papua new guinea

Polye steps down as PNG opposition leader

After a successful election petition by the seat's runner-up, Alfred Manase, the court yesterday ruled that five ballot boxes in Mr Polye's Kandep electorate were not properly counted by the Electoral Commission.

RNZI reports Sam Basil is to be the new opposition leader after Mr Polye yesterday announced he respected the court decision and would step aside.

PNG's 2017 election date announced

Both elections will be held concurrently.

The theme of the elections is 'Your Choice, Protect the Democracy - Election 2017'.

The Governor General approved the dates as per the Electoral Commissioner's recommendations.

The Issue of Writs and Nomination will open on Thursday, 20 April, 2017. Nominations close 27 April, with polling to start on 24 June and will end on 08 July.

Return of Writs is on or before July 24. For the LLG Election, the return of Writs is August 07.

Random Acts of Kindness: Turtles get new lease on life

Arron Culling, a New Zealander working in Papua New Guinea, said he found the turtles at the local market, waiting to be sold for their meat.

He decided to buy them, and simply drove to the nearest beach, approximately five kilometres away, and released the beautiful creatures back into the ocean.

Culling posted photos of the rescue to Facebook, which have so far been shared over 30,000 times on social media.

Australia looks to Kyrgyzstan in struggle to resettle refugees

The Australian reported that the country was on a list of nations Canberra was considering sending refugees to.

It said other former Soviet republics were also being considered for resettlement, but no deals had yet been struck.

Australia's finance minister Mathias Cormann refused to confirm or deny the reports in an interview with Sky News, saying the government was speaking with a number of countries regarding resettlement, and would not comment until it was "in a position to do so".

Chimbu Governor says much more drought aid needed

Much of the Highlands region has been affected by drought and frost which have destroyed food gardens.

The PNG Government started rolling out food aid several weeks ago but the Chimbu Governor Noah Kool says it is not enough.

He says Port Moresby has to under a proper assessment of the number of people affected and the help they will need for a drought expected to extend into 2016.

Security at Indonesia-PNG border must be tightened

The RI-PNG border remains prone to drug smuggling, although some suspected individuals illegally crossing the border have been arrested.

Security officials have frequently arrested people possessing marijuana while attempting to illegally cross the PNG border to enter Jayapura, Papuas provincial capital; however, drug smuggling activities continue to thrive along the border.

NZ soldiers help build a new road in PNG

For the past month a 20 strong contingent of New Zealand army engineers and tradespeople has been mentoring PNG soldiers in road building techniques.

The gravel road, from the highlands to the north coast, will link over 100 remote mountain villages, cutting through dense forest and crossing the Bismarck mountain range.

Lieutenant Leroy Judge says the team has been teaching road building techniques, basic maintenance, and safety procedures.

PNG ravaged by fires

Phil Shearman from the University of Papua New Guinea's Remote Sensing Centre says satellite imagery is showing numbers not seen since the drought of 1997 and '98.

Dr Shearman says the current dry period has led to a high fire risk.

"It's possible to set fire to things that weren't able to set fire to before so we've been seeing in the last three months a five-fold increase in the number of fires that are occurring. Judging by what happened in the '97-'98 El Nino period you would be expecting to see an increased expansion of that."

PNA happy with ‘finalist’ selection in industry competition

The finalists for the prestigious industry award were unveiled last week at the sixth edition of Seafood Expo Asia in Hong Kong. Dawn Martin, President of SeaWeb, was joined by Suzanne Gendron, Director of the Ocean Park Foundation in Hong Kong and a 2016 Seafood Champion Awards Judge, to make the announcement to a crowd of seafood industry professionals and media.

Hopes for new Australian climate policy appear remote

The leaders of Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea and Fiji have expressed hope that Mr Turnbull, who was this week sworn in as prime minister after ousting Tony Abbott as Liberal Party leader, could be a champion for Pacific countries battling rising sea levels and intensifying weather systems.

The change in Canberra came a week after the Pacific Islands Forum meeting highlighted a growing chasm between the Pacific countries and Australia and New Zealand on the issue of climate change.