$8 million Nadi Cultural Centre

Fiji’s rich cultural history has inspired a New Zealand busi­nessman, who has three busi­nesses in Fiji, to invest $8 million in the construction of Meke Vaka Viti Cultural Complex in
11 Nov 2018 11:00
$8 million Nadi Cultural Centre
A model of how the project would look like. Photo: Charles Chambers

Fiji’s rich cultural history has inspired a New Zealand busi­nessman, who has three busi­nesses in Fiji, to invest $8 million in the construction of Meke Vaka Viti Cultural Complex in Nadi.

The project, according to develop­er Grant Moreton, was close to his heart in that he aims to help keep Fiji culturally secure.

Mr Moreton first came to Fiji in 1992 and fell in love with the place.

Since then has set up three com­panies in Fiji – Media Metro Lim­ited which looks after all of Nadi Airport’s advertising, Premium Signcrafts which makes signage and Traveller which is an internet based tourism website.

“I have been doing business for over 20 years now and mainly in ad­vertising,” he said.

For the Meke Vaka Viti Cultural Complex, Mr Mereton said he had always been fascinated with Pacific culture beginning from the Maori culture in New Zealand.

“Over the years I have seen Fiji lose a lot of its identity with a lot of performance being more along Polynesian.

“That is not Fiji so I wanted to build a facility which was true to Fiji and be a place where that rich culture of the Fijian people was preserved.

“Really tourists coming here do not see the true Fiji and that is what we will deliver here.

“My working with the Fijian peo­ple is all about bringing people to­gether and working with their rich culture.”

The complex was designed by Suva architectural firm Conway Begg and will have traditional bu­res, restaurant, a rara (open space) with open air performances each night.

Mr Moreton said they would tar­get large cruise ships, the MICE market conference facilities and a also host conferences.

“This is a significant investment but it’s one we have not taken light­ly.”

The complex would be built on a piece of land, which is about four acres and situated along the Dena­rau Road just past Narewa Village.

The native land belongs to three yavusas, Tukani, Botiluvuka and Nonaiqoro from Namotomoto and Navoci villagers in Nadi compris­ing between 1500 – 2000 villagers.

The landowning units together run the Nakovacake Development Trust.

Trust Chairman Anare Naivute­vute said special conditions have been incorporated into the lease agreement with the developer whereby the landowners would:

be provided employment oppor­tunities

be providing all transport and shuttle services

sell their handicraft at the com­plex

receive education funds for their beneficiaries

receive community development funds

receive 2.0 percent of gross in­come

Mr Naivutevute said tourism was an important earner for Fiji and the landowners wanted to build on this.

“The Government has been very good to us and assisted us through the implementing of this planned project and we want to thank the PM and his Government.”

“The support from Government has made the process so much eas­ier.”

The Trust’s business arm, Vanua Nakovacake Holdings Limited, al­ready have a car wash business, the rent of their building in Nadi to the Fiji Development Bank, will soon purchase four vehicles for a taxi business after receiving their LH approval from the Land Transport Authority and also a 15 acre farm where, among other things the company has ventured into mush­room planting.

“We also have 40 acres of land sit­uated between Denarau Island and Fantasy Island,” he said.

“We are carefully scrutinising all investors who have been making offers on proposed integrated tour­ism development for that area but have not yet decided on any.”


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