16 Oct 2015

Push for moratorium on changes to Cooks land law

1:47 pm on 16 October 2015

A group of traditional chiefs in the Cook Islands is calling for the government to put a moratorium on proposed changes to land occupation rights.

The Koutu Nui president, Terea Mataiapo Paul Allsworth

The Koutu Nui president, Terea Mataiapo Paul Allsworth Photo: RNZI / Mary Baines

Last month, a draft practice note written by the country's law society and judges, which outlined proposed changes to the law, was made public in error.

The Koutu Nui president, Terea Mataiapo Paul Allsworth, says the changes could mean occupation rights are no longer granted in perpetuity but for just 60 years.

Terea Mataiapo says he has been in talks with the minister of lands and justice, Nandi Glassie, about his concerns.

"We asked the minister to consider the possibility of putting in place a moratorium on the practice note until such time all these issues are resolved with the three vakas and the landowners on Rarotonga."

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