Consultations on a Creative & Cultural Industry in PNG

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In light of the Pacific Institute of Public Policy’s “Building the Creative Economy Forum 2012” to be held in Honiara this weekend, (which of course coincides with the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts. I’m glad to say that in PNG has made some start to similar discussions which involves our local artists.

Oala Moi provided these minutes to me this morning and yes I’ll be in Honiara this weekend.

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Agenda

1. Introduction & Opening
2. Purpose of Meeting: Current State of Creative & Cultural Industry
3. Feedback
4. Way Forward
5. Next Meeting
6. Private Sector Survey

Action Items

• Each attendee to report back to their respective rightsowner group, update them, and propose a meeting date before the end of this week to Douveri to discuss sector-specific problems and a way forward and come up with a Consolidated Outcomes Document (COD) containing the discussion and recommendations of all creative and cultural sector players. This is to be followed by a workshop with CIMC involving all creative and cultural industry players during which an Outcomes Document should be produced. Douveri prefers that all these consultations should occur within the next 4 weeks.

Meeting Details

Date and Time: Tuesday 3 July 2012, 3:30PM – 5:30PM
Location: Conference Room, Institute of National Affairs, Level 3, IPA Haus, Konedobu
Attendees: Douveri Henao (INA researcher; Executive Officer to Business Council of PNG); Peter Leo Ella (Graphic Artist); Henry Iyaro (Textile Designer); Dokona Manoka (Recording Artist, Singer-Songwriter); and Oala Moi (Songwriter, Copyright Advocate)
Apologies: Jelena Uraru (Proprietor of Event Management firm)

Announcements

• Douveri called this meeting as a follow up to the first one held at the Ela Beach Hotel.
• Ruth Choulai has been relentless in trying to advance the creative and cultural industry in PNG and this is part of that initiative.
• By way of background, here are quotes from the INA pamphlet “Participate In Papua New Guinea’s Long term Development”.

“…The Institute of National Affairs (INA) is a privately funded, non-profit, research institute or “think tank”. The INA is not a “lobby group” and does not represent specific industry or firm although it will contribute to topics of national interest which coincide with the interests of an industry. The INA Council has reaffirmed this important distinction because it believes that the reason that the INA has been able to have some influence on every government since independence us is its reputation of impartiality.

“Government may not like results of INA research and comment but it accepts that it is made on a non-partisan and non-political basis. The INA has taken the lead in promoting discussion and dialogue with government on matters that affect the economy and the society. It has promoted National Development Forums in one form or another for more than twenty years. These have not always achieved results but they have kept open an accepted and respected process by which both sides can air their opinions. This process has been extended by the formation of the Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council (CIMC). Organized by the INA, this Council has widened the consultative process to include civil society, including churches, NGO’s, Unions, women’s groups, youth groups and concerned individuals. The CIMC has twenty sectoral committees which meet on a regular basis and offer advice and criticism on subjects which deal with their own sector. This process has achieved a number of important results and has gained the respect and ears of the government….”

Discussion

• Douveri Henao – After opening remarks, Douveri went straight to the point. The focus of government is that our industry is NOT seen as a major revenue earner for the country. The country’s annual budget is K7 billion. The creative and cultural industry is not visible on budget papers and tax incentives. The message is clear. Many of the Government’s policy makers are not aware of our industry and this thinking is predominant in the public sector. However, the private sector perception of our industry is different. As profit-makers, they want to see how they can improve and harness our industry so that investments can be made with a view to return on investment. In PNG, the market for our work is restricted and dictated by consumers that are allowed to undervalue because we are not in a position to refuse private offers even though we end up making a loss. We need government policy to make it a law so that all businesses in PNG are required to buy local content including creative and cultural works to a certain quota. As creators, we do not need to wait for legislation or registered entities to be in place in order to move forward. CIMC can produce a great analysis of the problems faced by the creative and cultural industry. But to take it to the next level, government and private sector assistance must be sought.

• Peter Leo Ella/Henry Iyaro/Dokona Manoka/Oala Moi – Spoke individually but there is agreement that whether graphic artists or textile designers/fabric dealers or recording artists/singer-songwriters, there is a need for each right holder group to come up with a structure and be part of a system that processes right holder-specific problems and recommendations. Each attendee (except Douveri) completed and submitted a INA questionnaire.

• Douveri Henao – Hinted that during consultations it will become necessary to talk about restoration of rights, protection & promotion of rights, and influencing public & private sectors and other industries. It is also important to note that we are in an election year and that come August 2012, we have an opportunity to influence the thinking of the incoming National Executive Council on important policy issues such as ours.

Summary

• Players in the creative and cultural industry in PNG are not organized therefore there is no structure or system to process their problems. The consultation opportunity offered by Douveri should help us analyze and document our problems and share these with decision makers.

Next Meeting:

Date and Time: to be confirmed asap
Location: INA Conference Room
Agenda: 1. Sector Meetings; 2. Consolidated Outcomes Document

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