The National, Thursday 17th May 2012
By ZACHERY PER and JEFFREY ELAPA
JIWAKA and Hela become two separate provinces as from today.
The formation of the new provinces will become official after Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio issues the commencement notice at 9am today.
After the declaration, candidates in Jiwaka and Hela provinces will proceed to file nominations to contest the regional seats in next month’s elections.
The notice of commencement was gazetted (G177, Monday, May 14) and signed by the Governor-General, Sir Michael Ogio, last week.
The governor-general on the advice of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill fixed May 17 as the date on which the Hela and Jiwaka will officially become provinces.
The bill to create the boundaries was passed by parliament in 2010.
This means Hela and Jiwaka will now run their own elections as separate provinces and not as part of Southern Highlands and Western Highlands respectively.
There was much preparation done leading up to the final declaration and recognition of Jiwaka as a new province.
The Jiwaka Council of Churches is to stage a colourful dedication and devotion ceremony in Minj praying for God’s blessings on the new province.
O’Neill will also take the opportunity to launch the new Highlands Regional Urbanisation programme headquarters in Minj.
Minj was one of the four pilot urbanisation programmes undertaken by the Office of Urbanisation.
Others are Faniufa (Eastern Highlands), Tari (Hela) and Taurama (National Capital District).
The people of Jiwaka have been preparing well over the past few years under the interim administration of the Jiwaka Transitional Authority.
The establishment of the new province is fully backed by the urbanisation programme, according to the
director of the office of urbanisation Max Kep.
He acknowledged the support of local Jiwaka leaders towards the realisation of the new province and regional office of urbanisation.