23 Sep 2013

Vanuatu's opposition vows to repeal proposed land reforms

8:50 am on 23 September 2013

Vanuatu's Opposition bloc has warned it will repeal the new land law if it is passed in November, when it returns to power.

The Minister of Lands Ralph Regenvanu is touring the six provinces to market the new "proposed land reform policy".

One of the shifts from the current Land Act is that the Minister's power of approval of land leases will be handed over to the Land Management and Planning Committee to oversee such approvals of land leases.

Another possible clause covers "unknown persons" or those adopted by Vanuatu families, and whether or not they too should have similar rights over land.

The spokesman for the Nagriamel Movement of the Opposition bloc, Jeff Patunvanu, says the proposed policy is an insult to the founders of the country's independence struggle who fought to free ni-Vanuatu custom land from colonial yoke.

Mr Patunvanu says the Constitution is clear when it ruled all land to be returned to custom landowners in 1980.