25 Jan 2023

Disappointment as woman overlooked for top PNG role

8:56 am on 25 January 2023
Sir Bob and Lady Hannah Dadae.

Sir Bob and Lady Hannah Dadae. Photo: Supplied

The Papua New Guinea parliament's decision to give Sir Bob Dadae a second term as Governor General has been criticised by many.

There had been hopes among some that prominent woman candidate Winnie Kiap might have been chosen.

Kiap has had a long and distinguished career as a diplomat.

Typically in PNG governors-general have a second term.

But RNZ Pacific correspondent Scott Waide said the lack of female representation in leadership positions throughout the country sparked hopes of a woman being appointed to the role for the first time. He said there's been a lot of criticism online of the appointment.

"A lot of people want some representation or change in progress, and they are saying why give a former politician a second chance. He's already had his turn. There should be change and they are criticising the government and parliamentarians for not being brave enough to make that choice."

In the parliamentary vote Sir Bob Dadae received 71 votes while Winnie Kiap got 33.

The third candidate, University of Papua New Guinea law lecturer Stephen Pokawin, was eliminated in the first of three rounds

PNG opening missions in Israel and three other countries

Papua New Guinea is set to open four new foreign missions over the next three years.

Foreign Affairs Minister Justin Tkatchenko said the four new missions to be set up are in Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand and Switzerland.

"The new embassies will be set up to enhance economic trade and agriculture, health and education, starting this year," he said.

"We want to work with Israel closely, through the word of God and also through the aspects of economic empowerment, agriculture, industry, commerce and so on."

Tkatchenko referred to UAE as the new frontier, a centre point for connecting the world, after attending the world expo that exposed PNG, providing an opportunity to sell products and projects.

And he said Thailand can offer to connect PNG to the rest of South-east Asia, and cooperate on areas such as agriculture, commerce and trade, mining and tourism.

Tkatchenko said there would be extra funding in the 2024 and 2025 budgets to ensure the establishment of the four missions.

With the additional four foreign missions and the closure of the Taiwan trade office, there will be 24 in total.

Papua New Guinea APEC minister Justin Tkatchenko

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