Showing posts with label Papua New Guinea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Papua New Guinea. Show all posts

PNG Independence Poem 2023

In the heart of the Pacific's embrace,

A nation emerged with dignity and grace,

From prehistoric past to destiny unknown,

Papua New Guinea, a land to call its own.

In '73, self-governance they'd declare,

A people united, a vision to share,

On that December day, their journey would start,

Towards full independence, with hope in their heart.

In '75, the flag was unfurled,

As PNG joined the nations of the world,

With Somare, their leader, the "father" they'd name,

Guiding them through the path to acclaim.

Through the '70s, early years they'd explore,

Facing challenges they'd never seen before,

Economic hurdles and political strife,

Yet forging ahead, determined for life.

Julius Chan, Pius Wingti, leaders of might,

Nurtured a nation, through day and night,

In '89, Bougainville's conflict would arise,

Testing their strength, under New Guinea Island's skies.

Mekere Morauta, Sir Rabbie Namaliu's grace,

Led with transparency, in this challenging place,

Bill Skate's charisma, though controversy would flow,

Development, they'd strive for, with each new blow.

Peter O'Neill's era, infrastructure's grand feat,

But controversies and challenges kept them on their feet,

Then came Marape, with unity in sight,

To address education, healthcare's plight.

Earthquakes would tremble, in twenty-eighteen,

Testing their spirit, resilient and keen,

While student's riots in '09's May,

Showed strength in diversity, in their own way.

Bougainville, its journey to independence, nears,

As PNG's history continues through the years,

In twenty-twenty, they'll navigate the tide,

With hope and courage, side by side.

In twenty-twenty-three, PNG stands tall,

A nation diverse, united for all,

Their story of struggle and progress they claim,

On Independence Day, they honour their name.

Papua New Guinea, a land of a thousand tougues,

A nation that's risen to every new height,

With hope in their hearts, and dreams to pursue,

On Independence Day, they salute the red, black, and gold.

PNG Independence Poem 2023

Meaning of Papua New Guinea's Flag (PNG Independence Poem)

In Papua New Guinea's flag unfurled with pride,

A story of history, culture, and dreams resides.

With colours and symbols, it does proclaim,

The essence of this nation, its cherished name.

Two triangles, red and black, side by side,

Melanesian spirit within them does abide.

Black for the people, their heritage and pride,

Rich traditions and identity, they can't hide.

Red, like war shields and body paint so bold,

Signifying bravery, the stories of old.

The warrior spirit that in history did unfold,

In the hearts of its people, a tale to be told.

Within the red triangle, the Bird of Paradise so fair,

A symbol of wildlife and beauty beyond compare.

With tribal art-inspired grace in the air,

Unity in diversity, a message to declare.

"Unity in Diversity," the national motto's embrace,

A reminder of the various ethnic groups in this place.

Harmonious coexistence, in every case,

Amongst the tribes and cultures, a shared space.

In the black half, stars of white shining bright,

The Southern Cross guides, day and night.

For travelers, trade, and seasons' light,

A connection to tradition, pure and right.

The diagonal pattern, a fascinating trace,

From barter systems, it finds its place.

Friendship and alliance in every embrace,

Among diverse groups, it leaves its trace.

The Shark's Teeth, a symbol of might,

In Melanesian culture, courage takes flight.

Strength and resilience, in challenges' sight,

A token of endurance, shining so bright.

PNG flag, a tapestry so grand,

A story of a nation's history, it does command.

From bravery to unity, it stands hand in hand,

Papua New Guinea's past, present, and future, so grand.


Check out this POEM about the History of PNG Independence.

poem about the meaning of png flag

Is Papua New Guinea Safe? Dispelling Myths and Sensationalisation

Papua New Guinea (PNG), a country known for its rich cultural heritage and stunning natural landscapes, often faces negative perceptions and sensationalised media coverage regarding its safety. However, it is essential to dispel the myths and provide a balanced view of the safety situation in PNG.

Is Papua New Guinea Safe to travel to, live and work? We take a look at the common sense approach to living in PNG

Understanding the Realities of Safety in PNG

Like any other country, PNG has its share of challenges when it comes to safety. Crime rates, including petty theft and armed robbery, can be higher in some areas, especially in urban centres. 

However, it is crucial to note that these incidents are localised, where population and unemployment are high, and not prevalent across the entire country.

Is Papua New Guinea Safe?

(PNG is one of the best surfing hotspots in the Pacific. Check out this article for Surfing Papua New Guinea)

The Importance of Context

When discussing safety in PNG, it is essential to consider the context. PNG is a diverse country with over 800 different languages spoken, and each region has its unique set of challenges. 

Some remote areas with limited infrastructure and access to services may have different safety concerns compared to major cities. For example, visiting Kiriwina Island and enjoying the freedom there is not the same as Port Moresby where you need to take common-sense precautions.

It is vital to research and understands the specific safety situation of the area you plan to visit and take appropriate precautions.

Tourist-Friendly Destinations

PNG has several tourist-friendly destinations that are considered safe for travellers. 

Popular tourist spots such as Port Moresby, the capital city, and other major cities like Lae, Madang, and Goroka, have established tourist infrastructure with hotels, restaurants, and tour operators that cater to international visitors. 

