14 Jan 2004

Fiji landowners want movie studio project to be put on hold

7:22 am on 14 January 2004

A group of indigenous landowners in Fiji has called for all work on the 500 million US dollar Studio City project to be put on hold while their claim to the land is investigated.

The land at Yaqara in North Western Viti Levu was leased to Paradise Entertainment Limited by the Native Lands Trust Board but three groups are claiming it.

One of them, the Nabulou landowning unit, says the NLTB did not take their claim into account in issuing the lease.

Fiji TV reports that the group has now presented documents claiming to substantiate their claim to the prime minister and minister for Fijian affairs, Laisenia Qarase.

Mr Qarase has reportedly told them that they will be heard if the documents they have provided are authentic.

A spokesman for the landowners, Labour Party MP Daniel Urai, says the Native Land Trust Board had not informed the prime minister of the status of their claim.