User ID
Password:
   
Name:
 
Email:
   

     


The Fijian owns native land in their collective groupings according to custom and tradition as follows:

i. Land owned by titular heads of tribes e.g. Chief who for the time being holds the hereditary title of Ka Levu;

ii. Land owned by agnate descendants of a member of a tribe - qele ni kawa;

iii. Land owned by a tokatoka (family unit). This ownership style is widely used in the province of Ba;

iv. Land owned by the mataqali (clan);

v. Land owned by the Yavusa (tribe); and,

vi. Land jointly owned by several yavusa.

The various Native Land Commissions (NLC) appointed under the provisions of the Native Land Act (NLA) have defined ownership boundaries on the ground. In most cases, these boundaries have been surveyed.

Ownership records

A record of the members of each of these landowning units is kept by the NLC in accordance with the provisions of the Native Land Act.

Interests of owners of Fijian Land

The interests of each member of the landowning unit is similar but not equal to the interests of individual freeholders in as far as ownership is concerned. While rights associated with ownership is enjoyed by members, any members of the landowning unit cannot dispose of, transfer or assign such right to anyone of his choice. A member's right of ownership is in reality a collective life interest rather than an individual interest in perpetuity as enjoyed by freeholders. However, as a collective group, the landowning unit has interests in perpetuity subject only to the unit becoming extinct.

Rights of owners of Fijian Land

The rights of owners of Fijian land over the parcels of native land allocated to the members are equal to rights of owners of freeholders. These include the following, to name a few important points:

a. the right to occupy their land;
b. the right to use their own land for their maintenance or support;
c. the right to lease land to others and determine the terms and conditions of such leases acceptable to willing lessee;
d. the right of reversion, after the lease is determined at the end of its term.

In summary, the members of the landowning unit have the right to control and administer their own land. The Fijian landowner enjoyed these rights until 1940 when the Native Land Trust Act was enacted.

Protection of the rights of landowning units under NLTA

Under the Native Land Trust Act, Fijian landowners have surrendered their rights to control and administer their own land and vested these in the Board of Trustees of the Native Land Trust Board to control and administer their land on their behalf. However, to ensure that their rights are protected, under the provisions of the Act, the Native Land Trust Act has included safety provisions. For example;

i. The Board is charged with a duty to control and administer their land for their benefit. This means that the Board in controlling and administering native land must not make decisions that are detrimental to the interests and benefits of the landowning unit.

ii. The Board is not empowered to sell native land outright, except to the State but that the land that is the subject of such a sale would be used solely for public purpose.

iii. The Board is not empowered to deal with native land except as provided for under the provisions of the Native Land Trust Act. Section 7 provides that no native land shall be sold, leased or otherwise disposed of and no licence in respect of native land granted save under and in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

iv. For native land outside reserve, subject to the provisions of s.9, s.8 empowers the Board to grant leases and licences and renewals as may be prescribed by the Board.

v. Section 9 prohibits the Board from granting a lease or licence over native land outside reserve, which is beneficially occupied by the Fijian owners. And prohibits the Board from granting a lease or licence over native land outside native reserve unless the Board is satisfied that such land will not be required by the Fijian owners for their own use, maintenance or support during the term of the proposed lease or licence.

vi. All leases granted must be surveyed and registered in the Register of Native Leases kept by the Registrar of Titles.

vii. The consent to any dealing shall be at the absolute discretion of the Board and any dealing without the consent of the Board shall be invalid.

The above are powers and prohibitions which are contained in the provisions of the Native Land Trust Act in as far as the control and administration of Fijian land outside native reserve vested in the Board. In other words, the above provisions contain the terms and conditions of a Land Management contract between the Fijian landowner and the Board for the right to control and administer communally owned Fijian land.

 
   
 
home | truth vs fiction | about NLTB | land tenure | acquiring leases | property list | investing | downloads | news | faqs | sitemap | contact us
DEVELOPED BY WEBMEDIA