18 Feb 2013

Fiji land law change welcomed

2:33 pm on 18 February 2013

A Fijian academic says the interim government's new land laws will benefit local landowners.

The interim Attorney General says the move was needed to close a loophole that allowed some land to become freehold.

Aiyas Sayed Khaiyam says the previous practice was not transparent and it had been used by previous Governments to profit at the expense of the iTaukei landowners.

The University of Auckland's Dr Steven Ratuva, says it is overdue and will ensure landowners are more actively engaged in the use of customary land and its development.

"It's transforming the whole process to innovation, land use innovation, to make sure the iTaukei themselves benefit directly from the land, rather than the land being simply leased out and somebody else takes the benefit and the lease comes back, so at the moment it is a very passive land use by the Fijians."

University of Auckland academic, Dr Steven Ratuva.