30 Apr 2008

Call for referendum in Samoa over land reform plans

2:05 pm on 30 April 2008

Samoa's umbrella organisation for NGO's has formed a committee to urge people to push for a referendum over the government's land reform bill.

The Registration Land Bill 2007 is expected to be passed through its final reading in parliament next month.

SUNGO committee member Leiataua Kilali Alailima says Samoans will lose their traditional right to customary land if the bill goes through.

"At this time, most Samoans don't have a clue as to what is inside this bill....and how it would affect their right in custom in the collective. And since it affects 82 percent of land in Samoa, it is really a significant enough a bill that really does require more understanding by the public at large."

Leiataua Kilali Alailima says under the constitution a referendum is required over any changes to customary land laws.