First Negotiator Certificates issued after land reforms; Air New Zealand refusing to re-open Port Vila route; Opposition no-show in Parliamentary committeesPosted: April 9, 2016
History was made yesterday in Port Vila with the issue of the first three Negotiator Certificates for rural and peri-urban customarily owned land under the land reform legislation. It’s the first signing of leases on any kastom-owned rural land since the legislation of 2014. Some 15 such leases are in the pipeline for resolution soonest under the 100 Day Plan of Government. The first lease was for land at Paunagisu, north Efate, for a futsal field and another there for football. A residential lease at Malapoa and another at Pango were also issued yesterday. Further to mark the occasion, the Chairman of the Land Planning and Management Committee, Professor Don Paterson, handed Lands Minister Regenvanu the annual reporting of the LPMC for 2014 and 2015 as required by Parliament.
Whilst the first stage of the Bauerfield Airport runway repairs has been completed, Air New Zealand is awaiting a permanent solution to the maintenance of the runway and does not yet see it assured. Asphalt repairs by works contractor Fulton Hogan are only now beginning. Air NZ points out that there is just a one-year lifespan for the completed works. Qantas and Virgin Australia have also ceased flying to Port Vila.
The Wharf Traffic Management Plan has been signed by the two ministers responsible, DPM Natuman and Public Works Minister Napat, following extensive negotiations with stakeholders. A sixty day trial of the plan is to begin soon, Tourism Department’s Adela Aru told the media.
Government is very concerned that the Opposition has failed to make its appointments to Parliamentary Standing Committees. Opposition Leader Ishmael Kalsakau has so far failed to submit names of Opposition MPs to join such committees even though he has been highly critical of certain decisions of the Salwai Government.
NISCOL has been able to pay Vt 10 million owing to its shareholding provinces as dividend on transshipment services for their produce and despite its many internal problems and the burning down of its headquarters.