The team is led by Henganofi MP and Chairman of the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission, Robert Atiyafa.
In welcoming the team, the Provincial Administrator Lamiller Pawut thanked the delegation for giving prominence to New Ireland by visiting them for the consultation and gave assurance to work with them in the three-day consultation that started on Monday.
Atiyafa said the team was happy to be in the province and hear their thoughts this time around on the election law and reiterated the point that has been highlighted throughout the consultation - that the time is right for the review of the election law which has never be reviewed for more than 50 years.
“Seven years from now we will be celebrating 50 years of Independence so the current review will be an achievement and legacy for the nation in terms of good governance,” he said.
The first day of the program saw the team conduct an inquiry with the political leaders, including LLG and ward members, the provincial administration and DDA CEOs a well as the Provincial Election Steering Committee.
A lot of issues were raised including the autonomy agenda in light of the fact that a pathway is set for autonomy for New Ireland.
Atiyafa also expressed gratitude to the availability of Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato and Registrar of the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties and Candidates, Dr Alphonse Gelu, who were also able to answer queries related to their areas.
The team travelled to Namatani District yesterday for a public forum before concluding the program today with a public inquiry with special interest and focus groups such as representatives of women, church, and youth groups as well Persons Living with Disability.
Simultaneous consultations commenced in West New Britain Province on Monday and Tuesday while Manus consultation is expected to start today through to Thursday, marking the conclusion of the New Guinea Islands leg of the consultation.
“I encourage everyone, including the leaders from these respective provinces, to turn up for the consultations and express your views on the election law and take ownership that you have contributed something to the outcome of the Review and the law,” Atiyafa said.
The schedule for the next leg of the consultation for the Momase and Southern regions, plus other provinces including Hela, Southern Highlands, and Enga, which were not covered in the Highlands region leg of the consultation, will be published in the media.
A preliminary report is expected to be presented to the government at the end of this year.