25 Aug 2014

Parkop downplays PNG settler pressure

4:07 pm on 25 August 2014

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's capital has played down the potential influx of settlers from the proposed trans-island highway linking Port Moresby to Lae.

As construction work began on the highway, the Governor of Central Province, Kila Haoda, warned the road is likely to significantly increase the number of migrants.

He says land grabbing is a serious issue for Central, with local people marginalised by those from other provinces who come and settle on their land and then refuse to leave.

However, the National Capital Governor, Powes Parkop, says poor access from Port Moresby and Central to the rest of the country is part of the problem.

"If there are roads it makes it easier (for people to go back home). So if you look at, for example, Lae and Madang, it's opened up (by road) to the Highlands and along Momase. But people come and those who find employment and have genuine business they stay - most people go back to their respective provinces."

Powes Parkop

Powes Parkop

Powes Parkop Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades