NZ touts projects to expand electricity access and help local farmers in Papua New Guinea

New Zealand will join a partnership to expand access to electricity in Papua New Guinea, Jacinda Ardern announced at APEC.

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New Zealand will contribute towards Papua New Guinea’s ambitious National Electrification roll-out plan to connect 70 per cent of households to electricity by 2030.

Currently, only 13 per cent of PNG’s population has access to electricity.

Jacinda Ardern says, “This partnership will connect more households, businesses and service providers across Papua New Guinea to electricity, with the goal of 70 per cent of households gaining access to electricity.

“Bringing power to people who have never had it before has a transformational impact on their lives and will assist Papua New Guinea to grow.”

The lack of electricity in PNG has been holding the country back from its ability to invest in business opportunities but also the country’s ability to develop its critical social services, including health and education, the Prime Minister says.

The Prime Minister made the announcement alongside other partners in the project, US Vice President Mike Pence, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill during APEC's leaders week.

This commitment comes in addition to a $24.7 million contribution to the Rural On-Grid Extension Project and $10.25 million to the Town Electrification Investment Programme.

Jacinda Ardern also joined the Governor of National Capital District, Hon. Powes Parkop, to celebrate the rebuild of Gordons Market.

The facility, which connects rural producers with consumers, provides a critical source of income for families and contributes to local government's revenue.

In 2014, New Zealand contributed $7 million towards the infrastructure redevelopment of the market.

The redevelopment is part of UN Women's Safe Cities Global Initiative and the goal is to ensure the market is safer, healthier and more profitable for the vendors who work there, most of whom are woman.

The new market includes a two-storey, 8000-square-metre building for fresh produce vendors, a separate building for cooked food vendors, an admin block, toilet, rubbish disposal and parking facilities and improved drainage.

New Zealand firm Fletcher Morobe began construction works in October 2017.

The redeveloped market is scheduled to open to the public in early January.  When it is completed, it will be able to accommodate approximately 1300 vendors.