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Professor John Gibson
PNG’s third world status, as well as the country’s poverty rate, has been an issue that’s frequently been put under the spotlight.

The margin between the elites and the average income earner is fairly noticeable; however, studies now show just how noticeable.
A public seminar hosted by the Institute of National Affairs, in Port Moresby featured economist and professor at the University of Waikato, John Gibson.

Mr Gibson discussed the subject of the apparent poverty trends in PNG, and especially the NCD, over the past two decades.

The seminar, held at the IPA house in Konedobu, was attended by officers from the public and private sectors, including the National Statistical Office and the Asian Development Bank.

Focusing on poverty trends in the country during the last two decades, Professor John Gibson deliberated over household surveys taken from government bodies such as the NSO between the years of 1996 and 2009/2010.

His research showed there has been no evidence of decline in poverty, mentioning that the poverty line did not change, rather the proportion of people did.

With the economy described as ‘strong’, and the obvious boom in the resource sector, why do studies show no decline in poverty around the country?

One has only to step out onto the streets of Port Moresby to witness the hard hitting fact that poverty has never really gone away.

The fact remains that regardless of current or projected booms in any sectors, studies show that PNG is relatively poor compared to our neighbours, Australia and New Zealand. EMTV/Pacific Flash

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