6 Nov 2003

PNG minister continues to call for Air Niugini CEO's removal

10:48 am on 6 November 2003

Papua New Guinea's Labour and Industrial Relations minister Peter Yama says he still wants Air Niugini chief executive officer Rod Nelson removed and his position localised.

The Post Courier newspaper says Mr Yama's call comes after Air Niugini board of directors Chairman Joseph Tauvasa on Monday publicly defended Mr Nelson's appointment.

Mr Yama, who alleges the airline had not followed correc procedures in making the appointment, wrote to the board last week, giving them 14 days to explain why Mr Nelson's work permit should not be revoked.

The minister last month in parliament called for the localising of certain expatriate-held jobs in the country, among them the Air Niugini CEo's job, arguiing it had already been localised.

The call caused heated public debate.

The Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare subsequently distanced the government's official position from Mr Yama's.