NZ gets serious about business in PNG


New Zealand has traditionally been perceived as being more aligned to Polynesia rather than Melanesia to which Australia’s historic and business linkages are far stronger. The resources boom in Melanesia over the past decade and a half has propelled investment in the region and seen Australian businesses deepen their engagement in the region’s core natural resources sector.<!--more-->

It is only in the past couple of years or so that New Zealand has joined the Melanesian gold rush with earnest intent. Last week, a 30-strong group of Kiwis with public and private sector interests began an official trade and investment mission to Papua New Guinea. This is the fifth trade mission in two years that the New Zealand PNG Business Council has organised. The current mission is a joint effort of the council, the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFaT) and New Zealand Trade &amp; Enterprise (NZTE).

“The challenge that PNG has is that its infrastructure is poor,” Michael Greenslade, Pacific Trade Commissioner for NZTE is quoted as having said in a report by Greg Asciutto, posted on

“The opportunity for New Zealand companies is to not only assist in the exploitation of those three natural resources, but also to build the infrastructure that is necessary for that exploitation.”

Identifying opportunities for Kiwi infrastructure and retail companies, Mr Greenslade said, “The professional classes are growing in Port Moresby, the need for housing is growing in Port Moresby, the need for first-class hotels is growing, as is the need for better and more up-to-date supermarkets.

“You’ve got the opportunities around supply of water, the processing of waste water, and you’ve also got opportunities around the development of an energy grid,” he added.

The trade delegation is engaging with several industries and businesses across the board to further opportunities for New Zealand businesses in the fast growing PNG economy.