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Southern Highlands, Papua New Guinea

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Southern Highlands, Papua New Guinea

Information in this article has not yet been updated to take into account the effects of the creation of Hela Province.
Southern Highlands Province

Flag
Southern Highlands Province
Southern Highlands Province
Location within Papua New Guinea

Coordinates: 6°10′S 143°20′E / 6.167°S 143.333°E / -6.167; 143.333

Country Papua New Guinea
Capital Mendi
Districts
Government
 • Governor William Powi 2012-
Area
 • Total 15,100 km2 (5,800 sq mi)
Population (2000)
 • Total 360,318
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)

Southern Highlands is a province in Papua New Guinea. Its provincial capital is the town of Mendi. According to Papua New Guinea's national 2000 census, the total population of Southern Highlands (after the separation of Hela Province) is 360,318 spread across 15,100 square kilometers (5,800 sq mi).

Split to create Hela Province

In July 2009, Parliament passed legislation to create two new provinces by 2012. One of these was to be created by removing the districts of Tari-Pori, Komo-Magarima, and Koroba-Kopiago from the Southern Highlands Province to form the new Hela Province.[1] Hela Province officially came into being on 17 May 2012.[2]

Regions

After the split of Hela, the province is divided into roughly three distinct geographic regions:

  1. The West: which includes the districts of Nipa, Mendi and the Lai Valley, and is the home of the speakers of dialects of the Anggal Heneng language.
  2. The East: which includes the districts of Kagua, Ialibu, Pangia and Erave, and is the home of the speakers of the Imbongu, Kewa, and Wiru languages, and home to the second highest mountain in Papua New Guinea, Mount Giluwe.
  3. The Lowlands: which stretch across the southern part of the Southern Highlands province from the volcanic peaks of Mount Bosavi to include the oilfields of Lake Kutubu, and includes the language groups of Biami (shared with Western Province) Foe, and Fasu.

Districts and LLGs

There are five districts in the province. Each district has one or more Local Level Government (LLG) areas. For census purposes, the LLG areas are subdivided into wards and those into census units.[3]

District District Capital LLG Name
Ialibu-Pangia District Ialibu East Pangia Rural
Ialibu Urban
Kewabi Rural
Wiru Rural
Imbonggu District Imbonggu Ialibu Basin Rural
Imbongu Rural
Lower Mendi Rural
Kagua-Erave District Kagua Erave Rural
Kagua Rural
Kuare Rural
Mendi-Munihu District Mendi Karints Rural
Lai Valley Rural
Mendi Urban
Upper Mendi Rural
Nipa-Kutubu District Nipa Lake Kutubu Rural
Mount Bosavi Rural
Nembi Plateau Rural
Nipa Rural
Poroma Rural

Members of the National Parliament

The province and each district is represented by a Member of the National Parliament. There is one provincial electorate and each district is an open electorate. The following table lists Members before and after the 2012 general election.

Electorate Previous member (party) 20012 winner (party)
Southern Highlands Provincial Nipa Yawari (PCP) William Powi (URP) [4]
Ialibu-Pangia Open Peter O'Neill (PNC) Peter O'Neill (PNC) [5]
Imbonggu Open Timothy Tala (NA) Francis Awesa (PNGP) [6]
Kagua-Erave Open David Basua (NA) James Lagea (elected as PNGCP [7] then joined NA)[8]
Mendi Open Michael Nali (PPP) [9] De Kewanua.(elected) as Independent then in PC..[10]
Nipa-Kutubu Open Robert Kopaol l (PANGU) [7]

Declaration of state of emergency in Southern Highlands region

On 1 August 2006, the government of Papua New Guinea declared a state of emergency in the country's Southern Highlands region. According to Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, troops were deployed to restore 'law, order and good governance' in the region, following accusations of corruption, theft and misuse of government buildings at the hands of the regional government.[11]

As a region rich in energy resources, the Southern Highlands was at the centre of plans to construct a gas pipeline to pump natural gas to Queensland in north Australia. The project would have resulted in much needed revenue for Papua New Guinea, and as it was believed that the instability in the region could jeopardise the project, the national government decided to intervene by declaring a state of emergency. The move was supported by Parliament, although some criticism was leveled at the government for restricting press access to the region while the state of emergency was in force. The companies involved in the project have re-designed the project to now have a pipeline which will carry gas by pipeline initially to the coast, and then underwater to a site near Port Moresby where the gas will be liquefied and loaded onto ships for transfer to predominantly Asian customers.

References

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