These areas generally have a visible police presence, and many tourists visit these places without any safety issues.

Is Port Moresby Safe?
Port Moresby Waterfront

The Warm Hospitality of the People

One of the most significant aspects of PNG is its people. The locals are known for their warm hospitality and welcoming nature towards visitors. 

The majority of the people in PNG are friendly and helpful, and take pride in their culture. 

Interacting with the locals can be a rewarding experience that adds to the charm of travelling in PNG.

Common Sense Precautions

Like travelling to any foreign country, exercising common sense precautions can enhance your safety in PNG. Some practical tips include:

  • Researching and following the local customs, traditions, and laws.
  • Using reputable tour operators and accommodations.
  • Avoiding remote areas without proper guidance.
  • Avoiding flashy jewellery and valuables in public.
  • Using registered taxis or private transportation.
  • Being aware of your surroundings and keeping an eye on your belongings.

Importantly, follow travel advisories and guidelines issued by your home country's embassy or consulate. However, most of these diplomats and travel advisors rely on news and current events to send out travel advice, and in most cases, it may not be as worse as it is often worked out to be!

The Beauty and Diversity of Papua New Guinea

Despite the misconceptions about safety, PNG offers a unique and breathtaking travel experience. 

From lush rainforests to pristine beaches, diverse wildlife, and vibrant cultural festivals, PNG has something for every adventurous traveller. 

The country's natural beauty and cultural richness are worth exploring with proper research and preparation.

Port MOresby Papua New Guinea

Conclusion ( Is Papua New Guinea Safe?)

In conclusion, PNG is a country with its set of safety challenges, like any other destination. While it is essential to acknowledge and be aware of these challenges, it is equally important to understand the context, exercise common sense precautions, and research the specific areas you plan to visit. 

So, is Papua New Guinea safe? Yes, it can be, with informed travel planning and taking the necessary precautions.


Royal Commission of Inquiry into procedures and processes followed by the Government of Papua New Guinea in obtaining the off-shore loan from Union Bank of Switzerland and related transactions.

This file was originally submitted by ActNow PNG. 


Executive Summary

1.1   This Commission of Inquiry was established under the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1951 by Instrument dated 30 August 2019 and, as amended in October 2021, it required a report to be delivered to the Prime Minister, the Honourable James Marape MP, by 31 March 2022. This is that Report.

1.2   This Executive Summary gives an overview of the Commission's work, and of some key conclusions and recommendations. It must be read with the Report as a whole, noting that individual chapters contain a comprehensive analysis of the often complex issues and evidence they each cover. Each generally concludes with relevant findings and recommendations. The Commission's key conclusions and recommendations follow this summary.

1.3   The rationale for this Commission is explicitly stated in the establishing Instrument as follows:

The decision of the Government of Papua New Guinea made in 2014 to obtain an off- shore loan from the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) has become controversial following the tabling of the Ombudsman Commission Investigation Report in Parliament in May 2019. The Prime Minister upon assuming office undertook to convene a Commission of Inquiry to establish facts surrounding the whole transaction, including all persons and entities involved in the deal and whether or not the deal followed proper and legal process and procedures.

In order to appreciate the public concerns on improprieties in regard to the whole deal it is necessary and important that the Commission of Inquiry commences inquiry with the cause which brought about the need for the Government of the day to seek funding from an off-shore loan facility. This necessitates the Inquiry to commence its investigation with the States participation in the PNG LNG Project, including the purchase of shares and the disposal of the same.

1.4   The Ombudsman Commission Report is titled:

An Investigation Into The Alleged Improper Borrowing Of MN AuS1.239 Billion Loan From The Union Bank Of Switzerland ... (Australia Branch) To Purchase 149,390,244 Share[s] In Oil Search Limited ...

1.5   This is a reference to what this Report calls the UBS Loan. It is one of the key financial transactions examined by the Commission, the other being the Exchangeable Bond Transaction that IPBC entered into with IPIC in 2008.

1.6   The Ombudsman Commission Report made serious findings of illegality and failure to follow proper procedures, but its jurisdiction was limited to investigating complaints concerning actions of governmental bodies and agencies, and the actions of 'Leaders' as defined in the Leadership Code. Unlike this Commission, the Ombudsman Commission could not investigate private citizens or entities, even those who had been paid to advise or perform other services for the State, such as lawyers NRFA and UBS itself.

1.7   It might have been expected that such well-paid former advisers would unstintingly assist the Commission, even though they are located overseas and beyond the reach of the Commission's compulsory powers, but they have not. This surprising and disappointing behaviour has certainly limited what the Commission could achieve, and along with other findings of this Report, merits their exclusion from work for the State and its entities for some time to come.

1.8   Although the public concern generated by the Ombudsman Commission Report clearly led to this Commission, this Commission is not a review of the Ombudsman Commission's work, nor can this Commission decide legal controversies as a court can.

1.9   Nonetheless, despite the well-known difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission has been able to examine thoroughly a great many witnesses, entirely in live-streamed hearings which were held in public, and much documentary evidence, and to answer the Terms of Reference by the due date. The Commission acknowledges with gratitude the work of all those who made this significant achievement possible.

