25 Sep 2003

Fiji indigenous landowners to launch association

4:36 pm on 25 September 2003

Leading indigenous Fijians are preparing to launch a Landowners and Resources Association next month.

The secretary of the association, Lorima Voravora, has told the Fiji Times a lobby group would be set up to look after the land and resource rights of indigenous Fijians.

A steering committee meeting in Suva this week discussed the returns from leasing indigenous land and the extraction of resources.

The vice-president of the ruling SDL party and paramount chief of Naitasiri, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata, is the president of the new Viti Landowners and Resources Association.

Its formation comes just as the cabinet this week agreed to set up an Indigenous Claims Tribunal to investigate and make recommendations on indigenous claims and grievances, and other areas of discontent.

This is expected to lead to claims on large areas of highly developed urban land in Fiji's towns and cities.