Solomon Islands gains expertise in advanced surveying skills

Surveyors measure up a car park

Land surveyors in Solomon Islands concluded training on surveying and plan preparation for strata title subdivisions this week, giving the Island nation a new level of expertise in a service area considered essential for future development plans.   

The training was completed in time for the commencement of the Solomon Islands Strata Titles Act, which was first brought to Parliament last year. During consolations about the implications of this legislation, the local Surveyors Association highlighted the need for training on strata subdivisions. While surveyors had experience with subdivided land, strata subdivisions require the subdivision of buildings into lots of air space, a specialized area. This is a new concept to Solomon Islands, although island neighbours Vanuatu and Fiji have had their own versions of strata /unit titles for many years.

The Pacific Community (SPC), with funding support of the Australian Government, answered the surveyors’ call, by engaging Australian surveyor, Rob Monteath, who travelled to Solomon Islands to conduct the training. Mr. Monteath is a Director of Monteath & Powys, a company based in NSW with more than 60 employees specialising in surveying, planning, engineering design and project management. Mr. Monteath is also the only licensed surveyor in NSW who is also a licensed strata manager.

The training comprised site visits to four locations in Honiara where strata subdivisions are proposed. Two of these are existing buildings, the other two are yet to be constructed. Site visits were followed each day by workshops to prepare the strata plans of subdivision.

By the end of the training, surveyors were well versed on how to prepare strata subdivision plans, based on the land surveys and the architectural plans for each site. Speaking at the end of the training, Rob said “the surveyors have enjoyed the training and are now aware of how to subdivide a building using a strata plan. It will assist economic development as there will now be another type of housing ownership available to people of the Solomon Islands.”

President of the Surveyors Association Alfred Soaki said that the training has been beneficial to the government and private surveyors, in that it prepares them to carry out strata surveys when the Strata Titles Act commences. Speaking after the training, Alfred said “the local surveyors now have the basic knowledge to do the strata surveying for the registration of strata subdivisions and strata lots”.

Media contact:
Alan McNeil, SPC Chief Technical Adviser and Acting Commissioner of Lands at Ministry of Lands, Housing & Survey, [email protected] or +677 7768145
Mia Rimon, Regional Director, Melanesia (Port Vila), Pacific Community (SPC), [email protected] 

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