19 Mar 2017 - PNG (Port Moresby)
Charles Hector Whitmee
I am in Port Moresby, capital city of Papua New Guinea. With rolling, green hills offering views out across the Pacific Ocean, the city’s poor reputation certainly belies its natural beauty.
Despite restrictive land laws, there is significant development particularly in and around the CBD. The ambitious Paga Hill Estate, if completed to specification, would doubtless completely transform the city. With its proposed 6-star hotel, 800+ luxury residential apartments and docking facilities for cruise ships, the development would contribute substantially towards the administration's long-term goal of turning Port Moresby into a regional hub and “the jewel of the South Pacific."
The goal is to have the Paga Hill Estate completed by 2018 to coincide with Port Moresby’s hosting of APEC. However, whether this is realistic is a matter for debate as protracted legal issues have pushed back the date for the start of construction.
Property here is generally in short supply and the current administration has outlined land reform as a long-term priority to address the issue. However, this would be opposed by a majority of the population and, with elections imminent, it is unlikely that Prime Minister O’Neill would want to rock the boat any time soon.
Tags: Papua New Guinea