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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i


Fiji State Land Tenants To Benefit From Consultations
Lands ministry representatives will begin meetings in February

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan. 31, 2013) – More than 17,000 state land tenants will now have the opportunity to voice their concerns with Fiji’s Ministry of Lands or liaise on any issue regarding state land leasing and licensing.

This comes after Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama during his visit to Sigatoka found out that farmers were facing problems with their land leases and very less was done by the authorities concerned.

Bainimarama who is also the Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources after receiving complaints immediately instructed a team of officials to visit homes and hear first hand their concerns.

And the Ministry of Lands in response has advertised a list of areas in the western division where tenants will be requested to attend the face-to-face consultations.

Permanent Secretary Tevita Boseiwaqa in a statement has called on tenants and other stakeholders in the Western Division to heed to the PM’s message to "talk to the right people" to address their concerns.

"I would encourage them (tenants and stakeholders) to come forward because as the Prime Minister has stressed, you need to talk to the right people and the right people are coming down," he said.

"The officials will be listening to their concerns, giving advice and if possible solving their problems right there and then."

The face to face consultation begins from Sigatoka at the District Officers (DO) office on February 4, 2013 and moves on to Nadi the next day at the DO Nadi’s office.

Similarly, the Commissioner Western’s Office in Lautoka on February 6 and DO’s office in Ba and Rakiraki on February 7 and 8 will also provide people the same opportunity.

Boseiwaqa said the four division’s will be covered in the first quarter with the first consultation being held in the West as the State has the largest number of tenants.

"We will be going back to the West in the next two weeks since in the first round we might miss out some people and this will also be like a follow-up for us," he said.

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