The Demolition of Paga Hill

The Demolition of Paga Hill

Case Study Author

Kristian Lasslett

Kristian sits on the Executive Board of the International State Crime Initiative. Published 2012.

Chapter 1 - Introduction

It was Saturday 12 May 2012. Paga Hill's Seventh Day Adventist Church was beginning its morning service as usual; on the other side of Port Moresby, a number of Paga’s leaders were petitioning the National Court. Just ten days before they had learnt of a District Court decision to grant the Paga Hill Development Company (PHDC) an eviction order. Described by Papua New Guinea’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as a “private, foreign speculator with no ability to even pay the Land Rental, much less build anything on the site” (PAC 2006a: 70), PHDC had been awarded a 99-year business lease over Paga Hill. The developer now wished to evict Paga’s 3000 residents so they could build “an exclusive, master planned development” (PHDC 2012a), which will evidently feature “residential living, waterfront restaurants and retail, commercial and office spaces, marina complex, hotel and cultural facilities” (Hillside Civil 2012).

As community leaders waited at the National Court, ten Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPGNC) land cruisers descended down the steep dirt road into Paga Hill. Armed with assault rifles and machetes, the police had come to execute the eviction. News of the community’s imminent appeal was not enough to delay the action. Employing a large excavator supplied by L&A Construction – a company owned by friends of the Prime Minister – officers began the demolition. 

As the excavator crushed homes along Paga Hill’s shore line – the site of a proposed marina complex – parliamentary member for Moresby South and leader of the opposition, Dame Carol Kidu, intervened.   An Australian documentary filmmaker caught the unfolding scene on tape. 

One community leader present at the demolition claims the RPNGC was opposed to any delay in the eviction. A senior officer told him, “time is money, we are working against time here” (Personal Communication, 2012). Nevertheless, when the community's lawyers arrived with a stop-order, issued by the National Court, the police reluctantly ended the demolition. Lower Paga lay in ruin.

The following case study traces the origins, and impact, of this state-sanctioned demolition. It will begin by examining Paga Hill’s chequered administration by the Department of Lands and Physical Planning (Lands Department); a government agency with a documented reputation for corruption, serial mismanagement and impunity. Attention will then be turned to a web of companies intimately connected with the developer. These companies, it will be revealed, have featured in no less than nine official inquiries into corruption and public mismanagement. Nevertheless, the developer continues to enjoy ministerial support (The National, 25/05/2012). In the penultimate section of this case study, the events leading up to the 12 May demolition will be examined, before the eviction itself, and its aftermath, are  documented. The broader themes raised by the demolition will be noted in the conclusion.

Chapter 2 - The Chequered History of Portion 1597 Paga Hill

Portion 1597 is a 13.7 hectare plot of state land that encompasses most of Paga Hill’s southwest face, with the exception of the shore frontage contained in Section 26 Lots 15-20. Its panoramic views of the harbour, and close proximity to the Central Business District (a five minute walk), make it one of Port Moresby’s most sort-after pieces of real estate. 

Yet, owing to its historical significance – Paga Hill features important WWII military installations and prehistoric sites – and natural beauty, portion 1597 was declared a National Park in January 1987. It was subsequently “reserved from lease for the purposes of Open Space”, and placed under the management of the National Parks Board (National Gazette, 10/09/1987).

In 1995 the National Parks Board ceased to exist. “It is fair to assume”, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) (2006a: 61) observes, “that speculators (thus) saw the land (at Paga Hill) as ripe for acquisition”. Among the interested parties was Paga Hill Land Holding Company (PHLHC). PHLHC wished to construct a large scale real-estate development on portion 1597, which they claimed would be the “the icon of the new progressive Papua New Guinea” (PHLHC 1998). It would include medium rise residential buildings, combined commercial and residential blocks, an international five-star hotel, a cultural centre (that would boast a theatre, art gallery, and ballroom), and a marina. At an estimated cost of K400-500 million (approx US$270-335 million), the proposed “Paga Hill Estate” would involve “one of the largest injections of private capital funds into the NCD (National Capital District) and the country” (PHLHC 1998: 18). PHLHC claimed this “will provide a catalyst of economic activity that will alter the depressed state of the local economy and return it to some normal level of buoyancy” (PHLHC 1998: 18). 

