Draft Village By-law Consultations End
Ministry says the 14 provinces had made their submissions and proposals
The draft village by-law consultations within the 14 provinces in Fiji concluded in Matailobau Village in Naitasiri yesterday.
The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs had been travelling in all provinces around the country to conduct the consultations.
Permanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs Naipote Katonitabua said the 14 provinces had made their submissions and proposals on the drafted village by-laws.
He said it was their duty to take out copies of the laws and explain to villages what it was about.
Along the process, Mr Katonitabua said they have had good debates over the drafted by-laws, villagers had raised their grievances and received positive responses.
He said introducing corporal punishment in villages was an issue that was highlighted in the provincial consultations.
Mr Katonitabua said it was now their responsibility to finalise the proposals from the 14 provinces and submit them to Government.
He said it was Government’s decision on how to address the issues raised from the provinces.
Mr Katonitabua said the report would be submitted to the board chairperson and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama who would then decide on what actions to take.
Within May and June, he said final submissions would be gathered from all the 14 provinces before a final report is given to Mr Bainimarama.
However, few districts from Naitasiri raised their concerns that they were not properly consulted by the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs officials on the drafted by-laws.
Some villagers said it was just like a ‘piece of paper’ to them.
In response, Mr Katonitabua said the iTaukei Affairs Ministry officials would be deployed to their villages for further consultation.
Edited by Caroline Ratucadra