Monday, 6 May 2013 1:35 PM

Respond to news article on GPPOL

We are disappointed to have heard on the SIBC about a news item by Benedict Garimane on the review of the MOU plus other things. From the news item, it seems that Benedict is actually very ignorant about a lot of issues, not only about the MOU but also the GPPOL operations. He must stop misleading the landowners and confusing himself. Therefore, he must refrain from making media statements concerning the MOU review and other issues concerning GPPOL operations as neither he nor his so-called pressure group has been mandated by the five member tribes who are members of the Guadalcanal Plains Landowners Association to speak on their behalf. He needs to pull himself together and be more responsible otherwise he is wasting his time.Most of the issues he raised are subjects of the MOU review and we will not say anything on them as they are confidential matters for the company and Association Office to know and not for the public. For the sake of the landowners, the review is still ongoing and we have nearly finalized the details. In addition, we want to say the following:(1) The figure he quoted in the media is wrong and we do not know where he gets his information from. What the review team and GPPOL management have agreed to is based on the economic data available and the affordability factor. Benedict must also realize that landowners not only receive land rentals but also royalties and other benefits. GPPOL is jointly owned by New Britain Palm Oil and the landowners of Guadalcanal Plains. Benedict must realize that when landowners want increases in their land rentals and royalties they must also know that they also own GPPOL which means that the increases requested must not go against the survival of GPPOL as it needs to make profits too for the land owners. $15m dividend given by GPPOL to landowners last year is proof of this fact. The $15m dividend payout last year is a result of the review team's negotiations with GPPOL management and Benedict should allow the review team to continue with its’ good work undisturbed.(2) Benedict must not complain about the delay of the review as he is the person behind all the disturbances going on in the GPPOL area as a result, delaying the review process. He should know better that GPPOL’s success depends on the stability and better management of the affairs of the Landowners Association, of which he has no part to play at the moment.(3) We want to assure Mr. Benedict that there are, a lot of good progress on the MOU review and if he wants to know about these he should consult the relevant people rather than going to the media. He must understand that GPPOL only deals with the legitimate group appointed by the landowners through the tribal meetings. Unfortunately, Benedict and his pressure group are currently outside of this group. Therefore they should not continue to waste their time as every landowning groups now understand the issues and have agreed to wait for the outcome of the review. (4) Benedict will appreciate that the review of the MOU between New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL) of PNG and our Guadalcanal Plains Resources Development Association is important to help enhance a better business partnership between the two shareholders of GPPOL. (5) He needs to know that there are challenges facing the review of the MOU as a result of critical issues encountered during the review. These issues were inherent in the MOU and must be addressed and settled so that the MOU reviewed is smoothly and successfully completed.We hope we have briefly explained some of the issues he raised and hope that this puts to rest all those issues.Bartholomew Vavanga Spokesman for MOU Review Team and GPRDCL Directors.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Bartholomew Vavanga and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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