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Media Center > Speeches > HON PM BAINIMARAMA SPEECH AT THE OPENING OF TIKARAM PARK

HON PM BAINIMARAMA SPEECH AT THE OPENING OF TIKARAM PARK

1/24/2017
The Minister for Local Government;
Distinguished Guests;
Ladies and gentlemen,
Bula vinaka and a very good morning to you all.

I’m delighted to be here today to officially open Lami’s latest community landmark – the newly constructed Tikaram Park ground and facilities. This beautiful new park is the first of its kind for Lami – a town that has enjoyed tremendous development over the past ten years.

As one of our most prominent townships, Lami is home to nearly 20,000 Fijians and hundreds of thriving businesses. And the record levels of development and prosperity that we achieved as a nation over the past decade are owed to every Fijian – including the men and women hard at work right here in Lami.

As we have notched seven straight years of economic growth, attracted unprecedented levels of investment into the country and boosted our engagement with the world, your town has emerged as one of the fastest growing municipalities in Fiji. You have all demonstrated a commitment to bettering yourselves, your families and your nation, and while you are smaller than your neighbouring Suva City, you haven’t allowed that to limit your town’s ambition. And Lami has attracted serious attention from our business community and from the many Fijians who have chosen to settle here over the years.

When any town or city grows, as its population expands and it gradually becomes more urban, it is vital that we begin thinking seriously about how to accommodate for that development and maintain the well-being of our citizens. As businesses and residential buildings spring up within a community, we have to also provide spaces that give respite from the bustle of town life, spaces where our people can spend quality time with their families, exercise, keep healthy and find peace of mind.

To make that a priority, my Government has overseen the construction of sporting facilities, courts and parks – such as the one being opened today – all throughout our islands. Just yesterday, I opened a multi-purpose sports facility in Davuilevu, and we recently have set up similar projects in Tailevu, Valelevu and Suva. Because as part of our campaign against the unacceptably high prevalence of non-communicable diseases in Fiji, we have gone to great lengths to give every Fijian the resources and support they need to make sport and physical exercise a bigger part of their lives.

This new park has something to offer Fijians of all ages and from all walks of life, because it is never too late or too early to enjoy the outdoors, get moving and make sport and physical exercise a bigger part of our lives. That is what makes these development projects so invaluable, because you can’t place a price on all the intangible benefits that beautiful open spaces – such as this park – bring to a community. Even simply walking past the park grounds, seeing children enjoy time with their families and with their peers can brighten someone’s day, and remind them about what we all work so hard to preserve and protect.

I’m very proud that the grounds also include an area designated for our senior citizens so that we can offer them a space to take in the sea breeze and enjoy the natural beauty you are blessed with at this new park facility. How senior citizens are treated says a lot about the caring nature of any society, so us setting aside this space should be a point of pride for every Fijian – and I ask that it be respected.

Ladies and gentlemen,
The people of Lami now have a beautiful high-quality park facility at their disposal. I encourage all of you to take some time out of your busy lives to enjoy with your children and your loved ones, relax and take in everything this new park has to offer. I’m confident these new grounds are going to become a source of life and energy for your community, and make you all that much prouder to call Lami Town your home.

Thank you all for the warm welcome you have afforded me and my delegation. I look forward to seeing this new park put to good use by your town, and I’m very keen to see Lami continue to build itself up, improve the standard of living of its residents and play an even greater role in our national development.

Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you.
 
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