Split to create Hela Province
In July 2009, Parliament passed legislation to create two new provinces by 2012. One of these is to be created by removing the districts of Tari-Pori, Komo-Magarima, and Koroba-Kopiago from the Southern Highlands Province to form the new Hela Province.
- The West: which includes the districts of Tari, Koroba, Kopiago and Komo - the home of the Huli, Duna, and Hewa peoples.
- The Centre: which includes the districts of Margarima, Nipa, Mendi and the Lai Valley, and is the home of the speakers of dialects of the Anggal Heneng language.
- The East: which includes the districts of Kagua, Ialibu, Pangia and Erave, and is the home of the speakers of the Imbongu, Kewa, and Wiru languages, and home to the second highest mountain in Papua New Guinea, Mount Giluwe.
- The Lowlands: which stretch across the southern part of the Southern Highlands province from the volcanic peaks of Mount Bosavi to include the oilfields of Lake Kutubu, and includes the language groups of Biami (shared with Western Province) Foe, and Fasu.
Districts and LLGs
There are eight districts in the province. 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.
District District Capital LLG Name:
1. Ialibu-Pangia District Ialibu East Pangia Rural Ialibu Urban Kewabi Rural Wiru Rural Imbonggu District Imbonggu Ialibu Basin Rural Imbongu Rural Lower Mendi Rural Kagua-Erave District Kagua Erave RuralKagua Rural Kuare Rural Mendi-Munihu District Mendi Karints Rural Lai Valley Rural Mendi Urban Upper Mendi Rural Nipa-Kutubu District Nipa Lake Kutubu Rural Mount Bosavi Rural Nembi Plateau Rural Nipa Rural Poroma Rural
Members of the National Parliament
The province and each district is represented by a Member of the National Parliament (MP). There is one provincial electorate and each district is an open electorate. The following table lists Members before and after the 2007 general election.
Electorate Previous member (party) 2012 winner (party) Southern Highlands Provincial: William Powi (PNC) Ialibu-Pangia Open Peter O'Neill (PNC) Peter O'Neill (PNC)  Imbonggu Open Francis Awesa (PNC) Kagua-Erave Open David Basua (NA) James Lagea (elected as PNGCP  then joined PNC) Mendi Open Michael Nali (PPP)  Isaac Joseph (NGP)  Nipa-Kutubu Open Robert Kopaol (Independent)Philemon Embel (PANGU)  .
SHP General Administration
Provincial headquarters: Mendi
Number of districts: 4 – Ialibu Pangia, Imbonggu
Kagua Erave,, Mendi, Nipa Kutubu,
Number of LLGs: 22
Number of wards: 502
Total = 546 265
Male = 51%
Female = 49%
Less then 15 years = 20 3308 (male = 52% & female = 47%).
15-65 years old = 33 1715 (male = 49% & female = 50%).
More than 65 years old = 11 242 (male = 51% & female = 49%).
TOTAL CITIZENSHIP HOUSEHOLDS = 94 064
Area and population density
Area (km²) = 25587
Occupied area (km²) = 7279
Population per km² = 21.3
Population per km² of occupied area = 75.0
Average annual population growth rate
Eligible voters (2000 Census) = 300503
Number of votes cast (2002) = n/a
2002 Electoral Roll = 598811
Number of votes cast (2007) = 390720
2007 Electoral Roll = 450795
Type and number of schools
Elementary = 529
Community = 61
Primary = 166
Provincial high = 12
Secondary = 5
Vocational = 7