BY ALFRED PAGEPITU
TARO airfield in Choiseul province still remains a top priority for the New Zealand government.
New Zealand High Commission to the Solomon Islands, Georgina Roberts revealed this in response to Deputy premier of Choiseul, Nerio Ulemiki questioning the delay of work on the Taro airport.
High Commissioner Roberts said the New Zealand government remains committed to upgrading provincial airfields including Taro and Seghe in Western province.
She said the first two prioritised airfields being Seghe and Taro – alongside the Government of Solomon Islands and with co-financing from Australia.
“While there have been some delays to the project caused by COVID-19, we have completed the tender process and are negotiating with a preferred contractor.
“The intention is for in country work to commence before the end of the year,” the statement said.
Mrs Roberts advised that she was pleased to update the Premier of Choiseul on the state of this project when she met with him in April.
She was also pleased to provide an update to the Western Province Premier just last week when she visited Munda and Noro.
“Progress may have been delayed, but the project remains a priority and we look forward to getting civil works under way,” she said.
New Zealand is aiming to complete its long-standing projects in Solomon Islands this year which includes the upgrade of provincial airports.
The upgrade work by New Zealand included pavement reconstruction and surfacing works, construction of terminal buildings and airfield ground lighting at selected airports in the country.
New Zealand, as part of its Development Cooperation, will continue to support the Solomon Islands Ministry of Communications and Aviation to improve airport infrastructure and airport management.