Monday, May 31, 2010

Papua New Guinea Coffee Festival reinvents itself

Art award winning painting by Elly Gendua
School students at the Variety Matinee at Raun Raun Theatre
Ms PNG Coffee Festival 2010 being congratulated by Bougainville president James Tanis
Judges at the PNG Coffee Festival Ball
Art award runner-up painting by Michael Kenny
Ms PNG Coffee Festival runner-up Scholar Mitio with her dad, former Coffee Industry Corporation CEO, Ricky Mitio
Ladies having a great night at the PNG Coffee Festival Ball
Guests mingling at the PNG Coffee Festival Ball



As any successful organisation must do, the 8th PNG Coffee Festival - staged over May 27, 28 and 29, 2010 - has had to reinvent itself.
The festival has adapted to a changing environment and circumstances - and with the swell in population and vast numbers of idle people that congregate around the main market area.
It was decided that the event revisit its origins by staging a smaller, better-focused event.
And as such – much to the disappointment of many - there were no large contingents of singsing groups and secondly there was no trade fair.
However, in so doing, organisers achieved one of its goals set previously – which was to improve the comfort and safety of festival attendees.

Festival’s objective is economic self-reliance
The PNG Coffee Festival is essentially a fun and creative means to promote the message to the Highlands community that individuals must seek a self-reliant and sustainable means of earning a living. The theme for the 2010 event was “nurturing our children and protecting our coffee”.
A cornerstone of the festival is educating school-age children, and this year saw schools continuing to capitalise on the opportunities offered by the festival (refer schools programme below).
Throughout all the weekend’s activities, coffee was consistently featured and promoted as the No. 1 crop for sustaining a livelihood at the village level.

Event programme offered something for all
A range of activities were staged, aiming to provide relevance to a full community cross-section.
1. Coffee cupping and coffee kitchen - Staged at the Pacific Gardens and featured coffee tasting and food samples
2. Coffee Festival Art Award - An award night to recognise local artists held at the University of Goroka library
3. Fireworks - Two nights of major fireworks displays;
4. Schools programme - Featured competitions for students of all age groups, student debates and light entertainment at the Raun Raun Theatre.
5. Variety matinee – Lively afternoon entertainment, directed by the Raun Raun Theatre Company.
6. Miss Coffee Festival Pageant - Pageant held over three days, with final crowning taking place during the Coffee Festival Ball.
7. Coffee Festival Ball – Gala evening featuring light entertainment, dinner and dance.

Coffee Festival Art Award
Over 40 pieces of artwork were featured, including both painted and printed works, from street vendors, students and other members of the public.
The art award this year highlighted the real struggle of artists on the street – earning a living.
Sadly, one such artist, Michael Kenny whose art works were featured at the Art Award - died on the Monday before the award.
Michael Kenny was a promising young artist whose painting style had evolved from simple portraits to detailed depictions of life in the Highlands of PNG.
The award night, held at the UOG Library in front of a fullhouse crowd, was successful and organisers will look to build on this effort and offer more options for artists in the future.
The 2010 winners were: Mr Elly Gendua first place (K700), and the late Mr Michael Kenny second place (K300).
In addition, all submissions were appreciated and in acknowledgement of their work, K50 was given to each participant.

Coffee Kitchen and Coffee Cupping
A new inclusion in this year’s event - highlighting the food and beverage side of coffee.
With the Coffee Cupping – samples were taken from growers, with roasting and judging taking place on location at the venue Pacific Gardens Hotel.
The winner for the Cupping prize was Mrs Marie Yogiyo.
The Coffee Industry Corporation officiated at the event with their quality control experts handling the judging.
The Coffee Kitchen saw food entries from Mrs Elly Gendua and Mama Ria, incorporating coffee flavours.
This activity was a learning experience and organisers hope to build on this aspect to given more prominence to Coffee Cupping and to Coffee Kitchen-related foods in the future.

Schools programme
One of the major activities at the 2010 festival was the school’s programme.
Six competitions were staged for schools in the Goroka district.
The categories were: drawing, poems, model making, essay, debating and poster making.
The six competitions were given to elementary, primary and secondary students.
The theme for all competitions was ‘Nurturing our Children and Protecting our Coffee’.
The judging of the competitions took place at the Raun Raun Theatre, and was presented together with light entertainment from Kere Cultural Group, comedians and the traditional wear parade for Miss Coffee Festival.
By the end of the day, a total of 18 winners were announced covering all categories.
The winners for 2010 were:
Drawing: Emmanuel Belome (Goroka Secondary); Maxi Unua (Kabiufa);
Poems: The class of 3 A West Goroka; Abraham Kusak (GIS); Quintessa Harokave (GIS)
Model making: Safarita F (West Goroka); Sil Bare (Homu); Kiaturu Lero (East Goroka);
Poster making: Kenny Hanagpo (Goroka Secondary); Tracy / Alexia / Shayenne (GIS); Dunstan Samuel (North Goroka)
Essays: Leonie John (Goroka Secondary); Rose Tony (Goroka Grammar); Jonah Sao (Goroka Secondary)
The debate: Goroka Secondary Team (Jessica Bablis, Iran Yanda, Naomi Phillip)

Variety matinee
Under the direction of Raun Raun Theatre management -, this years Variety Matinee, showcased 12 groups from all parts of the Highlands.
In true Raun Raun Theatre style the performance was lively and entertained all who attended.

