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Old 20-06-2004, 12:21 PM
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Report On Kokoda Track Authority Awareness Patrol

KOKODA TO SOGERI : 26 MAY TO 9 JUNE 2004



Introduction:



The Kokoda Track Local-level Government Special Purposes Authority (Kokoda Track Authority) was proclaimed by His Excellency, the Governor- General of PNG on 11 June, 2003. Its role is for the general purpose of assisting the implementation of the functions of the Kokoda and Koiari Rural Local-level Governments, specifically for the areas covered by the KokodaTrack. The Authority shall focus on the significance of the Kokoda Track due to its part in World War II and promote this legacy for present and future generations and promote tourism related activities.


On 5 May, 2004 an Interim Management Committee was established and an Interim Manager appointed to fine tune the Constitution and to establish the initial administration of the Authority. This Awareness Patrol was mounted to inform the leaders and the landowner community in the Kokoda Track area on the purpose of the Authority and how it could benefit them. Input was obtained from the local community and leaders to enable the Interim Management Committee to prepare the final draft of the Constitution for presentation to the Koiari and Kokoda LLGs for their approval and submission to the Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs for presentation to the Minister for Inter-Government Relations in final form for his execution, and the subsequent swearing in of the Management Committee.


Copies of the Proclamation, the Fourth Draft of the Constitution and Agenda were distributed in each village meeting and discussed at each of these meetings of some 1.5 to 3 hours duration. The Awareness Patrol was well received at all villages and cleared up misconceptions some people had of the Authority and its role, bearing in mind that this Authority (unlike many others in PNG) proposes to keep its administrative costs to a minimum and provide village infrastructure development in the communities using revenue from Trek Permit Fees and funds from donor agencies with self help and some cash (where appropriate) contribution from the communities.
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  #2  
Old 20-06-2004, 12:27 PM
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The Awareness Team:

Interim Management Committee Members: Alfred Amuli - Kokoda LLG rep (Chairman)
  • Norris James - Koiari LLG rep - (V/Chairman)
  • David Soru - Kokoda LLG landowner rep
  • Garry Imiri - Koiari LLG landowner rep
  • Alex Rama - Alternate Tour Operator rep (Naduli)
  • Warren Bartlett Interim Manager(ex-officio member)
Local Level Government Councillors:
  • Lance Lovi - Kovelo Ward, Kokoda LLG
  • Willie Vave - Efogi Ward, Koiari LLG
  • John Daku - Manari Ward, Koiari LLG
  • Babea Mado - Vesulogo Ward, LLG
Porters:
  • 8 porters from KokodaTrack area
It was proposed that Assistant District Administrator officers Tony Abavu from Sogeri and Terrence Baurimae from Kokoda accompany the patrol but apologies were tendered due illness in one family and work commitments for the other.
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Old 20-06-2004, 12:35 PM
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The Actual Awareness Program:

Wed 26 May: Fly to Kokoda on Air PNG. Brief talks with Kokoda leaders and community members pending meeting with LLG, which was deferred till Thurs morn. Visited Kokoda memorial sites and museum, police station, district office and Kokoda Memorial Hospital. Accom: David Soru Guest House

Thu 27 May: Meeting with Kokoda LLG President 8.30 – 9.30 then walked to Kovelo (1 hour). Welcome singsing at Kovelo then awareness meeting (2.5 hours) and lunch. Walked to Hoi (45 min). Awareness meeting at night with Hoi elders (1.5 hours) Accom: Hoi Guest Houses

Fri 28 May: Walked to Isurava in rain (5 hours), meeting with Isurava villagers (1.5 hours), lunch and walked to Isurava Memorial and Alola (3 hours). Held awareness meeting at night for Alola and Abuari villagers (2 hours).
Accom: Alola Guest Houses.

