NZ$135mil for Oro rehab

National, Normal

The National – Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NORTHERN is to move its capital from Popondetta to Oro Bay, 24km to the northeast.
The switch is part of a NZ$135 million (K248 million) contract to rebuild community infrastructure destroyed by a Cyclone Guba.
One of the highlights of the change will be a unique administrative building in the shape of a Queen Alexander butterfly – native to the region and, with a wingspan of 300mm, recognised as the largest of its kind in the world.
The contract has been awarded to a firm from Roturua, New Zealand.
Hansen, Brown  and Armstrong is about to embark on phase one of a three-step reconstruction project in Northern, which was devastated by the cyclone in 2007.
 A delegation from Papua New Guinea visited Rotorua last week to sign the contract and cement the relationship with the construction company.
Director Albert Hansen said the firm had been negotiating with provincial representatives and the national government for some months and the signing marked “the beginning of a historic relationship”.
“This contract is the first stage of work for Hansen Brown and Armstrong.
Stages two and three will follow including housing, hospitals and schools, that will equal a contract totalling NZ$135 million,” he said.
Stage one is the construction of a new government administrative centre at Oro Bay.
Northern is in northeastern Papua New Guinea and includes the famous Kokoda Track.
It was hit with such force by the cyclone that much of the area is still recovering four years later.
Rather than just reconstruct what was there before, the government saw the rebuilding as an opportunity to reorganise the province to meet modern requirements.
Moving the provincial capital is a key element of this.
The move will allow the village of Eroro to move to higher ground on the more sheltered side of the bay.
The delegation to Rotorua included Governor Suckling Tamanabae, provincial administrator Owen Awaita and seven other representatives from the provincial and national governments.