“In recent years the academics have discovered New Guinea. Grave, plump, portentous, they swarm north in their hundreds each winter, generally finishing somewhere near Goroka in the Eastern Highlands where at times they...Read More
Category: KOKODA TRAIL VILLAGERS
It seems the PNG Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) will ignore the villagers, guides and porters they were established to represent and proceed with their ‘forum’ in Brisbane to get their riding instructions for next year...Read More
‘I cannot say enough kind words about them. Throughout the entire trek I felt supported and knew that I could turn to them for help at any time. They were always in the right spot at the right time. They were so...Read More
The welfare of PNG guides and carriers has been a contentious subject for some years however the recent death of a carrier who was allegedly overloaded by an Australian trek operator has brought the issue of their exploitation to to the forefront of the debate.
A recent forum organised by the Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) in Brisbane resulted in the CEO of PNG Tourism calling for a response to the issues that were raised – but could not be properly addressed due to agenda/time constraints.
Following is the submission by Adventure Kokoda on the issue of welfare for PNG guides and carriers engaged in the Kokoda Trekking Industry:
This response to the draft Minutes of the KTA Forum conducted in Brisbane on 28 November 2018 is based on the collective views of Adventure Kokoda trek leaders who have a combined total of 130 years professional army experience and who have led more than 520 expeditions across the trail over the past 27 years. Our ‘experience’ in protecting the welfare of our local guides and carriers is in line with the conclusions reached by Dr Geoffrey Vernon, Regimental Medical Officer for the 39th Battalion during the Kokoda campaign.
The KTA Forum was conducted at short notice with insufficient time to prepare detailed submissions for discussion. As it transpired it was more of a briefing session. No Notices of Motions were provided, none were moved and the only substantive decision taken was to have another forum in May 2019!
The Minutes of the previous Tour Operators Forum held in Cairns on 14-15 November were not tabled nor discussed in accordance with normal protocols. These minutes have now been outstanding for more than a year and the fact that they have never been produced after trek operators went to considerable expense to attend is indicative of either negligent administration or a cover-up of some sort.
Our Adventure Kokoda response to the forum will be in two parts.
Part 1 will address the most important issue that can no longer be postponed because it concerns the welfare protection of the local guides and carriers for the 2019 trekking season..
Part 2 will address the other issues presented at the forum and will be submitted early in the New Year.
Air Niugini’s Paradise magazine describes a visit to Ower’s Corner, where ‘the road becomes a footpath that connects the start of the Kokoda Trail . . . just an hour and a half from downtown Port Moresby’.Visitors who make the...Read More
Newspaper reports of a British ‘Reality TV star’ and his American girlfriend being ambushed, tortured, tormented and raped by ‘cannibals’ on the Kokoda Trail went viral last month. After...Read More
First impressions of Koiari and Orokaiva villages along the Kokoda Trail give little hint of the complex relationships that exist within. The simple life of building, gardening, cooking, nurturing, teaching and healing is underpinned by the complexities of clan relationships and the influence of missionary pastors, traditional lululais’ and sorcerers.Read More