Not ‘That house’?

Permanent Secretary Stephen Maesiola
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MID ‘not aware’ of development believed to be related to PM’s residence


THE Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) says it is not aware of the development above Lawson Tama stadium believed to be the construction of the official residence of the Prime Minister.

MID Permanent Secretary Stephen Maesiola, who is currently in Ulawa, Makira province, told Island Sun that the site for PM residence is on top of the hill next to the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) headquarters.

Maesiola said currently the ministry is still waiting for the ‘plan’ for the Architectural Design group and Survey team to deal with.

He said the current development on the hillside is not related to the PM’s official residence project.

In 2018, Under Secretary Jimmy Nuake said the Government through MID had approved the plan to build a new official residence for the Prime Minister.

Nuake said the move was based on Government’s policy initiated in 2016.

Prior to that, the Prime Minister is normally accommodated at the Red House at Vavaya Ridge.

MID had already demolished the Red House and late last year fire engulfed the Guard House.

PS Maesiola said the old PM residence at Red House, Vavaya Ridge is earmarked for Speaker’s residence because it is closer to Parliament.

He said currently the project is under government programe where the ministry waits for money to start it.

Previously, former Prime Minister Danny Philip decided not to reside at Red House due to deteriorating condition of the building after Dr Derek Sikua left.

However, incoming PM, Gordon Darcy Lilo decided to move in the Red House after small renovation was carried out on it.

After that, Rick Hou and Manasseh Sogavare decided to reside at their private residences at Lunga, East Honiara, rather than moving into Red House.

Their decision attracted public criticisms because they decided to reside at their own residence rather than in a government residence.