MEDIA RELEASE: FIJIAN PRIME MINISTER GIVES ASSURANCE THAT ERRORS IN I’TAUKEI LAND TITLE RECORDS CAN BE CORRECTED

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, has said that a proper mechanism exists to correct any errors in the records of the i’Taukei Lands Commission relating to land title.

For the second day in a row, the Opposition withdrew a question in the Parliament relating to i’Taukei affairs just before the PM was due to answer it.

“This is becoming an Opposition stunt, to waste the Government’s time formulating answers to questions that it then withdraws at the last minute. But once again – for the second day running – let me answer that question publicly for the benefit of the Fijian people”.

The Prime Minister said the i’Taukei Lands and Fisheries Commission had the legal right to make any alteration or correction if an error relating to any land title could be established under the i’Taukei Lands Act.

“But of course, this cannot apply to the findings of the Commission of Inquiry of 1912 or the “Veitarogi Vanua”, which some people want to undermine but it cannot be revisited because of the potential to cause unnecessary conflict.”

The PM said other alleged errors in the records were being tested and settled in a just and fair manner.

“In fact, the Commission has been dealing successfully with such cases over many years and this process will continue. The i’Taukei Lands Act also provides for an appeal process should any party be aggrieved about one of its decisions”.

The Prime Minister said an appeal against a Commission ruling could be lodged with the i’Taukei Lands Appeal Tribunal. And if aggrieved parties weren’t satisfied with the Tribunal’s ruling, they could seek a judicial review from the High Court.

“The Fijian public can rest assured that a proper mechanism exists to deal with any complaint. So I am again at a loss to understand why the Opposition is playing this game in the Parliament when it knows the appeal system is operating well and in the interests of all Fijians,” the Prime Minister concluded.