Showing posts with label New Ireland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Ireland. Show all posts

Will Smith in Papua New Guinea: Welcome to Earth

Will Smith's National Geographic docu-series, Welcome to Earth, celebrates our planet's natural wonders. The series takes viewers on epic journeys to some of the most remote and awe-inspiring places on Earth, where Smith explores the planet's unique ecosystems and learns about the forces that drive it.

Will Smith in PNG and Vanuatu

In 2021, Smith visited Mount Yasur volcano on Tanna in Vanuatu. The volcano is one of the most active in the world, and its eruptions are so regular that it's known as the "world's most accessible active volcano." Visitors can come right up to the edge of the crater and witness the lava flowing and the ash spewing into the sky.

Smith is currently filming the final episode of Welcome to Earth in Papua New Guinea. PNG is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, and he is expected to film a variety of things, including wildlife, people, and the environment.

will smith in Papua New Guinea

Significance of the Welcome to Earth Documentary Series

The Welcome to Earth documentary series is important for several reasons. First, it showcases the beauty and diversity of our planet. Second, it educates viewers about the importance of protecting the environment. Third, it inspires people to explore the world and learn about different cultures.

For Vanuatu (2021) and Papua New Guinea (2023), the Welcome to Earth documentary series is a unique opportunity to showcase their natural beauty and cultural heritage to a global audience. 

The documentary is also likely to boost tourism to both countries, which will benefit the local economy.

Specific Places and Filming Topics in Papua New Guinea

In Rabaul: Will Smith may film the Rabaul Active Volcano Mt Tavurvur erupting or interview scientists studying its unique ecosystem. The Rabaul Caldera is a majestic group of 13 volcanoes with an opening out into the Simpson Harbour. Smith and his crew could film the pristine waters of the harbour and all the life-forms underwater, film the caldera from above or explore the rainforest.

In New Ireland Province: Smith may visit the Tabar Islands, a group of volcanic islands known for their pristine beaches and coral reefs. He may also visit the Tens Islands, a remote atoll known for its dugong and sea turtle populations.

Whatever Will Smith chooses to do, there is more to see and be amazed by in Papua New Guinea.

Other Unique Things to Film in New Ireland

Limestone Caves: New Ireland Province is also home to a number of limestone caves. These caves are often decorated with stalagmites and stalactites and house a variety of bats and other animals.

Shark Hunters: The Tabar Islands are known for their traditional shark hunting. These hunters use traditional methods to fish for sharks and have a deep respect for the ocean and its creatures. He can learn a thing-or-two from them.


We eagerly anticipate Will Smith's discoveries in the final episode of Welcome to Earth. We are confident that the episode will celebrate Papua New Guinea's natural wonders and remind us of the importance of protecting our forests and oceans.

💧What are some of the natural wonders of Papua New Guinea that the outside world know nothing about? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Education is New Ireland top priority - Sir Julius Chan

The Division of Education in New Ireland is ready to move forward after it had frank and open talks with the New Ireland Government and the Provincial Administration on Thursday. 

Governor Sir Julius Chan in an unusual “call out” to reprioritize Education as a pivotal sector invited the Provincial Education board to a round table talk at the New Ireland Legislative Assembly conference room. 

Present was 

  • Chairlady Dr Kappa Malpo, 
  • Acting Director Education Wesley Siangat, 
  • Appointment officer Gerard Bekeman, 
  • Acting Manager Standards Patrick Neman, 
  • Senior Primary School Inspector George Choi, 
  • District Education Co-ordinator Renson Warkurai, 
  • Inspector Godfrey Lutham and 
  • Chaiman Education of PEC Felix Katibum, 
  • Provincial Administrator Lamiller Pawut, 
  • CEO Finance Richard Andia and 
  • Director Subsidy Iola Tamtu.

Sir Julius Chan Education Priority
Image: New Ireland Media Unit/Facebook 2021

Recommended read: Sir Julius Chan Life in Politics - A Review of His Book ' Playing the Game

One of the key issues raised was on the standard of Education in the province and how to improve it. 

