24 Jun 2019

PNG's Maseratis not yet selling like 'hotcakes'

3:35 pm on 24 June 2019

Only two of the dozens of luxury vehicles purchased by Papua New Guinea's government for APEC have been on-sold.

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Photo: 123RF

Forty maseratis and three Bentleys were among the vehicles PNG imported to transport dignitaries during last November's APEC leaders summit in Port Moresby.

The minister in charge of APEC, Justin Tkatchenko, said at the time the vehicles would be on-sold through public tender after APEC.

Despite his assurance that the cars would sell "like hotcakes", seven months on, the Finance Department said only one Bentley and one Maserati had been sold.

The new police minister, Bryan Kramer, announced last week he was pushing for an investigation into the procurement of the luxury cars.

But Mr Tkatchenko said yesterday the remaining cars were being prepared for sale, and that a cabinet submission was being compiled on the final disposal of the remaining vehicles.

Papua New Guinea APEC minister Justin Tkatchenko

Papua New Guinea APEC minister Justin Tkatchenko Photo: RNZ / Koroi Hawkins

The luxury cars, priced for retail at about $US100,000 each, are understood to be mostly sitting unused in a Moresby parking lot.

The government was criticised for importing the expensive cars when PNG citizens struggle for basic health and education services across the country.

Mr Tkatchenko said that after APEC a public tender was issued for the Maseratis and Bentleys under the APEC Papua New Guinea 2018 Coordination Authority Act.

But yesterday he revealed there had been a delay in the process to dispose of the vehicles under the tender "because no reserve price was set, and therefore initial response was limited".

Meanwhile, Mr Kramer is insisting that the public must be told the final cost of hosting APEC.

Mr Tkatchenko said that the APEC 2018 Report would be tabled in parliament.

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