Having been briefed on the project, in February 1997 the Minister for Civil Aviation, Culture and Tourism, Michael Nali (1997), informed PHLHC, “I am prepared to sponsor a submission to the National Executive Council (Cabinet) next month to have the project endorsed as a property development of National Significance, it deserves the full support of Papua New Guinea”. Nali, a close ally of the current Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, would later take up shares in the developer through his company Kwadi Inn (see chapter 3).  

Having won Ministerial support PHLHC was granted a five-year Urban Development Lease (UDL) over portion 1597 (the land was still zoned open space), following approval by the National Land Board (the Land Board Chair, Ralph Guise, later met disgrace during the National Provident Fund inquiry - the inquiry found he was “fabricating and gazetting false documents, preparing and signing false Land Board minutes and signing...fictitious approvals” (Barnett 2002)). 

Commencing on 18/12/1997, the UDL contained a number of conditions, including an improvement covenant of K300 million (approx US$171 million), and annual rent of K30,000 (approx US$17,100). A PAC report published in 2006 claims that neither condition was fulfilled by the lessee (PAC 2006a: 66-7).

Nonetheless, the developer – which became known as Paga Hill Development Company (PHDC) in 2000 – was granted a 99 year business lease, commencing on 01/09/2000. The improvement covenant was reduced substantially from K300 million to K10 million. The rent, however, increased to K250,000 or 5% of the property’s unimproved value, a standard calculation for business leases. Though on 24/05/2001, in mysterious circumstances, the annual rent was reduced by 80% through a handwritten amendment to the State Lease agreement.

Even under these relaxed conditions, the PAC (2006a: 66) observes, “neither covenant has been complied with”. As a result the PAC (2006a: 115) recommended that “the Government take immediate action to recover portion 1597 Paga Hill and declare and preserve that land as National Park”. 

Despite assurances from the Lands Secretary that forfeiture proceedings would begin, the state did not recover portion 1597. Instead, PHDC was granted a revised 99 year business lease in 2009. The lease conditions were relaxed even further. The improvement covenant was reduced to K5 million, while the annual rent dropped from K250,000 (as stipulated in the 2000 lease), to K50,000. Given that the annual rent attached to business leases is calculated at 5% of the unimproved value of the land, it would appear that portion 1597 – described by Anvil Project Services (2002: 3) as “the best large single (land) parcel in PNG, if not the South Pacific”– defied Port Moresby’s real-estate boom by dropping in value from K5 million to K1 million, in the space of nine years.  

To this day, the 2009 lease remains in place.

In an affidavit prepared for the National Court during May 2012, Francis Nianfop, a Paga Hill resident and officer of the National Housing Corporation, claims a recent check of the Lands Department LAGIS database reveals rentals for portion 1597 remain in arrears to the tune of K200,000 (approx US$94,200) (see also Radio Australia, 11/10/12). 

Chapter 3 - Scrutinising PHDC and the Lands Department

To understand how the irregularities and illegalities observed by the PAC could come into being, and remain unactioned by the state, it is necessary to scrutinise the main organisations involved in the recent administration of portion 1597 – PHLHC, PHDC and the Department of Lands. We will begin with the developer (an extended version of this chapter can be found here). 

The developer began its life in 1996/97 as PHLHC. At this stage in the project’s evolution PHLHC was closely entwined with the accounting firm Ram Business Consultants (RAM). Not only was RAM’s office listed as the developer’s place of business, its principal Rex Paki was PHLHC’s Director and Secretary, while a RAM consultant Gudmundur Fridriksson was the company’s other Director. Like many organisations closely associated with the developer, RAM (and its principal), has been censured in numerous official inquiries (AGO 2005; Barnett 2002; Davini et al 2009; PAC 2006b; Post-Courier 09/11/2001; Wakus 2004).

