The End – go pinis

Well, our PNG adventure is finally coming to an end. My (2nd) contract finishes up at the start of June, so myself, the wife and kids will be flying out of Moresby on the 2nd June. We’ve had a great time here in PNG, and I’m sure there will be a few tears shed by us as we depart.

This blog won’t die though – I will actually have move time to post (hahaha) and with better connection to the web….

I think my blog needs a revamp too – I’ve been meaning to do it for some time, but just never gotten around to it, so whilst I am cafe surfing back in NZ, it will give me something to do.

Doing business in PNG

Something that I have never blogged about, is how doing business especially here in Port Moresby is quite different to how we do it in New Zealand or Australia or wherever.

As a rapidly developing country, PNG is embracing the new, trying to transformational change its thinking, but retain its cultural identity.  In 2011, there was poor internet, disgraceful service delivery (although that still happens today), very few services, and bugger all to do.  It has taken transformational thinking to find opportunities and embrace them.  The PNG LNG project was set to deliver this to PNG, and although social media, and the newspapers abound state that PNG has not reaped the rewards of this project, I see it quite differently.  Without PNG LNG we would not have seen such a rapid change, and certainly a significant amount of Papua New Guineans firstly were able to develop new skills, but also build wealth and emerge as a real force in the economy.

Our Generation Y is different to most.  They want what you get in the USA/Australia/New Zealand, but reflect on the fact that it’s not nessessarily the best thing for them and their family.  They understand that to get ahead, they need to gain education, work hard, and the rewards will come.  They also know – that connections (even more importantly in PNG) gain business and deliver opportunities.  And they need to grab those opportunities and make them theirs.

Life is hard for most here in PNG, even our most affluent citizens are exposed to the hardships of living a subsistence life, and it wasn’t that long ago where most of our senior leaders were just kids trying to scrape together a few Kina for their education.

PNG is all about connections, having the right ones, knowing how it works, developing relationships, connecting with wantoks.  I am constantly reminded of how fine a line it is when someone walks out of a presentation, and everyone notes in in their journal.  It doesn’t matter if there are 10 people or 50, everyone notices.  And especially if you are an expat here, Papua New Guineans expect that you lead by example, be consistent, be honest, and be respectful.  If you get those four simple things right, you develop key relationships.  

There are opportunities to mix with very influential people (who can spot fakeness a mile away), but don’t forget our grassroots people.  You might be surprised when that roughly dressed individual is a representative of a landowner group worth millions of dollars.  And that Ples Man maybe the most interesting person you have met in your lifetime…

It reminds me of when I was in Sales back in the 90’s.  I was at an event, and a young lady walked up to our trade tent. One of our company owners was “on the clock” his turn for inbound enquiries, and he saw this girl walking up to our stand.  She was in typical “teen wear” back in the 90’s and he decided that she was beneath his sales expertise, so he turned to me and said I could deal with her.  It turned out that she was the Executive Assistant to the CEO of a very large multinational.  Needless to say, I sold one of the biggest deals of my career just because I didn’t look down my nose at her and sold her not on what we had, but what I could help her with.

Papua New Guinean’s are some of the quietest people you will meet, they are also the nicest, and they can also get pretty pissed off.  You need to give people the time to talk, take the time to listen, and then make sure you are adding value to the conversation.  Any less and you won’t succeed.  Oh, and it helps being a Kiwi 😉

Come to think of it, really – doing business here in Moresby isn’t actually different to anywhere else.  If you aren’t leading by example, being consistent, being honest and respectful – hopefully you struggle everywhere you go….

Myself and my team work on the following 5 pillars: Honesty, Loyalty, Respect, Trust and Communication.  We arrange this in an X with Communication in the middle.  We talk about those pillars being what we want to be to ourselves, our team, our company and our customers.  We believe that these 5 pillars form the basis for any high performing team, and establish a founding set of principles that we build on.  I wish that everyone coming to PNG could at least start there 🙂

Shopping at the Supermarket

We tend to shop at Waterfront Foodworld, although it has a small premium on most goods compared to other supermarkets, but you really can’t beat the convenience of it just down the road.  Here is a selection of goods, to convert from PGK to your currency, either use Google, or

Oreo’s – vanilla K3.80
Oreo’s – Chocolate K4.40
2 minute Maggi noodles K6.60 for pack of 5
Palmolive big bottle dishwashing – K11.95
Heinz Baked Beans (standard can) K4.50
Arnott Cheese & Bacon Shapes K9.50 (on sale)
Kleenex 12pk toilet paper K19.90 (on sale, normally K30)
ETA Potato Chips -big packet K9.50
UHT Milk 1 litre K4.95
Olive Grove spread 375gm K9.30
Wattles chunky frozen chips K14.35
Beef Eye Fillet 600gm K45.57
Apples (packet of 10) K11.53
Sliced bread – fresh K5.95

I’ll post another sample next week 🙂

Edge by the sea – Cafe review

The Edge (now known as “The Edge by the Sea“) is located at the far end of Edge Apartments, and looks out towards the Yacht Club and harbour.  We will still call it The Edge – cause that’s just what what we do.  Certainly one of my go to places, the coffee is great, food is above average but the service can be a little under pressure sometimes.  

The Edge cafe has gone through a few transformations, and is one of the first places to open in the morning for coffee at 6am.  Although you have to park at the entrance to the compound and walk, it gives you a great feeling of safety, and quite frankly we sit here and we really could be anywhere in the world – take the hint Dan and the team – hammocks and coffee 😉

I remember at the opening of the Edge, the food was a bit hit and miss.  But now it’s one of the more consistent places.

Our kids love the milkshakes and being pretty much regulars have the staff beaming at them.  Quite often this is quiet, but happy hour for drinks on Fridays used to liven the place up, and you can book out parts of it for bookings – we had Jacinta’s 40th here and everyone remarked how good the food was, and how awesome the setting was.

The Edge is having another refurbishment – so will post photos once it’s done, here is the notice:

Tasty Bite – Restaurant Review

Tasty Bite was “the” number one rated restaurant in Port Moresby, although since the foodie scene has opened up, it may have dropped down the list.

Tasty Bite is diagonally across from Crowne Plaza which is great for those of us that work in Town or live close.  They open for dinner at 5:30pm, and are generally very quick with takeaway orders, so I have rung them 321-2222/71114012, placed an order and picked up on the way home.

Tasty Bite is a small restaurant – but also has a separate upstairs area for groups.  The following is the main area:

They have had a few issues with getting robbed, so normally have a few guards around the place and the door is generally locked.  We tend to takeaway anyway, and have only had a sit down meal a couple of times.

Service is normally very quick, and they do plain chips (not on the menu) for fussy kids.

Currie’s can waver between being hot and bland, and on a good night it’s 10/10 – on a bad night it’s a 6/10 better than average.  I love a good Vindaloo, and Tasty Bite always seems to get this right.

The only issue is that their takeaway containers sometimes leak so be careful on the way home :).

We always come back though, and prefer it over Tandorri which is down at Harbourside due to the fussy child that needs chips.  And it’s reasonably priced; tonight’s meal of a Rogan Josh, Vindaloo and Boneless Butter Chicken, with 3 lots of Rice, 3 Naan and a container of Chips is just K160.  That’s cheaper than the local Indian back home – and much nicer.  The curries here are more Indian curry than Fiji Indian Curry like we get back in NZ, but still nothing like the real thing in India.

Tasty Bite also uses Go Food PNG for deliveries – a great service that we use often for various food outlets