23 Mar 2006

Fiji's Native Lands Trust Board embarrassed by extra long term leases of 999 years

8:43 pm on 23 March 2006

Fiji's Native Lands Trust Board has publicly admitted that it has erroneously issued a number of farm leases for an astonishing 999-years.

Radio Fiji reports that the five leases have been issued for large tracts of land at Toko near Tavua.

The radio quotes the NLTB's senior officer in the west, Solomone Naitini, as saying there was a serious error in these leases because the term of agricultural leases under current law is normally 30-years.

He says the lease holders have started subleasing their land for farming, residential and commercial purposes on the strength of the 999-year leases.

Mr Naitini says the 999-year leases are unfair to the indigenous landowners and illegal.

He says NLTB officers will be visiting the tenants to investigate and correct the blunders.