1.10   Papua New Guinea is blessed with abundant natural resources, which were largely unexploited before independence was attained in 1975. The need for wise and sustainable exploitation of natural resources focused the minds of the founders of the newly independent State and was reflected in the terms of the Constitution which, for example, declares in National Goal 4 that 'natural resources and the environment are to be conserved and used for the collective benefit of all and be replenished for the benefit of future generations'. Equally, evidence to this Commission from founders such as Sir Julius Chan and the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare emphasised that governments should be wary of becoming involved in private business investments and, when doing so, must carefully manage risks in order to avoid losses: overall, the Commission concludes that risks were well managed in the case of the Exchangeable Bond Transaction but were not in the case of the disastrous UBS Loan.

1.11   Among the most valuable and internationally marketable resource located in this country is liquefied natural gas (LNG). Perhaps the most significant current resources project for many years is the PNG LNG Project. Since its first LNG export in 2014, the PNG LNG Project has exported approximately 7 million tonnes of LNG per year. It is a vast and complex project which has been necessarily undertaken with the involvement of multinational companies and overseas finance. To illustrate the scale of the PNG LNG Project: on 8 December 2009 the Final Investment Decision for the PNG LNG Project was made, and this immediately resulted in the commencement of comprehensive construction activities in the construction and commissioning period from 2010 to 2014 costing more than USD 19 billion (approximately PGK 67 billion))

1.12   There are direct economic benefits to the country from such projects, especially employment and investment in infrastructure. And, like anyone else, the State can become a shareholder in the companies holding the licences or undertaking the work, receiving such dividends as those companies may choose to declare. But the State also has uniquely valuable 'back-in' rights under ss. 184 and 185 of the Oil and Gas Act which allowed it to pay to become an equity participant in the PNG LNG Project.

1.13   In 2009 the State decided to exercise those back-in rights, acquiring 19.4%. In return for acquiring 'back-in' rights then worth between USD 3-5 billion (approximately PGK 10.6-17.7 billion), the State needed to pay USD 300 million (approximately PGK 1.06 billion) upfront, and then USD 1 billion (approximately PGK 3.5 billion) between 2009 and 2014 in order to share in the future profits of the PNG LNG Project. The State did not have those funds, so it needed to raise them. At the time, it was the largest fundraising that the State had ever attempted. This significant need for finance directly led to the Exchangeable Bond Transaction.

1.14   In 2014. Oil Search was Papua New Guinea's largest company and an important partner with the State in many projects. The State had first acquired 196 million shares in Oil Search when it had merged in 2002 with Orogen Minerals, a company in which the State then held a bare majority of the shares. The merger gave Oil Search access to cash it did not otherwise have. The Oil Search shares the State then acquired gave the State between 17.65% (in 2004) and 13.17% (by 2013) of the issued share capital of Oil Search. Although Oil Search usually paid modest dividends, the shares tended to appreciate in value.

1.15   The Global Financial Crisis which began in 2007 was still being felt in Papua New Guinea in 2008/9 and it greatly affected the State's capacity to raise funds. At this time the late Sir Michael Somare was Prime Minister and Mr Peter O'Neill was in the NEC (Cabinet). The State decided to use a significant asset, namely its ownership, through IPBC, of the 196 million Oil Search shares to raise the funds needed for it to participate in the PNG LNG Project. The State (through IPBC) decided to raise AUD 1.681 billion (approximately PGK 4.46 billion) by issuing 5-year Exchangeable Bonds to IPIC, an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund. Under that transaction, IPIC would receive 5% per annum interest for the duration of the Exchangeable Bonds. On maturity, the Exchangeable Bonds would be exchanged for the shares that IPBC held in Oil Search. The reference price for the exchange was AUD 8.55 per share. If (as was the case in 2014) the share price was below the reference price, IPBC would have to make a top-up payment to IPIC. If the share price was greater, IPIC would only receive shares up to the value of the bonds.

1.16   The Report closely considers the Exchangeable Bond Transaction: its terms and rationale, the processes leading to its adoption and the work done by advisers. The Commission, assisted by detailed expert reports from The Brettle Group, concludes that the lack of controversy historically attaching to the Exchangeable Bond Transaction is justified. While it involved some risks (which largely turned out not to be realised), it served a valuable purpose for the State by enabling it to acquire at an attractive price the back-in rights and share in the profits of the largest resource project in the country. Further (and in contrast with the UBS Loan) it:

         (a) was on the whole the best available option

         (b) was quite carefully and methodically examined by Government and its advisers before the 

             NEC decided to proceed with it

         (c) was fairly priced

         (d) achieved its stated purpose

1.17   From 2011-2019 the Prime Minister was Mr O'Neill. The Exchangeable Bonds were to mature in March 2014 and, unless IPIC otherwise agreed, the result would be that:

        (a) IPBC had used the funds borrowed to share in the future profits of the PNG LNG project, 

             for the ultimate benefit of the State and the people

         (b) IPIC would take ownership of the Oil Search shares, through the exchange provisions of 

             the Exchangeable Bonds, leaving IPBC and the State with no Oil Search shares

         (c) IPBC would, according to a formula based on the market value of the shares, most likely 

             make a relatively modest payment to IPIC thereby bringing the Exchangeable Bond 

             Transaction to an end (the amount actually paid was about AUD 74 million (approximately 

             PGK 196 million), and, critically

         (d) IPBC would not have any further monies to pay, and the significant amounts they were 

             due to receive as early as 2014 from the PNG LNG Project could be put into the legislated

            but not yet operational Sovereign Wealth Fund for the benefit of the country and its 


1.18   The first three matters came to pass. The fourth - the road not taken - did not, fundamentally because of the decision by Mr O'Neill, principally aided by then Secretary for the Department of Treasury, Mr Dairi Vele, to persuade the NEC to enter into the disastrous UBS Loan arrangement.

