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Old 20-04-2002, 02:11 PM
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They landed in New Ireland and extended their control to Kokopo, and the surrounding areas.

Remnants of German control are still evident, such as in German architecture, and copra plantations left behind by the European administration, which later transferred the German headquarters to Rabaul, north of Kokopo. Any German influence was now left to the European missionaries across the bay at Vunapope, and a handful of copra traders.

More than a hundred years later, copra and cocoa is still a lifeline of the people of Kokopo.

Seven years after the volcano eruptions which destroyed Rabaul, Kokopo has elevated its status and has been declared as the provincial headquarter of East New Britain. The need to explore Kokopo town to be an alternate provincial and regional center was made possible by the NEC decision in 1995.

Kokopo town and the district played an important role in the early resettlement and rehabilitation of the affected population of Rabaul district and others. The electorate is made up of four LLGs namely; Kokopo/Vunamami, Raluana, Bitapaka and Duke of York. The Kokopo/Vunamami LLG is responsible for both the rural and urban areas within its vicinity while the other three are all rural LLGs.

Preliminary population figures obtained from the 2000 National Census indicates that Kokopo District has 55,000 people. Any increase in population was due to the 1994 volcanic eruptions which led to a mass exodus of Rabaul citizens.

The electorate is shared by LLG boundaries from other electorates except Duke of York which is surrounded by sea. Bitapaka LLG shares its boundaries with Sinivit LLG (Pomio electorate) and Kokopo/Vunamami Urban LLG. Kokopo/Vunamami shares its boundaries with Raluana, Bitapaka, and Toma/Vunadidir LLG (Gazelle electorate).Raluana shares its boundaries with Central Gazelle, Toma/Vunadidir and Kokopo/Vunamami Urban LLG.

Under the existing restoration program executed by the Gazelle Restoration Authority (GRA), Kokopo has played, and will continue to play an important role in the overall development of the province.

The GRA is currently implementing major infrastructure development programs in the district in order to facilitate overall re-development and development and to consolidate the government decision to make Kokopo town as the provincial administrative and regional commercial center.

While the government through GRA will continue to restore vital services in the province, the district and LLGs will consolidate the government effort in making Kokopo as the provincial headquarter and regional center for the islands region.
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