3 Dec 2012

Chiefs upset Queen to be taken off Fiji's currency

11:34 pm on 3 December 2012

A decision to remove images of the Queen from Fiji's currency has been met with outrage from the country's chiefs.

Fiji's Reserve Bank has announced plans to replace the monarch with images of Fijian flora and fauna, the ABC reports.

The chiefs say the British Royals were given the chiefly title of Tui Viti, and Queen Elizabeth is the Queen of Fiji, not just of Britain.

The man who led Fiji's first coup in 1987, General Sitiveni Rabuka, says the move is an attempt to deny an important part of Fiji's historical identity.

One of Fiji's paramount chiefs, Ro Teimumu Kepa, who heads the Burebasaga Confederacy, said in a statement that she was very disappointed there was no consultation over the decision, reports the ABC.

She says the Queen's image on banknotes and coins have been part of Fiji since the island was ceded to Queen Victoria in 1874, and even in the wake of independence, the Queen is still held in the highest regard by the people of Fiji.

Ro Teimumu Kepa says it is disappointing that such changes can be made unilaterally without a reason being given.