NATION

PM Lauds Pine Group For Donating Timber To Help Rebuild Schools, Homes In Bua

Mr Bainimarama officially handed over the materials valued at $120,000.
15 Jan 2021 11:41
PM Lauds Pine Group For Donating Timber To Help Rebuild Schools, Homes In Bua
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama (seventh from left) in Bua on January 14, 2021, with Pine Group chair Ratu Wiliame Katonivere (green shirt) and Minister for Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu (far right). Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday praised Pine Group for donating building materials to pine landowners affected by Tropical Cyclone Yasa in Bua.

Mr Bainimarama officially handed over the materials valued at $120,000.

Mr Bainimarama applauded the company’s vision adding that the pine industry had been re-strategised and reinvented.

COVID-19 had substantial impact on the industry and its markets, however, despite this we have seen remarkable results of the Group, he said.

Some of the timber that was donated by Pine Group to help rebuild schools and homes in Bua. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

Some of the timber that was donated by Pine Group to help rebuild schools and homes in Bua. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

He thanked the Board Chair, the Board, CEO and the management team of the Pine Group for such an achievement. Pine Group chair, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere, said that this was an historic occasion where we could see our landowners realising benefits from the pine industry.

“During Cyclone Yasa damage assessment visitation by the Prime Minister, he asked me to explore on how the pine landowners can be assisted specifically to rebuild their houses,” he said.

“We took that on board and facilitated this through the annual dividend and levies that our Pine landowners receive.

“For 2020, we had a balance of $1.5m for our Bua and Macuata landowners.”

The allocation for respective mataqali’s was based on the dividend distribution methodology.

“We immediately set aside this fund and deployed a team to Vanua Levu to carry out extensive damage assessments to our landowner houses. This assessment was jointly carried out with the Ministry of Forests.

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Today, the following mataqali’s received the first batch of housing materials:

Mataqali Raralevu – where 4 houses were completely destroyed and 43 partly damaged

Mataqali Tikinaicake – 5 houses completely damaged and 14 partly damaged

Mataqali Sarava – 5 houses partly damaged

Mataqali Naita – 1 house completely damaged and 10 partly damaged

Mataqali Veikurakura – 3 houses completely damaged and 23 partly damaged, and

Mataqali Carakiniyagi – 4 houses completely damaged

The Pine industry has now become one of the key economic drivers. In particular this year where new export markets for woodchips have been secured.

The assessments for the all mataqali’s have been completed and the housing materials for those will be delivered soon.

Board Chair also acknowledged the Minister for Forests Osea Naiqamu and his team for working with the Pine Group in driving results and in particular the returns to our Pine landowners.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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