1.19   These matters are at the core of the Commission's work. As its establishing Instrument stated:

The ultimate objective of the Commission of Inquiry is to establish whether there were breaches of Papua New Guinea laws and Constitutional requirements in the process of negotiation and approval of the UBS Loan, and also establish whether Papua New Guinea as a country had suffered as a result of this off-shore deal, and whether the persons involved in the deal can be held accountable for their conduct.

1.20   The period between mid-2013 and the entering into the UBS Loan in March 2014 can be seen as a series of stages, at each one of which serious errors were made.

1.21   The first stage covered the unsuccessful attempts by the State or State entities to persuade IPICto give up its contractual rights to retain the Oil Search shares which were the subject of the Exchangeable Bonds. While there were some limited signs that IPIC was prepared to do so, in the end it relied upon its rights to keep the shares. Although it was always clear the Exchangeable Bonds gave those rights to IPIC, and Mr O'Neill was in the Somare Cabinet which approved the Exchangeable Bond Transaction, in his evidence before the Commission he unhelpfully persisted with the notion that Papua New Guinea was well positioned to persuade IPIC to give up its rights. It never was. The NEC, the IPIC Exchangeable Bond Review Committee it established, IPBC and the Department of Public Enterprises and State Investments had their time wasted on what was likely to be a futile exercise.

1.22   The second stage was the growing realisation that the Oil Search shares formerly held were going to be lost and that, if even an approximately equivalent quantity was again to be held by the State, they would need to be newly acquired. From later in 2013 it became clear to Mr Vele, who was leading the State's search for a financial adviser in relation to refinancing the Exchangeable Bonds that an opportunity might exist to persuade Oil Search to issue new shares in itself to the State because Oil Search was seeking a significant amount of finance to buy into a valuable gas resource known as Elk-Antelope or PRL 15, and Oil Search might find it attractive to raise funds in a single transaction with the State.

1.23   The third stage was the formal but unsurprising advice from IPIC that it was keeping the Oil Search shares, which led to a series of urgent meetings between Oil Search executives, Prime Minister O'Neill and Mr Vele, which in turn led to the agreement with Oil Search. This created a need for the State to urgently obtain finance, although the urgency was because of Oil Search's timetable.

1.24   The fourth stage was a hurried and inadequate process over a period of 15 days whereby the State's financial adviser and arranger, UBS, and many lawyers, including from NRFA and PLG, put together a complex series of documents and largely drafted the NEC paperwork. Mr O'Neill and Mr Vele drove the process to the exclusion of others with key interests. Remarkably, even the Treasurer was excluded from drafting or commenting on a vital submission which recommended very large expenditure on behalf of the State. Nonetheless the UBS Loan was approved by the NEC and documentation executed.

1.25   The final stage of the UBS Loan was that, to avoid breaching the State's debt ratios, the Collar Loan (one of two parts of the UBS Loan) was novated to the SoE eventually known as Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL). In view of the controversy which resulted when the UBS Loan was announced, parliamentary disapproval of the UBS Loan could well have occurred. Importantly, KPHL never wanted either the Oil Search shares or the significant financing debts that came with the UBS Loan. But from 2015 the choice was not theirs alone, as the KPHL Trustee was the Prime Minister of the day and approval of the NEC was needed for many of its decisions. So the KPHL Board extended the loan in 2016 and, with its Trustee Mr O'Neill's permission, sold the shares at a significant loss in 2017. The Managing Director of KPHL, Mr Wapu Sank, with some justification, felt the Trustee's permission was deferred for purely political reasons which, if established, would be a clear breach of duty by a trustee.

1.26   In the end, the State's entirely unnecessary UBS Loan to buy Oil Search shares resulted in:

           (a) the loss of those same shares

           (b) significant financial losses to the State of in excess of AUD 340 million (approximately 

               PGK 902 million)

           (c) lost opportunities, including to establish the Sovereign Wealth Fund as intended and

               endow it properly

           (d) diversion of the significant revenues expected from the PNG LNG Project once the 

               exports of LNG began in 2014

1.27   As the Report concludes in relation to the UBS Loan:

            (a) Unlike the Exchangeable Bond Transaction which was justified by the purchase of 

                significant and financially beneficial rights in the PNG LNG Project, the UBS Loan had no 

                satisfactory justification or rationale_ It made no economic sense for the State to pay large 

               sums to multiple advisers as well as high interest payments on a loan to purchase shares 

               in a publicly listed company. If the State wanted to be involved in further oil and gas 

               exploration projects, waiting instead for the back-in rights to PRL 15 was a more prudent 

               course. The Commission rejects Mr O'Neill's stated 'strategic interest' justification for 

               obtaining new Oil Search shares in 2014. On analysis, it amounts, at its highest, to no 

               more than the habit of such ownership over the preceding dozen years, and access to 

               modest dividends in common with any other shareholder. If there were other reasons 

               they have not been revealed to the Commission. The State had powers to block 

               takeovers on national interest grounds if that became a concern. Further, any interest in 

               share ownership was short lived: the UBS Loan was swiftly novated to KPHL, which never 

               wanted the UBS Loan obligations and wished to sell the shares at the earliest opportunity

