27 Nov 2007

Name change of Fiji Ministry could lead to term indigenous Fijjan being dropped

4:30 pm on 27 November 2007

The planned redesignation of the Ministry of Fijian Affairs could lead to a change in the name used to refer to indigenous Fijians.

The interim government has announced plans to rename the Ministry as the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs and put it under the Prime Minister's portfolio.

The head of the Sociology Division at the University of the South Pacific, Dr Steve Ratuva, says the name change gives weight to those who want the term"Fijian" to apply to all Fiji nationals:

"One of the proposals by the interim government is that Fijians be called Taukei, which means owners of the land and everyone else can be called Fijians, because that's what they use outside Fiji to refer to those from Fiji whether they are Indian, Chinese of European as long as they are Fiji nationals."

The head of the Sociology Division at the USP, Dr Steve Ratuva.