What motivates community-based health workers to provide care in rural and remote areas, often on a voluntary or casual basis, is a key question for program managers and public health officials. This paper examines how a range of incentives offered as part of the Marasin Stoa Kipa program, a community-based malaria diagnosis and treatment program that has been implemented since 2007 within a major oil and gas development area in Papua New Guinea, are perceived and critiqued by community-based health workers. Nineteen interviews and seven focus group discussions with the workers who deliver services and members of the communities served by the program, conducted between November 4 and 25, 2015, reveal a pattern of mixed motivations and changes in motivation over time. This can be attributed partly to the unique social and economic circumstances in which the program is operating. Changes in the burden of disease as well as in global and national health services policy with implications for local level program operations also had an impact, as did the nature of relationships between program managers, community-based health workers, and program beneficiaries. Overall, the findings suggest that while financial and in-kind incentives can be a useful tool to motivate voluntary or minimally-compensated community-based health workers, they must be carefully structured to align with local social, economic, and epidemiological realities over the long-term.