Author Archives: leadermarn

Extra hands

August 25, 2017

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says the nine vice-ministers appointed yesterday will be given “specific responsibilities” apart from assisting their line ministers.

The nine vice-ministers are Jimi MP Wake Goi, Kagua-Erave MP Wesley Raminai, Kerowagi MP Bari Palma, Tambul-Nebilyer MP Win Daki, Ambunti-Dreikikir MP Johnson Wapunai, Komo-Margarima MP Manasseh Makiba, Lagaip-Porgera MP Tomait Kapili, Goroka MP Henry Ame and Anglimp-South Wahgi MP Joe Koim. Two more will be named later.

Their specific portfolios will be announced once the appointments are gazetted. But O’Neill has already picked Raminai to assist him as vice-Minister for Sports and Apec.
Henganofi MP and former Police Minister Robert Atiyafa was appointed chairman of the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission.

The nine and Atiyafa were sworn in at Government House yesterday by Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae witnessed by O’Neill, Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel, senior ministers, friends and relatives.

“Vice-ministers are very important in our structure of government,” O’Neill said.
“They are going to assist the ministers, but more so, they will have specific responsibilities.

“Unlike in the past, we are going to give each vice-minister a specific responsibility over an organisation, or over a government institution, which they will take charge of and manage.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the vice-ministers in our Government, because it is certainly going to continue to enhance the work we are trying to do for our country, and the challenges we face. We will meet those challenges together as a team.”

O’Neill said Atiyafa’s responsibility as CLRC chairman was equivalent to a minister.
“As you know, he was a former minister, and this is ministerial status work. I have specifically appointed him because of his experience. He has got huge experience in the provincial government system as former (Eastern Highlands) premier and as minister and member of the national parliament,” he said.

“He brings with him a unique set of skills that is going to attend to the reforms that our country and our people have been demanding, particularly reforms such as the electoral reforms.

“He is going to take carriage of it with the Constitutional Law Reform Office.”
O’Neill plans to get experienced leaders from both sides of the house involved in the much-needed reforms.

Meanwhile, O’Neill said he was no newcomer to sports in his capacity as Minister for Sports and APEC.

He said he had been involved in fixing rundown sporting facilities around the country, and the 2015 Pacific Games.

“With that experience, and with the vice-minister (Raminai), you can rest assured that sports will be one of the top priorities of the government as we’ve done over the past five years,” he said.

“We’ve invested a lot in sports over the past five years.”



Police launch first water fleet for Apec


August 24, 2017

THE Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary yesterday launched its water police fleet in preparation for next year’s Apec meeting in Port Moresby.
Police Commissioner Gari Baki in an interview with The National said the inclusion of vessels for use by his water policemen was a huge step forward and he looked forward to improving in the remaining months leading up to the country’s biggest meeting.
Baki said the launching was the first for water police, which would be complemented with a workshop soon to enable police to carry out effective operations in open seas.
“It is a very big step forward and what we need to do now is to get our police identified properly to undergo training so they can operate in the open seas effectively.
“It is a challenge for us now to look and address security in and on the open seas before the start of the Apec meeting,” Baki said.
“For now we are happy with the progress so far and looking to do better each day in preparation for the country’s very important meeting next year.”
Baki said the assistance to make Apec operations effective would increase to improve on areas that needed improvement.
He said the vessels launched yesterday were the first lot and
if needed they would bring in a second set.

Abel adamant NID project’s expenditure was transparent



DEPUTY Prime Minister Charles Abel says he has nothing to hide regarding the use of the K250 million allocated to the National Identification (NID) project over the past five years.

He told The National this last night in response to queries raised on the NID project.
It included a statement from his successor as National Planning and Monitoring Minister, Richard Maru, who queried how the money had been spent, given that only 300,000 ID cards were issued before the start of the general election.
Abel said everything had been done correctly.

“People say audit NID and all that. Go ahead. Do 25 audits and everything you want,” he said.