Findings included a lack of Qualified teachers teaching in all schools, a lack of School Inspectors to police standard and quality in schools, a lack of school infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of students, funding and constraints requiring improved management and financial trainings for school principles to maintain quality administration in their schools.

New Ireland Mean Rating Index (MRI)

Dr Malpo also touched on the need to improve the provinces Mean Rating Index (MRI) which is the performance average of students per school. 

“ We must aspire to give our best to each individual student if we are to see an improvement in our MRI’s. And the MRI’s have a correlation with the quality of teachers we have in our schools. 

We need qualified teachers and we must endeavour to get all teachers to Bachelor level,” said Dr Malpo.

Flexible Open Distant Education ( FODE)

The need for the introduction of more Flexible Open Distant Education ( FODE) into the province was also discussed. With the Educationists stating that just because a student does not do well through the normal education system does not mean that they are failures. 

Work on the setting up of the New Ireland University and Namatanai Technical college also continues.

Taking in the issues and suggestions by the Education team Governor Sir J relayed that while the New Ireland Government could not fix all the dilemma’s faced by the Education sector it could intervene in areas that are within the policy framework. 

He said his Government through the subsidy division has been actively allocating funds directly to schools and has separate funding specifically for the upskilling of teachers who wish to pursue higher degrees and encouraged them to utilize the program. 

For infrastructure development he made particular emphasis on the West Coast Kulube was picked to have a new high school built. He encouraged the Education Division to think new when it came to the construction of the school. 

Separate meetings will be conducted to discuss more on the rollout of Education infrastructure in the province.

Governor’s School of Excellence

The Governor’s School of Excellence located at the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (OLSH) International School is another positive outcome of Government policy. 

With a number of students selected through the policy getting high grades last year. 

Sir J thanked the Education Division representatives for taking time to really take stock of the current status of Education in the province, outlining areas of weakness and offering constructive solutions to improve the sector.

“ We cannot solve all the problems but we must adjust our priorities.  We all have our good and bad sides, we just need to choose and create a balance to move forward,” said Sir J.

New Ireland Education Students Population

According to New Ireland Education, it operates 560 schools. With a school a population of over 59, 765 and 2,160 teachers. The Province has improved its effort to deliver quality education across all sectors of education.

In 2019 grade 10s and 12s placed New Ireland in the Top 5 amongst other secondary schools in the country. NIP overall mean average index was 10 behind Pom, East New Britain and East Sepik. 

In 2020 the Covid pandemic contributed to almost 2 months of out of class time for all students in schools. The lost times were catered for through rearranged timetabling and extra classes in most of the examinable grades ( 8,10,12). According to results for performance in examinations for grade 8, the cut-off mark was 75 out of 150. The highest score was 146/150. For Grade 10 the MRI was 77%. All high schools moved up by 1 point. Lihir Secondary school came 10th in the country.

Source: New Ireland Provincial Govt Media Unit

4 Similarities: The World Cup 2014 Vs Peter O'Neill's Fight to the Last Breath

On Monday 16th of June I posted a blog post with opening line 'The Game Is ON’. This was in reference to two events (the World Cup 2014 Brazil and PO's political battle).

These two events have striking resembles from the beginning to the finals. Is it coincidence? I've highlighted the similarities and make reference to the political turn of events of late.

1. The ‘games’ begin at about the same time.

2. During the same week when Papua New Guinea police investigators issued a warrant of arrest on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, FIFA’s (international football association) chief-ethics-investigator filed a report alleging corruption in… the ‘bidding process for the right to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups’. According to this report there was no evidence to support the case and no one was held accountable.

Going back to when the Warrant of Arrest (WoA) was issued, the allegation has strong supporting evidence.  Task Force Sweep (TFS) produced strong evidence (contained in lawyers Sam Koim and Miviri's Affidavits and Court Files) indicating involvement of the prime minister in Parakagate.

