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Land Tops Talks

Land Tops Talks
Public Consultation at Naila Village in Dravo, Tailevu, on Friday night. Photo: Maika Tauribau
May 03
10:29 2015

Land continues to be the hottest subject discussed as the iTaukei public consultations continue.

To date the consultations have recorded an increase in land disputes.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, Savenaca Kaunisela, said disputes over land ownership would always come up during the consultations.

Mr Kaunisela said the dispute discussions were welcomed because it was their duty to set things straight.

Last Friday at Naila Village, in Dravo, Tailevu, another land dispute was raised.

Village headman (turaga-ni-koro), Aisake Nakelo told Mr Kaunisela and his team that he wanted a piece of land that had been given away returned to him.

The land currently has matured mahogany trees on it.

Mr Nakelo said the land belonged to his forefathers.

He explained the piece of land was given to another mataqali (clan) by an elderly woman, to be used as their feeding ground. He said there was nothing in writing to confirm the verbal agreement.

Since nothing was in writing, Mr Nakelo wanted the piece of land returned to him.

The chairman of the iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission (TLFC), Ratu Vananalagi Vesikula, took note of Mr Nakelo’s claims adding they would check their records.

When the land in question was given, the recipient had planted mahogany on it. It is ready for harvesting this year.

Meanwhile, Ratu Vananalagi also stressed to the people of Naila that they needed to install their chief and be registered with TLFC.

He said most of the traditionally- installed chiefs were not registered with them and this was a stumbling block when they wanted to carry out developments.

Most of the applications for village developments had to be signed by the village chief and if they were not registered with the TLFC it would be hard.

The Government, he said, supported village developments, but one of the requirements was that applications must be signed by a registered chief.

Ratu Vananalagi said this would make it easier for them to work on village projects or even solve disputes when the chief was registered.




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