About

Recently returned to New Zealand having spent 6 years working in Port Moresby; Papua New Guinea as the Chief Information Officer for ASX listed Financial Services firm Kina Securities. Happily married to my reality checker, she of www.hotstrongcoffee.com and very proud jungle gym for the 3X’s… X1,X2,X3 – my kids.

We had the experience of a lifetime, moving from Dunedin and becoming expats in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Keep checking often as I recount our trials and tribulations as we live/lived in “The Land of the Unexpected”, and my thoughts on Technology, PNG Development and Expat life. Coming back to NZ feels a bit like leaving, so I will still keep the blogging going – but there maybe more focus on an outside/in view of PNG, as well as life outside the bubble.

Please do let me know if there is anything I can help with especially about PNG, but also if you need formal advice or advisory services.

Aaron

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54 thoughts on “About

  1. Love reading about your PNG experiences. We are also consoderign a move there with a young family so would you mind if I emailed you with some specific questions concerning life in POM?
    Kind regards, Jose

  2. Hi Aaron

    I’m in the same position as the previous poster…I’m looking at an opportunity in POM and would need to move my young family over. Please email if you are keen to answer a few questions.

    Cheers
    GS

  3. Hi Aaron
    Good blog, keep up the good work, as a fellow kiwi I enjoy reading it. I fly over on Tuesday 27th March for a couple of months, if the job works out ill bring the wife and kids over for a while. Hopefully you can give the low down on certain aspects of Port Moresby when I get there? Anyway ill keep in touch
    Cheers
    Joe

    • Hi Joe, I’ll flick you an email in the next couple of days with my contact details. Feel free to give me a call when you get in – hope the blog has been helpful 🙂

      cheers
      Aaron

      • Hey Aaron,

        we got several kiwi expats in POM that would love to find out where kiwis meet for a beer after work or on the WE? can you help me with that?

      • Anywhere where the beer is cold 🙂 lol – seriously, we don’t have a “hang out” but a lot of kiwis meet at The Edge Cafe for Happy Hour (5pm – 7pm) on Fridays

  4. I am the Content Editor for BlogExpat and truly enjoy your blog. We have a series of
    expat interviews and I was hoping you would be interested. It would entail questions
    about being an expat, a few pictures, and it would link back to your blog.

    If you are interested, just let me know and I will send the questionnaire. In any
    case, keep up the great work.

    Erin Porter
    http://interviews.blogexpat.com/
    @BlogExpat

  5. I am in the same boat and will be moving to POM in May with wife and kids. Would love to hook up and talk some more about your experiences.

    cheers,
    AJ

  6. Hello Aaron,

    Love the blog. I have been following the last few weeks. Mainly because I am moving to Goroka to take up a job offer. I won’t be starting till July, but I was hoping if you would be OK with me asking some questions about the move.

    I currently live in Geelong, Australia.

    Regards
    Yaz

  7. Hello,

    I am a French expatriate settled in Dunedin.
    I am currently writing my Master thesis focusing on expatriation and career development within current and former New Zealand expatriates. I will be delighted if you could fulfill my survey at your discretion. Needless to say that all this information remains anonymous and confidential and only aim for academic purpose.

    Thank in advance for any actions you take.
    http://freeonlinesurveys.com/s.asp?sid=gmkcbwaqr610nj399772

    Noémie

  8. Hi There I am a fellow Dunedinite (been based in Auckland for a year now- don’t hold it against me)
    Currently looking at a role in Port Moresby, have a Partner and a 1 year.
    Your blog has been awesome expecially the pricing section- thanks.
    Wondering if I could ask you a few questions on your experience there? Specifically around the safety for my Partner and our Son?

    Adam

    • Hey Adam,

      Don’t hold the Dunedin > Auckland against you, I did Gore > Auckland 24 years ago then back down to Dunners 7 years ago. :). Fire me an email with all your questions highflyingkiwi AT gmail DOT com.
      Honestly, the whole security thing, it really depends on where you live, and even to an extent what your lob is, and of course how long you have been here. Old timers I think get hit because they have grown lax, might be a bit of payback etc – but newbies, as long as you play by the rules, you will feel safer than some parts of South Auckland 🙂

      Flick me an email anyway
      Cheers
      Aaron

  9. Hey Aaron,

    I have been following a little of what you are doing over there as I will be moving in to Port Moresby in January.

    I wanted to ask a couple of wquestions if that is ok.

    1. I am an IT guy in Australian Government and will be the moving parenter. Is there much IT work going in Port Moresby?
    2. I saw your info on Internet plans for 3G. I will be staying in a compound right near the Yacht club and wondered if it would be better/cheaper to get a fixed adsl line to the house instead of 3g?
    3. I did see recently that a fibre link was connected to Port Moresby. The news story did mention that internet prices should start to drop in price and increase in quality. Have you noticed any changes?

    Thanks and I’m sure I will most likely see you guys Running around the yacht club!?

