Asia Pacific Report newsdesk
National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop has vowed that NCDC has the municipal mandate to protect public interest and manage the best interests of the Papua New Guinea capital Port Moresby, reports PNG Post-Courier.
He made these remarks in a statement while he was present with onlookers at the city’s controversial Jack Pidik Park armed with an excavator to tear down a fence erected by the developer company TST adding a new twist in this land row.
“Today we have taken back Jack Pidik Park,” declared Parkop.
- READ MORE: Parkop blasts PNG Lands Department for failing to protect public parks
- Jack Pidik Park fence demolition
“It is public recreational land as far as we are concerned and shall remain that way until the commission decides otherwise.”
He said that TST had not received approval or power to “unilaterally” develop the land.
“Even if it is commercial land, it can’t be developed without our approval,” Parkop said.
“It has not complied with the orders it got from the National Court.
Developer ‘acted illegally’
“It has acted illegally and this cannot be allowed to continue.”
He said: “We assert NCDC power as the municipal government for our capital city to plan and manage our city for the benefit of all our people – individuals, corporations, churches and NGOs.
“Under the NCDC Act and vested with powers delegated to us by the Physical Planning Act and exercised through the NCD Physical Planning Board, we alone decide the type of development in the city,” he said.
Parkop said the NCDC had been fair in discharging its duty to protect public and private interests.
“We have defended public interest in public recreational areas like Ela Beach, Unagi Oval, Gerehu Sports Oval, Apex Park, Nature Park and other smaller parks in the city,” he said.
He cited other land that had been developed in the city, saying: “We have sold most of Sea Park land, for example, to raise money to complete the historic Sir Hubert Murray Stadium.
Responsible, ethical actions
“We have signed a memorandum of agreement with Kumul Training Institute to lease a park at Tokarara to operate its training center while continuing to serve the public,” he said.
“We will continue to maintain this approach as it is the most responsible, ethical and legal thing to do.
“Those private residents in the city or our country, be they individuals or corporate, who wish to access public land must respect this policy, importantly to see our cooperation and support to develop such land or facilities. So it is a win-win outcome.
“Those who seek to do it by default or deceit will not succeed.”