Miss Coffee Festival Pageant
Eight Goroka-based beauties were put through three days of scrutiny from judges.
Entrants were interviewed by judges on various criteria; they spoke to the public on different community issues; and paraded in their traditional costume as well as evening wear.
Miss Michelle Mondia was crowned Miss Coffee Festival 2010, with Miss Scholar Mitio winning the first runner-up prize.
Miss Coffee Festival will be looking for a sponsor to take her to the Miss PNG Quest, where she will be Miss Coffee.

Fireworks captivate Goroka
Beneath the full moon, echoed shouts of euphoria throughout Goroka Town, the valley and surrounding mountain ranges as the festival team shot hundreds of fireworks into the evening sky over two nights. Reports from jubilant and excited people kept coming in from villages far and wide, in the days that followed the fireworks displays.
Organisers promise even more for next festival
Organisers will continue to be ready to adapt the event to suit the ever-changing environment under which the event is staged.
Furthermore, organisers hope to build upon the following areas:
• Develop further the schools programme;
• Develop further the art award and create opportunities for artists;
• Further develop the Coffee Kitchen and Coffee Cupping; and
• Continue to prioritise the overall comfort and experience for participants
The next Festival will be held in 2011, with dates set closer to that time.

Nestle (PNG) Ltd
The National Newspaper
Karai Bilong Kumul (KBK) radio
Pacific Gardens Hotel
G.F. Property
Bird of Paradise Hotel
Coca Cola Amatil (PNG) Ltd
Care International
Eastern Highlands Provincial Government
Coffee Industry Corporation
Autonomous Bougainville Government
Guard Dog Security
Super Value Store
Department of Commerce & Industry
Gold Bell Constructions
Ceeman – Hire Cars
Sengda Trading Ltd
Care International
City Pharmacy
Park Ridge Estates
Summer Institute of Linguistics

Some selected results from the recently released 2010 Lowy Instutute Poll


'AusAID states the aim of Australia's overseas aid programme 'is to assist developing countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, ..'

So what is the report card on AusAid achievements in Papua New Guinea?
The largest group (48%) surveyed said we should be doing more.

The 2010 Lowy Institute Poll reports the results of a nationally representative opinion survey of 1,001 Australian adults conducted in Australia between 6 and 21 March 2010.1 It is the sixth annual Lowy Poll.
The Rudd Government has committed Australia to increasing its foreign aid to 0.5% of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015-16,7 but what do Australians think about the size of Australia's aid programme and what it should be trying to achieve?
Asked to say whether 'the government is currently giving too much, too little or about the right amount of aid to developing countries' a majority (55%) said 'about the right amount'. Just over one fifth (22%) said it was giving 'too much' and about the same percentage (19%) said 'too little'.
Older Australians (45 years old or older) were three and a half times more likely than younger Australians (18 to 29 years of age) to say the government is currently giving 'too
much' aid (29% compared with 8%). Men were also more likely to say this than women (26% compared with 17%). AusAID states the aim of Australia's overseas aid programme 'is to assist developing countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, in line with Australia's national interest.
Presented with 'four possible objectives for Australia's overseas aid programme', the highest level of support (measured by those saying it was 'a top priority') was for 'reducing poverty' (58%) followed by 'improving the quality of government' (53%) and 'promoting economic development' (49%). The least supported option was 'promoting Australian interests' (42%).

Papua New Guinea and aid

Papua New Guinea - a former Australian colony - is one of the largest recipients of Australian aid. But the country continues to suffer from serious development and security problems. Asked whether 'Australia should be doing more, doing less or about the same as it is doing now in Papua New Guinea' almost half (48%) of the adult population said it should be doing 'more' while 42% said 'about the same'.
Just 6% said 'less'.


Lowy polling suggests Australians have a streak of altruism when it comes to foreign policy. This year, for example, Australians placed 'reducing poverty' ahead of 'promoting
Australian interests' as a top priority for Australia's aid programme. But how moral do they think Australian foreign policy is compared to other countries?
Asked if it was 'above average, about average, or below average' a majority (57%) of Australians said it was morally 'about average'. A quarter (24%) said it was 'above average'
and 14% said it was 'below average'. Men were more likely than women to say the morality of Australia's foreign policy was 'above average' (29% compared with 18%).

What's the nub of the problem?


If there are sufficient checks and balances in the Papua New Guinea system of government,
why haven't they prevented to current situation?
Therein lies the nub of the problem.