This does not only mean that Peter O’Neill’s signature on a letter was confirmed, but also there are series of alleged collaboration between parties (of which PO was a participant) to defraud the state.
This is true because why should 3 law enforcement divisions (the then police commissioner, senior fraud squad officers and District Court) see it fit to take out a Warrant of Arrest on the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill? Why did National Court and District Courts dismissed Peter O'Neill's attempt to strike out the WoA on him?

Even to this day, Peter O’Neill and his lawyer have not challenged the findings of TFS. They have simply fought TFS- the establishment.  It completely defeats the purpose of establishing corruption investigation body (TFS) at the first place, when instead of challenging the findings Peter O’Neill (was advised by his lawyers?) to dismantle it. Where is sanity?

3. Cost Of Hosting The World Cup:The cost was both social and financial: Brazil hit by widespread protests and the cost of hosting the game was estimated to be about US$900 million (2.2 billion PNG kina)

Likewise, there are civil actions including the call by University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) students. This calls are social indicators showing a rising tide against unpopular decisions. If you have hears, listen!

So, how much does it cost to play a 4-week political ‘game of thrones’ at the expense of taxpayers?
Take a look at this calculation, *estimate figures based on Lawyers and Legal Services Australia :

QC rate = Aust $1000 per hour
Senior Solicitor Large Firm = Aust $500 per hour
*these are estimate figures ONLY.

Take for instance the QC was hired by lawyers representing the police for two days taking into account the time he travelled back and forth. If he billed the police department for 8 hours work, that is AU$8000.000, give or take (PNG K18 286).

If the prime minister’s lawyer works a full 7 hours per day: 1 week would have been 35 hours (5 days x 7 hrs); 4 weeks = 140 hrs (35 hrs/week x 4 weeks)

Billing = $500 x 140 = $70 000 (PNG K160 000)

Again this is a calculation based on estimate figure online. More or less, the numbers gives readers an insight into how much the government spends within 4 weeks on lawyers.

4. Brazil’s loss was bitter: Brazil lost against Germany, 7 - 1. Again they were defeated by Netherland 3 – 0. Every Brazilian blames everyone for its exit in the finals, from the officials to players. The game is over for them.  In the latest turn of events, one of Brazil’s strikers has handed in his resignation from international football.

END: Peter O’Neill’s fight to the last breath did not happen. He lost. Has the ‘game ended for Peter O’Neill? His fight was strategized, structured and deliberate.  Even though he lost his fight at judicial front, he never lost the whole game.  He has his backside covered by NEC and institutions like the offices of the Police Commissioner, Attorney General, Speaker of Parliament and Governor General.

Peter O'Neill Former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Arrest

Peter O’Neill staged the fight on 16th June 2014. He chose Waigani to be his battlefield. 

A tactician he is, he fought on two fronts: sent his lawyer to Court and dismantled the investigating team. He was brilliant – he knew the target, but his arsenal of weapons could not destroy it. 
He lost all his fights (and gracefully surrendered) at Waigani Court House.
Now, it’s time to move the battlefield to Konedobu. O’Neill’s greatest phobia is looking investigators in the eye and answering their questions.

A proper police interrogation is not what every person who has something to hide wants to face. They fear police investigators that some can wet their pants.

arrest peter oneill former prime minister of PNG


Call By Leaders for Peter O’Neill to Own Up



We heard leaders from main-line churches appealing for O’Neill to submit to police request. Thank God and pioneer missionaries, PNG are blessed with established churches (Anglican, Lutheran, Catholic, SDA) with strong leaders who have wisdom to correct and suggest to political leaders what to do. Listen to words of men of God. Make no mistake, these leaders speak with wisdom. They represent mass of PNG’s population.


Court has made it clear that policemen who are at the forefront of this political turmoil (caused by PM) are not rogue officers. Their reputations, experiences and dedication to the force are exemplary.  Their commitment to stand firm at this time is a testament to their courage and determination. These men are trained (at police institution/s) to be strong, commissioned (on oath) to serve and moulded (by experience) to be fearless.  They are discipline officers, for goodness sake, trust them to do the right thing.

