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If there is anyone else who should be commended for the proposed sealing of Mendi to Tari road, it is definitely Rayvena Marape.

Rayvena is PNG Prime Minister, James Marape’s daughter. Being in her 20s, she is now studying in the United States of America.

During the ground breaking ceremony of the road sealing, an emotional PM Marape recited the exact words of his daughter when riding on this bumpy and dusty road.

He recalled one time in 2013 she bluntly told him: ‘Daddy, you are Finance Minister and you haven’t fixed this road yet.’

“That’s the cry of many other daughters and sons, from Kopiago all the way to Kaupena, where oil and gas flows out to sustain the country.

“So today, even if the rain comes down, I’m willing to stand in the rain to ensure that this project gets off the ground.”

Challenging words of his daughter stayed with him until he became PM himself in 2019.

PM Marape said his resignation from the PNC-led Government, as the Finance Minister, was due to non-fulfilled promise of Nipa-Tari road sealing. He has now increased the scope from Mendi all the way to Tari.

Bumpy and dusty rides along the oil-rich Mendi-Tari road in Hela and Southern Highlands Provinces will end when the road sealing is complete.

In a press statement, he said the Southern Highlands and Hela have been producing oil and gas for Papua New Guinea since 1990, however, have not seen the Mendi-Tari section of the Highlands Highway being sealed.

PM Marape and his delegation was in Mendi for the groundbreaking ceremony of the K300 million worth  project on Thursday (January 27 2022).

Construct Oceanic Limited is working from Mendi towards Margarima while Ipwenz Construction is working from Margarima to Ambua (outside Tari).

PM Marape said the two provinces, when they were one under Southern Highlands, “had carried the economy of the country since 1990 through Hides gas, Kutubu and Gobe oil fields”.

“Today, the road from Poroma to Kutubu, 103km, is unsealed,” he said in a press statement.

“In 2015, I had to go and ask landowners at Hides to reopen the PNG LNG Project, after they shut it down because of no sealed road to Komo.

“This section (Mendi) to Hides Gas is unsealed.

“We have started to work on these over the last two years because the need and demand is there.

“It (Mendi-Tari) is a road that is necessitated by the (PNG LNG) project, and to give value and a token of appreciation, to the Hela and Southern Highlands people who’ve been good custodians of the projects that continue to bless our country.

“I thank the people for their patience for the last 30 years since oil and gas started flowing.

“I am very pleased to be here today to launch something that is very close to my heart.”

PM Marape appealed to the people living along the road, crucial for delivery of goods and services, not to cause trouble for users.


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