16 Dec 2019

Needs of iTaukei being ignored by Fiji's govt - high chief

3:51 pm on 16 December 2019

A paramount chief in Fiji says indigenous people in the country are falling behind in key metrics, including education and employment.

Fiji's Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa.

Ro Teimumu Kepa. Photo: RNZI / Sally Round

The head of the Burebasaga Confederacy, Ro Teimumu Kepa, said iTaukei were also being over-represented in crime, which she attributed to a failure of the government.

However, Ro Teimumu said because the government was not recording ethnicity among its official crime statistics, it was not able to recognise how it was failing its indigenous people.

The societal reasons behind iTaukei being involved in much of the lawlessness in the country were being ignored, she said.

"They're just turning a blind eye because they believe when we ask for ethnicity to be factored in, we are termed racists.

"So, when it's not addressed here, then you cannot put interventions in place to address those issues."