Land dispute stalls Small Malaita road project

Road asphalt. Photo: Pacific Air Forces

The Small Malaita road construction project is being halted as a result of a dispute with landowners.

Small Malaita Member of Parliament and Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela addressed the situation in a speech during his visit to the constituency last week.

The east-west stretch of road on the island failed to reach Rorongo by December as the constituency planned, he said.

“It’s not money that has stopped our work. It’s not machines that have stopped our work. It’s not the lack of laborers that have stopped us,” Mr Houenipwela said. “No, you landowners, you stopped it.”

Mr Houenipwela said he wants all highlands and Asimeuri landowning groups to accommodate the expansion.

The road survey from Rorongo to Tawaro is ready to begin, pending the tribal landowners’ decision.

By Leni Dalavera

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