4 Nov 2013

South Efate chiefs want more Vanuatu land reform talks

2:55 pm on 4 November 2013

The South Efate council of chiefs in Vanuatu intends presenting a petition to the prime minister, saying it has not been properly consulted on planned land reforms.

The reforms, which have been driven by land minister, Ralph Regenvanu, aim to make land transfers more transparent and were widely welcomed in Port Vila last month.

But a spokesperson for the chiefs, Alick Kalmelu, says South Efate, which includes Port Vila, has many land disputes and there are concerns that Mr Regenvanu had not consulted them.

"The awareness meeting was held in Port Vila and not on Efate Rural. In other words there were no meetings by the ministry of lands and the department of lands held in all islands of Vanuatu, only in main centres, not in villages, or tribal meetings that should be arranged by the minister and the ministry of lands."

Meanwhile the prime minister, Moana Carcasses, says the land bill will not be ready to be tabled in the next parliamentary session.