11 Jul 2011

Tahiti draft raises land confiscation fears

2:49 pm on 11 July 2011

Reports from French Polynesia say the government has drafted a plan which has raised fears that it could allow the local administration to seize land whose ownership is considered unclear.

The Nouvelles de Tahiti says a draft law was approved by the government last month and is now being studied by the assembly.

An independent member, Sandra Levy-Agami, says the way the draft has been worded, land could be taken by the government if no succession of ownership has been established for 30 years.

She says this proposal would also allow for the confiscation of a building whose owners are not clearly identified and where land tax is outstanding.

A group of indigenous landowners has also denounced the reported plan as neo-colonialist.

It says this move comes on top of the group's 40-year struggle with France which has failed to respect the land provisions as laid out in the treaties of 1842 and 1880 signed by Tahiti's royals and France.