However, despite its chequered history, RAM’s association with Paga Hill Estate was primarily limited to the 1997-2000 period (though according to the PAC this period was not without controversy, see PAC 2006a: 62-5). During PHLHC’s metamorphosis into PHDC in 2000 the developer’s connection with RAM, and Rex Paki, seemingly dissolves. Though metamorphosis is perhaps the wrong word; according to Investment Promotion Authority records PHLHC and PHDC are two separate companies (PHDC would now include such notable shareholders as the former Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Michael Nali, and, Tracey Kluck, the wife of prominent indigenous Australian activist, Noel Pearson). The former was granted the five year UDL in 1997, while the latter received the 99 year business leases in 2000 and 2009. 

The main enduring link between PHLHC and PHDC is the current CEO of Australia’s Cape York Institute, Gudmundur V Fridriksson, who became PHDC’s Chairman and Secretary (Fridriksson also dissolved his relation with RAM in 2000, see AGO 2005: 43). Indeed in a 2002 information memorandum we are told that since arriving in Papua New Guinea (PNG) the Icelandic businessman has “focussed on driving the Paga Hill project to the ‘development ready’ state it is currently in” (Anvil Project Services 2002: 18). It adds, “Gudmundur has been involved in the project since inception” (ibid). Fridriksson continues to be the main driver behind the Paga Hill Estate. 

Though, it should be noted, Fridriksson’s commercial interests in PNG extended beyond Paga Hill Estate. Indeed soon after arriving in PNG Fridriksson gained notoriety when the national government awarded his company, Destination Papua New Guinea, K2.5 million (approx US$1.9 million) to produce a book celebrating the nation’s 20th anniversary. The venerable ABC correspondent, Sean Dorney (1996b), suggests this was an “astronomical” commission, given that the going industry rate for a like volume was approximately K500,000 (Dorney 1996a). Even with this premium price tag, Dorney laments, the book – when finally delivered – was riddled with “appalling mistakes”. Nevertheless, Dorney (1996b) reports Destination Papua New Guinea was paid in full by the PNG government. Though not before the company “had signed a contract with a member of the Finance Minister’s personal staff (he’s since been sacked) offering him a percentage of the government’s contract price if he could help ensure the money was paid” (ibid). 

The Destination PNG affair did not, however, damage Fridriksson’s business interests. Having left “RAM Business Consultants shortly before May 2000”, Fridriksson formed Anvil Project Services, which later became CCS Anvil (AGO 2005: 43). Through these firms, Fridriksson was able to land a number of lucrative consultancy deals with the PNG government (indeed when RAM’s appointment with the Public Curator’s Office was terminated on 12 May 2000, Anvil Project Services was engaged “to provide similar advice and services” a fortnight later (AGO 2005: 43)).

A number of these deals came under official scrutiny owing to evidence of serious irregularities. Collectively Anvil Project Services and CCS Anvil are cited in five public accounting reports, following PAC and AGO investigations into the Public Curator’s Office, Parliamentary Services, and the Sepik Highway, Roads and Bridges Maintenance and Other Infrastructure Trust Account (AGO 2005; AGO 2006; PAC 2003; PAC 2006b; PAC 2007).  In two of these inquiries CCS Anvil was referred to the RPNGC for investigation (PAC 2006b: 100-101; PAC 2007: 96), while in the other the state was advised to recover extra-contractual payments made to the company (PAC 2003: 19).

In addition to acting as a consultant for various government agencies, Anvil Project Services/CCS Anvil was the Project Director of Paga Hill Estate. Thus not only did PHDC and the Anvil firms share the same principal (Fridriksson), they were also organisationally entwined.

