Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela and Madam Rachel moved out from their private residence and are temporarily living at the Heritage Park Hotel in Honiara.
In a media statement released yesterday, the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet said the arrangement will allow renovations to be made to the Prime Minister’s private residence.
Prime Minister Houenipwela has been living at his private residence since his election last November, but it does not meet security and protocol requirements.
Engineers from the Ministry of Infrastructure Development estimated the initial cost of the renovations at more than SBD$2 million, but Prime Minister Houenipwela rejected the assessment, saying it was too high.
A different contractor was engaged to complete the necessary work at a cost of SBD$490,000.
The Government does not have an official residence for the Prime Minister after the demolition of the former Red House, which was the official residence.
According to the statement from the OPMC, the Prime Minister considered moving into a designated residence for the Prime Minister or into Red House, but MID officials told him the property had been demolished because it was infested with termites.
The OPMC acknowledged that the Government’s lack of an official residence is an inconvenience for the Prime Minister.
“Given the amount of work ahead, I want to settle down quickly into our residence,” Prime Minister Houenipwela said in the statement.