uprights to take the lead to 28 points to nil.

Captain Israel Eliab led by example and  ran away to land a try and take the lead to 32 points. A successful conversion by Zemings saw Hunters had a commanding  half lead with 34 points  and Central Queensland Capras  kept scoreless.

The second half started well with Ase Boas opening the flood gates in the 41th minute. Zeming converted and Hunters led 40.

Israel Eliab scored in the 49th minute to take the Hunters to 44 and Zeming again converted to take the lead to 46 Capras 0.

Eliab scored once more in the 51st minute and Zeming did his usual effort again, bringing the score to 52 points to 0.

The Capras finally  managed to score through PNG boy Lance Kuveu but the conversion was unsuccessful so them trailing 40 - 4.

The Hunters muscled up scoring try after try to bring the score to 68 points to Central Queensland Capras 4 points.

Captain Israel Eliab scored four tries. Full time score. Hunters 68   Capras 4

The Hunters are now on the second spot on the Intrust Super Cup ladder after Northern Pride beat Ipswich Jets 20 - 14 yesterday.

The Hunters will travel to Australia to take on the Redcliffe Dolphins at Dolphine Oval next week. They will return to participate in the Pacific Games the following week.

PNG Hunters eyeing 9th straight wins against CQ Capras

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The Papua New Guinea Hunters are eyeing nine straight wins as they take on Central Queensland Capras in round 16 of the Intrust Super Cup this afternoon at the 'graveyard' Kalabond oval in Kokopo.

No team has defeated Hunters at home this year and  the Hunters go into this game with confidence to beat the CQ Capras.  A win for the Hunters will see them placed second on the Intrust Super Cup ladder after  the second placed  Ipswich Jets went down to Northern Pride 20 - 14 yesterday. 

For the  Capras, they have lost 13 games in a row, their sole win after 14 games remains their only solace as they wallow at the bottom of the ladder.

The Hunters on the other hand have latched onto a platform of successive wins with fans silently willing them to carry on unabated. The ascendency of Ase Boas at halfback for the Hunters has seen an improvement of their attacking prowess on the back of the trusted boots of Noel Zeming. Former Wigmen centre David Lapua coming back from ankle injury is sure to fire off from the wings combining with Adex Wera. Timothy Lomai also called up from the bench will join the ranks of Henry wan, Esau Siune and Brandy Peter  to niggle the Capras packs.

Hunters lock, Adam Korave has been suspended for 4 matches by the Queensland Rugby League for this swinging arm on Tweed Heads Seagulls halfback Shaun Carney last week.

The Hunters will be looking for the right start to set off Thompson "The Terminator" Tete or flying winger Adex Wera. Coach Michael Marum will tie in his boys for the final home run making sure his trusted game breakers in Wera, Wartovo Puara Junior, skipper Israel Eliab, Minoga and Tete are well tethered. Koiari duo Bland Abavu and Kato Otio are on the sidelines following niggling injuries and will hope to recover in time for the crucial rounds of the Intrust super cup competition.

The Hunters will travel to Australia to  take on the Redcliffe Dolphins next week before returning for Pacific Games action the following week. 

Queen presents award to aspiring young Papua New Guinean

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HM Queen Elizabeth presents award to Papua New Guinea.
Photo courtesy of  John Taka.
A young Papua New Guinean has received his award from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, England.
John Taka, 27, from Western Highlands was recognised in the 2015 Young Leadership Award by the Queen for his outstanding contribution to the community.
He left the country last Saturday (20/6/15) on this trip of a lifetime, and received the award on Monday (22/6/15).
Mr Taka was one of two Papua New Guineans recognised among other young leaders in the Commonwealth.
Christine Giwe, unfortunately couldn't make the trip due to the birth of her first child early this month.
She's expected to travel at a later date.
Both individuals have set up foundations responsible for various community programs to help their own people.
Mr Taka graduated from Divine Word University with an accounting degree in 2012.

Panguna Mine may not open, says Momis

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The ABG President,John Momis said Panguna mine may never open although Bougainville’s financial woes can be resolved immediately if it opens.
Speaking at the Inauguration ceremony, Dr.Momis said that under the Bougainville’s law on Mining, the landowners have the power to decide what’s on their land and no one can push them around.
President Momis said that options are if the landowners want or if BCL wants to re-invest in Panguna it’s up to them to decide as the ABG can just facilitate the process.
He said that if Panguna Mine is allowed to open it can take up to seven years for reconstruction to commence before actually getting Copper ore from the ground.
For a complete new mine it would take over fifteen years for exploration to take place and to get the first ore from the ground.
He said some options are already available for the Government to consider if Panguna mine does not open.

