20 Oct 2004

Title challenge forces Fiji Lands Board to suspend payments to title holder

11:13 am on 20 October 2004

Fiji's Native Lands Trust Board has frozen all lease monies due to the holder of a key chiefly title which is under dispute.

The title is that of Tui Nadi whose holder is entitled to very substantial monies received from the large tourism resort developments around the Nadi area and the lease of rich sugar cane lands.

The Fiji Times quotes the general manager of the NLTB, Kalivani Bakani, as saying the monies due to the Tui Nadi would only be distributed when the rightful holder of the title is determined.

The dispute follows claims to the title by Ratu Kaliova Dawaii, who was installed as the Tui Nadi yesterday, amid protests by his nephew, Ratu Napolioni Dawaii.

Supporters of both claimants are vigorously pressing their cases as the Tui Nadi receives what is possibly the biggest sum of money of any chiefly title holder in Fiji.