Sat 29 May: Walked from Alolo to Templeton #2 Crossing (8 hours). Camped adjacent new iron walled & roofed guest house under construction. Camp: Templeton 2 Crossing

Sun 30 May: Walked from Templeton 2 to Kagi (8.5 hours). Awareness meeting at Kagi for Kagi and Boridi wards (2.5 hours). Accom: Kagi Guest Houses

Mon 31 May: Inspected Kavovo school and projects. Held second meeting with Kagi, Naduri and Maraba villagers (2 hours). Walked to Efogi 2 (Launumu) and Efogi 1 (3 hours). Welcome and refreshments. Conducted awareness meeting (1.5 hours) and adjourned till next morning. Accom: Efogi Guest Houses

Tue 1 Jun: Resumed Efogi meeting (1.5 hours). Walked from Efogi to Manari (5 hours). Held meeting (1 hour) and adjourned till next morning. Accom: Manari Guest Houses.

Wed 2 Jun: Resumed Manari meeting (2 hours). Walked to new Naoro Village (5 hours). Conducted meeting in evening (3 hours). Accom: New Naoro Guest Houses

Thu 3 Jun: Walked Naoro village to Ua’ule Creek, lunch at new Guest House then walked 1 hour to camp site (9 hours). Reviewed results of awareness meetings in evening. Camp: Lower Imita Ridge Campsite

Fri 4 Jun: Walked 2 hours to Imita Ridge then Goldie River, Owers Corner (total 5 hours). Stopped at Girinumu Village for brief awareness meeting (1.5 hours), then walked on to Red Shield Army and Vesulogo to meet transport to Riverside Store arriving at 4.00pm. Barbecue and accom Riverside Store.

Sat 5 Jun: Porters paid off. Port Moresby visit and porters drop off, then in afternoon guided tour of Rouna #1 Hydro Scheme Turbine Room and Varirata National Park. Accom: Riverside Store.


Sun 6 Jun: Visited Vesulogo Village for awareness meeting in morning (2.5 hours) and lunch. Returned to Depo for meeting in afternoon with poor attendance of only 8 representatives (1 hour). Transport of remaining Awareness Team members to Port Moresby in afternoon.

Wed 9 Jun: Attended meeting of Depo Ward community leaders and villagers for awareness with approx 50 in attendance (2.5 hours). The Interim Manager officiated at this meeting with assistance of Councillor David Asi and Narai Billy.

End of Awareness Patrol
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Old 20-06-2004, 12:36 PM
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BUSINESS PER AGENDA:

1. Open Meetings: All awareness meetings were opened and closed with prayer as was grace offered with all meals. A brief address was given by the Chairman introducing the Awareness Team members, and the reason and procedures for establishing the Kokoda Track Authority. This was further expanded on by the Interim Manager in Pidgin English and translated into Police Motu and/or Koiari language by one of the team members.
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Old 20-06-2004, 12:39 PM
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2. Proclamation and Constitution:

a) The Area of Authority per clause 2 of the Constitution was discussed in each ward meeting and the villages in the wards prioritized for benefits from the Authority due to their proximity to the track as follows:

Koiari Rural Local-level Government

Ward 5 (DEPO) comprising the villages of Depo (Mageri), Manurinimu, Ianabewai, Maketawai and Bisitabu; (no changes) and

Ward 6 (VESULOGO) comprising the villages of Vesulogo No.1, Vesulogo No.2, Morenarovo, Girinumu, Uberi No.1, Uberi No.2, the institutions of Red Shield Army, Ilolo Plantation, Bisianumu Plantation, and Girinumu Plantation; (note five new inclusions) and

Ward 15 (BODIRI) comprising firstly the village of Bodinumu and the institution of Bodinumu Primary School, and secondly the villages of Daoi and Bodiri (Boridi); (no changes) and

Ward 16 (KAGI) comprising the villages of Kagi, Naduri, Maraba, Myola, and the institution of Kavovo Primary School; (note new inclusion of Maraba village) and

Ward 17 (EFOGI) comprising firstly the villages of Efogi No.1, Efogi No.2 (Launumu) and Enivilogo and secondly the village of Hagelogo; (no changes) and

Ward 18 (MANARI) comprising firstly the villages of Manari, Loni, Naoro and Ioribaiwa, and secondly the villages of Hogelo (Ebologo), Madilogo and Manalogo. (no changes)

Kokoda Rural Local-level Government:

