Chief raises questions on amendment

Tui Bua Ratu Makutu Nagagavoka. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

Tui Bua Ratu Makutu Nagagavoka has called on Government to hold consultations with landowners regarding proposed amendments to the iTaukei land.

He said he was concerned because most pine farms and the Wairiki port in Bua sat on native lease.

“We have the Wairiki port here in Bua that exports pine chips overseas and if Bill 17 is passed, does this mean that the lessee of the port can give this area out for other purpose without TLTB’s approval?” he asked before the Bill was passed by Parliament yesterday.

“What will happen to these pine farms and other native leases if this Bill is passed?

“If the tenants can go ahead without TLTB’s approval as part of this Bill, what does this mean for landowners?

“How will it protect our future generation? Our land is our biggest source of income for the people of Bua so it’s only right for a consultation to happen.

“If the iTaukei Land Trust Board is no longer needed for consultation over tenants wishing to use the leased land for their own purpose, then what will happen to the landowners?”

Ratu Makutu said these were questions that many landowners wanted to clarify and they should be informed of any changes because it involved land.

“It’s only right that we be consulted because we need to ensure that our future generation will continue to benefit from it.”

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