10 Jun 2014

NZ firms to build Solomons eye clinic

2:16 pm on 10 June 2014

Much of the construction for a state of the art eye care centre in Solomon Islands will be done in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Government is paying 3.2 million US dollars for the building of the Fred Hollows Foundatiion facility at Honiara's National Referral Hospital.

Young boys at Tavanipupu, Solomon Islands.

Young boys at Tavanipupu, Solomon Islands. Photo: AFP

The chief executive of the Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand, Andrew Bell, says the NGO has been striving to eliminate avoidable blindness in the Pacific and with this facility the dream is closer to reality.

He says a New Zealand firm, What Power Crisis, is to build a solar power system while another New Zealand firm, Timber Construction Solutions, will do the building.

"They are able to cut the timbers here in New Zealand. They are able to treat them in New Zealand and that means that New Zealand is dealing with all the chemical waste, rather than having it in the Pacific and then they are able to flat pack it, ship it across to Honiara, and there they construct it. So we are able to guarantee the quality of the build will be the same quality as New Zealand. It is going to have earthquake rating that is of a superior standard, its longevity is guaranteed."