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Back west

Ioane Burese
Friday, March 01, 2013

THE Lands Ministry is back west after 440 complaints and issues were received during its first roadshow regarding State land leases.

In a government statement, permanent secretary Tevita Boseiwaqa said the ministry had made a commitment to return with solutions to the issues raised during the roadshow.

Mr Boseiwaqa said Lands officers had noted that many issues raised by tenants and "victims" stemmed from illegal activities such as sub-dividing the land and not using land for what it was intended.

"For the past two weeks our team in the West has been working on addressing these issues and as some of them require the director's (Lands - Mosese Tagicakibau) consent, he was there full time," he said.

Mr Boseiwaqa said two issues prominent during the roadshow was that many leasees were illegally sub-dividing land and not actually farming it.

"They are getting other people to farm on their land and these farmers are in turn paying fees to use the land and farm there. So it is not like a caretaker system, it's like a tenant arrangement," he said.

"The advice from the ministry is that this is illegal and to stop paying any rentals until the ministry formalises their tenure."

Mr Boseiwaqa said many complaints have been attended to and some issues were really about the ministry's processes, so the officers were also engaged in raising awareness.

He has requested people to come forward with their issues. The follow-up consultation started in Sigatoka at the Sigatoka provincial bure yesterday. The consultations move to the Nadi Town Council Civic Centre today and then after the weekend at the George Shiu Raj complex in Rakiraki on Monday.

In Ba, people can take their concerns to the Ba Town Council's Multi-purpose bure next Tuesday and at the divisional surveyor Western's office on Wednesday with all these consultations beginning at 8.30am and finishing at 4.30pm.





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