Wednesday, 13 August 2014


There has long been corruption in public housing in Papua New Guinea. The fact is that there are thousands of rental houses and tenant families. Large numbers have rental arrears.

But there are large numbers whose rental payments have been stolen by corrupt housing officers. It becomes difficult to determine arrears when corrupt officers have shredded the payment receipts to avoid prosecution for theft.

Recent advertisements in the newspapers on rental arrears may well be an exercise in fantasy. The old man in my house came back from overseas and was given a lease to sign because I had been paying his rent and bond for the new lease. Had he not taken the old receipts, NHEL would have no idea of his arrears.

Corruption is aided by the town being divided among a nest of officers who keep the houses in their zone under check. It becomes easy for a corrupt officer to seek bribes in his zone.

At the worst, officers can support the theft of NHEL units, done with a quiet erasing of a house from computer files and a title given to the new tenant back dated to a decade ago when NHC houses were sold.

Illegal flats at the back can remain with a bribe to the NHEL officer. If rent is being paid, a monthly bribe may be in order.

It makes it easier if the acting CEO is also supporting corruption. The present CEO has a niece with a block of flats built over two years ago. The NHEL officer Michael seems to be quite happy with the arrangement.

There was a criminal trying to steal the unit I was staying in while the old man was away overseas. He was a terminated ex-NHC conveyancing officer Alan Baragu who claimed that the unit belonged to him. He was terminated for stealing houses.

I ended up locking him out with not a single NHEL officer raising a finger to help. There may have been NHEL officers who were part of the theft. Five thousand kina for you. Five thousand for me. Michael was supposed to help said Madeline.

So there is not any possible option for NHEL to obtain a Court Order for eviction. All they can do is give 24 hours to evict supported by the bully boys and rogue cops. They may not be able to prove that so many tenants are in arrears.

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