19 Apr 2004

Talanoa agreement in Fiji on land issues described as a breakthrough

1:17 pm on 19 April 2004

An agreement reached at talanoa talks over land issues between the Fiji government and the Labour party, is being called a breakthrough.

Dr Sitiveni Halapua, the convenor of the discussions, says both sides agreed that a joint parliamentary committee should draft legislation and it would be done according to clearly defined principles.

The government has since announced that it will no longer present draft land lease legislation to parliament which it had unilaterally prepared.

Dr Halapua says both sides agreed to a vision and a set of principles to guide the parliamentary committee.

"The first one is what they call the need for building and maintaining trust and confidence. The other one is creating a sense of fairness and equity, both from the point of view of the landowners but also from the tenants. The third one is the need to promote security, to provide the best possible security."

Dr Sitiveni Halapua.