Home > Corruption, Human rights, Land, Papua New Guinea, Politics > Commercial Rezoning of Public Parks in Port Moresby is becoming Scary

Commercial Rezoning of Public Parks in Port Moresby is becoming Scary

From: The Masalai blog

1A Public Consultation was advertised in the papers earlier this month, see above, for the rezoning of an access way that lies between several large areas of  sporting fields in the Bisini area of Boroko. It appears that some company wants to re-zone this land from a sporting public area to a commercially zoned area. My parents live just around the corner,  so naturally my mother was livid about the situation and went about collecting signatures for a petition for the re-zoning to be stopped. You can see her petition here.

The deadline was yesterday, so we’ll see what happens from here about that re-zoning. So while on this subject this news also popped up on facebook about the Jack Pidik Park being sold to a Supermarket chain. Interestingly none of the major dailies ran this story.

2
On facebook, NCD Governor, Powes Parkop gave some background information on the Jack Pidik Park situation, saying:

“I will give an explanation after this session of Parliament ends. It is a long history but the short of it is that the Park was lost before my time. There is a Supreme Court decision. I have used physical planning powers to deny the title holders from developing it commercially. However the title holders appealed against our decision to Minister for Lands [Benny Alan] as required under the Law and he has upheld their Appeal. This now limits our legal option so only political action can stop it. We have spend over million defending Unagi Oval so I am nit sure I will go down that line considering Supreme Court decision. I have started negotiation with the title holder for a win win outcome. If there are other options too, I will consider them.”

It’s scary that these corrupt acts of stealing public spaces have been going on for so long and worse that even our Governor Parkop can’t fight to save our parks in Port Moresby with the political will of the Government being severely wanting on this issue. As Bernard Sinai asked in a similar blog post, ‘Where Do Our Children Play?’

The need for recreational spaces in cities is not rocket science and you only have to look at a big city like New York to see the cultural and social effects of parks in a city.

3
So the heart of the problem may not only be one of vision and foresight, which most MP’s seem to lack at times, but the fact that the Minister for Lands & Physical Planning, Benny Alan has jurisdiction over land in NCD. This highlights a problem for any Governor in any Province from fully having control over their cities and towns to develop them appropriately according to demands that they can see locally on the ground. If Parkop is going to be forever fighting with Ministers to save our Parks in NCD then we have a serious structural problem here in how Land is administered between two powers with vastly different agendas.

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  1. Rata Palisah
    March 28, 2013 at 8:08 am

    So where does Lands Minister, Mr. Benny Allan stands? Its fishy that the Minister has upheld the Apeal on Jack Pidik park!! My goodness who’s interest is he serving? Where else do we and our children and the future generations go? The Prime Minister needs to intervene and a Public enquire set up to what really is going on in this dead rotten Lands Department. This should include investigating assets owned by people heading and running this department of the past 10-15 years. May our good Lord exposure all this rot for its suffering and oppressed people.

  2. Daru Mako
    March 28, 2013 at 9:39 am

    IF I were the PM, the 1st department to handle will be the Lands Department; I will shut the department for 2 weeks or so, terminate all staff including the secretary and place a care taker team to investigate all Land Deals / situations. And then make a Mass New Recruitment for the department. Not even 1 old staff will be recruited as they will bring the old virus in….kaikai blo tingting…thanks

  3. Fadus Ibagu
    April 2, 2013 at 8:30 am

    @Rata. You are absolutely right when you ask “In whose interest, the Minister for Lands is making this decision?”. Its about we taught one of these Ministers a lesson.

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