Health Minister Jelta Wong officiated at the event in the presence of New Zealand High Commissioner Phillip Taula.
Taula visited East New Britain from July 23 to the 26th upon invitation by Minister for Health & HIV and Gazelle MP, Jelta Wong. The aim was for him to see some of the New Zealand funded projects in the province and identify potential opportunities for partnership.
On Friday, July 24th, they travelled to Palmalmal in Pomio district where Minister Wong officially launched Pomio District’s sea ambulance together with Pomio MP Elias Kapavore.
The K425,000 sea ambulance will be utilised in referral and emergency cases from Palmalmal Health Centre to Nonga General Hospital. The Department of Health will reimburse 50 percent of that cost while the Pomio DDA will meet the other half.
The occasion also saw the official launching of the Palmalmal Urban Town Development Plan by Lands and Physical Planning Minister, John Rosso, and witnessed by Housing and Urban Development Minister, Justin Tatchenko.
Kapavore took the delegates to visit the Palmalmal Secondary School, Palmalmal Health Centre and the new site for the Pomio district hospital.
Minister Wong said the National Government’s focus is on rural areas and affirmed that the political leaders of ENB or G5 are seen to be working together and both Pomio and Gazelle are witnessing development at a steady pace.
He told the people of Pomio of the Prime Minister’s commitment of K300,000 for the WASH program, K1 million for Agriculture SME, and K500,000 for projects under COVID-19 in the district.
The NZ High Commissioner said it is important to be able to get out of Port Moresby and visit places like Pomio and Gazelle to see potential opportunities for New Zealand to be development partners.
On the weekend, Taula met with the outgoing Archbishop of Rabaul, Francisco Panfilo, and visited national institutions in Gazelle district and attended a church service at Tavuiliu ward in Central Gazelle LLG.