CHILDREN and parents packed the Unagi Park in Port Moresby last Friday evening to witness the launching of this year’s Christmas lights show.
NCD Governor Powes Parkop and Moresby Northeast MP Andrew Mald launched the show.
The park was filled as early as 6pm with the MPs switching on the lights about 7.30pm.
Over the weekend, the lit-up park was a major attraction and was filled with families from all around of the city.
While some children were seen walking to the park with their parents from nearby Erima and Gordon marvelling at the lights and having fun on the swings, others went in truckloads to visit the park.
Some families took slow drives past the lights just to let the children have a glimpse of the decorations.
Two big screens were also erected at the park for residents to watch films as part of the film festival.
Mr Parkop thanked Port Moresby residents for their cooperation throughout the year, especially during the 4th PNG Games and the screening of the State of Origin games on big screens in some suburbs.
He praised everyone for their orderly behaviour and called for the same during the festive season.
Meanwhile, a business house that claims ownership of the land on which the lighting and big screens have been erected, says it will allow them to continue until the end of the festive season.
A court action was brought last Thursday by Fairhaven No 72, seeking to have the lights and the entertainment screens removed, but Fairhaven’s proprietor gave instructions from Sydney that there was no need to spoil the enjoyment of the city’s residents.
This is to benefit the people of Port Moresby over the festive season, although the owner of the land re-affirms that they will not be permanent, because the land is designated for commercial purposes, and will be developed into commercial property.
“We bought the land as commercially zoned, and our right to own it and develop it commercially has been confirmed by both the National Court and the Lands Minister Sir Puka Temu,” a spokesman for Fairhaven No 72 said.
“We are going to make a recreational area out of a portion of the land, as a gift to city residents, and landscaping the frontage is also part of our development proposal.
“But the swings and slides which have been erected on our land do not change its commercial zoning, and they will be removed.
“We do not think this parcel of city land is at all suitable for a children’s playground because it is accessible on three sides only by crossing some of the busiest main roads in the country,” Fairhaven said.
“Playground areas will have to be found elsewhere, because this land is presently undeveloped, it is zoned commercial, and was purchased in good faith by a legitimate investor,” the spokesperson said.