Posts Tagged ‘Ok Tedi’

2016 Guide to National Crisis Issues Available for Download Here!

May 11, 2016 1 comment



Our country needs the active help of those who often don’t do anything more than read social media postings if we are to keep Peter O’Neill from defeating truth and justice.   In the coming weeks we the people of our land will either be jumping in the streets with pride and joy that we have defeated evil or we will feel intensely shamed for years to come by the knowledge that we were defeated not because we were wrong, but because we didn’t give the same effort as the evil people in power did.

To help you take action PNGBlogs has  created a selection of papers and postings from around the internet as a guide to students and everyone else to learn more about the national crisis issues that are now reaching the point of explosion.

Until all of us as PNGeans become much better educated on the issues, we will not be motivated enough to correct the problems. Each and every one of us must learn more about the facts of the matter. That’s why we put together this collection of information for you.

Please download the pdf that is attached to this article and educate yourself. The resource book covers all of the following critical disaster areas and provides facts and figures.


Please help PNG by doing one or more of the following now:

  1. Email the link to this page to your family and friends now, or e-mail the resource book as an attachment.
  2. Photocopy and post articles that you find of special interest in your workplace or in public places.
  3. If you still have ties to the village, organize your wantoks to read these materials and develop awareness programs back home.
  4. Make hard copies available to our university and college students quickly. We cannot do this because we are not on the ground at UPNG, Unitech, UNRE, or other campuses that are becoming active. The students can use this information when they go out and do awareness on the issues that relate to their demands.

Click here to download this book of information

Legal conspiracy abuses the law and process to defeat landowner injunction in Ok Tedi mining case

March 7, 2014 4 comments

Ok Tedi mine waste spewing into the Fly river [ Photo: ABC]

Ok Tedi mine waste spewing into the Fly river [ Photo: ABC]

Last Friday Justice Hartshorn handed down a bizarre decision in the National Court that has legal commentators, academics and practitioners scratching their heads and wondering what is going on with PNG’s legal system.

Justice Hartshorn, operating apparently in cahoots with the Attorney General Kerenga Kua and international law firm Allens, has managed to turn upside down a whole series of legal precedents, practices and rules to defeat an injunction obtained by Western Province landowners to stop the continued pollution of the Fly river by Ok Tedi Mining Limited.

While the judges ultimate decision, that the interim ex parte injunction should be lifted, may, ironically be correct, the method by which he took possession of the matter, his erroneous legal reasoning and his bulldozing of established legal principles leave a big stink hanging over his name and the lawyers who seemingly conspired with him to cook the process.

Here is a quick list of what Justice Hartshorn got wrong and how he manipulated the situation to deliver what was clearly a pre-determined outcome:

  1. It is unprecedented for the National Court  to stay its own orders, and particularly one judge has no power to stay the orders of another judge. If a party wants a stay then it should appeal the original decision to the Supreme court.
  2. Hartshorn has seized on the power of the National court to issue a stay on proceedings and completely misinterpreted / abused that power to pretend it gives a right to stay an order.
  3. Hartshorn also relied on Supreme Court decisions and authorities that only apply in the Supreme court and which do not apply in the National court
  4. The original injunction was made ex-parte and given a return date to be argued inter partes. The simple and correct procedure was for any variation in the order to made at that inter parties hearing. Instead Hartshorn has grabbed control of the case and made his own orders without any legal precedent.
  5. In order to get the matter into his Court Hartshorn had to first make another erroneous decision. He ruled that the matter was a commercial matter and therefore could be transferred to his court. But the case is clearly not a commercial case in the legal sense as it is a case brought by the landowners over environmental damage and the dumping of poisons tailings into the Fly river.
  6. Hartshorn heard the case and made his decision without the mining company – the central player in the litigation – even being present or having any legal representation! The company had only just been served with a notice of the proceedings but Hartshorn refused to adjourn the matter to allow them to be present and heard.

To compound this litany of abuse, Allens, the legal firm instructed by Kua to appear for the State of Papua New Guinea, are also the long servicing legal representatives for Ok Tedi Mining Limited – putting them in a gross conflict of interest situation where they are acting for the regulator in a case brought by the landowners for gross environmental damage caused by another of their clients.