Given the serious question marks placed over the network of companies connected to PHDC and its “driving” agent, in addition of course to the PAC’s blunt assessment of PHDC in 2006, it is perhaps fair to ask why didn’t the Lands Department promptly re-examine the State Leases over portion 1597? The AGO and the PAC offer a likely answer –the Department’s autonomy has been virtually non-existent over the past fifteen years (AGO 2007; PAC 2006a). Indeed the PAC (2006a: 23) argues that the Department of Lands, in essence, has become an “an arm of private enterprise”. It notes “corrupt practices and inept management of the National Estate continues with impunity and immunity” (PAC 2006a: 13). The AGO (2007: 53) concurs, adding “the Secretary is complicit...in that no sanction or control processes are instigated when irregularities occur and are brought to his attention”. 

Such is the state of the Lands Department that when a recent Commission of Inquiry had cause to turn its attention to it, investigators were so concerned they formally recommended that a separate “Commission of Inquiry be established” to identify and rectify “systematic failings and misconduct” (Davini et al 2009: 68). To date this recommendation has not been implemented by the PNG state. The fact that the National Executive Council (NEC) – PNG’s Cabinet – has allowed this unsatisfactory state of affairs to remain uncorrected, in the face of mounting evidence from a variety of public organs, suggests senior politicians have a substantive interest in allowing such a parlous situation to continue.

Indeed there is a growing body of evidence which suggests a powerful network of elite actors, operating within the state and in commerce, are colluding to undermine transparency, accountability, and due process. This willed process creates the conditions in which a) contracts, at inflated prices, can be awarded to select businesses; b) publicly administered recourses can be transferred into private hands at massively deflated prices; c) senior civil servants and politicians can supplement their formal income by charging businesses to circumvent due process, or indeed by taking a stake in the private firm involved; and d) those public officials further down the food-chain can supplement their low wages, relatively speaking, by losing files, ignoring procedure, improperly signing off documents, etc (this general assessment is supported by the findings of official investigations into the Department of Lands, Department of Works and Implementation, Department of National Planning and Monitoring,Department of Justice and Attorney General, Department of Finance, and the National Capital District Commission, to name but a few). 

In a political landscape then marked by opaque transactions, systemic and systematic corruption, the breakdown in due process and managerial oversight, and almost total immunity for known ring-leaders, it is perhaps not surprising that one of the country’s most infamous departments has failed to follow through on PAC recommendations, or that the NEC has permitted this to occur. For the residents of Paga Hill, this failure to enact forfeiture proceedings, or further scrutinise the developer, has generated the situation where their homes, livelihoods and security are now under serious threat.

Chapter 4 - The 12 May Demolition

To minimise concerns over the project’s immediate social impact, and to justify the eviction of Paga Hill’s residents, the developer has persistently claimed that the hill is “blighted with squatters and illegal uses” (Patching 1997). In a planning document submitted in 1998, the developer claims, “the site is currently houses (sic) a number of people some legally, most illegally, who have been allowed to occupy the site through the inaction of the authorities charged with housing and management of the settlements” (PHLHC 1998: 19). Playing on popular, and largely inaccurate, stereotypes of informal settlements (see Goddard 2005), the developer continues, “these dwellings have no facilities and are poorly constructed from scavenged material from around the harbour. As such the area apart from being unsightly is prone to health problems from the lack of appropriate facilities” (PHLHC 1998: 13; see also PHDC 2012b). PHDC (2012c) recently added “disease and sexual assault” to the list of problems befalling the Paga Hill settlement.

This picture painted by the developer fundamentally fails to convey the richness and complexity  of Paga Hill's built environment. With origins extending back to the immediate post-war period, Paga Hill’s communities occupy what is locally known as lower, middle, and upper Paga. Dotting upper Paga is a National Housing Corporation (NHC) development, which provides affordable accommodation to civil servants. At present there are approximately 400 people living in this development. Below the NHC accommodation, in middle and lower Paga, is an informal settlement. Although the state has not given those living in the Paga settlement formal rights to the land, the settlers have been granted usufructuary rights by the traditional owners, the Geakone clan (sometimes spelt Giakone), who dispute having alienated the land to the state; such is the complexity of many urban land arrangements in PNG.

