13 Dec 2010

Tongan women seek reforms to land law

10:01 am on 13 December 2010

Some Tongan women who live in New Zealand are seeking reforms to the law in Tonga so they're able to inherit land.

They have told a sitting in Auckland of the Tongan Royal Land Commission that the country's land tenure system favours men and is out-dated.

Any male over 16 in Tonga is entitled to eight acres of land which must be provided free of charge, either by the government or his local noble.

This right does not apply to women, who also cannot inherit though they are able to lease land.

Luciana Lolohea, who is Tongan and a permanent resident in New Zealand, says the law is behind the times and needs to change.

Commission chairman Baron Filakepa says the views heard in Auckland match those from the community in Tonga and the United States.