29 Dec 2014

Purpose built house to replace Solomons' Red House

3:22 pm on 29 December 2014

A spokesperson for the Solomon Islands prime minister says details for a new purpose built residence for the country's leader are likely in the new budget, due in February or March.

Prime minister Manasseh Sogavare says the official residence, the Red House, is to be demolished to allow for the construction of a replacement.

It has sparked criticism from the opposition, which says it will be costly.

It says the government must be transparent over costs and who will pay.

Manasseh Sogavare

Manasseh Sogavare Photo: RNZI

Mr Sogavare's press secretary, Deli Oso, says the aim is for a house that suits the status of prime minister.

"The demolition of the Prime Minister's official residence is part of the corporate plan of the Prime Minister's Office, to build a stately house for the Prime Minister, so that he can live in a dignified house that suits the title of his status."

Deli Oso says in the meantime Mr Sogavare will live in his private residence.

The previous prime minister Gordon Darcy Lilo refused to live in the Red House, preferring to stay in a hotel at the taxpayer's expense.