Nakorotubu na Turaga na Gonesau;
Turaga na iTalatala;
Honourable Cabinet Ministers;
Permanent Secretaries and Divisional Commissioners;
Invited Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Bula Vinaka and a very good afternoon to you all.

I am delighted to be here this afternoon to officially open the new Namarai District Government Station.

In the colonial days, administrative services were centralized, and things continued much that way for decades after Independence. My Government changed things. We recognised that our population was larger and that our rapidly-developing economy was more sophisticated, and so we committed to bringing Government closer to the people.

In your case, it simply did not make practical sense to place the services you depend on some 60 kilometres away in Vaileka. With this opening, the days of making that long, expensive, and arduous journey are over.

That is why we have invested close to One Million Dollars to build this brand-new District Office. It is a concrete testament of my Government’s unwavering commitment to leaving no one behind.

For the people of this area who will be served here in the Namarai Station, waking up early to catch a carrier to travel down to Vaileka will now be a thing of the past. Whether one lives in an urban city like Suva or a maritime or rural community, we are laser-focused on ensuring that every Fijian has equal access to all Government services.

Within the new Namarai District Office, parents can now register the birth of a newborn child and Fijians can notify Government of the passing of a loved one. Additionally, residents can now access the services of a Justice of the Peace for the witnessing of documents, and an Assistant Roko Tui will be based here.

Ladies and Gentlemen, even if the services you are looking for are not offered here directly, this District Office will serve as a link to those agencies that do provide them. You will not have to travel anywhere. As is the case for all Government stations across Fiji, all application forms for any Government assistance programme will be available right here onsite.

From the beginning, my Government has been 100% committed to building strong, resilient rural Fijian communities that can support cash-generating livelihoods for their residents. From ensuring communities have access to safe, clean water to a reliable source of electricity; and fully funded education for every primary and secondary school student – we have never shied away from the hard work and decisive leadership needed to guide our people towards prosperity.

Through the WAF Rainwater Harvesting Scheme, over 11,400 water tanks have been distributed across the country, and over the last five years, Government has allocated 4.5 Million Dollars to rural water projects here in the Province of Ra. I am also proud to share that as of 2019, 96.2% of Fiji’s entire population have access to electricity compared to 87.1% reported in 2009 – this friends, is what people-centered development looks like.

More recently of course, we have begun bringing digital TV and radio to every single household via Walesi and paid out more than Sixty Million Dollars as part of Government’s 180-dollar inflation mitigation assistance. We have also now begun developing a rural database that will map all Government’s rural development projects on a GIS platform. This technology will enable us to have a bird’s eye view of every development taking place across the country and enhance our planning capability to determine future rural development needs and priorities.

Connecting to the internet has become a necessity in the twenty first century. This is why we are investing $2.5 Million Dollars into providing reliable internet accessibility to eighty-four (84) schools currently non-connected schools. Our children are the stewards of our beloved nation’s future, and we will always do everything we can to set them up for success.

Before I end, I want to acknowledge every person from the twenty-seven (27) Villages in the Tikina of Nakorotubu, Nakoilava, Navitilevu, Kavula, Mataso, Bureiwai, Bureivanua, and Nababa in the Province of Ra – today is a day for celebration. We have here before our eyes an important example of what we can achieve when we work together, hand in hand; a safer, more efficient, more prosperous life for every Fijian.

We have a lot more to do together and I look forward to coming back to celebrate many more wonderful achievements with you.

Vinaka Vakalevu – Thank you.

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