The Samoa Parliament has passed the second reading of a lands amendment bill
which will authorize the legal sale of state lands to several villages whose people
are residing on government lands under a lease agreement with the Samoa Land
Corporation or SLC.
The bill also aims at putting the ownership of the lands involved under customary authority that involves the traditional matai system and not a freehold.
This means the villages cannot sell it but keep the lands for future generations.
However families of Vaitele tai village who are residing on a lease of 29
acres of state land are rejecting the move.
A village matai, Toi Ioane Ilalio, says the government should consider that all his village lands had been unlawfully sold to the Germans during the colonial administration and therefore the land should be given to them without paying 15 thousand US Dollars per quarter acre.
The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment who is the chairman of the
government lands committee, Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, will meet with a village
delegation next week to further discuss the issue.