A new coffee factory in Kokopo

More good news is brewing for PNG!

A new coffee factory in Kokopo, East New Britain is set to transform the economic landscape of the New Guinea Islands region. 

Located in Kabakual on the outskirts of Kokopo town, the new factory will help communities diversify their crops and support the production of high-quality Arabica coffee beans for international export. The factory itself is expected to employ at least 30 people.

The factory, pictured above during a recent World Bank team visit, is an initiative of PNG’s East New Britain Provincial Government and is supported by the World Bank through the PPAP Coffee Component.

More than 1,000 coffee growers have already registered under this partnership, with the opening of the new factory expected to boost numbers.

Under the project, coffee farmers receive ID cards, help to open a bank account and support for income and savings plans.

Supported by World Bank Pacific, through PNG’s Department of Agriculture and Livestock, since it began in 2010, PPAP has worked with more than 67,000 farmers from twelve provinces in PNG.

This has included more than 24,000 women, who have been supported to take greater ownership in the production and sale of coffee and cocoa across the country.

The unique partnership has resulted in a 40 percent increase in net income for smallholder coffee and cocoa growers across PNG.

-World Bank

Missionary Aviation Fellowship says good bye to Twin Otters

Goodbye Twin Otter!

This morning,  MAF Mt Hagen team gathered around the Twin Otter P2-MFU to farewell not only this plane but to close an era of MAF PNG flying Twin Otters.

MAF says these aircraft have been a part of MAF PNG for around 40 years and now mark the change to a fleet consisting entirely of Cessna Caravan aircraft.

“Change is always hard and as an organisation and as individuals, we have to always be sure to take the time to pray through decisions and believe that the Lord is guiding us as we listen for his still quiet voice.”

“We believe that the changes to the program will benefit the people of PNG and will enable us to more effectively achieve our vision which is to see isolated people physically and spiritually transformed in Christ’s name,”MAF said today.

“So, pray with us all as we commit our way to the Lord.”
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act”. – Psalm 37:5 ESV

P2-MFU is currently on its way to Mareeba, the MAF Asia Pacific Maintenance Facility where it will undergo some maintenance and hopefully soon will find another owner, ferried by Twin Otter Captain Richie Axon and MAF Internationals Training Manager Volkher Jacobson.

Richie Axon, together with Ryan Cole as First Officer operationally flew this aircraft until Saturday serving the people of the Min area.

There it was farewelled by the Telefomin community and Min representatives as their plane, also remembering those who lost their lives in service.

For now, MAF PNG has based one Cessna Caravan at Telefomin, in the long term, there will be 2 Caravans to make up for the lost Twin Otter service.

New Ireland looks are creating an additional open electorate

The New Ireland Provincial Executive Council on Monday 7th October, 2019 approved the establishment of the Provincial Boundaries Committee.

The Committee will look into implementing the 2018 recommendations by the Council of Elders Forum held on Tanga Island to realign and reorganize the LLG and Ward Boundaries and also to look into establishing another District or an Open Electorate for the Province.

The powers to determine the establishment of the electoral boundaries in the country is a constitutional responsibility and is vested in the Electoral Boundaries Commission.

As such, the Provincial Government cannot carry out that power.

“However, this does not stop the Provincial Government from assisting in such work within the province, by establishing the systems and infrastructures necessary within the Provincial Government to assist the Boundaries Commission in undertaking this work in the Province,” said Governor Sir Julius.

The committee will operate under a specific terms of reference and in consultation with the Electoral Boundaries Commission.

The work will entail the collection, collation and dissemination of data within the Province and with the Electoral Boundaries Commission and other stakeholders.

“This body will also be responsible, on behalf of the Provincial Government, for the consultations and liaison with the Electoral Boundaries Commission when it visits the Province on Electoral Boundaries work.”

The Committee will operate for a period of six months and present its final report to the Provincial Executive Council for consideration and recommendation to the Electoral Boundaries Commission.

The LLG Presidents, Ward members and people are asked to give full support and cooperate with the committee in carrying out its responsibility.

The committee comprises Director of Autonomy Mr Ricky Fugonto as Chairman, Director Planning, District Administrator Kavieng, and District Administrator Namatanai as members.

The ten Local Level Government Managers to be available when required.

-Press Release

Prime Minister James Marape meets with journalists and public diplomacy officials

Prime Minister James Marape hosted a dialogue with the media last Friday.

An event many journalists and public relations officers described as the first of its kind.

The event primarily was to get views from members of the mainstream media and public relations about development issues they have encountered in their work.

Other aspects of the meet were to obtain feedback on partnership between government and the media that should foster media reach, promote positive communication for development on issues and identifying challenges.

Media council president Neville Choi was able to highlight few challenges confronting the media- post the introduction of mobile phones

From the outset he affirmed journalists and media workers subscribe to the ethics and values of journalism.

The introduction of unregulated social media though exerts some challenges in countering irresponsible, unethical and misreported content for citizens.

“Despite what many people may think, media houses today still have newsrooms that hold tight journalism integrity, honesty and transparency,” Choi said.

“It is unreliable that social media content continues to be highly unregulated, uncensored information, and this has led to online PNG population exposed to hearsay, rumours uncensored reactions to anything and vulgar personalities.”

