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Landowners remain firm on decision

Torika Tokalau
Wednesday, November 28, 2012

THE landowners of Navakavu will not back down from their refusal to allow Pacific Building Solutions to develop 36 acres of their land at Draunibota Bay in Lami.

Taniela Vueta Bani, the landowners' committee secretary, said their decision on the issue was final.

"The vanua has met and the decision was made. No changes will be made," said Mr Bani.

A meeting on November 16 attended by chiefs, landowner officials and yavusa representatives agreed to maintain their stand that the land not be developed by PBS.

"We refused to go ahead with the negotiations after finding out the intention of Pacific Building Solutions to lease 36 acres instead of 3.5 acres (which they had initially agreed to)," Mr Bani said.

He said the initial agreement was for 3.5 acres only.

This was decided by elders who met representatives of PBS in a discussion of their intention to lease the 3.5 acres foreshore at Wailekutu earlier this year.

"But before they met for their first sitting to finalise the details of the lease, the landowners found out a Notice of Foreshore Development had already been published in one of the dailies," Mr Bani said.

"It was the leasing of the 36-acre foreshore instead of the 3.5 acres that had already been agreed on."

It is believed PBS has been seeking discussions with roko tui Rewa Timoci Kacanavesi on further consultations for their proposed development.

Questions sent to PBS managing director Michael Fairfax remained unanswered.