19 Aug 2010

Samoa's Vaitele villagers ask Government for return of ancestral land

11:40 am on 19 August 2010

The leaders of Samoa's Vaitele village are asking the government to return a small portion of ancestral land lost in colonial times.

The government inherited a large part of the land, which was originally sold for guns and suitcases, from colonial administrators upon independence.

Vaitele's matai eventually negotiated the lease from government of almost 12 hectares and now want that land returned to customary ownership so it can't be sold.

Vaitele's now Samoa's industrial zone, containing a brewery, the biggest private sector employer, Yazaki Samoa, as well as two supermarkets and all the major banks.

The area's also now Samoa's most populated following government subdivision in the 1990s of agricultural land for residential purposes.