Year 2019 in review
In the beginning of 2019, during the Governor’s Inaugural Gala Ball, I highlighted the strategies and master plan for Port Moresby, and what I intended to do as Governor of this Amazing City. Today, I would like to reflect on those plans and achievements so far, but also to share what we can do, as a city to take Port Moresby to the next level.
Our transformation towards growth of the city has had its share of challenges. Limited budget, population influx, changing the narratives of the city, legislative changes in procurement system, striving for preventative health care, settlement upgrade programs and modernising the Motu Koita villages are just some of the major issues that continues to define and shape out city and country. On the national level, this year has also been eventful, events that will go down in the history of Papua New Guinea.
Biggest among those was when Tari-Pori MP Hon. James Marape was nominated, elected and sworn in as the country’s 8th Prime Minister. Along with that, we saw the setting of the new Marape-Davis Government with a record 2020 National Budget of K18.7 billion passed last month. At the City level, Mr Dadi Toka Jnr was elected Chairman of the MKA, and made Deputy Governor of NCD.
By November, we honored our commitment to the Bougainville Peace Agreement by conducting the referendum on the future of Bougainville. The result was announced with 97 percent voting for Independence. This in itself is a big statement for Papua New Guinea, because we have shown the true meaning of democracy for the people of Bougainville for freedom and independence. Between all these defining moments in our country and region, our city has continued its journey of transformation with more intensity than ever.
My passion and eagerness for change in our capital city remains high and positive. I will continue to initiate and implememt key policies to make the city safe, peaceful, clean, prosperous and a livable City We started the year launching my vision for Port Moresby to be ‘One People. One City. One Future’, during the NCD Governor’s Inaugural Gala Ball, where more than K1 million was raised from individuals and business houses in the city, with the proceeds donated to six Meri Seif houses and other needy organisations. It is also here where I stated my plans and visions for the city, and that became the steering direction, not only for me and NCDC as the Municipal Government of the City, but also in partnership with my fellow MPs in the Marape-Davies Government.
Besides all the infrastructure and service we have achievement this year Port Moresby also stood out this year when we demonstrated our solidarity and humanity by peacefully walking for our Melaneasean brothers and sisters in West Papua to support their fight for freedom and to end brutality and human rights abuses. It has been a challenging year with all the changes and slow down in the economy but we have had a lot of great achievements and it is only fitting that we celebrate them. As we reflect on what has been achieved so far, we have learnt and got insights to plan into the future with more passion, more enthusiasm, and more courage.
Below are some of our achievements to date:
AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND SETTLEMENT UPGRADE PROGRAM
We attended the Pacific Urban Agenda in Nadi, Fiji with other Pacific leaders on the topic of urbanisation and building safe, inclusive, resilient, prosperous, and resilient cities We signed the Affordable Housing Scheme In partnership with the International Finance Corporation.
We designed an Affordable Housing Scheme for low and middle-income earners. Under the settlement upgrade project, portions 968, 969, 970 and 2218 in 9-Mile and 8-Mile are being surveyed into proper allotments. More than 18 000 households were recorded under this project. The pilot areas are Nautana, Morata, Burns Peak, 9-Mile, 8-Mile, ATS, Ragamuga, Kipo and Kaugere. Of all these 9 mile conversion program has already started and will intensify in 2020 to ensure 9 mile becomes a suburb with a new suburban name soonest. The remaining soft components are scheduled to be done in the first quarter of 2020 and hard component will begin in the second quarter.
IMPROVEMENT OF SUBURBS
Suburbs in the city have almost all their street roads sealed with street lights and proper drainages. Most private investors have shared my visions and they have made significant investments in the real estate industry, retailing, tourism and hospitality and others for example the newly opened Tango at Tokarara. I am keen on further expanding the city with more road networks to address liveability issues.
MODERNIZATION OF MOTU KOITA VILLAGES
Much-needed services have already been rolled out in the Motu Koita villages, totalling over K20 million. This includes State-of-the-Art Metorea market at Hanuabada
Sea water distillation project at Pari, Vabukori and soon at Fisherman Island, Resealing of Boe Vagi road from Konedobu to Badihagwa Technical Secondary school
Various SME development projects and trainings;
Street lights have been connected at Hanuabada, Tatana and Baruni so far. The other villages will be completed before end of March 2020
The new Lakani Toi Memorial Church at Poreporena Laurabada will he completed by February 2020
4 classrooms at Hagara Primary School will be completed by February 2020
The Buk Bilong Pikinini Library at Pari has been completed
HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES
With the support of Oro Governor Gary Juffa, PNG Council of Churches, NGOs and civil societies, we led PNG citizens in a petition to UN country office on October 11 for West Papua Referendum..
ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE
Represented the city and country at UN Climate Change Summit 2019 where I signed the global covenant of Mayors for Climate Change and Energy in New York, USA, joining global effort to mitigate and reverse the impacts of Climate Change. I spoke too at the pre General Assembly Meeting on Climatic Change as we prepared for the United Nation General Assembly. n Launched the ‘Million Tree Campaign’ in the city when commemorating the World Environment Day on June 5.
We Continue to promote the city as a hub for business, investment and events. Under our global brand Amazing Port Moresby we have change the narrative of Port Moresby a lot in 2019 to the extend that for the first time we are part of the tourist destiny Tourism Promotion Authority is promoting in all its global platforms.
Significant flagship events have been hosted to international standard reinforcing the city’s global #AmazingPortMoresby brand. This included the Asia Pacific Economic summit and the Innovative Summit hosted by Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry with our support. The three-day Independence Festival, 2019 Carols by the Sea and others provided a space to consolidate national unity. These are initiatives to entertain the general public, but also done to make public spaces accessible, and to promote the city as peaceful, safe and liveable. The Carol’s by the Sea was a great testament to this, luring over 100,000 City residents, tourists, business houses and Government Officials.
TVET Scholarship continued into its 12th year exposing over K40m to support over 17,000 young people of our cIty
- Opening and commencement of classes at Butuka Academy n NCDC launched a pilot project for e-learning for primary schools
- Supported and sponsored Team PNG to Pacific Games
- Supported numerous sporting codes and teams
- A bidding mission for Port Moresby to host Rugby 7s World Cup matches in the city. It complemented well when the executives of the International Olympic Committee were in town
- FIFA under 15 Oceania Championship
- Active City was commended by the Chairman of IOC recommending Port Moresby to be endorsed as an Active City.
- Kaugere mini stadium commenced and about to be completed. Likewise the Koki Gym and related facilities along Healy Parade Koki.
Harnessing the potential of the city youths by providing space and platform for them to showcase their talents at these various events. Youth Advisory Committee is in place now. An international youth forum is being planned to be hosted in the city for 2020.
BUILDING AND INFRASTUCTURE
2019 saw the K50m Gordons Market Opening, the City Hall Annex opening, completion of the Metoria HanuaBada Market, the 6 Mile Saraga Market, almost completion of Hohola Lareva Market 6 mile SME market and commencement of Tokarara market. Streets and community Lights program to selected suburban pockets of Korobosea, Gerehu, Boroko and Tokarara also started and is continuing even to the Motu Koitabu Villages. ROAD UPGRADES Taurama road project is under construction; Bomana Police and CIS colleges and Bomana Prison Roads costing K19m commenced including Frangipani Street and Tokarara bypassed and beach access Roads. We also saw the completion to high standard of Dorido street Tokarara
In health 2019 saw us Signed the MOU with National Department of Health to transfer NCD health to NCDC and the appointment of members to the NCD Provincial Health Authority Board. We also Funding of St John’s Ambulance to ensure they continue to provide this essential service to the City. We have also provided funding for the KilaKila Health Centre, work on which has just commenced after long delay in the Procument process. Other heath initiative in 2019 included Funding for infrastructure and equipment of clinics and hospitals in the city
- Plans to introduce the Canadian Health Insurance policy in Port Moresby -Started Active City Walk with staff of POMGH
- Active City played an active role in Preventive Health Care through Cancer Screening and talks and awareness on health and lifestyle diseases during Walk and Yoga For Life
Two women commissioner joined the NCDC board and have started mobilizing women and girls in the City to support and promote gender equality agenda, ending violence especially gender and family sexual violence.
- Signed Magisterial Agreement with DJAG and the Police Commissioner to apprehend and try betelnut spitters, graffiti and litterers in the city especially in and around public places
- Active City Communities championing the Community Volunteer Clean up programs in various parts of the city.
Compeleted 2018 Audits of NCDC with all expenditures acquitted and
ELIMINATION OF GBV, CRIME AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
- Created strategic alliance with all stakeholders to assist with funds and support of resources for counselling and response machanism against violence.
- Donated close to 500,000 to Meri Safe Houses in the city
- 20 days of activism on violence against women and girls to mobilise the whole city to take action to end violence against women and to further awareness against the mayhem
We started on a high note, maintained that frequency and intensity throughout the year culminating in the Amazing carol by the sea on the 15th of December but we are not done yet.
On the 27th of this month we will be completing our efforts for 2019 and our transformative journey when we take our rugby league franchise team NCDC Port Moresby Vipers together with a Motu Koitabu Rugby League team to play PRK Mendi Muruks on Mendi Southern Highland as part of our goal to bring hope and normalcy back to that town and Province so that its people can move on with lifting their lives after the tragic and horrific act of violence in that township in 2019 which saw a Air Niugini plane being brunt and number of state institutions including Court house as well being burnt. It is also intend to also change the narrative and perception of Mendi town so it can successfully host the 2020/2021 PNG Games.
We are determined to Intensify and escalate our efforts in 2020 to ensure we totally transform our City to be truly amazing and one we can be proud of as our National Capital.