O'Neill impressed with progress in building PNG Games stadium

17/10/2012 08:44


PM Peter O'Neill impressed with work.



Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is impressed with the current work in progress to build the nation’s largest sporting stadium in Kokopo, East New Britain.

Speaking during a short visit to the PNG Games Venue at the Takubar Sports and Entertainment Centre yesterday afternoon as soon as he arrived in Kokopo, Mr O’Neill said he was happy to see that the money that was allocated by the national government was being put to good use.

“I would like to congratulate the games’ organising committee for a job well done. There were a lot of people who doubted that the facility would be completed in time for the games. I would like to congratulate Sir Rabbie Namaliu, the Deputy Prime Minister, Leo Dion and Governor, Ereman ToBaining Jnr and your hardworking committee for the good team work.

“This is the type of sporting facility that other parts of Papua New Guinea can endeavour to develop when they are hosting big sporting events,” he said.

The Prime Minister made an undertaking that the government will stand by the provincial government and the committee to see that the sporting facility is completed in time for the games.

“This can also become a training facility for other sporting codes to come in and use to train.

“On behalf of the government, I am very proud that you’re delivering with a small amount of money,” he said.

However, Mr O’Neill also cautioned that such good work must not be left to ruin after the games but must be maintained for future events.

Deputy Chairman of the host organising committee, James Wong gave a brief run down of the work in progress and the overall plan for the sporting facility.

Mr Wong expressed gratitude for the national government’s financial assistance to build the sporting facility.

“On behalf of the Governor and the Deputy Governor and all of us here, I cannot thank you enough for the financial assistance provided. We are also grateful for the business committee’s support as well,” he said.

Mr O'Neill arrived to a rousing welcome in East New Britain province yesterday. Picture courtesy

of PM's media unit.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill arrived in Kokopo, East New Britain to a rousing Tolai yesterday afternoon, a day before the Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) meeting between the national government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

Mr O’Neill was treated to a welcome fit for a chief at Tokua airport where three tumbuans, put on a spectacular performance for him. 

Tolai elders adorned him with a headdress and later presented the Prime Minister with rings of tabu or shell money.

This event was significant as Mr O’Neill was recently initiated into the Tumbuan society. Therefore, as a member of that society, he had a roll to play where he, in turn, presented shell money to the three tumbuans after they danced for him.

The three tumbuans belong to the Deputy Prime Minister, Leo Dion; the ENB Governor, Ereman ToBaining Jnr; and the ENB Provincial Government respectively.

The ‘chiefly welcome’ was organised to say ‘thank you’ to Mr O’Neill for his trust and confidence in Mr Dion, whom he made his deputy. Before the arrival of the tumbuans, the Prime Minister inspected a joint guard of honour by the police and CIS.

He was then driven to the Takubar Sports and Entertainment Centre where he was briefed on work in progress at the stadium, the venue for the 5th PNG Games, later this year.

Mr O’Neill was then taken to the Gazelle International Hotel where school children from Kokopo Primary lined up the street with flags to welcome him.

He also met with members of the ENB business community later in the evening. The JSB will commence this morning and resolutions from that meeting will be announced later in the afternoon during a press conference.