Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

Lae City Authority, Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand mark beginning of Lae Market’s redevelopment

Lae City Authority, Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand mark beginning of Lae Market’s redevelopment

Lae City Authority and the Australian and New Zealand High Commissioners met to celebrate the start of the PGK64 million Lae Market Redevelopment.

The redevelopment will support economic opportunity, growth and prosperity in Morobe Province. Once completed, the redeveloped Lae Market will provide improved amenities and safety for the market’s vendors and users, building on the province’s reputation as an important economic and industry hub for PNG.

PNG Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Lae, the Hon John Rosso MP, Australian High Commissioner, HE Jon Philp, and New Zealand High Commissioner, HE Peter Zwart, came together for a ground-breaking ceremony at the Lae Temporary Market site on Markham Road, Lae.

The temporary market is the first step in the Lae Market redevelopment to ensure continuity of business for the vendors and the community.

At the event the Hon John Rosso MP said, “Lae is PNG’s commercial and agricultural gateway to the world. A safe, accessible and sustainable Lae Market will ensure Morobe’s prosperity continues to grow. The Lae City Authority is very pleased to partner with Australia and New Zealand to deliver this essential, high-quality infrastructure that matches the high-quality goods and food that we produce in Morobe Province.”

Australian High Commissioner, Mr Jon Philp, said that “Australia is proud to build on its commitment to support accessible, safe and resilient infrastructure for PNG through the Lae Market Redevelopment. 

“By working closely with our friends and partners Lae City Authority and New Zealand, and listening to the local community about their needs, we are building a bigger, more accessible market,” he continued. “It will bring improved economic opportunities for the people of Morobe Province, particularly women and family-based sellers, and small to medium sized vendors whose contribution to the province is so essential to the region’s prosperity.”

New Zealand High Commissioner to PNG, Mr Peter Zwart, said, “Aotearoa New Zealand is very pleased to be supporting the redevelopment of the Lae market alongside our partners, Lae City Authority and Australia. Together our vision is for a new, fit for purpose market that enhances opportunities for vendors, customers and local communities to sustain their livelihoods and enables access to fresh and nutritious food in an environment that is safe and secure for all. Our investment recognises the economic significance of Lae to Papua New Guinea and its role as a hub for growers and vendors from across the Momase, Highlands and New Guinea Islands regions.”

When completed, the Lae Market will house up to 1300 vendors, and at least 20 small and medium enterprises in a safe, accessible venue designed to cater for the region’s current and future needs.

The market’s design will reflect the local environment and the culture of Ahi landowners. It will be constructed to PNG, Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand standards, and Australian Construction Codes, with particular focus on local geographical, environmental and disaster resilience principles such as rainwater harvesting, structural integrity and solar power.

Markets are vital public spaces across Papua New Guinea that support the livelihoods, health and wellbeing of entire communities. They are important economic hubs for women. Therefore gender equity and social inclusion principles are incorporated in the design, including improved health and safety elements for vendors and visitors, better facilities and accessible design features such as ramps and accessible toilets and showers for people with disability.

All stages of the redevelopment will include consultation and decision making with key user groups such as Ahi landowners, women and people with disability. Furthermore, the project will create opportunities for local businesses, and employment and access to formal trade qualifications for local workers, reflecting Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand’s commitment to prioritising local leadership and expertise.

Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand are proud to partner with local communities to invest in and contribute to high-quality, sustainable infrastructure that supports safe, inclusive and thriving market communities.