“These are what we don’t need moving forward.”

Choi spoke frankly to the Prime Minister about media management who compromise ethical journalism and succumbing to outside pressure.

“Having media houses managed by non-Papua New Guineans only makes it easier for ministers and national leaders to force pressure on them to have news reported the way they wanted,” he said.

Choi said despite the challenges, the PNG Media Council is working with agencies like the Censorship Board and Central Implementation and Monitoring Council to set ethical standards for broadcast and online publishing and promoting access to public information.

One of the challenges highlighted was “red tape” when public officials were not responding to queries from the media efficiently considering they have deadlines.

All mainstream media journalists now have two weeks to consolidate ideas about what they think the government should work to address and forward to Neville Choi while public diplomacy officers provide their feedback to Police Media Director Supt. Dominic Kakas.

AIC finds significant deficiency by State to provide effective and efficient search and rescue support

The Chief Commissioner of the PNG Accident Investigation Commission (AIC),  Hubert Namani announced yesterday that the AIC’s investigations into three recent accidents are also examining and analysing evidence in relation to the post-accident survival aspects.

The investigations include the location of the occupants in relation to injuies sustained and the post-accident search and rescue activities.

The three accidents involved: a Bell 427 helicopter registered P2-HSG that impacted water over a reef, about 3.1 nautical miles north west of Baluma township, West New Britain Province on 11th August 2019.

The other is an Air Tractor AT-502B aircraft registered P2-SET that impacted trees near the Era River, about 6.8 nautical miles north west of Baimuru Airstrip, Gulf Province on 29th August 2019.

A third one is a BK117 C-1 helicopter registered P2-TAH that impacted the water approximately 0.9 nautical miles seaward of the coast about 4 nautical miles south east of Silur Mission, New Ireland Province on 13th September 2019.

Mr. Namani said “each of the investigations have found a common significant deficiency in the ability for the State to provide effective and efficient search and rescue support to the aviation industry and the travelling public as required by the Civil Aviation Act 2000 (as Amended), Civil Aviation Rule Part 176, and Annex 12 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

“On the 9th of July 2018, the Minister for Civil Aviation delegated the responsibility for the establishment of a search and rescue coordination centre (SAR RCC) to PNG Air Services Limited (PNGASL) on behalf of the State and also issued a Directive to PNGASL to operate and maintain the SAR RCC established under Section 8A (1) (b) and (c) of the Civil Aviation Act 2000 (as Amended).

Manning thanks Marape-Steven government for fixing police sewerage

Acting Police Commissioner David Manning today thanked the Marape-Steven Government for the installation of a sewerage treatment facility at the Red Sea barracks in Bomana in the National Capital District.

Manning said this has brought a sigh of relief to police families living there after years of living in unhygienic conditions.

He said ongoing blockages to the sewerage system and water outages caused a lot of concerns especially with the residents and the RPNGC management until Police Minister Bryan Kramer personally intervened to get the government’s attention.

The sewerage treatment facility was installed by the contractor Red Sea Housing company.

Acting Commissioner said the Marape-Steven government has again demonstrated that it is serious in addressing complex and challenging issues affecting the Constabulary.

“I am deeply grateful for the Government’s intervention in this matter which has now effectively resolved ongoing sewerage and water problems at the barracks,” Mr Manning said today.

Work on the unfinished project recommenced and the sewerage treatment facility was eventually installed after Minister Kramer gave assurance that the Government will settle a K40 million outstanding debt owed to the contractor.

The acting Commissioner challenged members of the Constabulary fortunate enough to occupy the houses at the Red Sea barracks and throughout the country to take care of these government assets.

The acting Commissioner said the issues of rundown houses and infrastructure across the country was chronic and inherent and not effectively tackled by successive governments of the past. Whilst every effort was taken to maintain these properties, the limited budgetary allocation did not allow for a lot to be done each year since. He said every effort will now be made by the RPNGC management to fix some of these problems when funding becomes available.

Mr Manning thanked members of the Constabulary who had taken it upon themselves to use their own money to repair their homes which is a sad fact but indicative of their loyalty and commitment.

“I know this is happening because I have also done the same with my house at the Bomana Police College but I am confident that we will gradually map out a long term plan with secured funding to alleviate some of these problems affecting police personnel across the country,” Mr Manning said.

He further stated that in the meantime measures will also be taken to ensure all police barracks across the country are properly managed and looked after.

“We will toughen up in this regard by reinforcing barracks standing orders to restore and maintain discipline and accountability inside every police barracks accommodation across the country.”

-Press Release

Police Minister visits “haus krai”on behalf of Prime Minister

Bryan Kramer says on his social media page he visited the Haus Krai of the two young Hela men who were killed over the weekend following the shooting at Erima to pay respect on behalf of Prime Minister James Marape.

“Members of the family and community leaders presented a petition to Prime Minister seeking financial assistance to repatriate the bodies and family back to Hela,” he said.

“I agreed to meet with them to explain that my office will be working with Police and overlooking the investigations to ensure it is done independently and professionally.”

“I made a commitment to visit them once a week to keep them updated on the progress of the case as well as work with Acting Commissioner David Manning to ensure investigations are progressed.”