USNS Mercy arrives in Arawa, Bougainville for Pacific Partnership

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ARAWA, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea (June 27, 2015) -- The hospital ship USNS Mercy ship (T-AH 19) arrived in Arawa, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, today for its second mission stop of Pacific Partnership 2015.
While in Arawa, PP15 personnel will work and train side-by-side with the community on civic service events, women’s leadership and safety topics, medical and veterinary care.
“In Papua New Guinea, we are providing medical and dental services, in collaboration with the host nation and at their invitation,” said Capt. Melanie Merrick, the commanding officer of the medical treatment facility onboard Mercy. “We’re working alongside providers, including doctors and nurses in the hospitals and clinics. We’re able to do some subject matter exchanges with those providers and also with the administrators of those hospitals, as we bring repair technicians, laboratory and pharmacy capabilities as well … to help the country prepare in calm for potential crisis in the future.”
Also, the Mercy crew will work in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby and the host nation government to host several engagements focusing on women’s health and violence prevention.
“We want to emphasize the key themes of participation, protection and partnership,” said Royal New Zealand Air Force Wing Cmdr. Jennifer Atkinson, the chief of staff for this year’s Pacific Partnership mission. “We’re looking at ways we can work with the host nation to empower their women, and in response we are supporting workshops on both Gender Based Violence Prevention and Family Violence Prevention.”
In addition, the PP15 engineering team, made up of personnel from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Eleven, Amphibious Construction Battalion One, U.S. Air Force RED HORSE, U.S. Marine Corps, and Japan Self Defense Force engineers will work side-by-side with Papua New Guinea engineers to improve two local primary school facilities.
“The work that is already being done and the work we are set to do is all very exciting. I personally look forward to meeting and working with the Arawa community leaders, and I know our personnel are eager to visit Papua New Guinea and work alongside the community to tackle these very important projects for the people of Arawa,” said Capt. Christopher Engdahl, Pacific Partnership 2015 mission commander. “We are tailoring every event, at the host nation’s request, to ensure each of these events supports the people of Arawa, and also helps us learn from their professionals and community leaders. We know that the best way for all of us to be ready for a crisis is to work together now before a disaster occurs.”
To accomplish so many events during the seven-day-stay in Arawa, Pacific Partnership will have a larger footprint this year than in previous visits to Papua New Guinea. The hospital ship arrived with more than 900 personnel, including volunteers from eight non-governmental organizations and the U.S. Agency for International Development. PP15 participants on the ship and on the ground include personnel from the United States, Australia, Timor Leste, Japan, and New Zealand. All PP15 personnel will work collectively with the Papua New Guinea government and local community on the various medical, dental, veterinary and engineering civic action projects.
“Mercy has been to Papua New Guinea before, in 2008 and in 2013,” said Royal Australian Navy Capt. Brian Delamont, Pacific Partnership’s deputy mission commander. “So the local communities can expect to see some of the same events and equipment, such as our two helicopters that will be transferring personnel and supplies. Sometimes the helicopters will be flying low over villages, but it will all be done very safely.”
The Mercy crew is scheduled to work in Arawa through July 3, when the ship and crew will move to their next port of call in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.
Now in its tenth iteration, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region. While training for crisis conditions, Pacific Partnership missions have provided medical care to approximately 270,000 patients and veterinary services to more than 38,000 animals. Additionally, the mission has provided critical infrastructure developments to host nations through the completion of more than 180 engineering projects.
Additional information on the Pacific Partnership mission is available on the U.S. Pacific Fleet Pacific Partnership website at www.cpf.navy.mil/pacific-partnership/2015/.
Two pictures are from the team arriving in Arawa and one I took at the wheelhouse with the media team that visited yesterday.

Pernix Group, Inc. to Acquire KBR Building Group & the assets of DCK Guam : Fiji and the Pacific to benefit from Acquisition