“There’s nothing to hide. Everything has been done correctly.
“The only issue with NID is the difficulty of the registration exercise. That’s all. There’s nothing else wrong about NID. The basis of the system is all there.

“Go into the NID office and see the big card-print network, computer system, the database backup server at Telikom Rumana.

“Go around the country and see all the offices that we built. Look at the legislation we brought to Parliament.

“Look at the nice birth certificates people are picking up now.
“There are four million blank cards being purchased. They are at NID Haus waiting for the registration to come through.

“These are cards that can hold various data — driving license, banking, passport, etc.
“That’s where the money is being spent. There’s actually nothing to hide. It’s a matter of picking up and rolling the programme, improving it.”


Vice Ministers to take on additional responsibilities


Author: Freddy Mou


A total of nine MPs were sworn in yesterday afternoon as Vice Ministers and chairmen of statutory bodies.

Governor General Sir Bob Dadae officiated over proceedings for the vice Ministers, including Waka Goi, Wesley Raminai, Bari Palma, Win Daki, Johnson Wapunai, Manasseh Makiba, Tomait Kapili, Henry Ame and John Kuli.

Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill who was at the Government House to witness the swearing-in said the vice ministers will be assisting the ministers, but will have specific responsibilities with a new determination.

He said unlike in the past, vice Ministers will be responsible over a Government organization which they will be in charge of.

“This is an exciting opportunity for vice ministers in our government to meet the challenges that is before us.”

Announcements into the new responsibilities will be made soon.
Meantime, Henganofi MP and former Police Minister, Robert Atiyafa, was been sworn-in as Chairman of the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission as well.

O’Neill said Atiyafa has been specifically appointed to the position because of the experience he had in the law and justice sector.

PNG and Solomon up for ‘Battle of the Wantok’

Loop PNG

Charles Kadamana

August 25, 2017 10.08am

Papua New Guinea Basketball reigning club champion KSS Southern Flames is promising to give a strong competition for all to enjoy when they meet Solomon Island National Men’s team next week.

Basketball players and supporters in Honiara are anticipating the friendly match to be full of actions

Described as “Battle of the Wantok” both teams will play three matches and the winner will receive a trophy sponsored by KSS Southern Flames.

KSS Southern Flames are the three-time reigning champions of the PNG Men’s Basketball League (PMBL 2014 /2015/2016) and have been invited by the Solomon Islands Basketball Federation (SIBF) to play against the men’s national squad in their build up towards the up-coming FIBA Melanesia Cup in PNG, later in September.

Led by well-known sports promoter and owner of Hekari Soccer Club in PNG, John Kappi-Natto and his wife Vonnie, the KSS Southern Flames are basketball’s equivalent of Capturethe top soccer and rugby clubs managed by the couple in PNG. Since joining the PMBL, the semi-pro league in PNG in 2014, KSS Southern Flames have dominated the


competition, and are now looking to go a further fourth year running as champions.
Vonnie Natto, who is also the GM to the visiting KSS Southern Flames team, explained in a recent visit to Honiara that they are looking forward to the trip.

She thanked SIBF for the invitation and promised to make sure a good strong competition is set-up for all to enjoy.

“We are looking forward to giving Solomon Islands a good game as part of their preparation for the FIBA Melanesia Cup 2017,” Vonnie explained in an email.

“It will be a best of three matches and whoever wins two games will take the trophy donated by our group as part of our support towards Solomon Islands”.

According to reports, this will be the second time the same basketball club visits Honiara. The last visit included a women’s team and it was during the basketball glory days of the mid-1990s’ when John and Vonnie brought over their maiden Souths Basketball teams. The couple continues to support sports in both countries.

KSS Sothern Flames will arrive in Honiara on Tuesday 29 August, and will commence their quest in the “battle of the wantoks” on Wednesday at the Multipurpose Hall against the Solomon Islands Men’s national basketball squad starting at 5pm. They return to PNG on Saturday 2 September 2017.

