Prime Minister James Marape

SHP leaders urged to observe law

Speaking at the Southern Highlands Provincial Assembly’s first meeting in Mendi Town on Thursday, the Prime Minister said for unity to grow.

“We must adhere to rule of law, and this starts with us the leaders. Let us observe the rule of law at all times.

“If we observe the rule of law in our societies, there will be no fighting but peace will prevail amongst our people.”

He also advised public servants to work accordingly and lawfully.

Cabinet appoints Genia as BPNG Governor

Marape said today that Cabinet has appointed Mrs Genia, the “most senior” officer at the Central Bank, to the post after Mr Benny Popoitai’s stint had come to an end, with no law allowing for an extension over six months of acting appointment.

“This is the first time a female has been given this role as the head of the Central Bank,” said Marape.

“Mrs Genia has been with the Bank for more than 35 years, serving at the senior level, and very recently, as the Assistant Governor. It is a timely appointment based on merit and has nothing to do with Mr Popoitai's competence.

Marape farewells NZ outgoing PM

He said this today (Tuesday, January 24, 2023) after PM Ardern announced last Thursday (January 19, 2023) that she would resign as New Zealand Labour leader and prime minister by February 7, 2023, pending a leadership election.

“Prime Minister Ardern was one the first world leaders I met, in February 2020, on one of my first official overseas engagements to New Zealand as Prime Minister,” Marape said.

“We have also met at the United Nations General Assembly in 2021 and 2022 in New York City, Pacific Islands Forum in Suva in 2022 and APEC in 2022 in Bangkok.

Albanese’s trip is bilateral: Marape

Marape was responding to questions raised by MP for Chuave, James Nomane on a video posted on social media by Australian Media claiming that PNG will be seeking more funding from Albanese’s trip. 

“This visit was not about requesting money. We never requested any money from Australia or did they make a commitment to help us with money.

“This visit was all about the outstanding bilaterals we have with them. We want to fine tune and improve this relationship to one that will anchor Australia and PNG going forward.

Marape thanks Aust for assistance

Prime Minister James Marape said this on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, when commenting on the recent visit by Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese.

“We do not want the moment of the visit of PM Albanese to be wasted,” Marape said.

“There have been many bilateral meetings and visits, but this one was historic, in that he also addressed our Parliament.

“Australia is committed to addressing all the outstanding issues with us. I have already written a letter to PM Albanese thanking his for the visit and the issues that he raised.

Gelu, a champion of public service

The PM was speaking at Dr Gelu’s funeral service yesterday at the Reverend Sioni Kami Memorial Church.

Marape first met Dr Gelu in 1990 at the University of Papua New Guinea. He was Dr Gelu’s student.

He thanked Dr Gelu for remaining in the public service to serve the people, despite having the capacity to move on elsewhere.

“He was a faithful, honest public servant, serving, true to his calling to a life of service to his call of duty.”

 “He was truly an authentic Melanesian and I place on merit and thank the people of Nakanai and (West New Britain.”

An economically independent PNG is better: PM

As it was Australia, Labor Party and Whitlam in 1973 to 1975 that allowed the PNG, PANGU Pati and Somare drive into political independence, so must it be Australia, Labor Party and Albanese of 2023 to assist PNG, PANGU Pati and the generation of Leaders to drive PNG into the economic independence.

PM Marape told Parliament that a nation claiming political independence without economic strength is a weak nation. 

Serve with passion

In his tribute to late Secretary for Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs Dr Alphonse Gelu, the Prime Minister described him as a public servant who served with distinction.

"Dr Gelu had all the knowledge and know-hows of politics but didn't contest in the elections but decided to serve to his call.

"We need public servants like Dr Gelu in our country."

The Prime Minister was a student of late Dr Gelu in 1990 at the University of Papua New Guinea.

A bond not easily broken

PM Albanese was welcomed by Late Sir Michael’s family including his grandchildren. A traditional cleansing ceremony was conducted by the Chiefs of Kreer Village who are traditional landowners in Wewak. A coconut was split in two and its juice poured over the ground on which the visitors also planted a coconut to signify his visit and then signed the Visitors' Book.

Match autonomy with funds

“Will there be a devolution of powers?” asked Governor Ipatas.

When responding, Prime Minister Marape assured Governor Ipatas and fellow heads of provincial governments that the government he leads is not working to undermine provincial governments.

“In fact, we have been trying our very best to empower our provincial government, work and strengthen our provincial governments,” said PM Marape.

The Prime Minister emphasized that dialogue on functional autonomy without economic empowerment, cannot happen.