Ward 1 (ASIMBA) comprising the villages of Kanga, Asimba, Karukaru, Sungeina, Gorovaki and Korogo; (note village priority removed and two extra villages) and

Ward 2 (KOBRLO) comprising firstly the Villages of Kovelo No.1 and Kovelo No.2 (Hoi), and secondly the villages of Savaia and Ebel (Ebei); (no changes) and

Ward 4 (AMADA) comprising firstly the village of Botue and Manua, and secondly the villages of Saga and Amada; (change of priorities and one extra village) and

Ward 5 (KOKODA STATION) comprising the villages of Kokoda No.1, Kokoda No.2, Kokoda No.3 and the institution of the Seventh Day Adventist Church; (note Kokoda Plantation Portions relocated to new Ward 6) and

Ward 6 (KOAGEA BLOCK) comprising Kokoda Plantation Portions 18, 35, 38, 39, 153, 189, 191, and LA2379, 3071, and Portions 161 – 188; (note new ward insertion in amended Proclamation and Constitution, Kokoda Plantation being previously included in Ward 5) and

Ward 7 (KEBARA) comprising firstly the village of Kanandara, and secondly the villages of Kebara, Pirive, Kamondo and Sengi; (no changes) and

Ward 8 (ABUARI) comprising the villages of Abuari, Hagutava, Kaile and Pelai; (no changes) and

Ward 9 (ALOLA) comprising the villages of Alola and Isurava; (no changes) and

Ward 10 (WAJU) comprising the villages of Waju, Sisireta, Havaki, Onseta (Hovea) and Gorari. (no changes)


For Ward 6 (KOAGEA BLOCK) to be inserted in the Proclamation and the Constitution, there will need to be a resolution of the Kokoda LLG requesting such amendment and Dept of Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs arrange for the necessary amendment to the Proclamation to be approved by the Minister for Inter-Government Relations for assent by the Governor-General. KTA management can assist with the preparations for any such amendment.
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Old 20-06-2004, 12:41 PM
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b) The Management Committee as per clause 4 of the Constitution was discussed in each ward meeting and concern was voiced both on the Koiari side and the Kokoda side on insufficient representation of landowners, particularly in relation to the Koiari grasslands people from Girinumu to Vesilogo to Depo; and with the Kokoda people from the Lower Kokoda area.

The two Koiari LLG nominees come from Manari and Kagi villages and the two Kokoda LLG nominees come from Alola and Abuari villages, all being from the mountain areas and none from the lowlands.

It was explained that in the initial stages of drafting the Proclamation, there were three reps suggested for each LLG (one representing the LLG and two representing landowners), but to provide space for nominees from the Tourism Promotion Authority, National Cultural Commission, Tour Operators and Returned Services League, it was probably the wrong decision to reduce the number of landowners representatives on the management committee. In discussions with the Dept of Provincial and Local Government Affairs, it is possible to increase the number of persons appointed by each LLG to represent landowners from one to two. The aggrieved wards were advised to nominate suitable candidates to represent the lowlands areas and to have their Ward Councillors refer the nominations to the next meetings of the Koiari and Kokoda LLGs so that the LLGs can resolve to make a request to the Minister to amend the Proclamation to increase the landowner reps. KTA management can assist with the preparations for any such amendments.

There was also discussion on the manner in which the LLG reps were appointed by the LLGs. The Kokoda LLG had allocated funds for a preliminary awareness in their area to advise the people of the proposed Kokoda Track Authority and to obtain nominations for the two positions, which the LLG considered at a full meeting and determined their appointees.

The Koiari LLG did not have funds available for a similar preliminary awareness in their area resulting in some disagreement being expressed over the suitability of their present two representatives, mainly being city based and one with previous Koiari Development Authority history.

Under Clause 5 of the Constitution, the term of membership of the Management Committee shall be for a period of five years, but the person or body appointing the member may review the appointment annually. It was recommended at all the awareness meetings that the present LLG appointed representatives be given a chance to prove their capabilities and allow the Authority to develop to serve the Kokoda Track community; and that such appointments be reviewed in 12 months time.