Many of the settlement homes are built to a high standard, and enjoy access to water and electricity (this has changed following the demolition). Moreover, community elders oversee an informal governance structure which coordinates and provides a range of services to the settlement, including law and order, education and health. That said Paga Hill certainly faces challenges, nevertheless, its 3000 members show resilience in a difficult urban environment.

The origins of the 12 May eviction, which is the focus of this chapter, lay in a District Court decision made in February 2012. Unbeknownst either to the settlement or the NHC residents, two settlement members had signed a consent order on behalf of both communities. The circumstances surrounding this consent order are described by the Chairman of the Paga Heritage Association (PHA) – the settlement’s advocacy body. 

Having been presented with consent orders signed by these two settlement residents, the District Court granted PHDC an eviction order on 16 February 2012. In April the settlement was approached by PHDC’s lawyer and given an ultimatum. 

Settlement leaders rejected this ultimatum on the grounds that: a) the proposed compensation did not adequately reflect the value of their properties; and b) there was no evidence that the community had secure title over the land at 6 Mile – the site of a large, now defunct, waste dump, and an informal settlement home to 17,000 people – or that it would include the infrastructure currently enjoyed by the residents in Paga Hill (i.e. electricity and water supply). According to settlement residents, PHDC’s lawyer was told that the community would seek legal representation and then enter further negotiations.

Nevertheless, the developer elected to enact option 3. As PHDC (2012c) put it “a tough line had to eventually be taken”. On 2 May 2012, police arrived at Paga Hill to mark out the area for the eviction exercise. RPNGC officers explained to residents that an eviction order had already been granted by the courts, much to the community’s surprise. Residents immediately organised a legal action to stay the order. The District Court denied the community’s request. PHDC and the court were advised that the plaintiffs would be appealing the judgement. A special National Court hearing was set for the following day – Saturday 12 May. As community elders waited to be heard, around 100 heavily-armed RPNGC officers descended on Paga Hill. 

According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), “evictions must be carried out lawfully, only in exceptional circumstances, and in full accordance with relevant provisions of international human rights and humanitarian law” (OHCHR 2012). The UN’s Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-Based Evictions and Displacement (2007), note that communities must be afforded the right to have neutral observers present; during the eviction process, the dignity, human rights, and  security of community members must be upheld; the state must make every effort to protect vulnerable groups, including women and children; any legal use of force must be necessary and proportionate; every step should be taken to preserve and protect property (including from looting);  residents must not be forced to demolish or destroy their own home; and upon cessation of the eviction, compensation, essential services, and alternative accommodation of a like or better standard, that accords with international human rights law, must be provided. None of these principles were observed during the Paga Hill eviction. 

RPNGC officers began the demolition in lower Paga. The first home to be destroyed belonged to Joe Moses, a trained anthropologist and Chairman of the PHA. He had been leading the community’s fight against the developer. Once Joe’s home was demolished, the excavator turned to his neighbours’ properties, even though they lay outside the perimeter of portion 1597. As these homes were being destroyed police approached residents in middle Paga. Aware that the excavator could not traverse steep ridges, RPNGC officers warned residents, at gunpoint, to dismantle their homes or they would be burnt down.

During this process, officers pushed, kicked, punched, hit (with sticks/bars) and cut (with machetes) residents (for more on the RPNGC’s tactics/methods, see Dinnen 2001; Human Rights Watch 2005 & 2006; Koczberski et al 2001; Lasslett 2010). Even Dame Carol Kidu – one of PNG’s most celebrated leaders (see Throsby 2012) – was attacked by police. She later told The National (14/05/2012), “as I was helping a fallen man, police turned on me. They grabbed me and threw me down and I injured my upper arm”. Those witnessing the assault on Dame Carol, were then fired upon by RPNGC officers, despite the fact they were unarmed and posed minimal threat. When a neighbour from a nearby apartment block was caught photographing the abuses, RPNGC officers punched him in the face, and confiscated the camera. This treatment was also meted out to residents who attempted to document the demolition of their homes.   

