The governor extended his sympathies to those who lost loved ones and property in the incident and said the killings and burnings were unnecessary and unacceptable.
“They were not targeted at a specific ethnic group, but at a community.”
He said he made a commitment two years ago to resettle the Garden Hills settlers and reiterated this in June of this year.
“It has been a matter of securing land where we can resettle them because in the city, we don’t have land powers, we only have planning powers and with planning powers, we cannot secure land in order for us to do all these resettlement in the city, not just in Garden Hills, but in a number of other places that we have targeted for resettlement.
“It might include four mile works and some other communities. In 2 mile, we have resettled some of them from there,” he said.
Governor Parkop said all this is being done as part of NCDC’s goal to ensure that the city is no longer a partly planned and partly unplanned settlement.
“We want to end that. I am committed to ending settlements. It is a goal that is not easy to achieve but we’ve started it already.”
Over a thousand hectares earmarked for resettlement has been approved by the Minister for Lands and is being processed by the Lands Secretary.
“We are on the verge of registering the survey plan, it is now with the surveyor general and after the survey plan has been registered, we will get the title.
“As soon as we get the title, we have already done the subdivision plan and we will resettle people in a planned way, it will be part of upgrading our city to make sure that it is no longer a settlement. The new area won’t be a settlement; it will be planned as an organized suburb.
The earmarked land is past ATS, outside of Port Moresby.
“The new area that the settlers will be moved to is customary land. We have an agreement with the customary landowners. The process has been delayed because there is a competing interest. We have managed these interests with the secretary and the minister for Lands.
“It has taken a while and the residents of garden Hills have been complaining all this time. I can only offer our sympathies to them. We understand their concerns but there is no easy solution that I can just do it,” the governor said.
Governor Parkop said, despite what the population thinks about those in the settlements, they are human beings who are citizens of this country and must be dealt with in a humane, responsible way so that they get to a place where they can continue their lives and contribute to the city as well and to building the country.
“It’s a delicate situation that we are going to deal with as soon as we receive the title.”
He also said he has appealed to NCD Metropolitan Superintendent, Gideon Ikumu to make sure that the alleged shooter, an officer attached with the Dog Unit is processed, charged and brought to justice.
Meantime, the governor responded to calls from residents of Garden Hills to NCDC, to create a new entry and exit way to their homes.
“I will be discussing this with our engineers and the city manager. This is something that came to me after the incident, so our engineers will have a look at it right away.”