          (b)  The failure to follow proper processes, coupled with the speed with which complex 

               documentation was produced had the disastrous consequence that no-one within the 

               public service — including the Secretary for Treasury. Mr Vele — understood the 

               overcharging of the State by UBS, and the risks inherent in the UBS Loans, and no 

               adviser retained by or on behalf of the State identified these matters, either in themselves 

               or as risks to be further investigated

          (c)  In addition to its sizeable disclosed fee of AUD 28.4 million (approximately PGK 75.4 

               million), UBS also benefited from the refinancing of the Collar Loan in December 2014 

               and February 2016 as well as from the ultimate sale of the shares in September 2017. Its 

               total over-charging amounts to AUD 175 million (approximately PGK 464 million), which 

               should be repaid, with interest. The Commission considers UBS' failure to provide

              witnesses deeply disappointing, as is its final submission which suggested as 

              inappropriate Brattle's use of the widely recognised Black-Scholes financial model but 

              without stating what is appropriate or what model it used to price the UBS Loan in 2014. 

              The Commission considers its assertion to be a defensive strategy not a serious 

              submission. It is not accepted

           (d) The State's lawyers, including NRFA, failed to advise the State of UBS' at least potential 

            conflicts of interest and how to manage them. Like UBS, NRFA declined to provide 

            witnesses to the Commission. NRFA did not provide any submissions, and their delayed 

           and incomplete production of documents, owned not by them but by their former clients, 

           was inexcusable

         (e) Mr Vele was responsible for the settling of the NEC policy submission recommending the 

            UBS Loan. The submission's inadequacies included its failure to set out any downside to 

            the proposal and the false statement that the Treasurer agreed with the submission's 

            contents when, to Mr Vele's knowledge, he had never seen it prior to the eve of the NEC 

            meeting, and according to Mr Vele himself, then indicated his disagreement with the 

            submission by refusing to sign it

        (f) Mr O'Neill knew the submission was lengthy and complex and needed to be explained to 

            the NEC and yet he provided the NEC with no advance notice of it nor any real 

            opportunity to debate it during a meeting that lasted less than an hour, notwithstanding the 

            Treasurer's outburst against the proposal in the NEC (he being later sacked from that 

            role). The NEC is a valuable democratic method of analysing and discussing difficult 

            matters but Mr O'Neill ensured it could not operate effectively in relation to the UBS Loan. 

            Proper processes in the NEC and Government generally, like keeping adequate records, 

            may appear unimportant or uninteresting, but what happened in relation to the UBS Loan 

            demonstrates why such matters (like the NEC, parliamentary scrutiny and anti-corruption 

            measures) are vital in a democracy. Their absence can cost a nation dearly, as was the 

            case with the UBS Loan

1.28   In answer to the question 'Who was responsible and what remedies should be sought against them'; detailed findings are set out elsewhere in the Report, but fundamentally:

    (a) Mr O'Neill should be prosecuted for giving false evidence to the Commission and referred 

        to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)

    (b) Mr O'Neill is centrally responsible for the UBS Loan, Mr Vele was indispensable in 

        assisting him in that endeavour. Each should be referred to the Leadership Tribunal

    (c) UBS is solely responsible for overcharging and any misleading or deceptive conduct. 

        They should be asked to repay the amounts overcharged and both Papua New Guinea 

        and Australian authorities should consider whether civil or criminal sanctions should be 

        sought. UBS should be banned from doing work for the State and any SoEs for 10 years

    (d) NRFA's obstruction of the Commission should be the subject of disciplinary investigation 

        in Australia. Their failure to give proper advice to the State should be further examined 

        and the firm should be banned from doing work for the State and any SoEs for five years

    (e) The following current or former UBS or NRFA personnel should be banned from doing 

        work for the State and any SoEs, in their own capacity or as employed by an entity for five 


            (i) Patrick 'Paddy' Jilek

            (ii)  Mitchell Turner

            (iii) Anthony Latimer

            (iv)  Steven Moe

            (v)   Vittorio Casamento

1.29   The Commission makes a number of recommendations to ensure the UBS Loan is not repeated. It also recommends the long promised establishment of the Sovereign Wealth Fund be delayed no longer. Its establishment and endowment is not only vital for the welfare of the State and its people but will be important evidence for foreign investors, along with the new ICAC and the ongoing role of the Ombudsman Commission, that sovereign risk from corruption and failure to follow mandated government processes is now being properly addressed. .

1.30   During the course of its work, the Commission received information about matters of concern which it pursued as far as its powers allowed. The Commission proposes to provide that information to appropriate authorities with greater investigative powers for them to consider and pursue if they think fit.

1.31   The Commission's work is now done. It is a matter for the Government, the Parliament and ultimately the people to decide whether to act on the Report's findings and its nation-building recommendations.


