NATION

iTaukei Land, Culture Safe, Says Katonibau

ThePermanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs, Naipote Katonibau, has assured Macuata people that iTaukei rights, land, natural resources, language and culture are intact and safe. He said they were protected by
19 Oct 2016 11:00
iTaukei Land, Culture  Safe, Says Katonibau
From Left: Roko Tui Macuata Sitiveni Lalibuli, Permanent Secretary iTaukei Affairs Naipote Katonitabua and Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere during the Macuata Provincial Council meeting at the Friendly North Inn in Labasa yesterday. Photo:SHRATIKA NAIDU

ThePermanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs, Naipote Katonibau, has assured Macuata people that iTaukei rights, land, natural resources, language and culture are intact and safe.

He said they were protected by the Constitution.

He  added a lot of iTaukei were anxious and were searching to know the truth.

He made the remarks when he opened the Macuata Provincial Council meeting in Labasa yesterday.

Mr Katonibau said the winds of change had brought about new things and foreign ideas and influence. He said they also brought negative influences. He singled out drug abuse, non-communicable diseases and abuse of women and children as examples. He said there was also concern about the proliferation of new churches. He said all these developments had challenged iTaukei lifestyle and culture.

He said iTaukei faced a major challenge to strengthen their traditional base and protect things they treasured the most.

He also said the traditional leadership should be strengthened to serve the people.

He advised the people to manage the resources they depended on for their livelihood.

Mr Katonitabua said in Macuata many people’s income depended on the supply of wood from the forest, resources from the sea and sugarcane farm.

“These resources used to be in great abundance before but when we look at them now I don’t know what will happen in three years time,” Mr Katonitabua said.

“I would like to advise the district reps to go out and tell people to stop overfishing under size fish from the sea; develop your sugarcane farm; if you are cutting trees then plant more to replace them. We must think about our future generation and support the Green Growth Framework,” Mr Katonitabua said.

“I hope and it is my dream that in three years time we can reap the benefits and see more development and growth.”

Meanwhile Mr Katonitabua said this year they had completed eight provincial meetings successfully.

“Before the end of this year we will complete the remaining five provincial meetings and the Methodist Church of Fiji deputy general secretary Reverend Ili Vunisuwai will be accompanying me also.”

Meanwhile, Reverend Vunisuwai urged the districts reps to teach the young generation to save money.

“It is time to get up on your feet and help yourselves instead of relying on the Government,” Reverend Vunisuwai said.

“Aren’t you ashamed of taking money from the Government? You must save money and always have a backup because anything can happen like what we experienced this year, Tropical Cyclone Winston.”

Edited by Rusiate Mataika



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