26 Sep 2013

Vanuatu's Nagriamel opposed to land ownership change plans

3:17 pm on 26 September 2013

Vanuatu's Nagriamel custom movement says it is opposed to the initiative of the minister of land, Ralph Regenvanu, to change land laws.

A spokesman of Nagriamel, Jeff Patunvanu, says in 1975, the movement's leader, Jimmy Steven, went to the United Nations to demand independence from Britain and France to enable locals to regain control of their land.

Mr Patunvanu says the minister's proposed plan is confusing and also goes against the constitution, which he says is only 33 years old.

"It's very wrong. The land belongs to the indigenous landowners. It's not for the group, it's not some community. We don't have community in our custom. We have a tribe, we have all our tribes."

Jeff Patunvanu says the proposed change will not work but cause more land disputes.