29 Nov 2005

Fiji NLTB to confirm payout details in Monasavu claims

4:50 pm on 29 November 2005

The Native Lands Trust Board in Fiji is holding a meeting to establish what royalties have been paid out in recent years to indigenous owners of land on which the Monasavu Hydro Power Station is built.

The High Court in Fiji has ruled that 32 million US dollars be paid to eight landowning units, or mataqali, as compensation for damages to property during the Coup of 2000.

However a row has developed with four separated units challenging this, claiming no compensation should be paid because the eight have already received annual royalties.

Spokesman for the Native Lands Trust Board, Nimilote Naivalumaira, says he's still gathering information on what monies have been paid and to whom.

"I understand that part of the land was purchased outright. I think the money is invested with certain a organisation in Fiji and the interest is paid out twice a year."

Nimilote Naivalumaira says the board will meet on December the 15th to confirm the situation.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the four disgruntled units, Kaliveti Matanioro, says the Government and Fiji Electricity Authority have robbed the owners of incomes, and is threatening action if new negotiations are not started immediately.