BY PATRICK MAKIS
The people of Torau community government in the Panguna District of Central Bougainville now have a multi-purpose community hall, thanks to the joint funding support of the Australian and New Zealand Governments.
New Zealand High Commissioner Sue Mackwell opened the Torau community hall at Tarara village last Thursday.
Eivo/Torau Constituency MP, Clarence Dency, Torau community government chairman, Peter Kalasoi, acting secretary for the ABG Department of Community Government, Donna Pearson, Panguna district executive manager, Otto Noruka and officers from the Australian-funded Bougainville Partnership program in Bougainville witnessed the opening.
Ms Mackwell commended the contractors and officers from the Bougainville partnership program for ensuring the successful completion of the project, saying the governments of New Zealand and Australia were willing partners to the development of the autonomous region.
She spoke of the cordial relationships that exist between the Australian, New Zealand, the ABG and the PNG governments, saying that both governments would continue to ensure this mutual relationship was maintained.
The high commissioner encouraged the Torau community to look after the facility while calling on the women and youths to fully use the hall to conduct their meetings, run training activities and other programs that would benefit the community.
Ms Mackwell also assured the people of Bougainville that the New Zealand government was committed to assisting Bougainville, especially in the lead up to referendum.
“We are with you as you progress towards referendum and we wish you all the best for referendum. It is a privilege for you to be able to vote especially, a referendum, as many people in the world don’t get that chance to vote under referendum arrangements. I am encouraging you all to vote when referendum time comes,” she said.
Eivo/Torau MP, Clarence Dency said the success of the project was a testimony of the type of leadership in place and cooperation among the people.
He thanked the people for making their land available for the hall to be built, as this showed the people’s commitment to their leaders and to the efforts of the government in developing Bougainville.
“I thank the New Zealand and Australian governments for funding this project and I hope both governments can continue to partner with us to assist the government achieve its initiatives,” Mr Dency said.
The community hall has a 17 KVA generator as a power source which was also funded under the project.