The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, said sporting events encourage healthier lifestyles and bring communities together, and he encouraged more people to participate in sports as competitors and spectators.

Speaking on the beach at the Aroma Coast Canoe Racing Association’s Peter O’Neill Cup, he praised the work of organisers, including Minister for Public Services and Member for Abau, Hon. Puka Temu MP, for bringing the event together.

The Prime Minister further highlighted the importance of delivering the Government’s core services, despite economic challenges, and warned people not to listen to false information.

“This canoe race is going from strength to strength-to-strength and it continues to grow each year,” PM O’Neill said.

“To watch the canoes on the sea, racing and competing, and the way the community gets behind this race is inspiring.

“Competing in sports is a great way for our people to be fit and healthy. Spectators getting behind sport builds community spirit that sometimes can be lacking in the modern world.

“May the best teams win today, and all teams who compete know that they have made a great accomplishment in being on the water today.

“I look forward to returning to this great canoe race next year where it will be even bigger.

“I congratulate Sir Puka Temu, one of our Senior Statesmen, for his work to bring people together for this race, and his ongoing work for the people of Papua New Guinea.

“The policies we have in Government today are the outcome of the dreams that Sir Puka and our Government members have for our people.

“The policies that we developed are now in action and delivering outcomes for our people.

“Our children have a much brighter future because we in Government are following our vision to deliver education and healthcare, and to build our roads and other infrastructure and to make our communities safer.

“Sir Puka has done an outstanding job for his people and the people of the Nation.”

The Prime Minister warned people not to be misled by lies and misleading information about policies that are bringing about real change.

“There are critics who want to put an end to free education and healthcare, and to stop our investment in infrastructure and law and order.

“They want to make the Mothers and Fathers pay for their children to go to school.

“They will say the country does not have the money for the Government services that we are delivering today.  That is a big lie, and we should not listen to people who want to end free education and free healthcare.

“Even with economic challenges, we are still able to provide free education and keep our hospitals operating, we are still building roads, we are still training police and we are continuing to advance Papua New Guinea.”