All references in this document to the PGK equivalent are approximate, using the exchange rate as at 28 March 2022. Exchange Rates UK website, accessed on 28 March 2022 httus://www.exch_ancierates.ora_ukicurrencviexchanae-rate-calculator.html.

You can read both Part A and Part B Executive Summary on Act Now website.


Cannibals of Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is an amazing country north of Australia, to the west is West Papua (under Indonesia) and to the east is the independent state of Papua New Guinea. 

It's a big country in the Pacific. Now, you are here because you want to know about the Cannibals of Papua New Guinea. So let me tell you.

Cannibals of papua new guinea

Are there Cannibals in PNG?

No human is ever seen eaten alive when they venture on Papua New Guinea trips, though cannibalism was a tribal ritual practised only in certain parts of the country until the late 1800s.

These rituals are blown out of proportion with limited understanding of the practises and why they happened.

There is a preconceived idea that there are cannibals in PNG.

In fact, many of the articles are fake news. 

The articles about cannibalism proliferated by major online websites do NOT present facts. 

They are completely misleading the naïve readers and they do believe them, unfortunately.

Expect the Unexpected Papua New Guinea Trips

Living and working or visiting PNG can be a challenge. 

But with those challenges come great rewards. 

When you live or visit PNG, it is like travelling to a land of diverse cultures and people.

The common saying here is ‘EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED’. PNG is the land of surprises.

Papua New Guinea is a changing country. It has a thriving metro city with entertainment, hotels, parks, resorts and restaurants and games venues.

Travelling to outer parts of the country is by air. If you want to see a natural tropical paradise, you come to PNG. 

If you don't believe me, see my PNG stories here on YouTube. These clips are mainly taken from my Samsung mobile phone. 

Visitors are welcome to venture on Papua New Guinea trips and experience the diverse cultures and people of Papua New Guinea.

Online news about cannibals in PNG

Many international visitors to PNG know that the articles on cannibals in PNG are fabricated lies.

Often, the stories were retold based on some old tales, or by YouTubers and one-minute travellers who lack an understanding of Papua New Guinea.

Therefore, do not be naive and believe in online news and a social media channel that runs stories on cannibals in PNG in the 21st century.

Stories of Cannibals in PNG

Some examples of misleading stories on cannibalism in PNG.

The article titled Korowai People of Papua New Guinea (2017,2009) is a clear example of misinformation. 

The article said less about the indigenous skill and ability of the people to build houses on stilts and more about cannibalism. 

These articles showed recent photo evidence of a stilt house and none of the Korowai eating human flesh!

Korowai are not Papua New Guineans

Korowai tree house
IMAGE: @Whistling Spear

Furthermore, the people of Korowai are not Papua New Guineans. 

They are from the West Papua in Indonesia. 

And, they are not cannibals either.

Another fake article was titled Cannibals on Kokoda (2016). It receives wide online coverage because the couple nearly died whilst walking Kokoda unprepared. 

This was a trip that could have ended up in disaster because the couple was stupid.

So, next time some idiots with limited knowledge of geography and the world tell you about the Korowai or Cannibals of Papua New Guinea, tell them to FO.

Read the full story here 

12 PNG MPs and Statesmen Passed On in the Last 3 Years

An unusually high number of PNG MPs, Statesmen and Public Figures passed on from 2019 to 2021. But, note that many have passed on due to old age and illnesses. 

Six serving Members of Parliament (MPs), 6 Statesmen and Sirs, and 5 former MPs passed on. It was an end-of-an-era for nearly 20 PNG public figures in the last 3 years.

6 Serving PNG MPs Passed On

1. Sam Akotai (serving MP, December 2021)

2. Johnny Ananias Alonk (Serving MP, November 2021)

3. Roy Biyama (Serving MP, September 2021)

4. Richard Mendani (Serving MP, March 2021)

5. Sir Mekere Morauta (Serving MP, December 2020)

6. Thomas Pelika (Serving MP, October 2019)

6 Senior Statesmen Passed On

1. Sir Paulus Matane (Senior Statesman, December 2021)

2. Sir Dannis William Dux (Businessman, December 2021)

3. Justice Danajo Koeget (Senior Judge, December 2021)

4. Sir Peter Lus (Former MP and Senior Stateman, October 2021)

5. Sir Silas Atopare (Former PNG Governor-General, September 2021)

6. Sir Michael Somare (Retired, Founding Father of Papua New Guinea, February 2021)

Businessmen and Former MPs Who Passed On 2019 - 2021

1. Amkat Mai (Former MP, November 2021)

2. Mafuk Gainda (Former MP and Deputy Governor, March 2021)

3. Mal Kela Smith (Businessman and former MP, April 2021)

4. Steven Koimanrea (Former MP, November 2019)

5. Vincent Auali (Former MP, June 2019)

If you know of any Statesmen or women, MPs or local heroes who are NOT mentioned and you thought should be recorded in this segment, please comment below. 

A record of PNG's history 

Lest we forget, this is a collection of names that will surely go down in the history of Papua New Guinea. 

PNG Insight hopes that the mainline news media can do something similar but go into detail and really nail this part of PNG's HISTORY that is gone so that the future generation know who they are and how they live and die.

