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Work on Niue’s new Fale Fono Building at Halamahaga has stopped amidst concerns of land lease issues and a court injunction filed by opposition member Terry Coe.
BCN news was able to get a response from the Premier Sir Toke Talagi today to explain Government’s decision on the selection of Doug the Builder (DTB) as the successful contractor to build the new parliament building.
Coe confirmed that he has filed a court injunction to stop the work because the Government has not followed the law which requires that for any government contract that exceeds $10,000 must be subject to public tender.
A statement from the Premier Sir Toke Talagi said the contractor was approved by cabinet following the successful construction of both the new Swanson’s Supermarket last year and the completion of the Niue Museum (Niue Cultural Heritage Centre).
According to the Premier’s statement, the contractor was selected for both strategic and practical reasons in a selective procurement process as the preferred contractor. He said this took into account a proven track record in Niue of building to Niue’s requirements, with a good combination of local workforce and with investment in heavy equipment on the island.
Coe said at a meeting on the design of the building, he expressed grave concerns about the lack of Niuean symbolism in the building. He said the design or the plan of the building should be made public so the people can have a say on what it will look like.
Sir Toke Talagi said the Falefono is being built on crown land and while the surrounding land is subject to land lease negotiations there is no reason for the project to be delayed.
BCN News has established that the lease agreement for the land where this building will be located, expired in 2018 and the landowners have not agreed on a new lease agreement with the Government of Niue.
SOURCE: TV NIUE/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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