30 Sep 2002

Call for an end to Native Land Trust board contol on indigenous land

3:46 pm on 30 September 2002

A report from Fiji has called for an end to the monopoly of the Native Land Trust Board on management of all indigenous land.

The Fiji Times quotes the Report on Strategic Development as saying the intended role of the NLTB when it was established over forty years ago had become redundant.

The report says the NLTB should now take up the role of an estate agency and pass control of native land to indigenous owners.

It says regulated competition to the NLTB should be allowed and landowners need to be actively involved in the administration and decision making processes about their land.

The report says several reasons favour the end of the NLTB's monopoly including the fact that landowners are denied the opportunity to bargain in the open market for the cheapest service.

The report says competition in the open market would result in improvements in rent assessment and the identification of different types of land and their potential users.

It says if the NLTB's monopoly is abolished, services to landlords and tenants would be improved and relationships among the many ethnic groups in the country would be bettered.