PM: Data vital

August 23, 2017
Main Stories


NO one knows the exact population of Papua New Guinea today because no national census had been conducted since 2000, it has been revealed.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told the first sitting of Parliament yesterday that an accurate population data was important for public policy planning and monitoring.

“We must aim to keep our economic growth above our population growth.
“We can only do this by having access to reliable data so that we can monitor these important indicators as we move forward.”

A national census is supposed to be conducted every 10 years.
But the one scheduled for 2010 was never held.

Unofficial estimates of the current total population have been put at between eight and 10 million.

It is understood that the absence of this vital information had led to discrepancies in the national roll which created a lot of problems during the 2017 general election.

The National Identification Project (NID) in the past government was supposed to have provided this information during preparations for the elections.

Last week, new National Planning and Implementation Minister Richard Maru queried how the K250 million allocated for the NID project had been spent in the past five years, given that only 300,000 ID cards were issued prior to the start of the elections.

New Members of Parliament undergo induction programme

            Main Stories

PARLIAMENT held this week a five-day induction programme for newly-elected MPs.
Acting Clerk to Parliament Kala Aufa said 53 MPs, including a few of the returning ones, attended.

On the first day, parliament management and staff briefed the PMs on the parliamentary services, including the chamber and administration.

There were also presentations by the Ombudsman Commission, Constitutional Law Reform Commission and Transparency International.
Various government departments and representatives of the business community also addressed the MPs.

Yesterday, the MPs toured the PNG LNG processing site at Papa Lealea.
Today, development partners, led by the Foreign Affairs Department, will address the MPs.



Minor title in sight



THE PNG Hunters play perhaps their most important game of the regular season on Sunday against ninth-placed Wynnum Manly Seagulls at the National Football Stadium.
The prize: the 2017 Intrust Super Cup minor premiership.

If Michael Marum’s men win they secure the top spot heading into the finals and their first minor title since joining the competition in 2014.

Marum has advised his troops to remain calm and focused on the task at hand.
“This is an important game for us. We know that we have to win this,” Marum said.
The other draw will be the rugby league fan’s first chance to see Kumuls captain David Mead live in action against the Hunters for the first time.

Marum said he was aware the Seagulls, while out of finals contention were bringing up a strong outfit and if his side were not switched on they could be embarrassed in front of their home fans – something his charges want to avoid at all costs.
The sides are meeting for the first time this season but importantly the visitors have yet to beat the Hunters on home soil.

The Hunters have lost twice (Norths in round 4 and Tweed Heads in round 15) and drawn one (Mackay in round 20) at home already but with so much at stake Marum said the occasion would spur his men on.

“It is also going to be our last home game of the regular round and we know that there will be a lot of people coming to support us,” Marum said.
The Hunters proved in their 24-16 win over the Blackhawks last round that they have the championship-winning defence, they just have to maintain that good form at home.

Through their video sessions this week, Marum and his men had seen the style of football Wynnum play and with a host of quality players any effort less than 100 per cent will not be enough.

“We haven’t played them this year and we can’t write them off because there are on the ninth spot. We will have to be at our best again,” Marum said.
The 43-year old has instructed his men to back up their solid defence displayed last week if they are to finish victorious.

“We want to repeat the same defensive effort from last week.”
Aside from Mead, experienced former North Queensland Cowboys five-eighth Travis Burns, hard-running winger Peter Gubb, captain Mitch frei and Salesi Funaki in the back-row and five-eighth Shaun Nona will provide the Hunters with a stern test.

“They’re coming up with some experienced players including David (Mead) so we have to handle that challenge and get the win.”

The day’s other fixtures will see the Motu Koita Rugby League Origin sides, Central Origin and NCD Origin face off at 12.50pm followed by the Digicel Cup round 14 match between the Port Moresby Vipers and Waghi Tumbe which is after the Hunters-Seagulls 3pm game.

