New law forbidding foreigners from owning land in PNG

5:03 pm on 6 March 2015

Foreigners and investors entering Papua New Guinea will no longer be able to purchase land once changes to the Land Act are passed into law.

Food production in Papua New Guinea

Land ownership to be restricted Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The Post Courier reports that the Lands and Physical Planning Minister, Benny Allen, has confirmed the changes they are making would restrict ownership of land to nationals only.

Although all land titles have to be awarded to Papua New Guineans land could be sub-leased to foreigners or on a joint venture basis.

Almost 97 percent of land in PNG is still owned by traditional landowners with the State owning the remaining three percent.

Mr Allen says State land would never be returned to customary landowners.

Land issues and disputes have become a major issue in the country causing often violent conflict between clans.