The inability of those who have a system being prepared to actually use it.
The list of examples continues to grow.
Motigate, Taiwan millions, no tax returns for many years, high level corruption, etc.
Every time a major scandal is allowed to go unchecked it knocks another support out from underneath the so called 'people's house'.
The credibility of the PNG Parliament has been eroded into it now merely being a rubber stamp for the Somare/Temu government to use when it wants.
It is clear now the office of the Governor General is a politically-appointed figurehead only and is beholden to the government of the day through the Speaker.
The majority of the Haus Tambaran is clearly either unable to understand what they are voting for or hopelessly compromised.
The Opposition appears 'eggbound' and can't seem to obtain any 'rubber on the road'.
The PNG court system has been reduced to being deluged by vexatious
The Police Commissioner is clearly not prepared to risk his position.
The Chief Ombudsman either will not or cannot (though under funding), do anything.
 The Public Prosecutor appears unwilling to start proceedings.
 The Tax Office apparently won't bring charges against those who haven't submitted their tax returns for years.
The list goes on and on.
The PNGDF has now been reduced to the size of an ill-equipped school cadet corps but managed by a collection of highly paid, senior officers who apparently owe their appointments to political whim and not organisational necessity.
One wonders if this has been done intentionally or through a complete lack of understanding the military rank structure.
The PNG people are being conned by experts that have been allowed to develop their 'modus operandi' over many years.
 If the situation cannot be resolved by peaceful and Constitutional means, it gives rise to speculation what other means might be used if the PNG people ever become organised and
Meanwhile, PNG's nearest neighbours sit on their hands or put their metaphoric heads in the sands.
The time will come when many people will say, "Why didn't someone do something before this debacle got totally out of control?"
But by then it will be too late.

Let's not scapegoat consultants and miss the deeper ill in our aid programme


It is an important element of our right to transparency and accountability in governance that there is, rightly, outrage both in Australia and in Papua New Guinea about the recently publicised, disgustingly high rates of tax free dollars that are used to remunerate ‘consultants’ in the  Australia aid programme.  

On a number of levels I find the ‘valuing’ of work in this way obscene. 

We don’t value, and therefore remunerate, community and family care for:  children, differently abled, older people, many in this community, and indeed in PNG, in a comparable financial way. 

Yet of course we could argue that this work, which is dominated by women and girls, is of more value to the way our countries actually function day to day than the terms of reference for many of these aid consultancies.  

What is also disturbing is that those consultants pay no tax either in Australia or in PNG.  Do they not drive their cars on PNG roads?…who pays for that upkeep? 

Do they not use government provided, taxpayer funded services in Australia

Why are they exempt from paying tax to support those services? Many people have tried to explain it to me but I just don’t get it.

However, let this not mask a deeper and more menacing problem. 

Similarly to many other sectors, Australia’s aid programme has been increasingly commercialised and commodified over the last 25 years. 

 As the scourge of neo-liberalism has seen publicly controlled roles such as prison management, local government building surveying regulation, public transport, and public roads all fall into private hands, so has our aid program. 

Where the motive, make no mistake, is profit.  And so the system peddles one of many false assumptions in aid delivery… that people commanding big bucks will run the aid program better than those demanding less.  

Where does that leave the bulk of Papua New Guineans? 

Implicit in this practice is the notion that because they cannot compete for these kinds of consultancies, their knowledge is not valued, and of use, to the delivery of Australian aid? And where is the accountability of those commanding the big bucks? 

To the shareholders of the commercial aid contractors. 

Not to the taxpayers who contribute to the aid coffers.   

So commercialism muddies the accountability of what gets done, and by whom. 

And actively excludes the people with whom we should be engaging and which international research and wisdom tells us time and time again….the people who have to live by the consequences of the decisions, should be involved in making those decisions. 

That is established and documented good development practice everywhere and actually common sense (if you can disentangle the dominance of the neo-liberal paradigm). 

 It ain’t, as they say, rocket science.

Now we find ourselves in a kind of double whammy in PNG.   

The aid that we do, and have done, has really not had the kinds of impacts, has not contributed enough to improving life on the ground in that country, that we in Australia, and Papua New Guineans, have a right to demand or expect from the billions of dollars we have spent there.  

Not only that, but  we have also further undermined local development efforts by  affecting the context in which aid is carried out in that country, including such things as exorbitant salaries paid to consultants.

 Ask any Papua New Guinean, employed or otherwise, who is trying to live in Port Moresby, about housing costs. 

And we think we have it bad here! 

Perks such as housing provision for expatriate staff in both the considerable aid and development sector and the private sector, have driven prices up in the relatively small rental market in Moresby so that it is simply out of reach of the vast majority of Papua New Guineans.  (Goodness knows how the influx of expatriates as part of the LNG project will further exacerbate this problem.) 

You can begin to think through for yourself the kinds of repercussions this situation brings…law and order issues, food security, infrastructure pressures, a city increasingly divided along class, race and sex lines…but hey, we don’t have to live by the consequences of these decisions. 

Papua New Guineans do.

So not only do we not “do” aid very well, and it costs us an arm and a leg with such things as obscenely high consultancy costs, but we also don’t even “do no harm”. 

Our aid programme actually makes things worse for local people.

 Papua New Guineans have plenty of their own issues to deal with at present.

 Let’s not give them another job of cleaning up the mess that our aid programme leaves behind.

Let us use the scandal that is huge consultancy fees in our aid programme to demand better of our government’s contribution to aid and development which is, after all, for our mutual common good. 

And let’s do it in ways which we know are useful…the Millennium Development Goals told us what to do in 2000, the Paris declaration on development effectiveness in 2005 told us what to do, the Accra accord on aid in 2008 told us what to do. 

We need to make meaningful bridges between ourselves, see the connection between the way we live our lives here and the way life gets lived in many developing communities,  underpin these relationships  with Patrick Dodson enunciated values such as mutual equality, respect and love, and ensure that the people most affected have a role in shaping their own solutions. 


