6 Dec 2016

Expat landowners say Fiji law racist

10:29 am on 6 December 2016

A group representing expatriate landowners in Fiji says changes to the Land Sales Act were racist.

Non-resident landowners have until the end of the year to build a $US120,000 dwelling or pay a fine every six months equal to 10 percent of the value of their land.

Nasau village is still shattered.

Short supply of building materials following Cyclone Winston has made it difficult for non-resident landowners to build a dwelling. Photo: RNZ / Alex Perrottet

A Canadian woman was forcibly deported from Fiji on Saturday just hours after making a parliamentary submission on behalf of expatriate landowners.

The founder of the Fiji Land Owners association, Dave Rand, said the act was amended in 2014 to extort fines from five thousand, mostly white landowners.

"It's something that becomes vindictive in the targeting of a certain group of people in order to extract money from them and I've portrayed it as modern day piracy being alive and well in the south Pacific."

Mr Rand said the scarcity of building resources following Cyclone Winston has made it impossible for all non-resident landowners to build a dwelling by the end of the year.

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