Even worse, there is other litigation currently before the courts in Port Moresby where Allens are acting for Ok Tedi Mining Limited in a matter instigated by the company AGAINST the Minister for Mining, the Minister for Finance and the State.

Clearly these big international lawyers have no conscience or appreciation of common legal ethics… but at the end of the day in this sorry drama it is the poor people of Western Province who continue to suffer while the fat cats in their air conditioned city offices count their ill-gotten gains.

PNG’s media reeling from Government crackdown on dissent

November 14, 2013 4 comments

Source: Radio New Zealand

Papua New Guinea’s media are reeling from a crackdown by the Government as observers say media freedom is “non-existent”.

Three senior journalists were recently demoted by the national broadcaster, and a media adviser of the Sustainable Development Programme was deported last week.

As a major investigation into corruption from within the Government continues, the Prime Minister is leading a campaign to silence its critics.

Alex Perrottet reports:

In this year’s Reporters Without Borders media report, PNG has dropped six places in the rankings. This month, three editors and producers with decades of experience were told by NBC management they would be continuing in the archives section. It came after reports on the government take-over of the Ok Tedi mine, and on allegations the prime minister is implicated in the allegedly corrupt payments to the arrested lawyer Paul Paraka. The Chair of the Pacific Freedom Forum, Titi Gabi, says there has been strong pressure from the Government.

“TITI GABI: There is concern from individuals about what this means and where the industry might be heading because you know, managers have become the editors and it’s just quite silly, it’s quite dangerous.”

Titi Gabi says the pressure is not just on the national broadcaster.

“TITI GABI: This particular TV company has got instructions from the top, saying you can’t run anything on us that’s negative because if you do, you know, we’ll force you to sell your shares, we won’t renew your licence. So what you have is managers interfering with news – how ridiculous is that?”

The PNG media council has long been accused of inaction. A former editor of the Post Courier newspaper, Bob Howarth, says there’s a deafening silence, apart from social media sites and some brave journalists.

“BOB HOWARTH: It appears that the PNG Media Council has virtually collapsed and there are several looming threats to press freedom in terms of journalists being downgraded in the National Brodacasting Corporation.”

“The managing director of NBC, Memafu Kapera, declined to speak, but issued a press release saying the veteran broadcasters breached editorial policy and failed to follow instructions. But in an email, he would not say which reports undermined NBC’s reputation of fairness and impartiality. Of the three demoted, he writes: Two have fully understood the requirements of their new assignments and they are happy to take on the new responsibilities. They cannot run to the industry for protection using media freedom as a front.

Before his arrest, Paul Paraka had filed an injunction against the media for reporting on the allegations he had received massive payments from the Government. Police say they are now investigating people in high places in the Government, and since the arrest of Mr Paraka, the Government itself has issued directives on reporting.

Last week the media advisor for the Sustainable Development Programme, Mark Davis, was arrested by heavily armed police and deported to Australia with nothing but his passport, after criticising the Government for taking over the fund. The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neil, defended the move, saying Mr Davis’ had breached his work permit by playing politics. Mr Davis defended his role.”

“MARK DAVIS: Of course it’s going to have a political element. I write media releases for the chairman and the chief executive criticising the government, I write advertisements criticising the government’s actions and calling into question its behaviour, that’s my job.”

Social media sites have been campaigning for the PM to explain himself.

Paki’s departure from PNGDP/OTML is a good thing Mekere!

October 4, 2013 2 comments

Is the government’s grab for PNGSDP/OTML a good thing? Its hard to say. What about the departure of Rex Paki from its Board of Directors? To this we can issue a much more definitive yes. While Sir Mekere Morauta may have slammed his replacement by Isaac Lupari, Papua New Guineans should breathe a sigh of relief.

In October 2012 PNGexposed raised serious concerns about Paki’s position on the board following the release of a report on the Paga Hill demolition by the International State Crime Initiative. For our efforts, we were slammed by Transparency International PNG Chairman, Lawrence Stephens, who is also a senior manager at PNGSDP.

He claimed:

“Come on oh nameless ones! Take some deep breaths and ask yourselves if you are really prepared to publicly defend the rights of Papua New Guineans and if it is really necessary for you to throw stones from the shelter of annoninimity. Much as you might like to claim the oppositie there is nothing astonishing in any loyal Papua New Guinean seeing the difference between accusations and convictions. Shame on you, whoever you are”.

