27 Nov 2014

PNG Foreign Minister defends deportation

7:03 pm on 27 November 2014

Papua New Guinea's foreign minister has defended ordering the deportation of three American Lutheran Church missionaries based in the Highlands.

The newspaper The National reports Rimbink Pato was responding to questions from National Capital District governor Powes Parkop over the deportation orders.

Mr Parkop said he was speaking on behalf of the missionaries as they had no representation and because they were based in Mr Pato's Wapenamenda electorate.

The minister says that while in PNG, foreign missionaries, volunteers, NGO workers and others on contract, are guests of the government and must abide by the laws of the country.

Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato.

Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Mr Pato said a case in point was that of one of the three missionaries in question, a longtime expatriate who had many charges against him, but people failed to take action.

He says he intends to review the Migration Act and its regulations.