NEWS

Prime Minister Reaffirms Govt’s Stance with iTaukei

The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the iTaukei people today operate from a position of strength unrivalled by any other time in our history. Mr Bainimarama made the remarks at
29 Jun 2017 10:00
Prime Minister Reaffirms Govt’s Stance with iTaukei
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama operating a digger at the groundbreaking ceremony for the iTaukei Land Development Project in Saweni, Lautoka on June 28, 2017. Photo: Charles Chambers

The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the iTaukei people today operate from a position of strength unrivalled by any other time in our history.

Mr Bainimarama made the remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony of the iTaukei Land Development project at Saweni in Lautoka yesterday.

Mr Bainimarama also made the same statements at Vuda, Wairabetia in Lautoka and at Yadua Village in Nadroga in similar groundbreaking ceremonies of iTaukei Land Development projects.

He said land and rights of the iTaukei were protected and enshrined for all time in the Fijian Constitution.

The Saweni subdivision project, when completed would have 34 residential lots, Wairebetia 17 and eight in Vuda complete with water, sewerage, electricity access and sealed roads.

From left: Mohammed Shah, Namara Trust chairperson Nemia Biuloma, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Permanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs Naipote Katonitabua and Paula Namulo during the groundbreaking ceremony of the iTaukei Land Development at Yadua Village, in Nadroga on June 28, 2017. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

From left: Mohammed Shah, Namara Trust chairperson Nemia Biuloma, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Permanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs Naipote Katonitabua and Paula Namulo during the groundbreaking ceremony of the iTaukei Land Development at Yadua Village, in Nadroga on June 28, 2017.
Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The projects came under a special $2 million Government grant with each lot sealed with a 99-year lease.

Mr Bainimarama warned of Opposition’s continuing tired charade of spreading fear and spinning lies in their attempt to deceive the iTaukei people to further their own political and personal ambitions.

“Not one inch of iTaukei land has been lost under my Government, and today around 91 per cent of the land in Fiji is owned by the iTaukei.

“Never have the iTaukei been more secure, never before have they had more opportunities to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. And never before have had young iTaukei men and women given a better shot of realising their dreams and aspirations for the future.

“Indeed never before have all iTaukei people been treated equally amongst themselves. My Government assists all iTaukei people equally. In providing Government service and assistance. We don’t make a distinction between chief and commoner.”

Mr Bainimarama said the motivation for this project was rooted in his deeply held belief to assist all Fijians without discrimination and recognise the ability and ingenuity of all citizens.

“All over Fiji, we have people – men and women with limitless potential – who simply need the means to find success – the means to build better lives for themselves, and uplift those around them to do the same.

“We didn’t only want to protect the ownership of iTaukei land and the rights of the iTaukei, we wanted to do better by providing a solid foundation for growth that would empower iTaukei people and that is what this project is all about.

“The iTaukei people in Fiji have long faced the issue of being asset-rich but cash poor.

“Of course one of the reasons this has been is because the politicians of the past and some even today politicise land ownership.

“Rather than assisting iTaukei people to benefit economically and financially from the land ownership, they simply did nothing about it.

“Rather than telling landowners that if they developed the land themselves and they will not only become cash rich but also create more wealth and opportunities for the country, they sought to only look after themselves.

“We want you to realise benefits from your land and become more economically and financially powerful. We want you to lease your lands for long term leases and get the right rental paid for it.”

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj



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