Comments

Facts about iTaukei land ownership

How safe were the iTaukei lands under the 1990 and 1997 Constitutions? Not very safe if they allowed for native land to be converted to crown land and then into
15 Jul 2014 08:45

How safe were the iTaukei lands under the 1990 and 1997 Constitutions? Not very safe if they allowed for native land to be converted to crown land and then into freehold land.

Two instances have come up where two prime land had been converted from native to crown and than to freehold land.
What is of great concern is that that such conversion took place at the expense of native landowners.
Momi and Denarau Island’s residential lots would have been of great value financially for landowners today.
The failure of the then Native Land Trust Board to also negotiate optimum rental for landowners is also a concern that mataqalis today are worried about.
So, how could entrenched provisions in the two Constitutions fail to safeguard native land? Obviously because of the loophole that existed in law. Provisions of the 2013 Constitution need to be applauded that some real safeguards can finally protect iTaukei land.
Section 28 (1) of the Constitution states: The ownership of all iTaukei land shall remain with the customary owners of the land and iTaukei land shall not be permanently alienated, whether by sale, grant, transfer or exchange, except to the State in accordance with section 27.
(2) Any iTaukei land acquired by the State for a public purpose after the commencement of this Constitution under section 27 or under any written shall revert to the customary owners if the land is no longer required by the State. Any change in the land laws requires not only a parliamentary majority but also 75 per cent of voters in a national referendum. The people’s power is the clincher here. It never existed in previous Constitutions. Any land wanted by the State for public use would go through negotiations between the State and landowners like the current talks between Government and landowners in Nadali and Naselai over the extension of the Nausori Airport runway. Monasavu hydro power station and other major infrastructure developments were done after landowners and Government agreed on compensation.
So there is no threat or danger against land.

jyoti pratibha
Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj




Subscribe to E-Edition
pacific island top up
Rewa Fiji Dairy Ltd
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: