Port Vila, Vanuatu 30th August 2017: The evolution of Fatumaru Bay Park and the extensive works at the seafront have culminated in the Ifira Paramount Chief Paunimanu Mantoi Kalsakau III officially naming the seafront park Tasanak, which means anchorage.

This is a significant milestone for Port Vila and was a key component of the celebrations to open the park to mark the end of the Vt1.4 billion project.

The public were invited to join the official delegation of donor partners, government and project stakeholders today in a parade led by Hon. Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, Hon. Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman, the New Zealand High Commissioner, Her Excellency Ms Georgina Roberts and EIF representative Mr Simon Hess. The formal proceedings started with a kastom ceremony between the Government of Vanuatu and the people of Ifira and was a touching tribute to the Ifira people for their support during the development of the project.

The Vanuatu Tourism Infrastructure Project has been a lengthy journey of consultation, feedback and the development of ideas to realise an amazing facility for the people of Vanuatu and visitors alike. The New Zealand Government provided Vt1.1 billion and the Enhanced Integrated Framework provided Vt300 million for the rejuvenation of the seafront, upgrades at the portside precinct, and the coastal protection of Fatumaru Bay Park. Speaking at the ceremony, the Prime Minister expressed gratitude on behalf of the people of Vanuatu to the donors for their support, and stated his belief that with the completion of the works, Port Vila is now one of the most beautiful capital cities in the world.

The spectacular market buildings are proudly awaiting their new tenants and are stunning pieces of architecture in keeping with a Melanesian style. These market houses will be for Made In Vanuatu products, and are to be managed by the Department of Industry.

The park is durable with sturdy elements such as pre-cast concrete seats, stainless steel handrails and balustrades and robust playground equipment. The promenade and the sea wall have been designed around the theme of an unfurling pandanus mat with the fringe of the mat hanging over the edge of the seawall and the promenade in alternating concrete elements and finishing. 

The development of local skill in the construction phase has been significant with as many 120 local staff working on the project across Fatumaru Bay Park and the Seafront, many learning new skills and ways of working under strict health, safety and environmental guidelines applied by the contractor, Hawkins International. The Port Vila Municipal Council will be managing the park areas and any issues should be directed to their office.

Port Vila residents and visitors have been making a lot of use of the parks and facilities before the official opening, enjoying the access to the beaches and the ocean once again and children loving the fabulous playgrounds. The Deputy Prime Minister spoke about the importance of looking after this park to ensure its sustainability for years to come, and called upon the public to treat the park with the appropriate respect. In his speech he also spoke about how the ways in which the new seafront will benefit the whole country.

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Note to Editors:

·         Beca were engaged by the New Zealand Government to manage the construction contract and monitor the contract progress in consultation with the Vanuatu Project Management Unit for project management, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Works for construction management and the Ministry of Internal Affairs for operations and maintenance management.    

·         The contractors are Hawkins International, a New Zealand based company who contracted up to 120 local workers across the construction sites at the height of construction. Construction commenced in September 2015.

·         The Vanuatu Tourism Infrastructure Project utilised a technical advisory group model to ensure key decisions were made by all stakeholders together. Representatives of the Technical Advisory Group included key personnel from Government of Vanuatu and Chaired by Vanuatu Project Management Unit.    

·         Construction works at the seafront park include:

-   Upgrade of Seafront Park open spaces and landscaping

-   Seawall refurbishment (485m), clean existing sheetpiles, install pre-cast concrete seawall panels, strengthen with concrete, install pre-cast concrete capping beams, finish with concrete promenade and stainless steel balustrade

-   New Coastal promenade and walkway (Chantilly’s to Seaview Restaurant is approx. 1.2km long)

-   New central pier and new sea steps

-   New market buildings ( 1 x large, 1 x small housing a total of 54 market vendors and 5 tourism business booths)

-   New public toilet buildings (x2) including disability accessible toilet

-   New park furniture, planting, playground facilities and BBQ’s

-   New water taxi jetty

-   Improved access to the seafront stage

-   Upgrade to lighting

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