Clans disown new group

Highlands, Normal

The National, Wednesday 21st December 2011

A NEW rival body which claims to represent landowners in Pokake village, Pangia, Southern Highlands, has been disowned by the clans.
They said they would remain members of the Kuyapi Leri Landowners Association which they had authorised to look after their interests on matters regarding their forests.
The association represents 1,700 members and was formed prior to the heightened interest on forest conservation deals and carbon trading in the country in 2006.
The rival body is called Wiru Levi Resource Owners Association formed by their tribesman Winston Awi.
Kuyapi Leri Landowners Association chairman Jim Porenge and his deputy Pius Warea, said the formation of a new association was done by people with their own vested interests and did not really represent the community.
Porenge said with a current project progressing in their area, his people who elected him and the other association execu­tives were not happy when they found out about the new association through the classified sections of the daily newspapers under the Associations Incorporation Act.
He said Awi, who lives in Port Moresby, was operating in isolation and not representing the people.