The premier of Solomon Islands Malaita province says the provincial government is pressing ahead with plans for a sovereign nation of Malaita.
Peter Chanel Ramohia says a Provincial Assembly special select committee is being appointed to draw up a roadmap and timetable for consultations with Malaitan leaders and the national government.
The Premier says a sovereign Malaita nation was not a declaration of independence.
He made the comments before the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in the provincial capital Auki during provincial celebrations.
Mr Ramohia says the Provincial Assembly had decided to suspend discussions on a proposed federal system of government and on the current provincial government system.
He says the Assembly believes the proposed federal system will not be ready for adoption within the next ten years and the existing Provincial Government Act would not be ready for adoption for at least another ten years.
Mr Ramohia says Malaita cannot wait that long which is the reason for pursuing a system that can work for Malaitan people.
He says his government wants to do something about the situation in Malaita now in a legal manner as no one else can do it for them.
Malaita is the country's most populous province.