4 Jan 2017

Fiji land offered at bargain price

4:14 pm on 4 January 2017

A 1.8-acre plot of freehold land has gone on sale in Fiji for $US20 as an amended land law starts to bite.

Land offered cheaply on Koro Island

Land offered cheaply on Koro Island Photo: fijirealestate.com website

Under the Land Sales Act, foreign landowners who failed to build a $US120,000 house by the end of last year have to pay either a fine every six months, which is equal to 10 percent of the value of their land, or risk being jailed.

Fijirealestate.net has a listing offering 1.8 acres of ocean view land on Koro Island for $US20.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, North American landowner Karen Seaton, who was deported last year, said the sale showed owners have lost faith in the legislative system and now just wanted to get out.

The founder of the Fiji Land Owners association, Dave Rand, said the act was amended in 2014 to extort fines from 5000 mostly white landowners and the scarcity of building resources following Cyclone Winston had made it impossible for all non-resident landowners to build a dwelling by the end of last year.

The cyclone, which struck in February 2016, brought winds of up to 325km per hour to Koro island wiping out most of the houses and claiming eight lives.

This story has been updated to show the correct price of the land for sale.

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