TC Winston

Engineers good but insurance and construction industries need reform

The Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama last week commended the Fiji Institution of Engineers (FIE) for providing pro-bono services in assessing damages to 229 schools throughout the nation caused by tropical cyclone Winston. PM Bainimarama also promised new laws for Fiji’s insurance and construction industries.  He made the comments on Saturday at the launch of […]

Calvin Prasad

April 11, 2016 11:49 am

The Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama last week commended the Fiji Institution of Engineers (FIE) for providing pro-bono services in assessing damages to 229 schools throughout the nation caused by tropical cyclone Winston.

PM-help-4-homes-2
PM Bainimarama announcing the ‘Help for Homes’ initiative in Suva on Saturday. (Peni Shute/Newswire).

PM Bainimarama also promised new laws for Fiji’s insurance and construction industries.  He made the comments on Saturday at the launch of housing relief assistance initiatives for those that had their homes damaged by TC Winston.

According to PM Bainimarama, FIE provided services free of charge as their donation to the Winston relief effort.

“They [FIE] have helped assess the costs to rebuild our public buildings, including schools under our Adopt A School program.  They will also help us future-proof Fiji with engineering and building standards appropriate to the challenging new era we are facing due to the effects of climate change increased flooding and more frequent and devastating cyclones.”

PM Bainimarama expressed disappointment at Fiji’s insurance industry, saying it was “in dire need of reform”, with rural and maritime communities not being given adequate options for insurance coverage.

“There has been too great a focus by our insurers to offer coverage to urban communities and tourism-related infrastructure.”

According to the PM, he has asked the Attorney-General and Minister of Finance to “get the insurance industry on track and relevant to all Fijians”.

“For example, many insurance companies currently do not offer flood risk coverage for ordinary Fijians living in Nadi and Ba. In many countries, such a discriminatory practice would not be tolerated.”

The PM did not spare Fiji’s construction industry, promising new laws “to control the quality of our construction companies and the entire construction industry”.

“Currently, the laws in Fiji allow for anyone to form a building or construction company without receiving any accreditation or licensing. This can no longer be tolerated. Any construction company operating in Fiji needs to meet high and internationally benchmarked standards.”

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