The SV Team wishes fellow bloggers to brainstorm this article. Qetaki says that the Committee can only recommend to Cabinet unutilised reserved lands, which it deems best for the best interests of the taukei ni qele. We ask, who the hell is this Committee to recommend to this illegal Cabinet, what they think is best for the taukei ni qele!
Furthermore bloggers, when reserved lands are de-reserved and become native lands, NLTB becomes the ‘one stop shop’ and administers the native lands on behalf of the taukei ni qele. In the past, previous Board decision many a times have been at odds with the wishes of its beneficiaries, whose interest it is supposed to protect under section 9 of the NLTB Act.
Of great concern is, that once reserved lands become de-reserved, it turns into native lands, which then can be leased out by the Board, (without requiring over 50% of the signatures of the registered native owners as in reserved lands) as commercial or residential leases, which eventhough it brings high rental returns to the taukei ni qele’s, what they are not told upfront is that their native lands is lost to them forever!
The lease renews itself after each expiry because if the taukei ni qele’s do not wish to renew the commercial or residential lease, then they have to compensate the tenant for the improvements on the land. If they aren’t able to, then the lease by law automatically renews itself.
How many taukei ni qele’s after their reserved lands have been de-reserved and become native lands, which is then re-zoned as commercial or residential leases can actually pay for the improvements on the land at the expiry of the lease? Answer – None.
So what then is the end result? They will continue to enjoy the rents, but no longer their traditional lands. Now when their numbers grow in the future, they will have to look for land elsewhere because their own traditional lands are already permanently utlised.
We at the SV Team propose that full and proper consultations should be carried out between all stakeholders only after a lawful government is returned to power to ensure taukei ni qele’s are not hoodwinked out of their heritage, otherwise the late Ratu Mo’s words will come back to haunt us, when he interpreted NLTB as the acronym for ‘Native Lands No Trust Board.’
Sa dri yani and keep bloging ragone….SV Team.
The Native Land Trust Board (NLTB) has assured land owners not to worry about their land being de-reserved.
Recommendations on the issue were made to the Interim Government’s Committee for Better Utilisation of Land as part of efforts to help improve the economic well being of the country.
Speaking to Radio Fiji News, NLTB Executive Director, Alipate Qetaki says the committee has no authority to take land that land owners are not using.
Qetaki said that the committee can only recommend to cabinet what it deems best.
However land owners are assured that the law binding de-reservation of land has not changed, which means land can only be de-reserved for leasing purposes on the approval of more than 50% of land owners above the age of 21.
Qetaki said that one of the committee’s primary roles is to discuss with land owners the best way their idle land can be utilized so that land owners will get the best out of those land when utilized or what they will get if those pieces of land are left idle.
Qetaki emphasizes that if land owners do not want their idle land utilized so that they will get the maximum benefit.
CEBUL will also discuss with land owners how best can their idle land can be utilized after members of the committee will have gathered all the information required fo best utilization of land.
Qetaki says the Native Land Trust Board Act is still in place and the Board through this Act will see that whatever is done to Native Land will e the best for land owners today and those that are to come.
Fiji Broadcasting Corporation