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LOMBARD, IL — June 26, 2015 — Pernix Group, Inc. (OTCQB: PRXG), a global construction company recognized by Engineering News Record for being one of the Top 50 American Contractors working abroad for the last four years in a row, has announced that it has entered into two separate purchase agreements to acquire KBR Building Group, and all the assets of DCK Guam. These acquisitions will expand Pernix’s commercial domestic operations and grow its international business.  These added resources and capabilities will significantly benefit Fiji and the Pacific Island countries. Pernix has a strong presence in Fiji.  Further, Fijian Holdings Ltd has a 25% stake in Pernix Fiji. Pernix operates the two main diesel fired power plants in Fiji and has responsibility to provide turn-key utility service on the Island of Espirito Santos Vanuatu. Pernix will soon be establishing itself in Papua New Guinea to take advantage the growing construction and power opportunities in that country. 
The addition of personnel, resources, proven past experience and successful past performance in the advanced manufacturing, industrial, life sciences, research & development, food & beverage, commercial, mixed-use and institutional markets will serve to expand Pernix’s domestic offerings. Pernix will further leverage the KBR Building Group’s and DCK’s experience to expand its commercial market in Guam., Fiji and  throughout the Pacific Region..With these acquisitions Pernix brings to Fiji and 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.
CEO & President of Pernix, Nidal Z. Zayed stated “Our mission has always been to safely deliver complex projects worldwide for the most discriminating customers while consistently exceeding all their expectations, the addition of KBR Building Group’s and DCK’s expertise to our growing portfolio will serve to not only improve our domestic offerings, but also allow us to leverage that expertise for a growing number of clients worldwide.” He went on to say, “The addition of KBR Building Group’s and DCK’s experienced and innovative team, and portfolio focused on sustainable design and construction adds tremendous value to Pernix, and evidences our continued commitment to delivering excellence in everything we do and build.”
Mr. Zayed continued by saying “This is an exciting time for our team, for twenty years one of our main focal points has been growing our Federal Government construction work abroad, the addition of KBR Building Group and DCK creates a new Center of Excellence for private sector business – one that Pernix will leverage worldwide, putting us on a strategic growth trajectory for not only Federal Government, but also the commercial and industrial markets, and will also serve as a medium to continue growing Pernix’s power market.”
“Our team is honored and excited to be joining the Pernix Group family of companies and returning to our BE&K Building Group roots” said Mac Carpenter, President of the Building Group. “The opportunity to continue providing world-class construction service to our clients, while leveraging Pernix’s agility, commitment to safety, quality control, and world-wide presence will allow us to continue exceeding our clients’ expectations while expanding our reach and allowing us to follow our clients throughout the world.”
Upon completion of the sale, which is expected to occur by June 30, 2015, KBR Building Group will be known as “BE&K Building Group, A Pernix Group Company.”
Pernix is financing this $28 million dollar transaction (including approximately $6 million of working capital) through a combination of equity financing and existing cash. Pernix’s Chairman of the Board, Mr. Don Gunther stated “I am proud of what our management team has accomplished. This acquisition will be transformational and allow our company to significantly penetrate and grow the domestic market. We now have a platform for national growth and diversification. This acquisition represents a significant milestone for Pernix Group. Our Board and I continue to be bullish on the future of Pernix.”

Oil Search Pacific Games Relay in Sogeri Plateau

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The Oil Search Pacific Games Relay drove up to the Sogeri plateau and made its way out to Owers Corner for a brief visit to the Kokoda track, where porters waiting to take their next party of trekkers took the baton to the start of the Track.

Then a visit to the Sogeri National High School, now a School of excellence, to a fantastic welcome by the students dressed in house colours and led by their own marching drum band.

The school’s houses, named after famous PNG leaders that had studied at the school, all took turns to carry the baton in a relay around the school.

The students of Larowari High School were next, relaying the baton around their oval along with Oil Search Ambassador Kila Pidi, a former student.

The baton then stopped at the Varirata Park for photos at the lookout over Central and Port Moresby before heading down to the Laloki High School for its formal welcome into Central by Governor Kila Haoda.

The baton was carried up to a Koiari Treehouse by the school’s head boy to be blessed, before re-emerging carried by a traditional warrior.

After a relay around the oval by their sporting teams the baton was then run down the road by students of Iobana Kouba Primary School and Laloki High School.

Another nature stop at the 14 mile Adventure Park to capture photos of their amazing PNG orchids and then into Marianville High School where the girls chanted war cries as the baton was run around their oval.

The Oil Search Pacific Games Relay heads east to Kupiano tomorrow.

Oil Search Pacific Games Relay in Central Province

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The Oil Search Pacific Games Relay flew out of Port Moresby on the Police helicopter up to the Goilala District of Central Province.

The flight took the team over dense wooded hills and green valleys criss-crossed by walking trails to small hamlets of long houses perched on the ridges and on to Woitape, Fane and Tapini.
Chief Ilo Ivolo handed the baton around his Woitape community, before the team landed at Fane, a former French mission station complete with 115 year convent that is now used as the hospital.

