Equitable distribution of wealth
We do not have currently in Papua New Guinea equitable distribution of wealth between foreign capital and land rightsholders.
The preamble of the Constitution asserts a respect for the dignity of the individual and community interdependence as the basic principles of our society.
The second National Goal called for an equal opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, the development of our country.
The fourth national social obligation declares that all persons in the country have the basic obligation to themselves and their descendants, to each other, and to the Nation:
* to protect Papua New Guinea and to safeguard the national wealth, resources and environment in the interests not only of the present generation but also of future generations.
The above are not mere platitudes nor placed in the Constitution for mere posterity's sake and must be given some practical meaning.
We assert that equitable distribution of wealth can only be achieved when an equal opportunity is given to customary land rightsholders to participate in the benefits from the development of our country through extraction of non-renewable resources under their land. Curently foreign capital takes away from Papua New Guinea 77.5% of oil and gas resources and 70% of minerals. That in our view is not equitable distribution of wealth.
We believe foreign capital must obey and respect our Constitution and laws of this nation. The fourth social obligation is of equal application to all foreign capital in the country as well as to citizens. The safe guarding of national wealth does not give the government the power to give away 77.5% of our oil and gas and 70% of our minerals. That is an abuse of the trust, the principle of interdependence and the social obligation imposed on our politicians and government by the Constitution.
The Donigi Plan for registering customary land facilitates a win/win outcome for both the investor and the customary land rightsholders as it sets the benchmark split of 51% for the investor and 49% for the land rightsholders. That in our view implements the social obligation and is a practical mechanism for achieving interdependence.