Honiara Urban Development Report launched
THE Minister of Lands, Housing and Survey launched the latest report on Honiara Urban Development yesterday at the Mendana Hotel.
The report is compiled by students of the Australian National University after undertaking a research programme in Honiara.
The report highlights ways to expand affordable housing supply, often through government and NGO partnerships, improve the efficiency of public transport systems to help move people and goods in and out of the city, and to expand people’s access to important services like water and electricity, whether they have legal land tenure or not.
Speaking during the launching of the report, Hon Minister Moses Garu said the document is an end-result of collaborative effort between the ANU, government officials, and many people in our community to define pressing urban issues facing Honiara and possible pathways forward.
He said the report sets a foundation and at the same contextualised approach into local setting, giving higher opportunity to decide how responsible authorities wish to shape inclusive urban development our country.
“It is now my pleasure to launch the Honiara Urban Development Report, and to thank ANU for working with us to produce this important document.
“I hope it does provide an impetus for inclusive action for all.
“Importantly, we need to ensure that urban development benefits not only all of us living in Honiara, but the nation as a whole,” Hon Garu said.
He stressed the report accommodates concerns and scrutinises the issues in more detail through many dialogues and consultations with communities, NGOs, government agencies and the private sector.
Hon Garu adds that the report provides responsible stakeholders with many options for action derived from consultations with local people, and from drawing out lessons from other Melanesian cities for our city, Honiara.
There are also important in-brief policy papers, some co-authored or written by locals who have lived in Honiara for a long time.
Hon Garu said the short issue papers provide further insights into the urbanisation process in Honiara and options for inclusive action.
“It expands the ways in which we think about urban issues, by making available to us lessons learned from our other Melanesian cities.
“This report and work by my government, recognise that well managed, urbanisation can be a driver of national development and growth,” he said.
Hon Garu encourages other government ministries, NGOs and other stakeholder to have a look at the reports and to join the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey, in planning for Honiara’s continuing growth and development.
He said the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey is working on a number of frameworks to improve outcomes, including a National Urban Policy, a National Housing Policy and reforms of urban land administrative processes.
Hon Garu said his Ministry is looking forward to extend its partnership with ANU in advancing positive urban development and growth in Honiara.