30 Apr 2008

Land Reform Bill not Samoan, says Samoa Party

9:58 pm on 30 April 2008

The leader of the Samoa Party says the government's land reform bill will strip away the ownership of customary land in traditional Samoan culture.

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

Su'a Rimoni Ah Chong says the bill is geared towards individualizing titles of land owners, rather than the land being owned by a family title that incorporates collective ownership.

"Now that is a departure from our customary land ownership rules in Samoa. And to us that presents a risk as it will open the door to preclude heirs of extended family under that title and the landa could be registered under or owned by just one individual under the law. And that is not Samoan."

Su'a Rimoni Ah Chong says he's worried that the majority of Samoans are uninformed as to the real implications of the land reform bill.