11 Apr 2006

Samoa government asked to respond to Siumu land claim

3:40 pm on 11 April 2006

A New Zealand-based Samoan lawyer says a judge in Samoa has asked the government to respond to a land claim case by Siumu district chiefs by the end of the month.

Olinda Woodroffe, who is representing the chiefs, says the 2,000 acres of prime land given to colonial powers a century ago is now illegally in the hands of the Samoan government.

She says back then there was legislation in place to prevent landgrabs but the land was illegally sold by an individual in return for guns rather than any monetary sum.

Ms Woodroffe says it has been six weeks since the government was first served papers on the case.

"I just continue to just maintain they've got a good case because I've done research and believe they have a good case, and that the government has a duty to deal with the case effiently rather than just a fob off - those are my words."

Olinda Woodroffe.