Tekwie laments PNG border weakness

3:28 pm on 25 January 2016

A community leader in West Sepik province says Papua New Guinea needs help from Australia and New Zealand to bolster its border security capacity.

The border between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea is in a heavily forested region where illegal logging operations have persisted for years.

PNG looks to beef up security at its border with Indonesia Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

John Tekwie, who is a former West Sepik governor, is urging a regional effort to help PNG build up its defence force and border management agencies.

Mr Tekwie says due to its lack of intelligence-gathering capabilities as well as its proximity to Indonesia's Papua region, PNG is vulnerable to potential terrorist threats.

He says it's become easy for illegal elements to cross into PNG from Indonesia.

"We have had cases of some people coming across the border in PNG with no visas. For example, last year we had about a hundred people working in Bewani Oil Palm project. That project has been developed by the member for Vanimo Green, Belden Namah. And here is a project that the MP is promoting and under his own nose, these things are happening."