    • Hi Justin,

      What sort of IT work do you do? Maybe you should flick me your CV and I’ll take a look and maybe flick it round a few people. For the right type of IT person, there is work – but you have to be doing the sort of stuff that isn’t able to be done by nationals. email is: highflyingkiwi AT gmail D0T com

      Fixed ADSL is more expensive, and actually less reliable… PNG has some of the most expensive internet access in the world!! As for living near the Yacht club – there are lots of compounds near the Yachty 🙂 it would be hit/miss as to what has wired internet or not. There are other internet services aside from Digicel, http://www.hitron.com.pg uses the digital antenna for your TV, others use WiMax… You’ll figure it out pretty good once you get here 🙂

      The fibre to Moresby has been here for years, it is slowly dying. Bearing in mind that Telikom have a monopoly on the Tiare gateway, and unless NICTA (the regulators) do something about it, then prices won’t come down in the next 12 months 😉 There is a new fibre at Madang that Digicel connect to, it pops out at Guam. Telikom have been trying to use this, but as per a meeting I had today – are making a right mess of it – yesterday, they basically knocked out all internet to the country pissing about with it.

      Send me your CV – always up for a beer on a friday night at the Yachty 🙂

      cheers
      Aaron

  10. Very helpful blog you have. I’ll be travelling to PNG in 2 days for a short business trip and I’ve been reading a lot of awful stuff about crime in Port Moresby etc. Curious to read about the internet situation over there based on your articles. Cheers!

  11. Hi Aaron,
    What would the chances be, me coming there and searching for a job compared to here? And also in terms of money, Would you know if accommodation is usually provided?

    • Hi Sean, very remote I’m afraid. You need to get sponsored to be here, and coming here “looking” for work will be very expensive. I’d suggest you should try JDA Wokman as a recruitment agent, or seek.com.au. Accommodation is always provided, if it isn’t – then you don’t want that job 🙂

  12. Hey Aaron, been following your blog its been great, I am moving over to POM in a couple of months to work, I have been reading lists of vaccinations to get and the doctors here in Canada don’t really have an idea, what’s the common vaccinations that most people would require there in POM

    • Hi Sean,
      My wife has all the knowledge on that, from memory it was just Hepatitis shots. And I got a booster for Tetanus as I hadn’t had one in a while. We haven’t done TB as it is pretty much treatable and our travel doctor didn’t think it was worth it – and cholera is apparently a 6 month job so haven’t had that either.

      More or less – we really haven’t had too much in the way of vaccinations, and really – it’s the stuff you would commonly get if you were going overseas.

      hope that helps
      Aaron

  13. Hi Aaron,
    Sorry Im only getting back to you now…thanks very much for the info, Im looking forward to hitting PNG…..
    thanks

  14. Hi Aaron,

    We are looking for advice in regards to the best areas to live and more importantly, where not to live. We have a 20 mth old boy and 4 yr old girl. Is Port Morseby itself the best place or are their other places which could be good? Not sure how the town is structured so any advice would be appreciated.

    I will be working in Port Morseby and want to find the best area for the kids.

    I have been looking at your blog for a few months….. awesome mate some really great advice & tips. With any luck I might be there in 6 – 8 weeks, beer anyone :-

    • Hi Sean,

      There is at least 3 good chiropractors that I am aware of here in Moresby, and quite possibly more. I don’t have details to hand but can dig them up if you would like them,

      thanks
      Aaron

  15. Hi,

    I hope you don’t mind me getting in contact.

    I work for the BBC and am on the team that is covering the Queen’s Baton Relay – part of the Commonwealth Games 2014. The Baton will leave Glasgow (the host city) in October 2013, embarking on a journey across the Commonwealth countries, before returning to Glasgow in May 2014. We will be in Port Morseby on 4th -6th November 2013 to film some stories.

    It’d be get your thoughts on possible places to go/people to see.

    I’d appreciate if you could email me to chat. I can give you some more info too.

    Best wishes,

    Victoria Watson

  16. Hi Aaron,

    Have been looking through you’re blogs over the last couple of days as I am officially moving from the UK to PNG next week!!! Especially found the PNG costs page useful!!

    Keep up the good work! If possible/need be how could I contact you with any queries when I am finally there and starting my new life in PNG?

    • Hi Sam, congrats on the big move. You will be glad to hear that it isn’t too hot here at the moment! I’ll flick you an email with my contact details. FYI – Monday the 26th is a public holiday…

  17. Hi Aaron,

    I am considering a role in Lae. I have a wife, a 2 months old baby and a 3 years old boy. It will be a family relocation if I accept the job. Just wondering if I could ask you some questions regarding Lae or PNG?