And meanwhile let’s at least try and ‘do no harm’.

 That’s the least I can expect from my aid programme. 

And actually I think we can do a whole lot better than that. 

But we have to start doing things differently;  development  as it is currently dished up, in many parts of indigenous Australia and in many programs of our bilateral aid programme is not only not working, it is making things worse. 

We know what to do.

 Let’s have the courage and political will to do it.

And the energy and insight of my fellow citizens to demand it.  

  • Deb Chapman was a domestic and international community development worker for 30 years, including 10 years in Papua New Guinea,  currently lecturing at Victoria University in Melbourne, and who is poorer, but happier, that she has never undertaken an AusAID consultancy because she doesn’t like the power dynamics, and accountabilities, underlying that kind of work.  


Revival of East New Britain Orchid Society

By UNRE Public Relations


Plans are underway to revive the East New Britain Orchid Society.

The move, which is being initiated by the Kokopo Historical and Museum Society, has received the support of Papua New Guinea Orchid Society patron, former Prime Minister Sir Rabbie Namaliu.

More than 25 people from around the province attended a recent meeting in Kokopo to discuss the initiative (pictured above).

They have agreed to meet again on June 26 to elect the society’s executive members.

Sir Rabbie, who was also present at the meeting, said he wel­comed the move to revive the orchid society in the province.

He recounted his experi­ences with the PNG Orchid Society and highlighted the many advantages of being or­chid society members.

Sir Rabbie said the ENB society could also establish an annual orchid show in Kokopo, similar to the one held in Port Moresby each year.

Those who attended the meeting, which included 17 staff of the University of Natural Resources and Environment, welcomed this proposal and are looking forward to the June meeting to further the initiative.

People who are interested in being part of this society should call Kokopo Historical and Museum Society chairman Neville Howcroft on (675) 983 9144 or secretary/treasurer Werner Arnes on (675) 982 8447.

Government is powerless


TILL the Government wakes up and sees the truth,  Papua New Guinea will slip further into the African tube.
Recent decision and action by the government to enact a law preventing environmental lawsuit is unconstitutional.
Unless Waigani shows that the amendment law is in the public interest, it will lose any integrity it may have.
The public interest is a politically-sensitive notion in any nation.
In PNG, the politics of miners and their power of money are public interests the government must protect.
On the other hand, public interest in developed countries os about protecting people, environment and tax among others.
Recent decisions and actions of leaders in Canada, USA and Australia are exemplary.
Stopping litigation will only open PNG to more scrutiny.
This means the Government enacted a law that is not in the public interest as it does not protect the people and their way of life.

More on the Ramu mine fiasco


In an impassioned plea on the following website, Mr George Ireng, the campaigner who has led the landowners campaign against the Ramu mine waste dumping, seeks the assistance of everyone who disagrees with this legislation:
At the same time, the new Rai Coast MP James Gau says there is no proof that the waste disposal of the Ramu mine will damage the environment and demands the project should go ahead. He said the time for talking is now over and that NGO's should come up with other development projects to help the people of the Rai Coast. Mr Gau said that the deep sea disposal of mining waste was safe.
Apparently, Mr Gau is deluding himself and his electorate that once the mine tailings might start polluting the sea off his electorate and possibly killing off the fish and natural resources, he could then demand the project be turned off with the flick of a switch. What planet is he on? Didn't he read the government withheld the independently produced environmental impact study that says there are concerns about the project?
Of the few Haus Tambaran members who were allowed to speak on the matter, Milne Bay Governor John Luke, in supporting the amendments, said he (indicating a third party) came from a foreign country that had wiped out its resources and was now telling PNG what to do.
"People from outside are coming here and telling us what to do. How can we listen to them if they have developed through the use of their natural resources?"
He said on deep sea tailings, he saw nothing wrong with it. Luke said Misima had used the same system and nothing bad had come out of it, as the tailings were dumped in waters that were too deep for fishing and diving.
So Governor Luke, exactly where do you think the owners and operators of the Ramu mine come from? Where is your evidence that such a proposal is without risk and where did this evidence originate?
This whole imbroglio smacks of deceit and quite possibly possibly worse.

The National 31 May 2010

Ramu mine must start, says MP


NON-governmental organisations protesting against the Ramu nickel mine deep sea tailings placement system at Basamuk in Madang should not hinder the progress and development, new Rai Coast MP James Gau has said.
Gau said this after the project had been further delayed through a court injunction by an NGO-led group stopping further construction of the trailings pipeline.
He said the mine was important for the people of Rai Coast, especially those living along the coastal pipeline route and the refinery site a Basamuk; these people had been neglected and denied visible development over the years.
Gau said there was no proof of environmental damage at this stage for critics to be concerned.
"Production must proceed; let us see how it goes first because the landowners, the government and the developers have signed the agreement to allow the mine to go head.
"The time to talk about that should have been during the signing of the agreement," he said.
Gau said there was no other safe method of tailings disposal available; deep sea tailings was the best options available as far as scientists and experts were concerned.
He called on the NGOs, which are against the Ramu nickel mine, to offer alternative solutions and development ideas for the people of Rai Coast.
"If they cannot provide alternate development plans, then, they must leave the people of Rai Coast alone, not use them for their own selfish gains."


