Motukea Opening: Speech by IPBC Chairman, Mr Paul Nerau, AIMM, LLB, OBE

Wednesday July 29, 2015 – Hon. Peter O’Neill, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea; Hon. Ben Micah, Minister for Public Enterprise & State Investments; Hon. Powes Parkop, Governor of the National Capital District of Papua New Guinea; Hon. Michael Malabag, Member for Port Moresby North-West; Ministers and Members of Parliament; Traditional landowners of Baruni and Tatana; Heads and Representatives of the Motu Koitabu Assembly; Members of the Diplomatic Corps; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.

Welcome to the new gateway to Papua New Guinea, or should I say, one of the new gateways to Papua New Guinea.

Because in December last year we witnessed the opening of the Lae Tidal basin which added much needed expansion to Papua New Guinea’s busiest port.

So even though we are here today in the nation’s capital, it is in fact an event that celebrates the opening up of our country to the South-East Asia and Asia-Pacific region…and so on to the world.

Papua New Guinea is open for business through our natural gateways, our ports.

Prime Minister, Papua New Guinea is also a country ON THE MOVE.

In the case of our capital city Port Moresby it is literally on the move.

We are taking the port out of Port Moresby and by relocating the operation to Motukea we are opening up our capital city to allow for development.

So we can MOVE FORWARD.

It is the kind of development and forward thinking that we have celebrated with the successful completion of the Pacific Games.

May I take this opportunity to congratulate you Prime Minister and the Minister for Sport the Honorable Justin Tkatchenko for the success of the Pacific Games.

It was the most successful event ever held in our country. It was your VISION that saw the Games as an opportunity to bring development to our country, and it was the successful completion of your MISSION that resulted in THE BEST GAMES EVER.

It showed that we can do it. TOGETHER WE CAN. By working together as a team and as ONE we can in fact achieve anything we set our sights on.

The performance of our athletes showed that our people are capable of achieving great things if they are given the opportunity and support.

And it is not just about sport. Our people are also now given an unprecedented opportunity to shine in areas such education and commerce.

With the right support and motivation we can rise to any challenges before us.

So here we are again, proudly celebrating our progress.

This time we are celebrating the fulfilment of a vision that dates back to 1998 when the PNG Government through the National Executive Council, directed the Harbours Board as it was known at the time, to conduct initial studies on the concept.

The VISION was to relocate the port of Port Moresby and we achieved our MISSION by acquiring an existing facility…because it was a cost-effective solution to having to build a new facility from scratch.

It was smart thinking.

For the State to achieve the acquisition of Motukea, I acknowledge the tireless effort and commitment of the Prime Minister; the National Executive Council, the Honorable Minister Ben Micah, the Honorable Minister James Marape, Minister Patrick Pruaitch, and the Project Steering Committee chaired by the IPBC that included the Departments of Treasury, Finance, Planning, Transport, Environment and Conservation, the Maritime Authority,  the Office of the State Solicitor, the ICCC, the NCDC, PNG Ports, Curtain Bros and the Bank of South Pacific.

Of course the landowners and impacted communities of Baruni and Tatana all who have essentially supported the vision to bring enterprise and development to this particular area of our greater City.  The landowners here have provided a strong example for all landowners throughout our country. Embrace development and together we can plan our future.

You see there are so many people and agencies that make things happen.

BUT TOGETHER WE CAN…AND WE DID!

And together we will.

Prime Minister, we WILL continue to develop our city, the next challenge in readiness for another landmark event in 2018 when Papua New Guinea and our capital city plays host to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

It is yet another event that will showcase our wonderful country and culture to the world. We WILL do so by redeveloping the old port site. The centre-piece will be a landmark building that will signify how far we have come as a nation.

Prime Minister together we will continue to emerge as a Christian nation of peace, prosperity and hope. It is a hope that our children will reap the benefits of the seeds that WE sow today as we make important decisions that will determine the future of our country. Their future… the future of our children and their children’s children. For generations to come.

These decisions are sometimes difficult. They are expensive. There is cost and compromise involved.

But they are investments in a future that guarantees a better quality of life for our people. We WANT development.

WE are the elected leaders that have been bestowed with the task of making difficult decisions on behalf of our people.

Prime Minister, we do not walk alone. YOU do not walk alone. We walk together as one people seeking a better future for our children…BECAUSE TOGETHER WE CAN…AND WE WILL.

Prime Minister, we walk together as we do God’s work here on Earth. We will continue to seek the guidance and blessing of God as we go about this work.

If we follow the path that God sets before us we can do no wrong.

Prime Minister, God bless you and God Bless the elected leaders of the Tatana, and Baruni communities. God Bless ALL our elected leaders, and God Bless Papua New Guinea.