The four core tribes of Tina Hydro Project have signed a Process Agreement with the Government.
A statement from the Tina Hydro Project office said the tribes have given consent for the next project phase – which is for the acquisition process to proceed through as provided under the Lands and Titles Act.
Speaking before the signing, Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo said the government is greatly encouraged by the cooperation and understanding of the tribes.
Prime Minister Lilo says the Government sees the success in building the hydro as pointing to the beginning of a new era in sustainable development for the country.
He said the land will be acquired, but the title will be held under a fifty-fifty percent joint venture, between core tribes and government.
He said, this is unlike past acquisitions, where the government had taken land away from landowners.
The Process Agreement signing took place yesterday.
Meanwhile, Sir Paul Tovua, who spoke on behalf of the core tribes, praised the government for its patience and tolerance in supporting landowners, adding the move was ‘unprecedented’.
Sir Paul said landowners were honored by the presence of the Prime Minister in this important achievement.
He said he is hopefully the Process Agreement signing will initiate a lot of development for the country as a national project.