Construction work on the new Anglican Church of Melanesia’s university on Central Guadalcanal has been delayed.
General secretary of the Church of Melanesian (COM) Abraham Hauriasi said the development of John Coleridge Patteson University has been put on hold due to land issues.
“We should have the ground breaking ceremony last year but due to issues over the land by land owning groups, the church decides to put the project on hold whilst it tries to hold discussions with the landowners,” Hauriasi said.
He added although the land was registered and the title was held by the church, it does not want to do things which will only cause conflict and hatred amongst people.
Mr Hauriasi said, the church wants to ensure that despite being the title holder of the land, it wants to talk over issues with landowners since land is a sensitive issue.
He added that any decision or outcome of these negotiations’ with land owners will determine what action to take next.
However Mr Hauriasi said, any decision on that development will have to come from the General Synod who will give any advice as to what next to take.
The COM general secretary said the hope of the church is to reach some kind of understanding and start off with the development.
He said fundraising activities will continue to raise funds to build the university.
“If developments have not been disturbed by land issues, the ground breaking ceremony should have already been held last year and first student intakes should be done next year.
“But due to this issue, nothing has been done so far, except for fundraising committees who continue with their fundraising activities to raise funds for the latest development.”
By Daniel Namosuaia