3 May 2013

Bainimarama signals Fiji constitution will beef up i Taukei land rights

11:17 am on 3 May 2013

The Fiji regime leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama has signalled a change in the government's draft constitution to better protect indigenous people's land rights.

The government has been gathering feedback on the draft over the last month and many i-Taukei say the draft does not go far enough to protect their land.

There have been calls for land laws to be entrenched in the new constitution as they were in the abrogated 1997 document.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama has told Radio Tarana feedback shows some i-Taukei are unhappy and they want stronger provisions despite protection offered under existing law and in the draft's Bill of Rights.

"We've listened and we're working on that. I can't say anything more because we're still working on the precise language. But rest assured land rights will be specifically guaranteed."

Commodore Bainimarama says he hoped the constitution will be in place by June.