SI chancery nears completion

National, Normal

THE new state-of-the-art K7.8 million Solomon Islands chancery in Papua New Guinea will be completed and opened before May.
When Solomon Islands established a high commission in PNG in 2002, they rented a room at the Gateway Hotel to use as an office before moving to their current location in Waigani.
In 2005, former prime minister Sir Allan Kemakeza decided that Solomon Islands should have a permanent presence in PNG to further strengthen bilateral ties, which led to the idea of a chancery.
The governments of Solomon Islands and PNG then agreed to allocate land to build their chanceries.
In 2005, the PNG Government allocated K6 million for  the project and allocated a further K5 million in 2008.
Solomon Islands High Commissioner to PNG Bernard Bata’anisia told the Solomon Star the outfit in  Port Moresby would be the country’s first  chancery overseas.
It is located close to the British High Commission, Indonesian Embassy and the Australian High Commission and overlooks the National Parliament and the PNG Prime Minister’s official residence.
“It would be the pride of the people and the government of Solomon Islands because, physically, it shows our presence is here in PNG,” he said.
Mr Bata’anisia said there would be two separate buildings. One will be the chancery office while the other will consist of small units for the employees of the chancery.
“The chancery will have a conference room, two rooms for my two secretaries and one for my personal secretary. It will also have a library and a room that will display all our traditional artefacts,” he said.
Sixteen traditional carved poles will be shipped to Port Moresby this month to be used as part of the decorations around the chancery.
“I would like to thank the PNG Government for its support and generosity for the funding provided for the establishment of the chancery,” he said. – Solomon Star