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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

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


Native Land Law Amendments Raise Concerns In Fiji
Democratic coalition says freehold land conversions ‘illegal’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 19, 2013) – Fiji’s Coalition for Democracy is worried about a decree to amend native land laws that has been issued by the interim government.

Fiji’s Land Act has been amended to prevent any further iTaukei or native land being able to be converted to freehold land.

The proposal from the Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has been approved by Cabinet and gazetted.

The coalition’s Nik Naidu says laws around land are so sensitive that potential changes used to require lengthy debate and consultation with land owners and chiefs.

"When it comes to native land in particular in Fiji, indigenously owned its sensitive issue and past precedence has been the indigenous population in particular, the Great Council of Chiefs could veto and there’d be consults with landowners before laws could be touched, amended or passed."

Nik Naidu says this latest amendment is just one more of the interim regime’s illegal laws.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com
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