House outlaws third party in resource projects


PARLIAMENT has passed laws that will outlaw third party lawsuits against resource projects in Papua New Guinea.
The amendments to the Environment Bill, which was passed 73-0, meant that the restraining order preventing the Ramu nickel cobalt (Ramu NiCo) mine project in Madang from operating would be lifted and operations to resume.
Environment and Conservation Minister Benny Allan told Parliament last Friday that the Environment (Amendment) Bill 2010 will supplement, give full effect to enable holders of environment permits to comply with the standards and requirements stated in their permits.
He said the amendment would also mitigate risks associated with third party litigation, or lawsuits. He said a recent court decision against the state had exposed resource projects to the risks that environmental permits, granted by the state after satisfying legal and scientific requirements, might not be valid and enforceable.
Allan said a third party (financed by special interest groups), although not a stakeholder in such projects, could now challenge the validity of an environmental permit and frustrate works and activities carried out in accordance with such permits and approvals.
"The idea that this could happen, even though any such project had been operating within the terms of those permits, gives rise to a concern of national priority," he said.
"All major mining and petroleum projects (including LNG projects) are particularly at risk, whether they are already operating, in construction or have been proposed.
"This represented a significant threat to the PNG economy and investor confidence; it is, therefore, a matter of utmost national significance."
He said the amendments were intended to assist the Department of Environment and Conservation and the courts better interpret and apply environmental laws.
"It is imperative that the amendments are effected immediately," Allan said.
Milne Bay Governor John Luke, in supporting the amendments, said he came from a foreign country that had wiped out its resources and was now telling PNG what to do.
"People from outside are coming here and telling us what to do.
"How can we listen to them if they have developed through the use of their natural resources?"
He said on deep sea tailings, he saw nothing wrong with it.
Luke said Misima had used the same system and nothing bad had come out of it, as the tailings were dumped in waters that were too deep for fishing and diving.

A win at last!

Three-try hero Johnson Kuike (centre) of the Rangers getting tackled by Lae Bombers players led by veteran forward Lawrence Goive (left) in round four of the bemobile Cup yesterday in Port Moresby. Rangers won 36-16. – Nationalpic by EKAR KEAPU

Masta Mak Rangers finally snap three-game bemobile Cup losing streak

By HENRY MORABANG in The National

LOCK Johnson Kuike put on the man of the match performance scoring a hattrick of tries to help Masta Mak Rangers register their first bemobile Cup victory 32-16 over Lae Bombers at Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby yesterday.
In the other games yesterday, Kongo Coffee Warriots proved too classy for Bintangor Goroka Lahanis 16-10 in Goroka, NGIP Agmark Gurias buried WGS Mt Hagen Kuris in Kokopo 36-0 and Structural Bridging System Mendi Muruks fought a 20-all draw with Stop and Stop Civpac Vipers in Lae.
Kuike, a BSP security officer from Simbu, scored half of his side’s six tries to rout the Bombers who scored three.
After failing to complete 12 sets of six in an an abominable error-ridden opening 15 minutes, the Port Moresby franchise were seemingly in deep trouble especially with the ball coming loose in contact.
To their credit the Rangers regrouped to send Kuike through some half-hearted Bombers defence to open the score in the 12th minute for a 6-0 lead.
Three minutes later, Bombers secondrower Yobo Motoro replied for the visitors with an unconverted try to trail 6-4.
The game see-sawed for a period before Kuike visited the tryline again in the 21st minute to extend the score 10-4.
Rangers capitalised on their heavier forwards and started to create the time and space for a potent backline to flourish.
In one such move, the Rangers worked a slick move down the left flank to send winger Joel Ambrose through in the 26th minute .
Goalkicker Simon Maniat made sure of the conversion to cushion their lead 16-4.
With four minutes before half time, Rangers fullback Samson Ene scored from a Maniat inside ball to break out to a 22-4 lead at half time.
In the second half, Rangers using their forward might to punch holes in the Bombers which eventually led Kuike to scoring his third of the afternoon in the 41st minute. With another succesful conversion by new recruit Skipper Mel the Rangers were out to a commending lead 28-4. Power Ranger Ham Tee all but sealed the match in 48th minute for a 32-4 advantage.
The Bombers sensing the game was slipping away game back strongly in the last 10 minutes to score two tries.
Skipper Russ Kaupa Jr displayed his individual brilliance with a clever chip and chase to recollect and score next to the uprights to peg back the lead 32-10.
Bombers forwards Nelson Tony, Lawrence Goive, Sydney Fred, Ben Kaupa started to muscle up on Rangers forwards resulting in an entralling final minutes as Rangers big men Enoch Maki, Nathan Anjo, Ford Tuli and skipper Francis Ray clashed with Bombers pack.
The Lae team’s consistency in the last minute paid off when five-eighth Martin Yanda scored a consolation try to add some respectability to the final scoreline.
The match was well controlled by Porgera-based State of Origin accreditated linesman Wayne Wool.

Susan's dreams



From the back, with her extensions pulled back in a curly haired ponytail and her tall frame, she looks almost different.

Almost, because as she turns to greet the next person, you see the friendly smile and that questioning look accompanied by a slight frown.