The irony is we have men like Stephens and Morautu being held up in the international media as anti-corruption warriors, but what did they do about Rex Paki for all these years?

For those unfamiliar with Paki’s past, here is our original post from 2012:

Over the past 20 years Paki has appeared before two Commission of Inquiries (Finance Department and National Provident Fund), two Public Account Committee Inquiries, and a Supreme Court case where he was slammed by the full court.

Paki was intimately involved in the Paga Hill development in Port Moresby between 1997-2000, a development which has recently been making headlines for forced evictions and corrupt property deals – link.

In January 2004 the Public Accounts Committee reprimanded Paki’s company Ram Business Consultants (RAM) for issuing an “empty cheque” to the Accountants Registration Board, and then “practicing without … formal registration”.

Two years later in a separate investigation – which Paki attempted to block – the PAC found that over an 18 month period (1998-2000) the Public Curator’s Office had paid RAM K1,561,062 (approx US$640,000), without the existence of a contract, proper invoices, or evidence that any work had been done.

Two Commission of Inquiries (COI) also found reason to censure RAM. Following its first appearance, RAM was accused by the COI of receiving “improper benefits” and charging clients “excessive” fees; in the firm’s second appearance, the COI found that RAM had substantially inflated a cash-flow projection, so a prominent client could amplify his damages claim against the state.

In light of these PAC/COI findings, it is perhaps not surprising that most recently in an appearance before the Supreme Court, Salika DCJ, Gabi J and Hartshorn J, described Rex Paki as “evasive and dishonest”, following Paki’s extraordinary efforts to frustrate the process of discovery (Paki was being sued for allegedly overpaying himself as liquidator of Motor Vehicle Insurance Ltd).

Those interested can access the original story in full here:

A second article by Dr Kristian Lasslett:

The debate with Transparency International PNG can be viewed here:

O’Neill blasts ‘colonial mentality’ in Garnaut / BHP dispute

January 17, 2013 4 comments

From PNG Mine Watch

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has attacked “false and misleading claims” by a mining company as reported in the Australian Financial Review, the PNG Post-Courier reports.

O’Neill said BHP Billiton needed to get over its “colonial era” mentality, and appreciate that Papua New Guinea was an independent nation.

He said Australia should negotiate with Papua New Guinea in the “same, mature and reasonable way” numerous other Australian resource companies do.

“Instead of seeking the intervention and assistance of the Australian government, the company should negotiate with my government, and me, as Prime Minister,” O’Neill said.

“The article claims that I had blocked the granting or extension of exploration licences because it would not agree with my proposals regarding the determination of the board of PNG Sustainable Development Programme.

“This is totally and utterly false. It is just dishonest,” the prime minister said, according to the Post-Courier.

“BHP Billiton surrendered the licences entirely on its own accord. It did so when it made a decision early last year not to invest in Papua New Guinea – after I had personally invited the company to meet with senior cabinet ministers, including myself, to consider investing in PNG.

“We did everything possible to encourage the company, just as we encourage and assist other major investors all the time. They decided not to take up the offer.

“That occurred before the mid-year elections, and eight or nine months before I made my comments on Professor Ross Garnaut,” he said.

‘Inaccurate comments’
O’Neill said the central issue was not Professor Garnaut and his “inaccurate and ill-informed comments” on why he wanted the issues surrounding the way the board of PNGSDP was appointed to be changed.

“The central issue is this – 11 years ago, BHP Billiton was done an enormous favour by the then PNG government and allowed to exit ownership of the Ok Tedi Mine without accepting any financial or moral, responsibility for the enormous environmental and social damage that occurred in the 20 years it operated the mine,” he said.

“Surely, 11 years on, there can be no reasonable case made out to justify BHP Billiton continuing to exercise effective control over the PNGSDP, and as a consequence, the Ok Tedi Mine itself.

“The claim by BHP Billiton and by Professor Garnaut that I want the PNG government to get its hands on the funds of the PNGSDP is personally offensive. All I have sought, and will continue to seek, is negotiations that can lead to BHP Billiton ending a role that it is not justified to continue to play.

