1 Sep 2008

American Samoa Government pleads hardship over call for land to be returned

3:38 pm on 1 September 2008

An American Samoan government lawyer, the Reverend Asaua Fuimaono, says the state would face hardship if it was forced to return land to its original owners.

This comes as the Fagaima family is trying to get about 32 hectares in Tafuna returned.

But the government says it has invested millions of dollars to develop the property where the Tafuna Industrial Park is sited.

The Reverend Asaua Fuimaono says it would be a hardship for the government to meet the family's demands.

The sa'o or senior matai of the Fagaima clan, Fagaima Milovale Solaita, says the family has grown and needs the land to build homes.

He says the family is willing to work with the government and realizes the challenges that it faces.

But he says it has been decades and there's been no attempt to offer a mutually beneficial solution.