Only the intervention of lawyers with a stop-order brought the violence to an end. However, by this stage approximately 350 people had been made homeless. The PNG state made no attempt to provide the displaced with shelter or essential supplies. Indeed in the eviction’s immediate aftermath, local human rights activists witnessed displaced families sleeping under lean-tos constructed out of debris, while others took shelter using tarpaulins. Children left homeless by the eviction were observed studying by candlelight, exposed to the elements.

Even today, a solitary tap is lower Paga’s only source of running water, after the demolition severely damaged the community’s water and electrical infrastructure. A number of expensive diesel generators, purchased by residents, provide a temporary energy source. Business has suffered too. Those running local trade-stores have experienced a drop in takings, while tenants renting rooms in the settlement have left for more secure accommodation.

The residents of upper Paga are only in a marginally better position. Indeed, despite loudly chastising PHDC in the national newspaper (Eroro 2012), the NHC has failed to assist the Paga Hill tenants. With severe shortages of affordable accommodation in Port Moresby, eviction for these tenants is tantamount to homelessness (of course, in PNG kinship networks will act as a safety-net of sorts for displaced NHC residents). Consequently public servants living in the NHC accommodation have been forced to self-fund legal proceedings against PHDC.  At approximately K40,000 (about US$19,500) this is proving to be a large burden.

Chapter 5 - Conclusion

It is common for scholars and analysts, particularly from abroad, to describe the PNG state as failing, broken or fragile (notable examples include, Patience 2005; Scott 2005; Windybank and Manning 2003).  Tinged with post-colonial hubris, this narrative characterises PNG as the victim of a failed transition to modernity, held back by a mix of tradition, immaturity, social fragmentation and organised greed. But these assessments miss a crucial point: simply put, if we remove liberal norms from our sociological lens, the PNG state appears a remarkable success of sorts. The organised breakdown in basic accounting and oversight procedures, the systematic circumvention of procurement processes, the gradual commodification of public agencies – including the RPNGC and the courts (i.e. their services can be bought), and the continued impunity of state officials in the face of evidenced illegalities, are hard fought strategic victories won by an increasingly coherent, conscious and fluid elite made up of senior civil servants, politicians, and businessmen.

These victories – which I might add, are wholly ‘modern’ in origins – have engineered an environment in which state owned or administered resources can be transferred, at massively deflated rates, into the accumulation cycles of privately controlled capital, accruing considerable profits to those with the connections and know-how. That this reality sits uncomfortably with text-book models of liberal democracy is perhaps evidence of the latter’s failure, not necessarily the former's. Indeed, the sort of frauds, engineered breakdowns in oversight, and clientalism that are systemic in PNG, have been witnessed on a prolific scale in Western economies; the difference perhaps being, in PNG this graft has met a much louder, more prolonged and better informed response from domestic audiences.

Paga Hill is no different in this respect. They are mobilising their understated resources, to expose the nexus of interests that have placed their homes under threat. Drawing on a deep reservoir of activism experience, Paga’s leaders are mounting a multi-pronged challenge. It has begun with a legal action – although leaders are acutely aware this arena favours those with the deepest pockets – but it is extending in new directions, as the community networks with sympathetic individuals and agencies, at both a domestic and international level. Although nascent, this emerging coalition – which includes activists, scholars, lawyers, politicians, artists, NGOs, and even certain public bodies (most notably the National Museum, which wishes to preserve the area’s rich heritage) – is creating the foundation on which the community plans to defend their homes and sanction those who colluded in the 12 May demolition. With an urban populous emboldened by recent experiments in mass protests and public occupations – coordinated through a mix of grass roots organisations and social media activism (see Pascoe 2012) – domestic conditions in PNG are beginning to move in favour of community led struggles against corruption and impunity. If Paga’s leaders can draw on these emerging networks of resistance, they stand a reasonable chance of succeeding against a better resourced opponent whose connections extend into the heart of the state.  