The team played aeroplanes with the gathered kids, and the baton, on the incredibly steep and now abandoned airstrip.

The Tapini community put on a wonderful show with Sacred Heart Primary School and Peter Torot Community School and the local community led by LLG President Keleto Kope and District CEO, Francis.

The show included traditional sing sing, a relay around the town and airstrip and a human formation spelling out the words Go Team PNG.

The relay team celebrated the sign spelt out by students from the school and their visiting Australian sister school, Monivae College by doing a flyover with the police siren blaring.

The Central relay then landed in Bereina for a short welcome ceremony before being relayed around the town and taken out onto the Hiitano Highway, where the baton was taken through all the schools along the way to Veimauri.

A warm and colourful welcome at Hisiu, by the Kairuku LLG President, sing sing groups and the Hisui choir before a last stop for the day at the Veimauri market
The Oil Search Pacific Games Relay heads up to Sogeri and Laloki tomorrow.

Photo credit: madNess Photography

Foreigners tarnishing PNG's reputation

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Commentary by Christopher Papiali‎

The bullying techniques used by foreign workers and advisers in PNG is tarnishing the reputation of Papua New Guinea. An example to this would be the money laundering case with PNG's Australian high profile lawyer and his brother lawyer working for the same firm. Questions have to be asked as to how and why the leakage of such report appeared to a foreign owned television company SBS and why not EMTV or TV Wan. This level of the leakage suggest as to us to confirm the report done sometime ago through a New Zealand based spy report which highlighted Pacific region has become one of the major spied regions by the United States government and other actors of the transnational crime. PNG is therefore controlled and influenced by many foreigners acting as consultants and advisers. Due to PNG's inefficient foreign policies, ineffective defense capabilities and policing,we are prone to such transnational criminal activities. We do have many faceless people still working in the government departments acting as consultants and advisers and all they do is solicit information and feed their sponsors. In countries like USA, vital information and data are kept confidential and is protected at the highest level. Added to this, NEC decisions made on key government policies should not be immediately made available for the media. A special ethics committee should be established even within the Prime Minister's department, and every cabinet Minister ought to safeguard documentations and decisions of the government. Those foreign consultants engaged by the government should not in any way at all access files that are viewed as confidential. PNG need to protect its own interests, national identities, sovereignty to a very highest level. PNG is a nation on its own, we have our binding laws and we can not continue to be bulldozed by such foreign advisers and consultants because they come with reasons very much based on serving the interest of their sponsors as well as their interests.

PNG Hunters wary of complacency againsts CQ Capras

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THE PNG Hunters have a chance to make some headway in their for-and-against column with a big win over the Central Queensland Capras on Sunday.
The Q-Cup Round 16 clash will see the third-placed Hunters host the cellar-dwelling Capras at Kalabond, a place where Michael Marum’s men are yet to lose a match in 2015.
But Marum is not getting carried away even though his side is on an eight-match winning streak and all but assured of claiming their record-making ninth straight win. “We’re not going to take anything for granted. The Capras may be last but we’ll play what’s in front of us on the day,” Marum said.
“We’ll just concentrate on our game which is what we always do. We don’t want to talk about winning by a big margin or anything like that because the risk is my guys might switch off if they think the game is already won.”
With the Ipswich Jets being hosted by the Northern Pride and the Townsville Blackhawks-Sunshine Coast Falcons game deferred, a big win by the Hunters could see them move up to second spot.
Although the Hunters and Jets are on 24 points each, the Ipswich side enjoys a 58-point advantage in points differential and big win by the South Pacific Brewery-sponsored side would help cut that deficit down.
The Hunters will be without lock Adam Korave, who paid the price for a swinging arm on Tweed Heads halfback Shaun Carney last week. The Koiari enforcer has been suspended by the Q-Cup judiciary for four matches.
Lawrence Tu’u slots into the back of the scrum while forward Nickson Borana takes up the fourth bench spot.
The Capras have only won one game in 2015 and have conceded the most number of points (532) so far this season and were thrashed 52-6 by the Jets last round.
Meanwhile, a minute’s silence will be observed before kick-off in all Q-Cup matches to honour Flacons player James Ackerman, who died on Monday after being seriously injured in a match last Saturday against the Norths Devils.