After spending a few minutes with her with the phone lines ringing off the hook, realisation dawns that it takes a person with fast fingers, a really good memory and of course the ability to sound the same in the afternoon after a long day of talking to and being cordial to people. 

She has the numbers of half the business houses in Kokopo committed to memory, and can tell who’s calling in-house by the sound of their voice.

That’s what Susan does, working as the switchboard operator/receptionist.

 A typical day for her usually starts with attending to incoming calls, booking staff calls, delivering inter office memos, sorting mail, faxing, filing.

Helping out the bursar’s executive secretary in making official bookings, attending to the Bursar’s calls when he’s out, and attending to students.

But what she enjoys most are the few occasions when she has the added responsibility of acting in the bursar’s secretary’s position.

Born Susan Natasha Mambu (pictured)  to an East New Britain mother and an East Sepik father, Sue is the second of five children and lists one of her interests as spending time with her younger brother and sister.

She grew up in Port Moresby and moved to East New Britain in 2005 with her family.

Graduating from Gerehu Provincial High, she went on to study computing at the International Training Institute and graduated with a diploma in computing technology in 2004.

“Graduating from ITI with that diploma is something I am proud of.”

However, she plans to continue her education, to be better qualified so she can attain what she envisions herself doing in a few years time.

“That is, to be a secretary hopefully working for one of the bosses here at PNG University of Natural Resources and Environment.

Still working towards the stage where she would be able to fill in the ‘what has been your biggest achievement?’ line, she says she is motivated by her parents, especially her father.

“He is the one person on earth that I have to prove myself to.

"To show him that I can be the best I can be.”

Sue overcomes challenges by facing them and thinking positive thoughts, because as she says, positive will get you to the right place, negative thoughts will get you nowhere.

“I try to be positive, and to look on the bright side, even when I’m down, I know it will not last.

"Tomorrow is always another day.”

She says she tries to live by her motto, and that is to "forgive and forget and let life continue because nothing really matters much.”

UNRE prepares for national events

By UNRE Public Relations


Head of the University of Natural Resources and Environment’s student support services, Michael Kukne, is confident that the university will fare well in two upcoming national tertiary student activities.

The university is sending a team of eight students to the Papua New Guinea national youth debate in Madang, while a 167-strong men team will participate at the National Union of Students (NUS) games at the University of Technology in Lae from June 28 to July 4.

Mr Kukne said students had been actively preparing for the two activities for the last two months and he had no doubt they would positively promote the image of the university through their participation as well as their interaction with their peers.

He said the purpose of the debate, which would be staged at Divine Word University from June 21-25, was to involve youth, universities and other tertiary institutions in researching, analysing, considering and forming considered opinions on the PNG responses to the HIV epidemic.

He said the debate was facilitated and funded by PNG National AIDS Council (NAC) and was open to six universities.

All costs (travel, accommodation and meals) will be met by NAC.

The topics to be debated are provocative and designed to ensure a range of HIV-related issues are covered.

Mr Kukne said members of the winning team would become the Prime Minister’s HIV ambassadors for a 12 month-period and be offered a Lahara cadetship at the office of the director of the NAC Secretariat.

He said the final eight students who would represent the university, were selected from mini-debates that were held at the university’s Vudal Campus.

The students will be accompanied by Mr Kukne as coordinator and another university staff, George Korowi, as coach.

Another three staff will accompany students participating in the NUS Games.

Mr Kukne said the university would be represented in soccer, basketball, volleyball, rugby league, rugby touch and union; and urged all participating students to pay their levy fee of K100 each.

He also called on the students to remember that as ambassadors of the university they were abide by its governing rules and regulations, which included its “zero tolerance” stand on alcohol.

The teams have approximately two weeks left for their respective training and rehearsals.

The thin edge of the wedge


The Papua New Guinea government has on Friday the 28th of May 2010 introduced new environmental legislation into Parliament that contains the following clause;
"The director's decision is final and cannot be challenged in any court of law!"
This clause in effect, nullifies any future, possible court action by landowners who may try to protect their environment by way of a court injunction.
The PNG Parliament has voted 73 - 10 to stop any further injunctions being issued, such as the one preventing the Ramu Nickel mine from annually pumping millions of tonnes of waste out into the sea off Madang until an environmental impact study is properly reviewed.
On a positive note, at least 10 members had the guts and far sightedness to vote against the Bill. These 10 should be supported for
their refusal to join a 'lemming like stampede' by other members to destroy their country and their children's future.
History will mark this action by the Somare government as 'the point of no return'.
The implications of this new legislation are very important and far reaching. It signifies that the Somare government now intends to effectively gag all future legal action over the environment by concerned PNG citizens. This is the 'thin edge of the wedge'. By this action, the PNG government has shown that it clearly in future intends to ride roughshod over the rights of its citizens and their Constitutional legal system.
This is the 'thin edge of the wedge'. PNG's Constitution is now directly threatened by the very person who helped write it and swore to uphold it. A large, 'red flag' has now been effectively raised that all PNG citizens should take particular note of.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

New gate for UNRE

By UNRE Public Relations


A second access boom gate (pictured)  is being constructed at the Vudal Campus of the University of Natural Resources and Environment.

The gate, which is located at the campus’s Guangdong Village, is a security measure to monitor and control access to the campus by vehicles as well as pedestrians.

