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Pictured: Namatanai town ILG: From left to right is Lands ILG Registrar Augustine Kapanombo, Levi Palie – Hunangar Board, Tito Turkia Maksen – ILG Chairman & Jason Towo – Namatanai Town Rural Electrification Specialist Consultant posing for a photograph after signing off and receiving the original ILG Certificate for Hunangar Clan Land Group Incorporated at the Department of Lands & Physical Planning Headquarters in Port Moresby.

The state officially delivered its recognition to the Hunagar Clan of Salimun Village as the original legitimate principal landowning clan of Namatanai Town in New Ireland Province.

Earlier in the week the Hunangar Clan leaders finally received its ILG Certificate from the Registrar of ILGs in Port Moresby.

According to Tito Turkia Maksen the Chairman of Hunangar Incorporated Land Group, the clan opened their land to pave way for development by the German Administrators back in 1904.

“In 1904 when the Hunangar Clan leaders opened the land to German Administration, the state took usage, state is using the land without any compensation to date,” Mr. Maksen stated.

Land within the Namatanai Town boundary now state land of 113 hectares is within the Hunangar Clan total land mass of 283 hectares of customary land.

Mr Maksen indicated that over 120 years the clan has been sidelined as the rightful traditional landowners of the land sits Namatanai township whilst the State, Namatanai LLG, Namatanai DDA and NIP Provincial Government pushes for developments. 

He added that disputes from migrating clans, false and fraudulent circulation of ownership including false titles presented by some and lack of a good working relationship between the government and landowners has taken 120 years to be finally recognized as rightful landowners.

Mr. Maksen further added that no consideration has been given by successive governments from top down to include the clan in the development of Namatanai township resulting in prolonged delays of projects such as Water PNG Projects on hold for past 3 years due to conflicts from 11 migrating clans.

As well PNG Power projects have not been implemented due to land owner issues, Namatanai Town Jetty Development on Hold due to land owner issues, Namatanai Town Market Development shelved for last 7 years due to land owner issues according to the Hunangar Clan Chairman.

Mr Maksen said a cost valuation of total benefits loss is being worked out at the moment but foremost now is the formalities of attaining the ILG followed by preparation of requirements for application of Land Title to that land.

As per clan records dated 2015 – the Hunangar clan constitutes a population of 4 750 in its entirety the clans hausboi is at Salimun Village with families at Sopau, Pal, Matantiduk and Napanta in Namatanai.

The ILG certificate presented by the department of Lands and Physical Planning covering a portion of land known locally as Rahang is where the small Township of Namatanai is situated and stretching from the beach front upwards covering area of 113 hectares including land on which Matanaen Jetty is sitting on, the Maluan Hospital, Kaselsel Police Station and Namatanai District Development Authority Headquarters, Namatanai Airport, Vocational Centre, Primary School Department of Works, Namatanai Court House, Fire Station and other government sectors.

 “It has taken us over 30 years of legal battles while being spectators on our land as development shaped the small township of Namatanai Town to date.” Maksen said.

‘We now stand ready to consult with the NRLLG, NDDA, NIPG and relevant state agencies in bringing sustainable development into Namatanai Town. Landowner issues have been a major impediment to the development of Namatanai Town affecting the delivery of key sustainable development projects over the last two decades. We have long been spectators on our land, all we ask is that we be partners in the sustainable development process,” Maksen said.

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