Papua New Guinea Cannibals in the Jungle, REALLY?

There is a preconceived idea that there are cannibals in the jungles of PNG. The naivety around the idea stems from the fact that there is a lack of understanding of the country, its geopolitical setting and its people. Here is what the real story is.

papua new guinea cannibals in the jungle

Papua New Guinea Cannibals in the jungle

So, you found this article searching for cannibals of Papua New Guinea in the jungle, right?

The answer there is no such thing as cannibals or the practice of cannibalism in Papua New Guinea. Trust me, no human is ever seen eaten alive when they venture on Papua New Guinea trips.

In fact, many of the articles are fake news. The articles about cannibals in PNG proliferated by major online websites do not have the right facts and are completely misleading.

The news about cannibalism in PNG has caught the attention of many naïve readers. The online stories had been sensationalised to attract readers. But, these stories had painted a wrong picture of the country.

Expect the Unexpected Papua New Guinea Trips

Living and working or visiting PNG can be a challenge. But with those challenges come great rewards. 

When you live or visit PNG, it is like travelling to a land of diverse cultures and people.

The common saying here is ‘EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED’. PNG is the land of surprises.

Perhaps it is important to know that Papua New Guinea is a changing country. It has a thriving city with entertainment, hotels, parks, resorts and restaurants and games venues.

Travelling to outer parts of the country is by air. If you want to see a natural tropical paradise, you come to PNG. 

If you don't believe me, see my PNG stories here on YouTube. These clips are mainly taken from my Samsung mobile phone. 

Visitors are welcome to venture on Papua New Guinea trips and experience the diverse cultures and people of Papua New Guinea.

Online news about PNG cannibals in the jungle

Many international visitors to PNG can attest to the fact that the articles on cannibals in PNG do not present the correct information.

Often, the stories were retold based on social media posts or by writers who lack an understanding of Papua New Guinea. In fact, many of these stories are not only fake news but also complemented by outdated images.

Therefore, any online news outlet that runs stories on cannibals in PNG in the 21st century must not, just, base their stories on social media posts or fake stories.

Fake Stories on Cannibalism in PNG

It is important that the online media, both international and local media, must establish their facts and sources of stories properly before publishing.

The article titled Korowai People of Papua New Guinea (2017,2009) is a clear example of misinformation. The article said less about the indigenous skill and ability of the people to build houses on stilts and more about cannibalism. In fact, the articles showed recent photo evidence of stilt house and none of the Korowai eating human flesh!

Furthermore, the people of Korowai are not Papua New Guineans. They are from the West Papua in Indonesia. And, they are not cannibals either.

Another fake article was titled the Cannibals on Kokoda (2016). It receives wide online coverage because the couple in the news nearly died whilst walking Kokoda unprepared, and blamed it on the locals. This was a trip that could have ended up in disaster because the couple was stupid.

Kokoda incident - desperate couples

The Papua New Guineans, Australians and other international trackers who walked Kokoda Trail know that the walks are undertaken in organized trips. That means that you must

  • have a local contact
  • train and prepare for the arduous walk,
  • have money, permit, guides and rations,
  • walk during the dry season and
  • respect the local people.

Kokoda Track is not for the faint-hearted. No one walks Kokoda Track unprepared and without guides. The couple who attempted the Kokoda Track in 2016 underestimated the walk.

In addition, the couple disobeyed the advice of the local authorities on arrival. They had no money and walked the track with a bare minimum of tracking essentials.

The couple could have died along the way when they attempted the trip on their own. They were lucky they survived and should have been thankful for the Kokoda team who helped them.

Global-View of the Writer

The author of this post is Papua New Guinea. Grew up in PNG, and lived and worked in the United Kingdom. He also visited several other countries in the World: France, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Vietnam, Singapore, and Hong Kong. 

He is a full-time PNG public servant.

The world media often present PNG in a different way. Other people see PNG in terms of what is presented by the media and on the Internet.

In retrospect, visitors to and residents of Papua New Guinea KNOW that PNG is a beautiful country with friendly people.

The writer also believes that Papua New Guinea is one of the most beautiful places in the World. It has some of the friendliest people on Earth.

Like any developing country, PNG has its social, political and economic challenges. But it does not mean that PNG is not a good place to live and work or visit.

As the saying goes, you must see it to believe it. The locals say YOU YET KAM NA LUKIM. (Come and experience PNG)

Many things have changed in the last 10 years. The country’s capital, Port Moresby, is now a metro-modern city. There are parks, pools, resorts and entertainment venues for both kids and adults. Modern hotels and private resorts are within an hour’s drive from the city.

Churches in PNG and Govt Partnership Vital for Development (MDGs & SDGs)

Should the Churches in PNG be blamed for the poor attainment of MDG (and SDG) indicators? This post aims to address the question paused in this article by asking whether the churches in PNG have become passive in providing education and health services lately.

church and govt partnership

Recommended reading: Lutheran Church in PNG Urged to Build University with Govt Support

Churches in PNG and Development 

For anyone to blame the churches (and its development agencies) on PNG’s dismal performance in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) undermines the fantastic work churches have been doing in the country. 
Number of churches’ educational and health set-ups (revealed in the table, ADRA Australia, 2015, p. 3) indicated that churches are equal development partners. 
Their network needs not only to be strengthened but also effectively funded.

