5 Apr 2013

Better deal for Bougainvilleans expected under new investment regime

4:56 pm on 5 April 2013

A new investment strategy proposed for Bougainville is expected to ensure a better deal for local people.

New laws and an investment bureau are planned for the autonomous Papua New Guinea region, aimed at protecting Bougainville's resources, culture and environment.

Tuia International's Tim Gibson, who has helped set up the strategy, says the new regime requires investors to take account of local values, customs and the relationship between the people and the land.

He says potential investors will have to prove they have dealt with the real owners of the land.

"We have uncovered evidence where there have been cases that the land owners they're dealing with are not the real landowners. They just happen to be people that may have been the first ones they met when they got off the plane. Under this new regime, those types of transactions will not get through the process."

Tim Gibson says Bougainvilleans still suffer the trauma of the civil war, sparked by conflict over the huge Panguna mine, and they want to get things right this time on their terms.