Heather Watson, the girl from PNG via Guernsey
PNG open to reviving refugee centre on Manus

The way forward for the Motu-Koitabuans

REGINALD RENAGI

AFTER BEING SERIOUSLY MARGINALIZED since Papua New Guinea got its independence in 1975, a practical way forward must now be found for the Motu-Koita including the people of Koiari from the Sogeri Plateau in the Central Province.

There is now a very pressing development need for the Motu-Koitabu to have a good road map for the future.

After this general election, it is most imperative for all Motu-Koitabu communities together with their community leaders to rise up and offer their own future agenda of what they see as the most critical issues affecting their community, within which the city of Port Moresby is situated.

It is also most important for the Motu-Koitabu Assembly and the National Capital District administration to work with the national government and synergistically improve the Motu-Koitabu (and Koiari) people’s quality of life.

It is now more imperative than ever for the national government to immediately put in place a good independent political structure to encompass all Motu-Koitabu (and Koiari) communities within the Central Province.

Its key goal must be to effectively promote the aspirations including the future wellbeing and welfare of the Motu-Koitabuan (including the Koiaris) society within Central Province.

In view of what has happened in recent years, I now call on the relevant authorities to critically address the ongoing plight of the Motu-Koitabu (and Koiari) communities in the following key areas:

Review the Motu-Koita Act and make the current Motu-Koita Assembly more effective, efficient, transparent and accountable.

The national government must in the next five-years create a strong political structure for either a new Motu-Koitabu Open Electorate within NCD, or a separate new Motu-Koitabu (to also include Koiari) Electorate within Central Province.

Through joint efforts of the MKA, NCDC administration and the Central Provincial Government demand the national government to place an immediate ‘Moratorium’ on all NCD land sales, while at the same time; a comprehensive social mapping of the total Motu-Koitabu and Koiari landowner clans genealogy surveys to be conducted in Port Moresby and throughout Central Province.

A special capital city development package should be negotiated with the national government to fairly compensate (for the loss of their traditional land) the peoples of the Motu-Koitabu and Koiari, and be backdated to self-government in 1973.

The new PNG government after the national election must make it one of its number one considerations to address the longstanding plight of the Motu-Koitabu and the Koiari people; only then they can start transforming their lives.

Comments

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Mrs Barbara Short

Excellent comments, Reg and Phil.

May I also advise readers in Australia, that if any of you want to find out more about the law and order issues affecting Motu-Koitabu society today, I still have a few copies left of the Rev. Oala B. Arua's book "Whispers of the Voiceless" - which will help you to understand them. $30 each.

Phil Fitzpatrick

There is certainly a case for special treatment and some clear thinking for the traditional landowners around Moresby.

With the development boom no one seems to be planning ahead much.

With the land reclamation altering tidal flow poor old Hanuabada has become the depository of all the nasty flotsam and jetsam in the harbour. Who could have planned for that happening?

There are other people displaced by city development in other parts of PNG.

The Melpa people around Mount Hagen come to mind. The landowners around the town are now displaced refugees living on their neighbour's land.

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