Waigani is a suburb in Port Moresby nestled between Boroko and Gordon in the east and Gerehu in the west. It is the seat of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) National Government and is home to the iconic National Parliament building, the National and Supreme Court precinct, the National Museum and Art Gallery, the National Library, State-owned and rented multistory buildings housing various government agencies and diplomatic missions.
There are residential homes in Waigani which start from the Games Village (1991 Pacific Games athletes’ village gifted by the PNG government to the Royal PNG Constabulary) and end at the National Research Institute (NRI). Morata furthest to the northwest of Port Moresby is also part of this sprawling suburb and is home to thousands of people including illegal settlers.
Last year the National Capital District Commission (NCDC), the city’s municipal authority, released its Gerehu Waigani Swamp Development Plan. The commission said the plan will lead to the formulation of a statutory framework to guide and promote economic development, while protecting and enhancing the natural environment. The land in question covers Waigani swamp and associated wetlands including Laloki River and Boroko Creek and is approximately 373 hectares.
The land in Waigani has been categorized State land. Its development did not start until 1973 when PNG was granted self-government. At that time most of the government institutions including the House of Assembly (predecessor to the National Parliament) and the courts were located in Town and Konedobu.
New buildings were built in Waigani after independence in 1975 which gradually saw the relocation of all government services. Designed and built to resemble a spirit house in the East Sepik Province, the PNG National Parliament was opened on August 8, 1984 by His Royal Highness, Prince Charles.
Over the years successive PNG governments invited members of the diplomatic community to open up missions in Waigani. Today you can find embassies and high commissions representing Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Japan, Republic of Indonesia and the People’s Republic of China in Waigani.
The suburb does not have any notable economic activity due to the large presence of the PNG bureaucracy, except for the Vision City mega mall and new property developments occurring on its fringes. There is also a large hospitality industry presence led by the Holiday Inn Hotel, Lamana Hotel and the Star Mountain Plaza, which is scheduled for completion in September this year.
As a suburb of Port Moresby Waigani residents have access to a host of tertiary and secondary education providers.
University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), the country’s oldest university, will celebrate 53 years as the country’s top tertiary education provider this year. Pacific Adventist University (PAU) is a 40-minute drive outside Port Moresby and Divine Word University has an NCD campus. Other institutions include the Institute of Business Studies (IBS), Port Moresby Business College, Port Moresby Technical College, Institute of Education, International Training Institute (ITI) and the International Education Agency (IEA) TAFE.
For secondary education there is the Port Moresby National School (POMNATS), Saint Josephs International Catholic College, Port Moresby Grammar School, Port Moresby International School (POMIS), Jubilee Catholic Secondary School, Caritas, Don Bosco Technological Institute (DBTI), Gordon Secondary School, Kilakila Secondary School, Marianville Secondary School and the De La Salle Secondary School.
Besides government-owned or rent buildings, there are a variety of property types found in Waigani ranging from houses to duplexes and units and apartments. Depending on how much you want to spend to rent or buy, properties located next to major government institutions or shopping centers are costlier.
The National Government-owned utility company Eda Ranu is responsible for water and sewerage services to Port Moresby residents. The water quality is guided by World Health Organization (WHO) Drinking Water Quality Guidelines.
The O’Neill government has invested millions of PNG Kina into public works in Port Moresby. Roads, causeways, bridges, roundabouts and a flyover (PNG’s first) were the main beneficiaries of this funding. To date the O’Neill government has reportedly spent K3.2 billion on roads and bridges nationwide since 2013 as part of its Medium Term Development Plan and National Transport Strategy 2011-2030.
The Vision City mega mall and the Stop N Shop – Waigani outlet are the major shops in the suburb. For access to more grocery variety you will have to drive to Town, Gordon and Korobosea to access the following shops: Waterfront, Harbor City, Food World, RH Hypermarket, Supa Value Stoa (SVS) Two Mile, J Mart and other CPL Stop N Shop outlets.
Boroko like other Port Moresby suburbs has a tropical climate with temperatures averaging over 25 °C annually. The PNG capital gets less rain in a year and is relatively dry from May to November and wet in December through to April in the new year.
There are a number of night clubs in Waigani, though there are some that have a cover charge. The Cosmopolitan at Vision City and the Lamana Gold Club are located in Waigani. Other clubs in the city are the Royal Papua Yacht Club, The Aviat Club, Port Moresby Golf Club and The Country Club.
Waigani is within the vicinity of Port Moresby’s major healthcare providers. The publicly-funded Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) is PNG’s national referral hospital and home to trainee-doctors from the UPNG School of Medicine and Health Sciences. It has an Accidents & Emergency Department that is open 24 hours and charges its patients a subsidized fee unlike private sector providers, who often enforce a pay-first policy.
Other healthcare providers include the Pacific International Hospital (PIH), Paradise Private Hospital, Saint Mary’s Hospital, 2K Medical Clinic, Port Moresby Medical Service, Korobosea Clinic, and Aspen Medical at Konedobu.
For a medical emergency Saint John Ambulance can be contacted on the toll free number 111 and provide a 24-hour service. Police can be contacted on toll free number 112 or landline 3244200. The toll free number for Fire is 110 or 3255188/3122756/3122746.