References and Further Reading

Further Reading on Forced Evictions

Advisory Group on Forced Evictions (2005), Forced Evictions - Towards Solutions?, First Report of the Advisory Group on Forced Evictions to the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Nairobi: Author. Report available online (accessed 14/07/2012)

Advisory Group on Forced Evictions (2007), Forced Evictions - Towards Solutions?, Second Report of the Advisory Group on Forced Evictions to the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Nairobi: Author. Report available online (accessed 14/07/2012)

Amnesty International (N.D.), Forced Evictions, briefing available online (accessed 14/07/2012)

COHRE (2006), Globay Survey on Forced Evictions, Geneva: The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions. Report available online (accessed 14/07/2012)

Davis, M. (2006), Planet of the Slums, London: Verso.

Du-Plessis, J. (2005), ‘The Growing Problem of Forced Evictions and the Crucial Importance of Community-based, Locally Appropriate Alternatives’, Environment and Urbanization, 17(1), 123-134.

Durant-Lesserve, A. (2006). ‘Market-driven Evictions and Displacement: Implications for the Perpetuation of Informal Settlements in Developing Cities’, in Huchzermeyer, M. and Karam, A. (eds.), Informal Settlements: A Perpetual Challenge?, Cape Town: UCT Press

Olds, K., Bunnell, T., and Leckie, S. (2007), ‘Forced Evictions in Tropical Cities: An Introduction’, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 23(3), 247-251.



Further Reading on Settlements and Forced Evictions in Papua New Guinea

Goddard, M. (2005), The Unseen City: Anthropological Perspectives on Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Canberra: Pandanus Books.

Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (2010), PNG Housing and Real Estate Review, Port Moresby: Author. Report available online (accessed 14/07/2012)

Jones, P. (2012), ‘Pacific Urbanisation and the Rise of Informal Settlements: Trends and Implications from Port Moresby’, Urban Policy and Research, 30(2), 145-160.

Koczberski, G. Curry, G. N. and Connell, J. (2001), ‘Full Circle or Spiralling Out of Control? State Violence and the Control of Urbanisation in Papua New Guinea’, Urban Studies, 38(11), 2017-2036.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2010), Housing Rights Assessment Mission to Papua New Guinea 29 June – 9 July 2010, Suva: Author. Report available online (accessed 14/07/2012)

UN-Habitat (2010), Papua New Guinea: Port Moresby Urban Sector Profile , Nairobi: UN-Habitat. Report available online (accessed 14/07/2012)

Witness (2012), Forced Evictions in the Name of Development: People Before Profit, available online (accessed 14/11/2012) 

Yala, C. and Chan, S. (2010) ‘Informal land systems within urban settlements in Honiara and Port Moresby’, in Making Land Work: Volume Two, Canberra: Ausaid. Chapter available online (accessed 14/07/2012)


Anvil Project Services (2002), Information Memorandum: Paga Hill Estate, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Waigani: Author.

Auditor General’s Office (2005), Special Investigation into the Office of the Public Curator, Waigani: Author.

Auditor General’s Office (2006), Report of the Auditor General on the Sepik Highway Roads and Bridges Maintenance and Other Infrastructure Trust Account, Waigani: Author.  

Auditor General’s Office (2007), Report of the Auditor General to the National Parliament on the Department of Lands and Physical Planning, Waigani: Author.

