NATION

Church Wins Kaba Island Case

  The Suva High Court has  made a ruling that the $25 million Kaba Island in Nadroga return to the hands of the Methodist Church of Fiji. Church general secretary
14 Apr 2016 17:41
Church Wins Kaba Island Case
Court

 

The Suva High Court has  made a ruling that the $25 million Kaba Island in Nadroga return to the hands of the Methodist Church of Fiji.

Church general secretary Revered Epeneri Vakadewavosa said High Court Judge Justice Deepthi Amaratunga dismissed proceedings filed by land developer Tom Wynyard and Gulf Pacific (Fiji) Limited.

The developer had attempted to force the trustees of the Methodist Church in Fiji and the Methodist Church Holding Trust to issue a 99-year lease over the freehold 60-acre Kaba Island.

The island belonging to the church is situated off Cuvu.

Reverend Vakadewavosa said in 2005, the church and Mr Wynyard entered into an Option Agreement for the lease of Kaba Island subject to certain terms and conditions.

“Mr Wynyard had to fulfil like providing the church with a feasibility study, environment impact assessment report and obtaining the consent of the Minister responsible for land (the Minister for Lands) under section 6 of the Land Sales Act,” he said.

According to Reverend Vakadewavosa none of these conditions were fulfilled.

However, Mr Wynyard chose to exercise the option to lease Kaba Island.

“He then commenced civil proceedings against the Church in 2008 for the Court to specifically perform the contract by entering into a prepared Development Lease.”

According to Reverend Vakadewavosa, Mr Wynyard also simultaneously lodged a caveat over the title of Kaba Island preventing the Church from dealing with the land.

The caveat will soon be uplifted as it was extended until the hearing and determination of the case.

He said church lawyer Simione Valenitabua represented the Methodist church with lawyer Peniana Salele.

Reverend Vakadewavosa said that it had been a long wait for both parties but the court had made its decision and the church respected its judgment.

The Court ruled that Mr Wynyard’s claim be dismissed and struck out because he had failed to comply with conditions of the same contract he tried to enforce.

As a result, he said after 11 years of wait, the Church now had the opportunity to deal with Kaba Island by developing it for tourism purposes being located next to the Shangri-La Fijian Resort.

Currently the island has been used for hiking for Guests of the Shangri-La Fijian Resort.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

 

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper