13 Dec 2010

Commission hears that Tongans in NZ want women to be able to inherit land back home

11:27 am on 13 December 2010

Some Tongan women who live in Auckland say Tonga should change its law so they can inherit land.

Any male over the age of 16 in Tonga is entitled to eight acres of land, which must be provided free of charge, either by the government or his local noble.

Women do not have this right.

And they cannot inherit land but can lease it.

Luciana Lolohea was among the women who told the Tongan Royal Land Commission the country's land tenure system is out-dated and favours men.

"Lots of the inheritors of the family, there's no men in there, and so the women have a right for that."

Luciana Lolohea says some Tongan traditions oppress women and have to change.

The chairman of the commission, Baron Filakepa, says the views heard in Auckland match those from the community in Tonga and the United States.