27 Sep 2002

Fijian landowners claim freehold land at pacific Harbour near Suva

10:41 am on 27 September 2002

More than four hundred members of an indigenous Fijian landowning unit have laid claim to all the freehold land at Pacific Harbour about fifty kilometres west of Suva.

Pacific Harbour hosts top resorts, marinas, a world class golf course and hundreds of luxury residential villas owned by overseas investors and locals alike.

A spokesman for the landowning unit, Atunaisa Lalabuka, claims the land was taken from them by fraud and they want it back.

The Fiji Sun newspaper quotes Mr Lalabuka saying statements by the government and the Native Land Trust Board that the land at Pacific Harbour is freehold are completely untrue.

The claim for Pacific Harbour comes just as the Qarase government is preparing to set up a Land Claims Tribunal.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on developing Pacific Harbour which 30 years ago was just swamp land.