Hunters: 1.Stargroth Amean, 2. Bland Abavu, 3. Israel Eliab, 4. Willie Minoga, 5. Butler Morris, 6. Ase Boas (C), 7. Watson Boas, 8. Wellington Albert (VC), 9. Wartovo Puara Jr, 14 Enoch Maki, 11. David Loko, 12. Nixon Put, 13. Stanton Albert; Reserves: 20. Wawa Paul, 15. Rhadley Brawa, 16. Moses Meninga, 17. Karo Kauna Jr, 18. Esau Siune, 19. Brandy Peter, 20. Adex Wera

Rd 24 fixtures: Sat, Aug 19 – Jets v Cutters; Sun, Aug 20 – TH Seagulls v Pride, Magpies v Capras, Hunters v WM Seagulls. Bye: Blackhawks, Falcons, Dolphins, Bears, Tigers, Devils.

Flames face Fiji in playoff


By Ben Vile of AFLPNG Media

THE Papua New Guinea women’s AFL team the Flames head into their International Cup fifth-place playoff match today against Fiji Vonu,  they can get a positive result after Tuesday’s 150-0 win over Pakistan.

The Vonu have been one of the highlights of the IC17, taking it up to top-ranked teams Canada and Great Britain in close losses, and recording huge wins against the European Crusaders and Pakistan.

Likewise, the Flames competed hard in tough matches going down to Ireland and USA, then showing their flair and skill in big victories over the Crusaders and Pakistan.
Fiji play their football hard and fast.  With a number of players with rugby backgrounds, the Vonu have the ability to floor opposition teams with pure force and speed.

Overall, a heavier and taller side, Fiji will look to expose this advantage against their PNG opponents, combined with explosive play.

Flames coach Jonathan Ila is expecting a tight match against Fiji.
“Their strengths are that they’re are a physical side and stick to their structures well,” Ila said.

“However, I think we have more speed than them across the ground, especially in the centre where we have quality ball runners.
“It will be a hot contest in the first quarter but once the game settles we need to use our run and carry to advantage and the game will open up.”
The Flames will look to use the same midfield tactics that saw them dominate against Pakistan.

“Our ruckman Elma Emil has the ability to tap or punch the ball to the advantage of our midfielders. Our midfielders must set up correctly and be on the move when they receive the ball.”

Ila reshuffled his side in the Pakistan clash in what proved to be a coaching master stroke.
Identifying his side’s failure to capitalise on Emil’s ruck dominance in previous matches, he injected Brigid Gaur, Alice Alois and Phyllia Pisep into the midfield, while moving Taiva Lavai and Vanessa Pisep forward.

Both competitive beasts, Gaur and Alois continually got first hands on the ball and racked up centre clearances with quick kicks or running the ball out of the middle.
“Brigid’s injection into the centre brought havoc to the opposition, she just has a massive heart and always gives her all,” Ila said.

Meanwhile, the class and finishing skills of Lavai and Vanessa Pisep were resulting in goals or marks to Flames forwards deep in their forward line.
The Flames will miss their captain Prudence Sindriwen, Manicha Mettakaisava and Virginia Kiwathrough injury, while pocket rocket rover Vaine Lai will struggle to prove her fitness with an ankle injury.

The Flames girls will be looking to ignite the fire and finish their IC17 campaign with a bang today at 10:45am on McAlister Oval, Royal Park, Melbourne.

Proposal eyed for Motu Koitabu seat

August 18, 2017  
                            Main Stories

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill (pictured) says he will ensure that the Motu Koitabu people in the National Capital District have
a voice at national level.

O’Neill was responding to a query during a breakfast with the business community in Port Moresby yesterday whether there was a legislation that the government could use to ensure a seat for the

Motu Koitabuans in the 2022 election.
“I made a firm commitment during the elections that we will certainly introduce legislation to capture one seat for Motu Koitabu alone in the city,” he said.

“I will be putting that proposal together and, of course, I’m certain that is the commitment PNC (People’s National Congress) has made, you can be rest assured of PNC’s support.

“But again it will require legislative numbers which will require support from our friends on
the other side, but we will talk to them.
“I have made a firm
commitment and I will follow it through.”

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