26 Mar 2013

Vanuatu's new Lands Minister keen to reform way country manages land

8:59 am on 26 March 2013

Vanuatu's new Lands Minister says he's determined to reform the way the country manages land after an earlier attempt in a brief previous stint in the role.

Two years ago, Ralph Regenvanu halted all registration of land leases in an attempt to overhaul the system before being sidelined as Minister less than a month into the job.

However ongoing land issues in the Ministry, including the sale of public land at discount rate to department staff, have magnified the need for reform.

Mr Regenvanu says heading the lands ministry presents a big challenge.

"But at least I've been preparing for it for a while, to get into this Ministry. We've done a lot of work, when I was formerly in Lands and especially in Justice, to look at what is required legislatively and policy-wise. There's going to need to be a lot of looking at human resource issues within the Ministry and departments. I think eighty percent of my time will be taken up with cleaning up the mess that's been left."

Ralph Regenvanu.