Ministry of Works opens Savai'i office
People residing in Savai'i will no longer have to travel to Apia to apply for building permits for new properties.
Effective Monday, the recently commissioned branch of the Ministry of Works Transport and Infrastructure (M.W.T.I.) in Salelologa, will handle all queries including new building permit applications.
Speaking at the opening of the new M.W.T.I. branch — which is located within the premises of the Land Transport Authority Savai'i branch — Minister of Works Transport and Infrastructure, Papali'i Niko Lee Hang, said the need to open a branch in Savai'i came from the Government's desire to decentralise their services beyond Upolu.
“The desire to have a Savai'i-based office for the Ministry has been in planning for such a long time. However, the main problem was the venue. We didn’t have a particular piece of land or place to set up an office," he said.
“We consulted the Samoa Land Corporation (S.L.C.) to set up an office at the Salelologa market at first, but there were some challenges that delayed the process. Therefore, L.T.A stepped in and agreed to set aside an office here at their Savaii branch to make our vision a reality.”
The M.W.T.I office will able to issue building permits for houses as well as issue development consent permits. This means people from Savai'i will no longer have to travel to Apia to get permits from P.U.M.A when building new houses.
The Minister said their main objective is to make services convenient and accessible to citizens in Savai'i, which would also translate to savings for Savai'i people.
“Having this office here in Savai’i means our people can save money from traveling to Apia to get building permits. And if they won’t get it done in one day, they will have to look for a place to stay in Apia.
“These were all the areas we looked at. Therefore, our people living in Savaii will save money and time from having to travel to Apia.
“We’ve also discovered from some of our inspections that there are quite a few people operating or building new houses without permits or that the builder does not have a license. And we hope that having our office here in Savaii will avoid having this problem.
“We will have a team which will monitor this and will go out and carry out inspections to ensure that everyone has a building permit from our office to carry out their work.”
Papali’i also used the opportunity to thank the C.E.O. and board of the L.T.A. for making available office space at their branch to enable the M.W.T.I. expand its presence to the big island.
The new M.W.T.I. office will open their door to welcome the people of Savai'i on Monday.