The National/PNG Today

Pacific Games Advance Teams arrive in PNG

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The first of the 2015 Pacific Games team officials arrived in the country on Thursday..
They are the advance party for team Vanuatu and Tahiti, here for Delegation Registration Meeting’s
before the actual teams of athletes and officials start arriving next week.
Team Vanuatu’s, seven member team arrived at midday on Wednesday, while Tahiti’s six member team
including its Chef de Mission and the Cook Islands party arrived on Thursday.
This is the first of several other teams who are expected to arrive in the next few days.
Australia’s advance party will arrive on the 29th while American Samoa’s will arrive on the 30th.
The DRM’s involve the registration of the team athletes and officials and includes a check in process
for the team at the Games village.
The forward team will make sure the necessary preparatory arrangements by the Games Organising
Committee (GOC) are in place before their teams come in.
GOC CEO Peter Stewart said “We are so excited to be welcoming the first representatives of our
teams to the village. We served over 80 meals for the first time in the village dining hall last night, so
our Games village is open for business”.
The first lot of athletes are expected to arrive on the 28th of June and they will be from Cook Islands.
The advance teams including an observer delegation from Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth
Games are residing at the Games village, making them the first occupants of the brand new facility.

Samoa and Fiji aim high in Pacific Games

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The Samoan and Fijian Women’s cricket teams are determined to show their ability in the Pacific Games come July.
Samoan Coach Ian West said that preparations for the Samoa team are always tough as our players are spread across several different countries/cities.
“We have also lost three of our most important players, Nathalie and Moelagi Tuilagi from Melbourne and Hana Mauafu, who have been key players for the team in recent times. Fitness was the key area that let us down in Japan, all the players were made aware of that and I am hoping to see some major improvements in that department from our team,” West said.
“Our captain Regina Lili`i was the player of the year for the Auckland Hearts in the New Zealand domestic competition and must have been very close to being picked to play for New Zealand on their current tour to India. She is a key all rounder. Lily Mulivai is returning from a broken leg so is in a race to be fully fit for this tournament but at her best is one of the quickest bowlers around and can hit it a long way with the bat. Matille Tuilagi performed well in the last EAP tournament in Japan then went to play 6 months of club cricket in Auckland and put in some good performances with bat and ball,” West added.
West added that PNG toured Samoa recently playing against the locally based players. “Even though we lost all 4 games heavily those matches were very beneficial as they highlighted some key areas for the players to work on if they do want to compete with the likes of PNG in the future.” West emphasized.
"Playing in the Pacific Games is an exciting prospect for the team as the environment will be completely different from the other cricket competitions we have played in previously. I don’t think any of our squad have been to PNG before so we are all looking forward to seeing a new part of the world and we will be looking to play some entertaining cricket for the people who come to watch,” West concluded.
Meanwhile Fijian Women’s Coach Joe Rika said that team preparations have been good and the girls are confident they have covered all the required bases, and look forward to the competition.
“The team held a Twenty20 series development tour in Lautoka, Fiji against a touring Melbourne Cricket Club women’s side recently and now the team is solely focused on using the Pacific Games to qualify for the next round of ICC competitions.
“"It's also a great opportunity to raise the profile of women’s cricket in Fiji and the Pacific region and because of the limited opportunities for the girls to play over the past 3 years they're going to give it everything they've got,” Rika concluded.
“Some of the players that are sure to make a mark in the games from our bowlers are Joana Lesianawai, Jimaima Bulatalei, and Luanne Rika while batters Loma Kacilala Batinibulu, Mere Dainitoga, and Lisapeci Vulisere Waqavakatoga will all be worth keeping an eye on,” Rika said.
The XV Pacific Games Women’s Cricket kicks off on Monday July 6th.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill Welcomes President of ExxonMobile to Papua New Guinea

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The Prime Minster, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has welcomed the visit by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ExxonMobil Corporation, Mr Rex W. Tillerson, and senior executives who visited Papua New Guinea this week.
The Prime Minister met with Mr Tillerson at a welcome function in Port Moresby yesterday, where Mr. Tillerson introduced the Board of Directors who had travelled from the United States.
Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill thanked the ExxonMobil executives for the contribution the company has made to national economic development. “On behalf of our Government and the people of Papua New Guinea, I would like to thank you for your commitment to our nation,” the Prime Minister said.
“Your Board of Directors, management and staff have demonstrated your confidence in our country and this has delivered a world-class project for Papua New Guinea.
“This project has been delivered ahead of time and on budget and we appreciate your dedication to achieving this outcome.”
The Prime Minister said ExxonMobil has demonstrated a clear understanding of the practicalities of working in a land as diverse as Papua New Guinea. “We appreciate the approach you took in dealing with landowners and other stakeholders.
“This was respectful and engaging, and the project was better for these considerations.”
Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said one of the important benefits of the construction phase was the chance to increase the skill levels of workers involved in the project. “What has made a difference for us is the quality of work that has been developed under your guidance.
“Thousands of people who worked on the PNG-LNG construction phase have increased their skill levels. “Many have now moved on to other jobs where their new skills have been recognised and they are taking home a higher income for their families.
“This increased skill level further adds to economic growth and has led to an increase in the quality of work in many sectors related to the LNG project.
“Ultimately, the partnership we have with ExxonMobil is strong and is based on mutual trust and we look forward to a long term engagement with your company.” The visiting delegation visited some of ExxonMobil’s operations in Papua New Guinea.
ExxonMobil Corporation employs around 75,000 globally. Their operations in Papua New Guinea employ more than 2,100 people, with 70 percent Papua New Guinean.

