PNG journo disappointed by Turnbull presser ban

8:44 am on 13 April 2017

A veteran Papua New Guinea journalist says she was disappointed to be told she could not attend press opportunities during last week's PNG visit by Australia's prime minister.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Photo: RNZ / Brad White

PNG journalists were excluded from attending a press conferences when Malcolm Turnbull visited a World War memorial at Bomana, and then later that day in a joint presser with his PNG counterpart Peter O'Neill.

Told the opportunities were strictly for Australian media, Gorothy Kenneth of the Post Courier newspaper was surprised to be asked to leave the first conference, and then barred from the later one.

Ms Kenneth said the directive to exclude local journalists came from the Australian High Commission in PNG.

"But it did really affect me. But in the end, the ABC guy stationed here in Port Moresby (Eric Tlozek) was actually really upset that it had happened to us because he told me in the end it was very offensive."

"He's the one who actually went and spoke to the Australian High Commission officials to advise them that this was not good and they should come and apologise."

Gorothy Kenneth said High Commission officials later came and apologised for what they described as a misunderstanding, but that it was not clear what the "misunderstanding" was.

But the unusual treatment of local journalists during Mr Turnbull's visit wasn't restricted to the two pressers.

There was also a breakfast event for members of the business community to hear the visiting prime minister.

The executive assistant to the managing director of the Post Courier, Christine Aiwa paid 900 kina for four senior journalists to attend.

She wrote on Facebook that the waiters at the event were instructed not to serve her journalists any breakfast.

"That's discriminating. I will not stop until I get the full refund of K900 back, and I want an apology."