By the first quarter of 2015, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) hopes the construction of its new base in Fiji would have started. Green light for this has been granted by the host government, and in keeping with the host of regional organisation arrangements, Fiji will fund the entire project. Cost of the Pacific Village is estimated at US$27.71 million. “Currently our offices in Suva are spread out in 7 different locations,” said Dr Colin Tukuitonga, Director-General of the SPC “Through the Pacific Village, we will all come to one central place, which was something we had been wanting all along.”
The Pacific Village will be built at Nabua, where bulk of SPC’s work in Fiji is located. Artist impressions of the Village show a series of office buildings with a distinct Pacific architecture. Staff at SPC Nabua will have to be relocated to other offices to allow for the demolition of the current buildings, some of which were built for Allied troops in World War II. Additional land will have to be sought from a local secondary school that is neighbour to the SPC Nabua office.
Also for the new year, Dr Tukuitonga hopes to continue the changes he has started in the workings of the Commission. One of these is moving away from short-term project-funding to longer term programme financing. Australia has already signed into these programme funding, said Dr Tukuitonga and New Zealand and the European Union might do so too in 2015. The SPC is also exploring new funding, including those in the Arab peninsula.
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