PNG admits Maserati buy was ‘horrible mistake’ as they go on sale at discounted value | Papua New Guinea

A fleet of Maserati vehicles, purchased by the Papua New Guinean authorities for the 2018 Apec leaders’ summit in a transfer that prompted widespread outrage, has been put up for discounted sale.

Finance minister, John Pundari, admitted the acquisition of the luxurious autos was a “horrible mistake”, in keeping with the Submit Courier, as he introduced the autos shall be put in the marketplace for a reduction value of K400,000 (AU$158,000).

The federal government, led by former prime minister Peter O’Neill, purchased the vehicles for K500,000 (AU$197,000) every, spending K20m (AU$7.9m) in complete.

“If we had any foresight, the Maseratis wouldn’t have bene bought within the first place. We made a horrible mistake. You probably have obtained no sellers of Maseratis in PNG, there was no purpose to purchase Maseratis,” he stated.

The luxurious autos, purchased by a seller in Sri Lanka and flown in by a jumbo jet constitution, sparked widespread controversy within the weeks main as much as the 2018 Leaders’ Summit.

The autos had been purchased to chauffeur world leaders who attended the summit, nevertheless as a result of controversy surrounding them, some leaders like New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, refused to be pushed in them.

To quell public outrage, then Apec minister Justin Tkatchenko, promised the nation that the autos would “promote like hot-cakes”. Three years later, solely two have been bought.

Maserati autos on the tarmac in Papua New Guinea. {Photograph}: HANDOUT/Reuters

“The acquisition demonstrates a extreme lack of foresight and disappointing, obvious readiness to squander public funds, in a creating nation, the place fundamental public items, from entry roads to well being providers, are broadly unavailable or severely substandard,” stated Paul Barker, government director for the PNG Institute of Nationwide Affairs.

Barker has been a vocal critic of the acquisition and expressed skepticism in regards to the authorities’s assertion it might discover a marketplace for the vehicles after APEC ended, saying the autos had been unsuitable for native highway circumstances, there have been no in-country businesses to service the vehicles.

In 2019, James Marape, then finance minister, and now prime minister, led native press to a Port Moresby warehouse by which the autos had been saved, to point out that not one of the vehicles had been lacking or stolen and had been nonetheless in mint situation.

A full report on the federal government’s Apec spending is but to be launched publicly.

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