There was also some concern expressed over the nominee for the Tour Operators in that the person nominated should be actively involved as a trekking tour operator who physically knew the Kokoda Track, whereas the nominee of Garry Seddon, President of PNGTIA was a car hire manager, and the other nominee of Alex Rama was a Trekking Guide from Naduli without the management experience. Such information will be put to the Tour Operators for their consideration.
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Old 20-06-2004, 12:42 PM
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c) The Functions of the Authority per clause 15 of the Constitution were discussed in each ward meeting and appeared to be understood and well accepted.


There was some concern expressed that some donor agencies who supply materials and labour expertise (e.g. Rotary International) may not wish to pay project funds to KTA, but prefer to utilize the services of KTA as facilitators. There would appear to be no problem with such arrangement and therefore clause 15.(d) be amended to read as follows:


“15.(d) administer, facilitate, ensure and or oversee the implementation of the developments and other projects in the Kokoda Track Area: “


It is proposed that the Authority have internet exposure through various websites such as PNG Tourism Authority, Kokoda Track Foundation and possibly its own website, the various possibilities to be explored. Such would assist promoting trekking of the Track and provide access for various KTA registered tour operators to obtain trekking clients.


It is also proposed that projects which Koiari Special Purpose Authority have made application for on behalf of Kokoda Track communities, be transferred to KTA for follow up action on application funding and implementation in conjunction with donor agencies such as Community Development Scheme, AusAid, Rotary International, etc.


Other functions under this heading are more clearly defined under the general agenda items below.
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Old 20-06-2004, 12:44 PM
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d) Staff of the Authority per clause 20 of the Constitution was discussed in that the only employee at the present being the interim manager for the three months interim period for conduct of the awareness patrol, fine-tuning of the Constitution and establishment of administrative and accounting systems. Once the Minister has approved the full Constitution and sworn in the Management Committee, it was envisaged that there would be a small staff as follows:
  • Manager / Executive Officer at Sogeri for overall administration of the Authority including duties in Port Moresby, Sogeri, Kokoda and the Track areas.
  • Liaison Officer / Assistant Manager at Sogeri or Port Moresby office for administration, issue and checking of Trek Permits, liaison with Tour Operators, Guides, Track communities by radio and visits, oversighting Track Memorials and parks, etc.
  • Liaison Officer at Kokoda office for administration, issue and checking of Trek Permits, liaison with Tour Operators, Guides, Track communities by radio and visits, oversighting Kokoda Memorial Park and Museum, etc.
  • Liaison Officer / Ranger at Efogi Village to check on Trek Permits of all trekkers including those originating from Sogeri, Kokoda or Brown River and checking on maintenance of Kokoda Track and airstrips, etc.
  • Ranger at Ower’s Corner once Sogeri – Ower’s Corner road is upgraded and an Information Hut is constructed to provide liaison and check Trek Permits and track maintenance, etc.

It was recommended that the administrative staff and overheads of the Authority be kept to a minimum to allow maximum funding of development projects for the Kokoda Track communities.
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Old 20-06-2004, 12:46 PM
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e) Finance for the Authority per part IV of the Constitution was briefly discussed with the main income source being estimated through Trek Permit Fees and Donor Agency grants for infrastructure projects. It was proposed that application be made to Northern and Central Provincial Governments through the Koiari and Kokoda LLGs for grants for the first year to enable the administration to be adequately established without using trekking fees.


Two bank accounts have been established with BSP Douglas Street, Port Moresby branch titled Kokoda Track Authority – Operating A/C, and Trek Permit Fee A/c. K62,795 has been transferred from PNGTIA representing Trek Permit fees collected since 2002 and an estimated similar amount is awaited from Niugini Tours Pty Ltd in Sydney who have been collecting Trek Permit fees and holding the funds in trust since 2001.
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Old 20-06-2004, 12:59 PM
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f) Other Matters in Relation to The Constitution were mainly of standard administrative nature and not necessary to be discussed. Copies of the Fourth Draft of the Constitution were left with Ward Councillors for their reference and discussion if any matters arose.
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