PNG Road Viewer Application Technology launched

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Major stakeholders in the nation’s road investment today attended the launch of a technological first for Papua New Guinea. The Department of Works welcomed PNG transport agencies and development partners to a demonstration and hands-on training session with the country’s first ever ‘Road Viewer Application’.
The new system allows users to simply click on an interactive map of the country to watch a detailed video of the condition of that section of the road. The software and data are all contained in a simple external hard drive presented to each participant.
The Road Viewer Application was produced after over 6,000 kilometres of the PNG road network were surveyed. The survey vehicle took video footage and a range of engineering data as it travelled along the road network.
The new technology will support policy makers to make evidence-based decisions on how and where to invest in vital infrastructure improvements.
The project was completed with funding of over three million kina from the Australian Government. Works Secretary David Wereh was enthused about the improvements that the survey and application will bring for his Department and other investors in Papua New Guinea’s road network.
“This simple technology is an exciting innovation for Papua New Guinea. It allows the Department to justify sound, evidence-based investment decisions that will offer good value for money. The system offers all stakeholders the ability to make a preliminary site inspection without leaving the office.”
Minister Counsellor at the Australian High Commission, James Hall, praised the new system. “The survey data and Road Viewer Application will offer great benefits for planning investment in PNG’s road infrastructure. Decisions on where roads are in greatest need of funding can now be made more easily using up-to-date visuals of the road condition.
The VRCS can be a catalyst in ensuring investment decisions are based on improved visual and, increasingly, technical evidence. This will help PNG chart a more efficient and effective course to improve the overall road network condition.”
The information also has significant implications for road safety. The survey has been used to develop a database of the engineering features and condition of the road network as well as develop a series of cost-effective investment options to improve road safety standards.
The project was delivered through the Papua New Guinea – Australia Transport Sector Support Program as part of the Australian Government’s long-term commitment to transport infrastructure in PNG.

PNG commends West Papua's admission to Melanesian Spearhead Group

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West Papuans waiting result of their Application submitted to
become member of the MSG. Photo credit: Constantinopel Ruhukail
“Today is very a important day for peace and goodwill for our Brothers and Sisters living in Indonesia’s Melanesian provinces,” Papua New guinea’s Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP said as he left the meeting of Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders in Honiara.

Following discussion between the Leaders of Melanesian Spearhead Group countries, the group has decided that Indonesia is to be admitted to MSG as an associate member, and be represented by the elected leaders of these Melanesian provinces (West Papua).

Further to this, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) will be given observer status as a development partner representing the welfare of Melanesian people living outside. Papua New Guinea welcomes the decision that reaffirms representation at the sub-regional level must be made by mandated leaders that have been elected by their people.

This decision by MSG will pave the way for Indonesia and Papua New Guinea to engage in consultation within the framework of agreement with Indonesia. “I look forward to having deeper conversations with Indonesia and in the true spirit of being part of a regional family. “We are all partners in facilitating peace and security in our region.

“I believe we have the respect of Indonesia for the honesty and genuine nature of our offer to offer cooperation on this sensitive, issue. I further believe that groups such as ULMWP appreciate that our intentions are genuine. “Soon after coming to office I began a dialogue with then President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and now continue with President Joko Widodo.