It is also being constructed to provide a safe and peaceful environment for all campus residents.

The access gate will be manned 24-hours a day by university security personnel.

Acting estate and services manager Mike Ambrose said this step was taken following numerous concerns raised by staff residing at the village on speeding vehicles, vandalism and stealing at their residences.

Mr Ambrose said all vehicles including university vehicles would not be allowed to enter the university through Guandong Village after hours (4:06pm) and on weekends.    

All vehicles must use the main university gate during those times.

Once completed, Mr Ambrose said the current access gate near the Guangdong Village monument, would be permanently locked.

Meanwhile, many campus residents have raised concerns about vehicles travelling at high speeds within the campus.

Suggestions offered to control this also include speed limit signs at the main gate as well as within the campus and spot checks by security personnel on offending drivers and their vehicles.

A gift from the heart of a child

Tulani Suitawa (back) with staff and students of UNRE Honey Bee Play School after her presentation


A little school girl selling her belongings to help other children with their education is a rare sight for many.
Eleven-year-old Tulani Suitawa, a grade six student at Sacred Heart Primary School in Rabaul recently raised and donated K200 and other items to the recently-established Honey Bee Play School of PNG University of Natural Resources and Environment.
It was not known to many, why the youngster spent a Saturday afternoon two weeks ago behind the university mini-mart selling her old school bags and bilums; and clothes and shoes she had grown out of.
After the sale, Tulani told her family her intention to donate her old toys to children at the Honey Bee Play School.
She and surrogate sister Lamella packed the toys and other items, which Lamella delivered to school committee chairperson, Naomi Gioven.
Mrs Gioven, however, insisted that the donation was special and requested that Tulani personally present the items to the children, so Tulani and her family went to the school to make the presentation.
Apart from donating the soft toy collection that she amassed since she was born, Tulani also donated two soccer balls, two basketballs, her entire collection of crayons and colour pencils, pages from her old exercise books and magazines for the children’s arts and craft class.
She also donated a box of band-aids and cotton balls towards the school’s first aid kit.
During the presentation, she and Lamella also presented the K200 that they had made from the sales of their second-hand items to Mrs Gioven.
They had made K100 each that day and had decided that children at the school needed it more.
Mrs Gioven, who appreciated the assistance, described it as timely.
She said for a child to give at an early age was a challenge for many adults.
Mrs Gioven said: “Many of us are at the receiving end; we do not want to give, even if it is finance, love or respect. Life is all about giving.”
She said when it came to helping others; most people looked outside for bigger donations.
“Little Tulani’s donation shows us that we can make things happen with what we have,” she said.
Mrs Gioven has since written a formal letter to Tulani, on behalf of the school committee thanking her for her gesture.
It is the youngster’s first important letter and she has placed it carefully amongst her other prized possessions.
Tulani’s mother, Lythia, expressed pride at her daughter’s act of kindness.
“At first I didn’t really take notice of what she and Lamella were doing. My husband and I are always giving so it just seemed natural that Tulani would do something like that. Not really worth a fuss,” she said.
“It wasn’t until Mrs Gioven and other members of the Honey Bee school committee expressed their appreciation that I realised how truly a selfless act it was, especially for a child. Like any mother I am very proud of her and of Lamella for putting others before themselves.”
Ms Suitawa said, however, that the donation also taught her daughter a valuable life lesson.
“On the day Tulani made the donation, she didn’t know that as she was giving away four balls, two new soccer balls had already been bought for her. Not just any soccer ball but the one she had always wanted, with pictures of soccer greats on it,” she said.
Tulani’s father had bought the balls before he heard that she was giving away her toys.
“Through her small donation Tulani learnt that God does bless those who give. She sold her old clothes and shoes, gave away most of her toys, crayons and colour pencils but is now eagerly looking forward to receiving not one but two new soccer balls that she thought she would never have,” Ms Suitawa said.
When asked what prompted her to make the donation, Tulani said it was because she wanted to help the children.
“I am always reminded by my mother that I am blessed to have the things that I have so I wanted to share with other children,” she said.
“It wasn’t really hard to do because giving is a way of life in my family. My grandparents are always helping others and at home I see my parents give all the time, even to people we don’t know.”
Tulani said it made her sad to part with toys that had been with her since her earliest memories, but she knew that she did not need them anymore.
“I’m older now so the children will appreciate them more. That makes me happy,” she said.
Tulani said, however, that her biggest satisfaction came from making her parents proud of her.
“My father called just to say he was proud of me and my mother couldn’t stop smiling so I was glad Lala and I made the donation.
“It proved that what my parents do and want to teach me is true. It is better to give than to receive.”

Preserving our environment for our children

By UNRE Public Relations


One thing we owe the future generations of Papua New Guinea, is to ensure that we leave them with an environment which is at least as good as it is today.

This is according to University of Natural Resources and Environment (UNRE) lecturer, Joachim Pitala.

Mr Pitala, who lectures in natural resources and plant nutrition, said managing our natural resources, land, water, plants and animals was one of the greatest challenges facing PNG today.

He said present data indicated that over the past 30 years, the major causes of deforestation and forest degradation in PNG had been logging and subsistence agriculture with net forest changes of 48.2 % and 45.6 %, respectively.