Arrest Peter O’Neil

Police hierarchy had been thrown in disarray with by one man, Peter O’Neill.  Is it too late for Vaki to fix this vital institution? He was defeated at District Court but not late for Vaki to make the right call. Both National and District Courts have given Geoffrey Vaki’s no option but to arrest O’Neill. He MUST effect the WoA in haste to save face.
Vaki is rendered to nothing but USELESS in Peter O’Neill’s eyes if not for the policemen protecting the PM.  Section of police who took Vaki’s commands can be seen to be the last baton of hope for him to remain police commissioner. We also see Police Association giving strong signal to politicians (like PM and Housing Minister) who called police ‘rogue cops’ to shut up. There are strong views within the Constabulary for Vaki to perform his constitutional duties without siding with Peter O’Neill. This was evident from reports in mainstream media and social network.
Mr Geoffrey Vaki can restore pride and comradeship in police force by taking a step out of PO’s shadow and listen to what courts, church leaders, senior citizens, students and public are saying about PO’s actions.
There needs to be neutral and impartial stand taken by Vaki now.  This will not only save his reputation, but also protect the office of the Police Commissioner.

WARNING: 3 things the Police Commissioner should take note:

1. Task Force Sweep was reinstated. The investigation, its finding (Sam Koim and Miviri’s affidavits) and Warrant of Arrest of Peter O’Neill are valid and current. He does not have an option. He must commission the right officers to arrest and question Peter O’Neill.
2. Police have what’s called the ‘Institution Muscle’. When commenting on political plots and strategies to protect one man the Police Association general secretary used the word ‘muscle’ – such word must not be taken lightly by the Police Commissioner, especially when it comes from the Police Association, made by senior police representative.  Here, he is implying that the police commissioner has to do what is best to protect the integrity of the Police Force. Anything seems contrary can result in the police union taking a tough stand against it.
3. Politicians do flip sides on impulse. PO said he will ‘fight to the last breath’. He was on the back foot again the other day withdrawing all court proceedings.  He didn’t fight, did he? Coward will always be coward. Vaki, has to put his thinking hat on. He is a learnt person. He will not want to be PO’s toilet tissue (to wipe his stinky poo and flush it down the toilet).

Peter O’Neill had his chance to fight the WoA

He has made his case.  He waved his rights about. He chose Waigani to be his battle field and lost (and surrendered). All along he created factions within the police, he disbanded TSF, he dismissed Sam Koim, he (through Vaki) suspended Lawyer Miviri and senior officers Eluh and Kauba.
Vaki’s Right Call: Now it is time to move the battle field to Konedobu.  Vaki must lift the suspension on Miviri, Kauba and Eluh. Let these men, including Koim and TFS, carry on from where they left: Arrest Peter O’Neill and bring him in for questioning. LET THE LAW TAKE ITS COURSE

  What Senior Citizens Say About Peter Oneill


"If the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill had submitted to the rule of law, his innocence would have been proven three weeks ago. But instead he had engaged his lawyers – to stay the warrant of arrest,’’[Archbishop Clyde Igara]

 "It is politicians that have created this unnecessary misdemeanour. They are cherry pickers who are here today and gone tomorrow. The police force is here to stay and police officers will give a lifetime upholding the rule of law and the constitution." [Clemence Kanau]

"He should shut his mouth and swallow his temporary pride," Mr Kanau said of Mr Isikiel when he referred to officers investigating O’Neill as ‘rogue cops’.

Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki now has no legal discretion but to arrest Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. [Kerenga Kua]

"I find this submission to be speculative and without proper evidentiary basis,” Judge Ere Kariko said when refusing submissions by the prime minister’s lawyer regarding a "rift" in the ranks of the police force.

"Courts can only interfere when there is a clear case of abuse," [Nerrie Eliakim explanation on Vaki’s application to discontinue warrant of arrest on Peter O’Neill]


 "When our leaders raised wild allegations and branded us as politically compromised, I did not respond because that would be seen as self preservation. I waited for the competent authority to vindicate us which the court had done." [Sam Koim ]



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