This article, firstly, eliminates the opinion that churches must be blamed for PNG’s poor performances, in the last 15 years, to achieve MDGs indicators. In fact, the Church leaders identified the government’s funding as a major constraint (Aupong 2016). 

The report also showed that the government’s budgetary allocation was reduced by more than half this year, 2016. Churches cannot shoulder any responsibility when they work in challenging conditions. 

They must not be blamed when government budgetary allocation is either cut or not released to them. 

The government’s recognition of churches (RNZ October 7 2013) is one thing said; but a cordial partnership according to Bishop of the Diocese of Bougainville, Bernard Unabali, must be built on Christian moral (JOSEPH April 28, 2016).

Secondly, the presentation emphasises the need for Govt of PNG to do a critical self-search as a partner. The PNGCPP case study identified government lack of consistent engagement with churches as one of the main constraints (ADRA Australia, 2015). 

All in all, churches must not shoulder the blame for PNG not achieving millennium development goals and country indicators. 


The seven mainstream churches and their development agencies in partnership with the government were mentioned by Volker Hauck, Angela Mandie-Filer and Joe Bolger (2005). And further discussed (by ADRA, 2015) in a case study titled Sustained Investment in Church Development Capacity

Both research work, though 10 years apart, had reiterated the significance of reaching the rural population through a Church-State partnership.

The PNG Churches Partnership Program (PNG CPP) established in 2004 by Australia and PNG governments seek to involve churches to deliver education, health and others social services to people in rural areas (ADRA, 2015). 
Over ninety percent (Volker Hauck et al., 2005 p.11) of PNG’s population are Christians, eighty seven percent (ADRA, 2015, p.3) belong to the churches in PNG CPP. Many live in the rural areas. 
In fact, these churches are an important development partner as far as reaching the mass of the population is concerned. 

For development to trickle down to the people, churches’ network must be utilised as ‘vehicle’ for goods and services delivery. Volker Hauck et al., (2005) acknowledged that churches are the main stakeholders.
 ‘PNG society is largely religious and as such Christian churches are important social actors that play a significant role in the country’ (reiterated in ADRA, Australia, 2015, p. 3). 

Indicatively, churches prominence within the community is a vital link between the people and the government.

Consistency and mutual engagement has to prevail amongst the partners like the 
  • PNG Department of National Planning and Monitoring (DoNPM), 
  • Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and 
  • Churches in PNG. 
Both past (Peter Mar 12, 2010); (Taru Oct 12, 2012) and present (Aupong 2016) governments acknowledged the significance of churches’ participation in nation-building. 

‘The Minister for National Planning and Monitoring Charles Abel says churches are a major provider of basic social services in PNG and the government recognises their role in improving the lives of Papua New Guineans’ (RNZ October 7 2013).

A recent policy framework called the Partnership Policy Framework between Government of PNG (GoPNG) and Christian Churches in PNG was written to include churches in formulation and execution of future development agendas. 

Its purpose is two-fold: to work together to achieve integral human development and to create an ongoing partnership to advance development in the country (Department of National Planning and Monitoring, [DoNPM], 2016, p. 2). 

Past reports have indicated that the GoPNG has either cut funding or delayed budgetary allocation in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and is inconsistent in engaging with churches in PNG and the donor partners. 


Ministerial statements and policy guides would only be rewarding if they are complemented with action. 

It is vital for all parties (the PNG govt, churches and donor partners) to sustain the work of churches. Involve the churches. Bring them into the picture when social developments are concerned.


Adventist Development and Relief Agency [ADRA], Australia. Papua New Guinea: A Case Study of Sustained Investment in Church Development Capacity. Case Study, Wahroonga NSW: ADRA, 2015, 6.
Aupong, Serah. Funding Challenges for PNG Church-State Partnership Program. TV News, Port Moresby: National EMTV News, 2016.
CatNews New Zealand. February 9, 2016. (accessed July 18, 2016).
DoNPM. Partnership Policy Framework between Government of Papua New Guinea and the Christian churches in Papua New Guinea. Policy Framework, Port Moresby: Department of National Planning and Monitoring, 2016, 12.
JOSEPH, MORKANA. Government-church partnership program to cease. News, Port Moresby: Post Courier, April 28, 2016.
Peter, Sea. Incentive fund helps PNG. News, Port Moresby: Post Courier, Mar 12, 2010.
RNZ. PNG announces church-state partnership programme. News, Wellington: Radio New Zealand - Pacific, October 7 2013.
Taru, Benstead. PNG can't do without churches: MP. News, Port Moresby: Post Courier, Oct 12, 2012.
Volker Hauck, Angela Mandie-Filer and Joe Bolger. Ringing the church bell: The role of churches in governance and public performance in Papua New Guinea. Discussion Paper, Maastricht: The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), 2005, 39.
Yakham, Henzy. Good news for PNG churches. News, Port Moresby: Post Courier, Jan 25, 2012.

Lutheran Church in PNG Urged to Build University with Govt Support



Latest on Vote of No Confidence in Papua New Guinea 2024

Latest on Vote of No Confidence in Papua New Guinea 2024