The government’s plans to expand and widen the road to the new parliament building have hit a huge bump. Yesterday the planned demolition of a building of the former Halamahaga and Niue Primary school at Alofi South was put on hold after representatives of the landowners and village council told the government that they did not consent to demolish the building.
It’s understood that a small gathering of government officials and politicians were at Halamahaga for the blessing ceremony before the demolition which didn’t take place.
The spokesperson for the landowners and the village council Robin Hekau told BCN news that there was no consultation with the landowners and the village about these plans to demolish the school building.
Mr Hekau said that this was not a court injunction but a call to the government to stop any plans to demolish any of the buildings at Halamahaga until they have met.
He said these are historic buildings and are part of the history of Alofi South and of Niue.
Mr Hekau says that they are also concerned at the lack of understanding of government officials that these part lands are not crown land and that where there were lease agreements before, those lease agreements have since lapsed.
BCN news reached out to some government officials who said that they were not aware of the landowner issues and that they were acting only on the instructions from higher authorities.
The reason for the government wanting to demolish three classrooms of one of the old school buildings is to widen the road leading to the new parliament building.
One of the landowners who wished to remain anonymous told BCN news that these issues are due to the lack of consultations of this government and the previous government. They said that the government never held any consultations with the landowners and the village before deciding to build the new parliament building at Halamahaga.
They said the area is not appropriate for a national iconic building such as the Fale Fono because of the access issues.
The new parliament building is scheduled for a soft opening on Friday next week 25th February.