Independent State of Papua New Guinea

CAPITAL : Port Moresby

FLAG : The flag is a rectangle, divided diagonally. The upper segment is scarlet with a yellow bird of paradise; the lower segment is black with five white stars representing the Southern Cross.

ANTHEM : O, Arise All You Sons.

MONETARY UNIT : The kina ( K ) of 100 toea is linked with the Australian dollar. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 toea and 1 kina, and notes of 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 kina. K 1= US $0.2881 (or US $1= K 3.47) as of May 2003.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard.

HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Queen's Birthday, 1st Monday in June; Remembrance Day, 23 July; Independence Day, 16 September; Christmas, 25 December; Boxing Day, 26 December. Movable religious holidays include Good Friday and Easter Monday.

TIME : 10 PM =noon GMT.


In many coastal parts of Papua New Guinea, fishing is of great economic importance. The government is involved in the development of fishing through supply of freezers and of transport and research facilities. The total catch in 2000 was 50,537 tons, 27% from inland fishing. Fish exports in 2000 were valued at $36.4 million.


In 1997, there were at least 11 insurance companies operating in Papua New Guinea.


Traditional housing in rural areas appears to be adequate, but in urban areas there are acute shortages because of migration. In most urban areas, squatter settlements have been established. New housing has generally fallen far short of meeting the demand, especially for medium- and low-cost units. As of 1988, the housing stock totaled 555,000 and the number of people per dwelling averaged 5.8.


The best known Papua New Guineans are Michael Thomas Somare (b.1936), chief minister during colonial rule and the nation's first prime minister; Sir Albert Maori Kiki (1931–93), author of Kiki: Ten Thousands Years in a Lifetime; and Vincent Eri, author of The Crocodile.


Papua New Guinea has no territories or colonies.


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Wanek, Alexander. The State and Its Enemies in Papua New Guinea. Richmond, Surrey, U.K.: Curzon, 1996.

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