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PNG’S Lamana Group moves on Taumeasina Island

By Taina Kami Enoka APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Oct. 3, 2011) - Papua New Guinea’s Lamana Development group has submitted the required documents and gone through background checks by a local assessment committee. The Lamana Development group plans to build a hotel on Taumeasina Island.

[PIR editor’s note: Based in Papua New Guinea, the Lamana Development group’s planned project in Samoa encompasses over 100-room hotel complex plus a 100 more luxury bedroom villa suites and standard luxury hotel rooms, water sport and activities areas, conference and entertainment facilities as well as restaurants and cafes. The investment is tagged at approximately $57.8 million.]

"They seem to have the capacity to deliver this project and they are interested," said the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE), Fa’amoetauloa Dr. Fa’aleTumali’i. Meanwhile, Lamana Group Business Manager, John Paul Chapman was in Samoa earlier this week. He was reluctant to talk about the project until certain issues were cleared.

However Mr. Chapman confirmed that a construction team was in Apia last week to assess how a construction programme can be progressed. "We are still very positive and committed to the project and by all indications from the PM's office, people in MCIL, Finance, MNRE and general government, local feedback - we have great support to move forward with the development of Taumaesina Island.

"It is a long-awaited tangible development that Lamana/Kostas Constantinou will be proud to be part of."

The lease was formerly owned by NZ businessman, Gordon Taylor and Stevenson Lawyers.

"They were given the lease and that was it. Nothing was done and so therefore the Government decided to try and follow up with them their developments."

Fa’amoetauloa said the lease was terminated and given to someone that the Ministry saw could genuinely develop this.

"I think this is where Lamana group comes in. So they have offered that [and] that’s where it is at the moment," says Fa’amoetauloa.

Such projects are given a 20-year lease, he says. This is renewable at the end of each 20-year lease. The land belongs to Government and is not leased to own.

"Most important, it is to protect, so that operators follow the lease requirements and Government can terminate," he said. According to the latest Pacific Provident Fund Social Security CEO Forum Report, the Lamana Development Group is in partnership with the National Provident Funds (NPF) of Papua New Guinea (NASFUND PNG), Solomon Islands and Fiji

The same report says the new luxury four-star hotel, the Honiara Heritage Hotel, was purchased in a partnership with NASFUND of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands NPF and Lamana Developments. In Suva, Fiji, a similar purchase of the Grand Pacific Hotel was in a partnership with NASFUND, Fiji NPF and Lamana Developments.

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