12 Jul 2018

Samoa govt served with Salelologa land claim

5:10 pm on 12 July 2018

Samoan government has been served with a US$500,000 claim for land which a family of Salelologa, Savaii, says it took illegally.

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Photo: 123rf

The Samoa Observer reports this is likely to stall the planned extension of Savaii's main wharf facility.

A resident of Salelologa, Matamua Samuela, has been battling the government over what he claims is his family's customary land since 2005.

A previous Land and Titles Court decision reportedly ruled in the family's favour.

According to Matamua, his great grandfather, a paramount chief, in 1948 gave the government a parcel of land for the Salelologa wharf to be built.

However he argues the proposed extension of the port will exceed the land boundary and is seeking compensation.

Part of Matamua's claim is disputed by Samoa Shipping Corporation which administers the Salelologa Wharf facilities.

He says the matter is now with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

"There are two parcels in question, the part of the extension which is reclaimed land and the quarter acre which the Government intends to take under the Taking Land Act for government purposes," he told Samoa Observer.

"This matter is now with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment under the Land Taking Act. There are ongoing negotiations with the Matamua family and the Government intends to compensate them with the fair value of the quarter acre near the wharf. In the long run we intend to extend the wharf."