4 Mar 2011

Vanuatu Lands Ministry overhauls lease system

4:10 pm on 4 March 2011

Vanuatu's new Lands Minister is promising thorough reforms in the land lease system which he says has lacked transparency for years.

Ralph Regenvanu says new applications for registration of land leases of customary land will require consent from an entire landowner clan, not just individuals.

NGOs like Transparency International and Oxfam have repeatedly warned about corrupt land deals under successive Lands Ministers alienating many ni-Vanuatu from customary land.

Mr Regenvanu has halted all registration of land leases while the Ministry builds a system that ensures against the kind of unfair deals that have been

"Allowing land to be sold for peanuts but also allowing the wrong landowners to sell other landowners' land, allowing a few individuals to act without the consent of their clans to sell clan land, allowing of leases to be granted that breach planning, foreshore requirements, all sorts of things."

Ralph Regenvanu