The Land Board of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey (MLHS) has approved land allocations at South Honiara sub-division following its meeting on 13 June 2023.
A statement from the Commissioner of Lands and Board Secretary, Alan McNeil this week listed the successful applicants following a thorough process with support from technical officers from the Ministry.
Late last year, the Land Board and the Ministry of Lands, Housing & Survey advertised around 360 lots at South Honiara as available for tender. South Honiara is the name given to the area around a ridge top reached from either Tuvaruhu, Nine Ridges, Jericho or Kombivatu in Central and East Honiara.
The response from the public was overwhelming. Receipts for around 4,200 tender application forms were paid, applying for 391 lots. Clearly this means the demand for land is well and truly exceeds the available supply of lots.
The Board made its decision following a rigorous assessment process which involved checking whether tenderers already own Fixed Term Estates or registered leases in or near Honiara, and whether they have sufficient funds to pay for their offers.
Board members were mindful of being fair to the public by not offering land titles to people who already have a land title in or near Honiara.
In checking the financial capacity tenderers, Board members considered bank statements supplied by tenderers and the amounts in NPF statements.
The Board took this assessment a step further, by checking pledges held against NPF balances, and the remaining funds NPF members actually have available to withdraw to pay for offers. This assessment resulted in many tenders no longer meeting the minimum financial capacity needed to pay for offers and develop the land.
Referring to the Board’s decision, Chairman Stephen Panga thanked Board members and officers at the Ministry of Lands for their time and energy in assessing the tenders.
“I am also pleased that the Board decided to only allocate to Solomon Islanders, not foreigners, and those who take offers will not be allowed to transfer those offers to other people, they must pay their offers and develop the land themselves” Chairman Panga said today.
“We also make sure that only one lot goes to successful tenderers, and not two or more” he added.
Land Board Secretary Alan McNeil also commented on the Board’s decision.
“I am confident the Board made its decisions on these allocations fairly and according to consistent criteria, and members of the public can be reassured that there was no favouritism or bias in these allocations” McNeil said today.
“I also wish to thank Solomon Islands National Provident Fund and the land register database consultant for their valuable inputs to ensure that offers go to people who have funds readily accessible to pay for their offers and that offers do not go to people who already have land titles in or near Honiara” he added.
One hundred lots in the subdivision remain unallocated because either nobody applied for these lots, or those who applied already own land in Honiara or they failed to meet the minimum financial criteria needed to pay for the land titles.
These remaining lots will be in a second call for tenders, to be advertised soon.
“The Land Board has requested that Government Ministries and State-owned Enterprises will also be encouraged to apply, particularly those who provide services to communities” McNeil said.