NEWS

Prime Minister Counters Opposition Time-Wasting

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, said that a proper mechanism existed to correct any errors in the records of the iTaukei Lands Commission relating to land titles. For the second
15 May 2015 09:28
Prime Minister Counters Opposition Time-Wasting
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama (right) with Sivaniolo Ratu (left), and Mosese Cakau outside Parliament yesterday. Photo: Paulini Ratulailai

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, said that a proper mechanism existed to correct any errors in the records of the iTaukei Lands Commission relating to land titles.

For the second day in a row, the Opposition yesterday withdrew a question in Parliament relating to iTaukei affairs just before the PM was due to answer it.

“This is becoming an Opposition stunt, to waste the Government’s time formulating answers to questions that it then withdraws at the last minute. But once again – for the second day running – let me answer that question publicly for the benefit of the Fijian people,” Mr Bainimarama said.

The Prime Minister said the iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission had the legal right to make any alteration or correction if an error relating to any land title could be established under the iTaukei Lands Act.

“But, of course, this cannot apply to the findings of the Commission of Inquiry of 1912 or the “Veitarogi Vanua”, which some people want to undermine, but it cannot be revisited because of the potential to cause unnecessary conflict.”

The PM said other alleged errors in the records were being tested and settled in a just and fair manner.  “In fact, the Commission has been dealing successfully with such cases over many years and this process will continue.

The iTaukei Lands Act also provides for an appeal process should any party be aggrieved about one of its decisions.”

The Prime Minister said an appeal against a Commission ruling could be lodged with the iTaukei Lands Appeal Tribunal.

And if aggrieved parties weren’t satisfied with the Tribunal’s ruling, they could seek a judicial review from the High Court.

“The Fijian public can rest assured that a proper mechanism exists to deal with any complaint.

“So I am again at a loss to understand why the Opposition is playing this game in Parliament when it knows the appeal system is operating well and in the interests of all Fijians,” the Prime Minister concluded.

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