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Bulitavu: Many Landowners Could End Up Landless

“Mr Taniguchi’s views on indigenous land will undermine indigenous ownership. He plans to bring in a new legislation on land for Mataqali land to be subdivided,” he said.
14 Sep 2022 14:30
Bulitavu: Many Landowners Could End Up Landless
Opposition MP Mosese Bulitavu. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Social Democratic Liberal Party MP, Mosese Bulitavu, believes many landowners will be landless if the new land law proposed by the National Federation Party provisional candidate Hiroshi Taniguchi comes into effect.

Mr Taniguchi spoke his mind on a new land law he would consider if he gets voted into government. He said the current land legislations were strange.

Mr Taniguchi said his new plan was for mataqali land to be subdivided as how landowners liked it but 60 per cent of the village population needed to sign.

 

He said whether the land was sold or leased out, the new owner had rights on it until the lease expires.

Mr Bulitavu said if these were enforced in a legislation as suggested by Mr Taniguchi, it would mean Mataqali will no longer have a say in the dealings of their land.

“Mr Taniguchi’s views on indigenous land will undermine indigenous ownership. He plans to bring in a new legislation on land for Mataqali land to be subdivided,” he said.

National Federation Party provisional candidate, Hiroshi Taniguchi

National Federation Party provisional candidate, Hiroshi Taniguchi.

“It goes on to say that land will be able to be sold and leased out and the new owner has the right.

“He must understand that the laws and system governing indigenous land was introduced by the late Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna in the setup of iTaukei Land Trust Board in 1945.”

“Prior to that the iTaukei Land Commission in its hearing had registered lands, created a Native Land Register (VKB) and boundaries.

The system has been in place ever since.

 

“If the legislation that Mr Taniguchi’s is suggesting aims to remove proprietary rights, it will open up indigenous land to have private titles to be sold like freehold.”

“The indigenous community will be at threat if such law comes into force as many landowning units will be land less.”

“This is the main reason why the late Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna established the TLTB plus the setting up of the ITaukei Land Commission that allowed its first hearing in 1915,” he said.

He said under this government, under section 28 of the 2013 Constitution guarantees protection of iTaukei, Rotuman and Banaban lands, it also protects customary titles and ranks.

 

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