PNG Government to probe comments by lawyers

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Lawyer Greg Sheppard to be investigated. 
The Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Amb Isaac Lupari, said today a thorough investigation will be carried out into well-publicized comments by two prominent lawyers in recent days.
The probe will be carried out by a team comprising senior officials drawn from the Department of Immigrations, Police, Central Bank, Justice and Department of Prime Minister and NEC.
“Over the past 48 hours we have seen a number of serious claims aired on television that relate to statements by lawyers Greg Sheppard and Harvey Maladina,” Ambassador Lupari said.
“The video has since gone viral on social media leading to rumours and innuendo.
“It is important that Young and Williams release the names of public figures they represent and transfer funds on behalf of out of the country.
“Our office has never used this law firm, particularly in relation to the transfer of funds, so I would like to see them clear the air.
“Further to this, Jimmy Maladina or anyone else in his family, have no ongoing working relationship with the Prime Minister’s Office or the Prime Minister. 
“We do know that Young and Williams, have over many years, represented many other leaders both in Government and Opposition.
“It is important that they clearly explain their comments in a most direct and precise way by naming the names of people they have represented. 
“This matter has to be looked at by investigative agencies in both Papua New Guinea and Australia.
“The claims are serious and considering the public standing of these two men, this investigation will be undertaken promptly.
“The claims made in the video are also undermining the credibility of the legal fraternity.
“It is important that the Papua New Guinea Law Society also properly investigate the matter and take any action required.
“The Solicitor General will now review all ongoing Government engagements with that firm with a view of transferring these files to other legal firms capable of undertaking this work.”

Pacific Games Transport Service provider conducts fleet parade

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Over 70 PMV buses with 40 other smaller vehicles have been hired to transport Pacific Games athletes, officials and visiting delegations back and forth from the games venues.
Pindu transport and Logistics service who is the official transport provider for the Pacific Game conducted a fleet parade today at the Jack Pidik Park to officially open the Pacific Games transport system.
Owner of Pindu Transport and Logistics Mr Mek Pindu said, it took them 6 months to prepare the vehicles and the drivers for the Pacific Games and he’s happy that they’ve finally reached to the final stage of the whole process.
“I want to let all Papua New Guineans know that in terms of transporting of athletes during the Pacific Games is all taken care of and I’m confident that we will deliver upon the expectations of the Games Organising Committee, the people and the government of Papua New Guinea” said Mr Pindu.
The fleet of buses and other vehicles made a convoy from Jack Pidik Park to the Games village at the University of Papua New Guinea to show the public that they are all set for the Pacific Games.
Meanwhile, there was shortage of PMV buses this morning due to majority of the buses are being hired for the Pacific Games and were attending the fleet parade.
Bus stops from Gerehu all the way to Four Mile were packed with people all struggling to hop on to a few of the buses that were operating this morning.
Though the fleet parade only took a couple of hours, it sure did affect the public transport system in the city and the same is most likely to happen during the Pacific Games.
According t the commuters, the few PMV buses that were operating took advantage of the situation and charged K2 for bus fare.  PNGFM/PNGToday

Hunters dominate PNG Nines Team announced today for Pacific Games

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PAPUA New Guinea Rugby Football League has announced its Rugby League 9s team to represent Papua New Guinea at the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby. SP Hunters Head Coach Michael Marum will take charge of the team with Strength & Conditioning Coach Jason Tassell to be the trainer while Solomon Kuluniasi will be team manager. Chairman Sandis Tsaka when announcing the 15-member 9s team said: “we believe the selectors in consultation with coach Marum have named a team that will make PNG proud at
the games.” The rugby league 9s competition is from July 11 to 12 at the BSP Stadium. Tsaka said the team named is suited to the 9s format and comprises speed, strength, versatility and the mental toughness that has been experienced through a high intensity competition like the Intrust Super Cup. The two players – Silas Gahuna and Rex Yellon not members of the Hunters - have proven themselves in the 9s format having being members of the Commonwealth Games team that won gold in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014 and the Cabramatta Nines in Sydney early this year.

Gahuna plays for Digicel Cup team Gulf Isapea while Yellon plays for the Enga Mioks.
Pacific Games Rugby League 9s Sports Competition Manager Toksy Nema said PNG will be
among the six countries participating in the Rugby League 9s competition. The other countries are Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands and Solomon Islands.
The team in alphabetical order is:
1. Stargroth Amean, 2. Ase Boas, 3. Nickson Borana, 4. Israel Eliab, 5. David Lapua, 6.
Willie Minoga, 7. Kato Ottio, 8. Wartovo Puara, 9. Gahuna Silas, 10. Thompson Teteh,
11. Oti Bland Tony, 12. Lawrence Tu’u, 13. Adex Wera, 14. Rex Yellon, 15. Noel

Lawyer Greg Sheppard denies allegations

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LAWYER Greg Sheppard has described a secretly-filmed footage of him where he allegedly advised a person on how to make illegal payments as “entrapment” and “malicious and ridiculous”.
The partner of Young and Lawyers said the person had introduced himself as a potential investor in PNG but he was not genuine.
“His purpose was entrapment,” he told The National yesterday of their meeting at his office.
“He walked in off the street, I am advised on the 22 May 2014 – over 13 months ago – and asked to see me. 
“Neither he nor the firm he falsely claimed to represent were ever clients of this firm. I never saw him before and I have never seen him since. 
“No file was opened by us and no invoice was rendered to him or his fictitious company.”
Sheppard was responding to a secretly-filmed footage that was aired over SBS One on Tuesday night.
The sting was carried out by a non-governmental organisation and showed him allegedly giving advice on how to make illegal payments to a Papua New Guinean minister.
Sheppard said he was not aware of the footage by Global Witness until the broadcast.
He said he did not give the Global Witness operative permission to film or record their conversation.
“My meeting with him took place in the context of a general discussion, not a solicitor/client conference for legal advice on discreet or specific legal issues. 
“My comments on such occasions are by the very nature of the exchange, general, hypothetical and merely polite discussion.
“It is illogical to think, and it certainly never occurred to me that he was looking for advice on how to perpetrate some specific sort of illegal conduct.”
Sheppard denied allegations by SBS that he was involved in illegal conduct and maintained that his firm had always acted in accordance with the laws of PNG.
“The footage does not support any of those allegations,” he said.
“At no point in the interview do I advise this person to undertake illegal or improper conduct in PNG, or how to do so. 
“The allegations by SBS are a gross misrepresentation of what can be plainly seen to have occurred. The general tenor of my conversation during this footage is to unequivocally and repeatedly recommend to him in no uncertain terms not to have anything to do with the suggestion he articulated, that the days of that type of conduct in PNG were long over, and he shouldn’t even think about such a thing. I repeat those comments throughout the interview. I also made it clear to him in express terms that I was not advising him to take any action which may be illegal. 
“To suggest in the light of these facts that I was somehow involved in concocting a plan to execute a corrupt plan or perpetrate other illegal conduct is frankly malicious and ridiculous.”

The National/PNG Today

Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Concludes in Honiara

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HONIARA: The Foreign Ministers' Meeting (FMM) has been successfully concluded and preparations for the 20th Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders Summit are currently underway.

During these preparations, recommendations have been developed from related meetings including measures to further strengthen the MSG 2038 Prosperity For All Plan, and the observers and associated members' status, which will be submitted to the MSG Leaders for their consideration.

Representing Papua New Guinea at the FMM was the Acting Secretary for the Department Foreign Affairs, William Dihm, who participated in the conclusion and signing of its outcomes.

IMG 4105 "MSG continues to remain a significant forum to promote collective sub-regional agendas of the group within the framework of the MSG 2038 Prosperity For All Plan.

Thus, I thank the hard working members of the recently held Senior Officials Meeting for deliberating on the issues and setting the agendas for the Ministers, also aligned with the very fitting theme for the 20th MSG Leaders' Summit and other related meetings," Secretary Dihm said.

He said the theme 'Let us build a strong Melanesia in the Pacific where peace, progress and prosperity is ensured and sustained for all' reinforces PNG's desire to practically and meaningfully assist in the implementation of the various programs undertaken by the MSG Secretariat.

"PNG will continue to work closely with all regional partners including the MSG through constructive engagement and these include extending development cooperation to Small Island states, business, cultural integration, education and employment opportunities, consistent with our fundamental Melanesian principles of sharing and caring.

"We are also aware of the MSG Secretariat's plans to open up more economic corridors to advance and promote trade, investment, business and tourism opportunities, among MSG countries," Mr Dihm said.

On the PNG-Indonesian relations, Mr Dihm said it remains complex given the wide range of issues affecting the two countries; nonetheless, our already robust ties have continued to be enhanced over the last forty years.

"On the issue of MSG membership, we have noted the recommended processes guiding the screening potential of applicants and that their admission must be addressed responsibly so as to foster cooperation and connectivity and be endorsed by the MSG leadership," Mr Dihm said.

He also acknowledged that the Port Moresby Declaration signed by the MSG Trade Ministers during their meeting in November 2014 underscores the significance of connectivity through aviation and shipping links and reiterated PNG Government's commitment to support in funding the MSG shipping study to give effect to this declaration.

The official opening ceremony for MSG Leaders' Summit will be held today (24/06/15) at the National Museum Outdoor Auditorium in the capital of the Solomon Islands, where the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare will officially welcome the MSG Leaders.

The 20th MSG Leaders' Summit commences tomorrow (25/06/15) at the Heritage Park Hotel.


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