“My position is supported by my government, and I believe by the national Parliament and the people of the Fly River, Western Province,” he said.

O’Neill said BHP Billiton should reflect on the appalling environmental damage that occurred during its management of the Ok Tedi mine, and the terrible consequences for the people of the Fly River area – consequences which continue to be felt today.

“The PNG government of the day decided just over a decade ago to legislate to allow BHP Billiton to walk away from any responsibility for the damage that was caused during its management of the mine.

“That spared the company the massive costs, and international humiliation it faced because it effectively ended compensation claims by landowners and local communities along the Fly River.

“The provisions that allowed the company to effectively control the appointment of the board of the PNGSDP, and therefore continue its influence over Ok Tedi, were generous. There can be no justification for their continuation,” he said.

“The Australian government is well aware of the position of my government. The legislation that effectively let BHP Billiton off the hook is PNG law, not Australian law,” he said.

O’Neill said he rejected the claims in the article that his position was damaging the PNG investment climate.

“This is total nonsense. Last month I addressed 1400 mining, oil and gas leaders, and financiers and analysts, in Sydney, at the annual PNG Mining and Petroleum Conference.

“At that conference, there was strong confidence expressed about PNG as a country in which to invest, and in the range of policies my government has in place, and is committed to, to give investors confidence and certainty.

“The claim that this issue has undermined confidence could not be further from the truth,” O’Neill said.

Serious allegations of corruption against Paul Povey and Fubilan Catering Services

August 1, 2012 17 comments

Having lost their environment to mining operations, it is now alleged the landowners of Western Province are losing out on cash incomes and community development because of corruption. Paul Povey, as Managing Director of Fubilan Catering Services, is accused of defrauding the landowners who own the company which was set up to provide them with benefits from the Ok Tedi mine. 

Paul Povey, a former chef with Poon Catering (now Eurest which caters for a lot of mining and petroleum camps in PNG) is a UK-born PNG resident. He has been in the country since the mid 70s. Samoa Tanu, from Central, is his partner. She is a flight attendant with Ok Tedi Mining Limited’s chartered Dash 8 service based in Tabubil. She used to fly with APNG from where she met Paul and then moved to Tabubil.

“Paul Povey has become a multi-millionaire overnight. His flight attendant wife has travelled all over the world at the expense of the landowners”

The Fubilan Catering Services group of companies, which is owned by Ok Tedi landowners, owns the Weight Inn Hotel in Port Moresby (and it is understood Povey has equity in the hotel as well – paid for by the landowners) The group also runs the 3 messing facilities for the OTML operation in Tabubil and get paid by OTML for the service. The group also owns Tabubil Engeering which provides contract work (house maintenance, house building, roadworks, the PNGSDP-sponsored Star Mountain Institute of Training). Again this company gets contracts from OTML for these jobs. Tabubil Engineering also runs a hardware/retail outlet in Tabubil where Paul and his partner get all their household goods for nothing.

“Mr Povey does not take any kina out of his pocket to buy anything. He charges all his household goods, travel expenses, his partner’s family expenses etc etc to the landowner companies he runs under Fubilan Catering Services”

This group of landowner companies are suppose to make a profit and then pay dividends to the landowners who are shareholders,. Povey and his management team are supposed to be on the payroll with a limit to their fortnightly wages. But it is alleged, Povey has no limit to his pay cheque. The landowner companies are funding his life, his overseas travel, his son’s travel (son lives in Cairns), his partner’s family affairs, etc etc. The FCS group of companies do declare dividends but it is never enough for its shareholders because Paul takes a good sum of it.

Honest FCS staff who know what is going on have tried to alert the directors of the company to the problem however it appears the directors have their mouths gagged. Povey it is claimed offers them trips to Sydney and other locations to buy their silence. Jerry Musolok is the chairman of FCS and is said to have no clue what is going on.

“This corruption must be exposed totally and those responsible must pay for the price of cheating on the poor landowners who have entrusted Mr Povey and the MRDC with their money which comes from OTML royalties and compensation”

In 2009, FCS’s Company Secretary and Legal Officer resigned because she refused to condone the corruption and what she alleged was the theft of K500,000 by Povey from the Weigh Inn.