23 Feb 2007

Samoa Lands and Titles court rejects village ban

3:15 pm on 23 February 2007

The Lands and Titles court in Samoa has rejected an application by the village council of Safa'ato'a Lefaga, to ban a matai and his family.

The village council took the matter to court when Fiauiva'a Ausage and his family last year refused to leave following a village decision to stop his Seventh Day Adventist church parish operating.

The court has ordered Fiauiva'a to remain in Safa'ato'a with his family but he was told that he must respect the matais and participate in the village activities of the day.

He was also ordered to stop the running the church, which is on his extended family's customary land, unless all members of the Fiauiva'a matai title agree it can operate.