A new fishery complex on the capital, Funafuti has been inaugurated on Friday, 23 December 2017. Many high government officials including the Governor General, representatives from the non-governmental organizations, island communities, the private sector and religious communities were there to witness the opening ceremony which was held at the Fishery headquarter, Teone Funafuti.
(The New office building)
The government of Tuvalu through the Minister of Natural Resources, Hon Puakena Boreham thanked the Government of New Zealand through its representative from its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Matthew Howell for its great generosity and invaluable support towards the construction of the new fisheries office building and procurement of the equipment. The Minister also extended her thanks to New Zealand’s Government for its continued support towards the technical adviser it provided for the Fishery Department who also played key roles in ensuring that the building is ready and delivered to Tuvalu before the end of the year.
(Minister of Natural Resources, Mrs Puakena Boreham delivering her address)
In fact, the building is the Tuvalu Fisheries Department Operations Centre. The Centre will house the entire Fisheries staff under the same roof for the first time after two decades, said the Minister.
The Director of Fisheries, Mr Samasoni Auina acknowledged the extra contributions provided by the World Bank and the Republic of China of Taiwan on equipment and fittings. The building cost the New Zealand Government about $4 million plus.
The chief Guest for the function was Mr. Mathew Howell from the New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade who represented the Government of New Zealand. In his address, Mr. Howell said “to see the building standing is both exciting and a relief, New Zealand is proud to support Tuvalu to reach this potential. We know the importance of fisheries, and the department, from sustainable fishing for communities to the revenue which drives the economy, funds schools and healthcare, fisheries help Tuvalu to set its own destiny”.
Mr. Howell continued by saying that “while the building is just one aspect of our work together in fisheries, it will serve as a physical symbol of this partnership. I hope that our partnership, and this building, stands strong for many years to come”.
The ribbon of the new building was cut by the Governor General, His Excellency Iakoba Taeia Italelei and Mr. Howell.
Governor-General with his back to the camera and Mr Howell in the blue shirt
After the ribbon, has been cut, the invited guests toured the double-story building:
(Office space in the new complex)
After a tour of the rooms and offices, there was a big lunch and the trainees from the Tuvalu Maritime Training Institute took charge of the catering.
(TMTI trainees grouped for a photo)
After lunch, the Nukufetau community on the capital provided the local entertainment of ‘fatele’.
(Nukufetau island community on the capitol performing local dance)
(Mr. Matthew Howell joined the dancers)
There were also ‘sivas’ performed by ‘Higano Girls’.
(Higano girls performing)
Dr. Kitiona Tausi