Company explains new bonus payment procedure

Fiji Pine Ltd operations manager Asesela Cokanalagi, right, discusses an issue with landowners in Bua. picture SERAFINA SILAITOGA/FILE.

PINE landowners within the district of Bua will meet to decide whether to re-lease their native land over planted by Fiji Pine Ltd after their consultation with the company and iTaukei Land Trust Board this week.

Speaking at the recent pine landowners consultation in Bua Lomanikoro on Tuesday, landowners spokesman Sitiveni Solei claimed that bonus promised by FPL as a goodwill for landowners wishing to re-lease their native land that were overplanted by the company was a lure to blind them.

Mr Solei said landowners in the district had signed a petition to voice their decision of not re-leasing overplanted land to FPL.

In a strong submission at the consultation, Mr Solei told FPL’s operations manager Asesela Cokanacagi that they were fed up with the lies the company told them, saying that they chose to be free now.

Mr Solei said landowners just wanted their land back.

However, in response to these concerns, Mr Cokanacagi told Mr Solei that the decision to re-lease overplanted lands to the company was upon landowning units.

Mr Cokanacagi said those who intended to return their overplanted land to the company would benefit with a $189 per hectare bonus that the company would pay them apart from the land rent and other fees it was currently paying.

After the consultation, Mr Solei said they would have to sit and re-strategise on their next move. on whether to release overplanted lands or otherwise.

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