    • Andrew – quite welcome to ask, however I have only been to Lae once for two days. I found the place very pretty, but I don’t think I could live there personally. My email address is highflyingkiwi AT gmail DOT com

  18. Dear Aaron,
    my father is moving to Port Moresby tomorrow from the UK (Isle of Man in fact). He’s never visited PNG before, and is a little unsure of what to expect. He knows no one over there and apart from your superb blog I’ve been unable to find much info on expat life over there. Do you know of anywhere he could go to get a few pointers on settling in?
    Love the blog- really useful! I hope everything goes well for you and your family out there.
    All the best
    Tom

    • Hi Tom, no doubt his company will take him around the place to settle him in. He will find the people at the Aviat and Yacht Club’s very friendly, he just needs to jump in and say hi – all of us were new to PNG once, and someone will take him under there wing and introduce him around. The worst thing he can do is cocoon himself in his compound 🙂

      Hope all goes well for him

  19. HI Aaron, I thought I left you a message but I can’t seem to find it anywhere.
    Anyway, I’ll shoot again.
    My partner has just moved to Port Moresby, he has secured a new apartment for us and I will be looking to join him in the next couple of months. I am wondering if many/any wives or partners have been able to work there. I have a feeling that it might be difficult to obtain a working visa unless you can prove that there is not a local who can fill the position.
    Can you give me a bit of insight into this side of things? I like to keep quite busy so I am just wondering what my options are.
    And thanks for your blog, I’ve found it very interesting and informative.
    🙂 Monique

    • Hi Monique – yes I did reply to your earlier post 🙂 Yes, it is possible for wives to obtain work here, it is normally a word of mouth thing though. Some companies like hiring “handbags” (as both male and female partners are known) as someone else is paying for all the benefits such as housing etc. You just have to be in the right place with the right skills, sometimes the parent group emails will advertise, but it’s really about that social network that will offer those opportunities up. You won’t get offered work that a local could do, it’s normally more specialised stuff…

      thanks Aaron

      • Thanks Aaron,
        That’s great to hear, looks like I’ll get busy networking once I’m over there then.
        Oh, and I was wondering if you buy local fruit, veg and seafood from the markets there? I have an idea of supermarket costs but was wondering what kind of things are available locally and at what sort of cost.
        Thanks again for your response 🙂
        Monique

  20. Hi Aaron,
    Although you are much younger than me I thought you might like the support of a fellow Highlanders supporter to back you up. All going well I should be there next week. Look forward to meeting up and having a yarn over a beer.

    Cheers
    Pete

    • Hi Pete,

      There a few of us Highlander supporters here – we might have to start the PNG Highlanders Supporters group, but I’m afraid we might get some real Highlanders wanting to join 🙂 look forward to catching up when you are here, Aaron

  21. Hi Aaron,
    I am a fellow Kiwi and my self and my husband are about to venture into PNG to set up an extension of my business which is currently based in Perth, WA. Have really enjoyed reading your blogs in preparation. I have a few questions if you wouldn’t mine me dropping you an email. I have lived as an expat in Cambodia straight after the war for nearly ten years so I am accustomed to volatile environments and understand the need to be street smart and understand the lay of the land. I am really excited about coming to PNG! It would be great to hear from you. Thanks HG

  22. Hi Aaron I am a student journalist at Kingston University, London who is writing a blog on PNG for my international journalism class. Could I email you a few questions if possible?

    Thanks

    Kirsty 🙂

  23. Hi Aaron

    My wife and I have been in touch with your wife re the possibility of a move to POM. Wouldn’t mind bouncing a few questions your way if you didn’t mind.

  24. Hello, its a great blog you have created! I am an Australian who wants to move to PNG in the near future and work as an Expat. I have looked on various sites about information, but there are none that I know of which say what jobs are in need in PNG. I was just wondering if you knew of any sites or companies that could give me information about available jobs in PNG for Australians. Ta muchly, Jess

  25. Hi Aaron,

    Great blog. Keep up the good work. I have noticed a common theme amongst expat bloggers in Pom is their concern over how weekly chores and errands are a lot more difficult to complete in Port Moresby. It really takes a lot of time and effort what with security risks and now this crazy traffic.

    I work for a new start up company in Port Moresby that is aiming to provide specific services to expats to help solve these issues and make day to day life much easier. As a popular expat blogger I was hoping I could talk to you and describe our services further to you in detail and should you find it useful hopefully you could recommend us on your blog or to fellow expats. We strongly believe we will be able to make day to day life a lot easier.

    If you could email me with your contact details so that we could discuss it further over email or, (if you have a quick half hour to spare) over a coffee that would be great.

    Cheers

    Shane

  26. Hi,

    I was thinking of travelling in july to PNG, backpacker and just me, but after reading lots of safety concerns, I m not that sure anymore.would be great if u could send me an email so we could text about that?

    Thx for your help
    🙂

    • Hi Miriam, PNG is not the sort of place to go “backpacking” unless it’s the Kokoda with a guide 🙂 pleae email me if you wish highflyingkiwi AT gmail DOT com

  27. Hello, good blog, lots of great info, thanks. I’ve been in POM for three weeks now, working a lot but will try to eat my way through your newbie’s list of venues.. Cheers.

  28. Hi Aaron

    There is a possibility that I will be relocating to Port Moresby for work.
    I am having a lot of difficulty deciding if this is a good move so any advice that you would have on Port Moresby would be great!

    Thanks

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