31 Oct 2003

NLTB in Fiji to review contract clause

3:07 pm on 31 October 2003

Fiji's Native Land Trust Board is reviewing an historical clause in its land lease contracts which stipulates that farmers should not join in boycotts, strikes and trade union activities.

The deputy general manager of the board, Semi Tabakanalagi, says the review comes amid claims that the clause - which has been in existence since 1997 - is new.

He says that the clause was introduced at a time of tension when leases were expiring, but it was no longer deemed to be appropriate.

"We are just really looking at it again because basically the contract should be a contract that is acceptable and in line with business demands and also for the customers and in this case the customers are the farmers"

Mr Tabakanalagi says the clause has never been used to prosecute farmers.

The NLTB controls about 90 per cent of all land in Fiji and manages almost all of the tens of thousands of leases.