Barnett, T. (2002), Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the National Provident Fund, extracts available online (accessed 24/07/2012)

Blackwell, E. (2012), ‘PNG a Corrupt “Mobocracy”: Graft Taskforce’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 May, available online (accessed 24/07/2012)

Davini, C., Sheehan, M., and Manoa, D. (2009), The Commission of Inquiry Generally into the Department of Finance: Final Report, Papua New Guinea: The Commission.

Dinnen, S. (2001), Law and Order in a Weak State: Crime and Politics in Papua New Guinea, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

Dorney, S. (1996a), ‘Destination – Land of the Unexpected Publishing Coup’, The Independent (PNG), 27 January.

Dorney, S. (1996b) ‘Destination PNG Claims the Moral High Ground’, The Independent (PNG), 13 April.

Eroro, S. (2012), ‘Eviction was Illegal: NHC’, Post-Courier, 4 April, available online (accessed 24/07/2012)

Goddard, M. (2005), The Unseen City: Anthropological Perspectives on Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Canberra: Pandanus Books.

Hillside Civil (2012), ‘Current Projects’ (online), available online (accessed 14/07/2012)

Human Rights Watch (2005), Making Their Own Rules: Police Beatings, Rape, and Torture of Children in Papua New Guinea, report available online (accessed 14/07/2012)  

Human Rights Watch (2006), Still Making Their Own Rules: Ongoing Impunity for Police Beatings, Rape, and Torture of Children in Papua New Guinea, report available online (accessed 14/07/2012) 

Koczberski, G., Curry, G. N. and Connell, J. (2001), ‘Full Circle or Spiralling Out of Control? State Violence and the Control of Urbanisation in Papua New Guinea’, Urban Studies, 38(11), 2017-2036.

Lasslett, K. (2010), ‘Winning Hearts and Mines: The Bougainville Crisis, 1988-90’, in Jackson, R., Murphy, E., and Poynting, S. (eds.), Contemporary State Terrorism: Theory and Practice, Oxford: Routledge

Nali, M. (1997), Letter to Byron Patching, James Lang Wootton International Property Group, Brisbane, Queensland, 27 February. 

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2012), ‘Forced Evictions’ (online), available online (accessed 24/07/2012)

Paga Hill Development Company (2012a), ‘About Paga Hill Estate’ (online), available online (accessed 25/07/2012)

Paga Hill Development Company (2012b), ‘Paga Hill Looks to the Future’, Press Release, 13 April, available online (accessed 25/07/2012)

Paga Hill Development Company (2012c), ‘Response to “The Forced Eviction at Paga Hill – A Brief History of Portion 1597 Granville”’, Act Now, May 2012 (PHDC’s response was accidentally removed by Act Now’s website administrator, but can obtained from the author upon request). 

Paga Hill Land Holding Company Pty Ltd (1998), Environment Plan, Port Moresby: Author.

Pascoe, A. (2012), ‘PNG’s New Media Underground’, available online (accessed 24/07/2012)

Patching, B. on behalf of Paga Hill Land Holding Company (1997), Letter to Mr Pius Y. Pundi, Secretary of Environment and Conservation, Boroko, Papua New Guinea, 18 March.

Patience, A. (2005), ‘PNG at 30: Our Failing Neighbour’, The Age, 16 September, available online(accessed 24/07/2012)

Public Accounts Committee (2003), Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Parliamentary Services, Waigani: National Parliament of Papua New Guinea.

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The International State Crime Initiative would like to thank the following contributors:

  • Philippe Schneider who provided the videos 'the view from paga hill', 'concerns over 6-mile', 'Mirium's testimony', 'Allan's testimony', in addition to the background for chapter 4.
  • Jeffry Feeger who provided the images in 'forced eviction', 'the demolition of paga hill' (photos 5-10), 'paga after the demolition', and the background for chapter 1.
  • Media Stockade and Hollie Fifer for the footage featured in 'eviction footage'.
  • Johnny Blades for the images and interviews featured in 'the consent order' and 'PHA Chairman recalls the eviction'.
  • Sam Moko for the images in 'paga before the eviction'.