Nevis Premier Defends New Deal With Newfound Group

CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (March 08, 2007)
Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance the Hon. Joseph Parry denounced critics who claimed that the renegotiated deal with Canadian developers Newfound Group and the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) led Nevis Island Administration (NIA) for the development of Pinneys Estate was for party politics and not in the interest of Nevisians.

The criticism had been levelled against the NIA following the announcement of the new arrangement by Mr. Parry, Hon Hensley Daniel, the Hon. Carlisle Powell, Hon. Dwight Cozier and Cabinet Secretary Mr. Ashley Farrell and a team from Newfound comprised of Mr. Brian Dobbin, Mr Michael Morton president of the TDC Group of Companies and Mr. Todd Reppert during a press briefing at Bath Hotel on Friday March 02, 2007.

In an interview with the Department of Information on Wednesday March 07, 2007, Mr Parry said anyone who believed that it was just a political issue was someone who was not sensitive to issues surrounding the deal, who was un Nevisian and someone who had no love for Nevis but held more interest in party politics and assume power to manipulate the people of Nevis.“We (NRP) stated categorically at that time (election campaign), that, that deal would not stand and once we got into government, we set out to change the deal and we have been successful in doing this. To me it draws a line and it makes a difference between the Nevis Reformation Party and the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM).

“Let me be very blunt about it. We have represented the people we have given representation that has been lacking for all these years. The Concerned Citizens Movement has always been concerned about being elected and have never given that type of representation that the people of Nevis required so that is the first statement I wish to make that we represented the people and we struck a deal that the people of Nevis can live with,” he said and added, “Whosoever wants to knock this deal has to be someone who does not have the people of Nevis at heart. I am here to say, Nevisians need representation and we are giving them representation and we are proud to give them representation.”

According to Mr. Parry, the initial agreement between the Developers and the former CCM Administration was renegotiated to reflect a reduction of 10 years tax holiday from the initial 30 year period under the old contract to 20 in line with the regular arrangements of that nature here.

The new agreement also reflected the recovery of over 172 acres of land in addition to the historical sights (which had not been mentioned in the previous proposal), for the people of Nevis in exchange for a reduction of the purchase price from $21 million to $19 million.

“What this means is that as the value of these lands increase and improves in value and there are capital gains, we (Nevis) would benefit to the point where we will end up having millions of dollars for the continuing development of Nevis.

“I wish to make this point as well, we (Nevisians) were told that the cost of the lands was $10 million but when you are building, the cost of the loan to cover the 10 million you are really paying $18 million and we would have only benefited to the tune of $3million. So now we are talking about millions of dollars because of this deal that the Nevis Island Government will have for future development of the island,” he said.

Mr. Parry explained that the Administration had confirmed with Newfound Group that Starwood Hotels with their resort brand “W” would develop the Pinneys property. He said Newfound was already in the process of attracting another five star brand to establish a major hotel on the eastern side of the main road.

Aside from the successful renegotiation of the agreement, Mr. Parry disclosed that Newfound had also agreed to establish a vocational training school which would provide training for Nevisians in the hospitality industry. It would afford them the opportunity to secure jobs at every level and to travel abroad in an effort to secure upper management positions.

“This especially means a lot to me because if we are developing an industry, we must employ our people at all levels and if we are to make the tourism industry truly Nevisian, we must demonstrate to young people, it is a place they can have a job or career by showing that our people are there in upper management and performing,” Mr. Parry said.

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