Eastern Highlands Province

Eastern Highlands is a highlands province of Papua New Guinea. The provincial capital is Goroka. The province covers an area of 11,157 km², and has a population of 579,825 (2011 census). The province shares a common administrative boundary with Madang Province to the north, Morobe Province to the east, Gulf Province to the south, and Simbu Province to the west. The province is the home of the Asaro mud mask that is displayed at shows and festivals within the province and in the country. The province is reachable by air, including Goroka Airport, and road transport, including the main Highlands Highway.

Eastern Highlands
Isten Hailans Provins (Tok Pisin)
Eastern Highlands Province in Papua New Guinea
Coordinates: 6°30′S 145°40′E
CountryPapua New Guinea
  • Daulo District
  • Goroka District
  • Henganofi District
  • Kainantu District
  • Lufa District
  • Obura-Wonenara District
  • Okapa District
  • Unggai-Bena District
  GovernorPeter Numu 2017–
  Total11,157 km2 (4,308 sq mi)
 (2011 census)
  Density52/km2 (130/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+10 (AEST)
HDI (2018)0.512[1]
low · 18th of 22

Districts and LLGs

District map of Eastern Highlands Province

Each province in Papua New Guinea has one or more districts, and each district has one or more Local Level Government (LLG) areas. For census purposes, the LLG areas are subdivided into wards and those into census units.[2][3]

DistrictDistrict CapitalLLG Name
Daulo District Asaro Watabung Rural
Lower Asaro Rural
Upper Asaro Rural
Goroka District Goroka Gahuku Rural
Goroka Urban
Mimanalo Rural
Henganofi District Henganofi Kafentina Rural
Dunantina Rural
Fayantina Rural
Kainantu District Kainantu Kainantu Urban
Kamano 1 Rural
Kamano 2 Rural
Gadsup-Tairora Rural
Lufa District Lufa Yagaria Rural
Mount Michael Rural
Unavi Rural
Obura-Wonenara District Lamari Lamari Rural
Yelia Rural
Okapa District Okapa East Okapa Rural
West Okapa Rural
Unggai-Benna District Benna Lower Benna Rural
Upper Benna Rural
Unggai Rural


Eastern Highland Province had a population of 432,972 (PNG citizens) and 1,173 (non-citizens) in the 2000 Census. This is an increase of 31% since the 1990 Census figure.[4]

Provincial leaders

The province was governed by a decentralised provincial administration, headed by a Premier, from 1977 to 1995. Following reforms taking effect that year, the national government reassumed some powers, and the role of Premier was replaced by a position of Governor, to be held by the winner of the province-wide seat in the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea.[5][6]

Premiers (1976–1995)

Premier Term
James Yanepa1976–1986
Walter Nombe1986–1991
Robert Atiyafa1991–1995

Governors (1995–present)

Governor Term
Aita Ivarato1995–1997
Peti Lafanama1997–1998
Damson Lafana1998–2000
Peti Lafanama2000–2002
Malcolm Kela Smith2002–2012
Julie Soso2012–2017
Peter Numu2017–2022
Simon Sia2022–current

Members of the National Parliament

The province and each district is represented by a Member of the National Parliament. There is one provincial electorate and each district is an open electorate.

Electorate Member
Eastern Highlands ProvincialSimon Sia
Daulo OpenEkime Gorosahu
Goroka OpenAiye Tambua
Henganofi OpenRobert Atiyafa
Kainantu OpenWilliam Hagahuno
Lufa OpenSimo Kilepa
Obura-Wonenara OpenJohn Boito
Okapa OpenSaki Soloma
Unggai-Bena OpenKinoka Hotune


  1. "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2020-04-18.
  2. "Census Figures by Wards - Highlands Region". www.nso.gov.pg. 2011 National Population and Housing Census: Ward Population Profile. Port Moresby: National Statistical Office, Papua New Guinea. 2014.
  3. "Final Figures". www.nso.gov.pg. 2011 National Population and Housing Census: Ward Population Profile. Port Moresby: National Statistical Office, Papua New Guinea. 2014.
  4. National Statistical Office: 2000 Census Figures, Port Moresby
  5. May, R. J. "8. Decentralisation: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back". State and society in Papua New Guinea: the first twenty-five years. Australian National University. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  6. "Provinces". rulers.org. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
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