In 2012, Morauta declared that he found an Octopus


Mekere Morauta delivered an illuminating speech on his baby the IPBC last year. After starting it, leaving and then returning to it, he declared that, “I found an octopus. Through a process of mutation IPBC had become a major business empire full of ailing, under-performing businesses, trapped in a vicious circle – lack of capital, lack of management expertise, lack of commercial discipline, and lack of accountability.” No prizes for what happened to the Zoo of Animals while Morauta was away.

But since Morouta had a last chance to revisit his pet project before departing and in conjunction with a detailed report by ADB titled ‘Finding Balance: Benchmarking the Performance of State-Owned Enterprises in PNG‘ I do certainly hope that we are on the turn around with the board appointment of a number of new and old faces at our SOE’s. Post Courier compiled the list below for us. What are your thoughts on the appointments?

1. Garth McIllwain – Chairman
2. Sir Frederick Reiher – Dpty Chairman
3. Sir James Tjoeng
4. Simon Foo
5. Sir Noel Levi
6. Luke Minjukili
7. Cpt Leslie Heyward

1. Mahesh Patel – Chairman
2. Martin Veisame – Dpty Chairman
3. Avia Koisen
4. Cedric Rondoke
5. Essau Wareh
6. Malcolm Lewis
7. David Cox
8. Dr. Samuel Kopamu.

1. Joshua Bakiri – Chairman
2. Thomas Laka – Dpty Chairman
3. Ms Finkewe Zurenouc
4. Sana Somare
5. Sylvester Kenatsi
6. Peter Suar
7. Camdan Pratt
8. Robert Bradshaw.

1. Ms Mary Karo – Chairman
2. Peter Inara – Dpty Chairman
3. Vincent Mirupasi
4. Leslie Hoffman
5. David Erico

1. Ruben Aila – Chairman
2. Mrs Mary Laimo – Dpty Chairman
3. Mrs Bungtabu Brown
4. Sam Goia Akmagi
5. Luke Ako
6. Roddy Wada

1. Dr Ken Ngangan – Chairman
2. Eno Daera – Dpty Chairman
3. John Chris
4. Janet Sios
5. Mark Baia
6. Samson Jubi
7. Blaise Nangoi

1. Nathaniel Poya – Chairman
2. Job Suat – Dpty Chairman
3. Eddie Hesingut
4. Patrick Amini
5. Prof John Puma
6. Harvey Nii
7. Igo Oala
8. Luke Niap

1. Bill Sweet Peter – Chairman
2. Pokawin – Dpty Chairman
3. Joseph Karap
4. Seseka Korona
5. Jack Baru

I personally take a big interest in our SOE’s because of the effect they have on SME’s in the country. As has been seen the world over, SME’s are an important driver of developing a nations’ economy. How much I am billed for their services or what type of work they can give me as an SME supplier goes a long way in boosting entrepreneurship and business. I hope the Octopus grows to help us and not strangle us.

4 thoughts on “In 2012, Morauta declared that he found an Octopus


    Toward end of last year I took two friends from Australia home to Madang for a holiday. We were booked into Coast Watchers Hotel. My experiences of hospitality and what I found out about the Coral Seas Hotel Group thru this experience convinced me these people should not be involved in Hospitality or in Promotion of Tourism in PNG.
    We were supposed to be picked up at the airport when we arrived. We waited for an hour and the Coastwatchers bus never came. We hitched a ride from a local friend who came to our rescue. On our way into town we saw the bus parked on the side of the road at a Buai Market with the driver chewing buai and chatting to locals.
    When we got to the Hotel, the Check in was laborious for the three of us. They couldn’t find our bookings, even though I had rung up and made bookings two weeks earlier and reconfirmed it two days before the flight. Hence, we didn’t get the rooms we requested and we were put in three separate rooms which ended up costing us more, but to add insult to injury, the rooms were substandard for the cost per room.
    There was buai spit everywhere in the hotel, including on footpaths and back walls. The room rubbish bins had buai stains on them even though they were inlaid over with plastic bags. Cockroaches made quick getaways under the refrigerator.
    The restaurant was no better, even though we didn’t expect anything fabulous in Madang. We expected a decent experience and were expecting to pay reasonable fares. What we got was the opposite and more. The food orders were jumbled. We got the steaks well-done instead of medium rare, and chips cooked with old oil by an unkempt looking chef with buai in corner of his mouth donning a crimson smile, and his uniform very dirty. To add to this the grease trap and the toilets downstairs were leaking and the stinking odour in the restaurant was unbearable. It was very embarrassing for me.
    At first I wanted to apologize to my friends for choosing the Coastwatchers Hotel for our Madang holiday experience, but increasingly I became angry and disturbed. I was disturbed by the way the Hotel was run. So I started to take note of small things, like for instance the restaurant toilets and the kitchen and staff toilets. I wondered if the Health authorities were aware that food was being prepared in putrid circumstances and the staff toilets, in the vicinity of the main kitchen, were not cleaned for weeks, it seemed.
    That night I had the runs from the food and I couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t alone; my two friends also had the runs. We found out before we departed that the hotel water supply was from untreated bore water, supplied in the restaurant as safe drinking water! This would never be allowed to happen anywhere else in the world.
    The following night, having had some relief from medication we thought we would get some decent sleep. That was not to be as there was a public dance held at the Hotel. The music was very loud, and there were a lot of drunken people yelling and screaming right outside our doors facing the car park from 7 pm to 4 am. Motor Vehicle radios were blaring, doors slamming, wheels screeching and we just couldn’t sleep a wink. We each had rung the reception, and we were told there was a dance on, and this is the usual thing on Fridays and Saturdays.
    What really took the cake for me was to see firsthand how the Coastwatchers Hotel Laundry functioned. They did not send their laundry out to a commercial Laundromat. They did it in-house with one washing machine. I found-out this because my personal laundry did not come back on time. I went to the laundry which consisted of one frail looking old man from Raikos. He was hand washing all the sheets and everything, and with dangerous chemicals without even a pair of gloves on! I learnt the only washing machine of the Hotel had broken down three weeks earlier and he reported it to the “Big Boss” but nothing was done about it, and meanwhile he was told to hand wash everything and sun-dry it. He didn’t have any help. He constituted the whole hotel’s 30 plus rooms’ laundry staff! Can you imagine that!
    I took my (still) dirty laundry off the old man and excused myself. I felt sorry for the old man because he felt guilty on my account. I told him not to be because I understood. I walked away shaking my head in disbelief.
    Having spent several unpleasant nights at this dirty substandard hotel, we were not going to have our holiday spoilt. We shifted out to another more pleasant hotel which made for a happier ending of our short stay in the tourism capital of PNG. However, the impressions I gained from the Coastwatchers Hotel were simply that:
    1. The Hotel was only after our money and they don’t have the heart for hospitality.
    2. Madang is a tourism destination of PNG and Coral Sea Hotels is not about encouraging tourism in Madang.
    3. They don’t train their staff properly, or at all.
    4. They don’t have proper booking system.
    5. They don’t have proper kitchen hygiene standards.
    6. They don’t respect and care about their guests.
    7. They don’t care about their business and their property.
    8. That poor local Laundry man was being abused, with his health in danger.
    9. The bore-water is a health risk to the unsuspecting public.
    10. Hotel management is substandard.
    11. Coastwatchers don’t practise Health & Safety.
    I am not usually a negative person, but in this case I don’t have anything positive to say about this hotel experience, and I put it down to the owners of the Hotel. Coral Sea Hotels is not in the business of hospitality or tourism. They are into making money. They are no different to logging companies or Mining companies. In all reality they should stick to real estate only and leave hospitality and tourism to people who are serious about it and who have a heart and feeling for this country, its people, their culture and the environment.
    As I began to look around, I realized that, unlike the Madang Lodge, Madang Resort, Airways group of Hotels and Kumul Hotels, Coral Sea Hotels don’t train their people anymore, they don’t look after their people (top echelon aside) and they don’t have an eye for detail or a goal for guest satisfaction in all their Hotels in PNG. They poach good people from other hotels for Hotels like Grand Papua, but don’t know how to manage them. The Gateway Port Moresby restaurant is a prime example, and I could go on about their other Hotels and facilities, but I shall leave it here for now as I really have nothing against their business model or the owners.
    I wonder where that man Warren Daniels is now, who knew something about how to run Coral Sea Hotels? Perhaps he can be brought back to rescue me from my lamentations?

    By Paul Yabob

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