Mr Pitala said the question one might ask is if there were ways of combining agriculture and forestry management practices that could provide goods and services to people while at the same time, play a role in the protection and conservation of our major natural resources, particularly renewable natural resources.

He said a variety of land-use practices exist that combined the production of agricultural crops, livestock production, forestry and other production systems which provided ecological stability and sustainable benefits to uses of land.

Those practices are commonly known as agro-forestry land-use interventions.

Mr Pitala said agro-forestry was not a new system or concept to PNG.

He said while the term was new, the practice was very old.

“Papua New Guineans have been raising trees and crops together traditionally on the same garden land.

“The crops provide foodstuff, whilst trees provide foods as well as wood for construction of houses, fuel wood, shelter, clothing, tools, recreation and many more,” he said.

The lecturer said the International Council for Research in Agro-forestry (ICRAF) defined agro-forestry as a “collective word for all land-use systems and practices in which woody perennials are deliberately grown on the same land management unit as crops and /or animals”.

He said it was a multi-tiered concept that could be broadly divided into three functional elements: agriculture, forestry and environmental functions.

Mr Pitala said from the ICRAF definition it was clear that the aim of agro-foresty was twofold.

This was to conserve and improve the site, which was, land; and to optimise the combined production of forestry and agricultural crops and animal husbandry.


Cocoa production increases at Vudal

By UNRE Public Relations


Cocoa production at the University of Natural Resources and Environment’s Vudal campus farm has begun to pick up.

This has been through the tireless efforts of cocoa unit supervisor Michael Humbuku and his men.

Since the invasion of cocoa pod borer (CPB) in East New Britain in 2006, the cocoa unit has been working hard to combat the pest using manual control.

This is because chemicals are expensive.

According to Mr Humbuku, cocoa was a good revenue source for the university.

He said before CPB hit the province, the farm produced more than 20 bags of dry beans every month.

More than K40, 000 was lost when the plant disease spread through the university’s cocoa plantations four years ago; however, Mr Humbuku said his unit did not give up.

They cut down all the cocoa trees and replanted new ones with proper management.

Cocoa seedlings that were planted in July 2007 in blocks 19 and 20 are being harvested this month.

The seedlings planted last year will be harvested next year.

Mr Humbuku said so far a total of six bags of wet beans had been harvested this month and production was expected to increase in the coming months.

The unit has planted a total of 14 hectares of cocoa seedlings with 31 hectares more to go.

The cocoa unit uses a simple technique to control CPB, which can assist local farmers greatly.

Mr Humbuku said its management skill did not require money, only labour and commitment.

Local farmers can get more information from Mr Humbuku at the university farm.


Shocking facts about smoking in Papua New Guinea

Information supplied by National Narcotics Bureau


A past survey done in selected Schools in National Capital District indicated the following grim statistics:

·       31.3% of students have tried smoking

·       14.8% of students in NCD smoke regularly

·       The most-common age of initiation is 12-13 years.

·       Peer pressure and desire for experimentation are two important factors for initiation.

·       Students are exposed to environmental smoke both in their homes and in public places

·       Half of the students were taught at school the dangers of smoking

 Equally alarming, statistics available from the Health Department indicate the fact that hundreds of persons who have never smoked, die each year from diseases caused by breathing second-hand tobacco smoke.

 The collateral damage is equally alarming.

 Cigarette smoke contains thousands of identified chemicals, at least 250 of which are known to be carcinogenic or otherwise toxic.

Among those chemicals and toxins are the deadly, odourless, colourless gas - carbon monoxide, increased levels of acetaldehyde, acrolein, formaldehyde and many other substances.

 When inhaled, these poisons are concentrated and quickly spread throughout the body, leading to a range of serious diseases which can affect both adults and young people. Young people are particularly vulnerable to respiratory infections, asthma and middle ear infections.

 We have made considerable advances in socio-economic development and yet we continue to live in ignorance of the dangerous consequences of Tobacco.

To date, Papua New Guinea has yet to formulate and implement a comprehensive tobacco use policy and legislation to complement other health, education and social sector policies and legislations.

To this end, the National Narcotics Bureau has been over the years requesting the National Government for funding support to implement such policies, but to date nothing tangible has transpired.

We are now working on a submission to be submitted to the National Planning Department to carry out a nationwide drug abuse survey (including tobacco). 

We have to act in a responsible way, both at the individual, family and collective level.

 World No Tobacco Day 2010 is a challenge for re-assessing our attitude to smoking and to smokers.

This special day is also an opportunity for smokers to think seriously about giving up; and for non-smokers to strengthen their determination to stay non-smokers.

This day marks a useful time for us as a nation to raise awareness about the dangers associated with tobacco products in order to help people get accurate information, remove the disguise and unveil the truth behind these products.

And it is very important that people, especially our youth population, start speaking up for themselves and assert their rights to health and clean air, for themselves and for their families.

Everybody must be warned that nicotine is a highly-addictive substance and adolescent experimentation can easily lead to a lifetime of tobacco dependence.

We all now recognise smoking for what it is; an addiction. Substances like tobacco, alcohol or other dangerous drugs bring down our ability to do our best and progress in life.

Let us all, on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day 2010, begin with a personal commitment not to smoke out the health and happiness of those who are close to us.