7 May 2012

New Zealand firm promises community consultation during Solomon aid project

3:10 pm on 7 May 2012

The New Zealand construction company that won a contract worth 20 million US dollars to improve transport links in Solomon Islands Western Province, says it's committed to consulting with the community on the effects of the project.

Downer New Zealand has an advance party on the ground, co-ordinating the arrival of equipment before construction is due to start in July.

The project is supported by the New Zealand aid programme and will include a major upgrade to bring Munda airport up to international capacity.

Downer New Zealand's Craig Smart says it's an important part of the contract that local communities are consulted and can express any issues they might have with the work.

"There's a team of people, myself and others from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development and other government agencies that will be looking at social, community, environmental and similar matters as part of this consultation."

Craig Smart says it will take about a year to complete the construction work.