Sunday, August 07, 2011

The Reality about the Land Bank or Land Grab!

From: Tobabasaga Bay, Nakorotubu, Ra.

Posted on - 07 August 2011

The following should be known about the Land Bank, a “strategy” used to take away the ownership of land from the landowners by Khaiyum in accordance with his racist Cultural Autonomy thesis or the Sunset Clause.

Step 1- NLTB/ITLB Board paper (prepared by NLTB/ITLB consultant Nur Bano Ali and AG Khaiyum) authorizing the transfer of authority of NLTB/ITLB from GCC/FAB to Ministry of Lands. This can be regarded as a mini coup and daylight robbery!

Step 2 - Landowners through awareness encouraged in giving native land to the State (Ministry of Lands) to be included in the Land Bank with “promotional” benefits.

Step 3- Landowners buys into the “promotional” benefits and give native land up to Ministry of Lands to be included in the Land Bank. However, they are not properly informed that in the process, their native land will be reclassified as a crown land, because it has been given to the state.
(The NLTB/ITLB land under the NLTB Act recognizes the ownership of land by the indigenous landowners, but only administered by Government).

Step 4- State looks for investors and submit a 99 year CROWN LEASE under the Ministry of Lands instead of Native Lease under the NLTBThis means that the land is no longer a native land for approximately three generations. This is a cunning way of alienating Fijians from their land. The first step was to call everyone a Fijian so that later on, the exclusive proprietorship rights of the indigenous Fijians to their land and qoliqoli will become null and void in the near future. Mining, Tourism etc companies can just enter Fiji and negotiate with the consultants, accountants, lawyers and government without the landowners since every land in Fiji is owned by the state.

Step 5- Investor pays for using the land from the Land Bank and the funds goes to government and (consultants and AG) decides on the amount to be given to the landowners. Landowners have no bargaining power over his god given resources in this so called “reform”.

Example. The Deal by the Land Bank on the Bua Bauxite Mine.
The following deal was given to the Bua landowners for the Bauxite Mine:
  1. The part payments will total up to $1.95 million; the mining company will mine bauxite for the rest of the 99 lease period without any more financial payments to the landowners.
  2. Considering that the $1.95m payments to the landowners will be completed in the next one or two part payments, how much will the consultants and the government continue to receive after that for the rest of the 99 years or the bauxite mining period? 
  3. After the last part payment cheque has been paid, the total deal will be $1.95 million (Fijian $) to the Bua landowners while the Chinese mining company will get $2 billion US dollars worth of trading minerals. $100,000 part payment given to Mataqali Nalutu from Baravi village for securing 56 acres of land for the purchase of soil at $3 per cubic meter to reclaim the coastal area for building a wharf for the loading of bauxite.
  4. $30,000 given to Mataqali Noro from Navakea village for building the access road to the mining area.
  5. $577,000 part payment given to Mataqali Naicobo in Wailevu village for the mining of the bauxite area.
  6. $279,000 part payment given as compensation damage for the qoliqoli for the 8 villages of Navakasiga district and 4 villages of Lekutu district. 

Based on the above facts, the following questions needs to be asked; 
  1. Why was not a joint venture (jv) proposed for the landowners with the mining company based on the true value of the mined resources and damaged compensation value?
  2. The compensation value is really questionable. For instance, the 99 years of permanent damage to the qoliqoli, $279,000 part payment is such a small amount considering the mass population that are going be affected with their qoliqoli as a form of sustenance and financial return.
  3. What poverty rehabilitation programme has been prepared for the thousands of Bua landowners that will not be able to survive from their qoliqoli and land after the completion of the bauxite mining?
  4. Will the Ministry of Social Welfare be able to continually supply fortnightly tinned food and bags of flour and sugar to the affected area for eternity?
  5. Will Government be able to buy another area in Fiji for resettlement of the Bua landowners after the completion of the bauxite mining?
  6. Are the Ocean and Nauru landowners mining deal much better than the deal given to the Bua landowners? The Ocean islanders have been able to be resettled in Rabi Island with properties in Suva and around the world. Will the Bua landowners have the financial capacity to buy properties for resettlement and to get revenue from property and real estate investment? With the current deal, I doubt that Bua landowners will be able to get the same benefits in future.
  • NLTB has been sidelined in the whole process. (Even though they have not provided landowners with good deals in the past anyway, but legally NLTB should be negotiating such deals).

  • The Land Bank has been set up so that land can be easily accessible for the so called FUNDAMENTAL RESTRUCTURING (refer to Khaiyum’s NZTV1 interview) for the so called "development" in exchange for the "not so transparent " financial benefits that changes hands between the investors, the financial brokers/consultants/advisers (Nur Bano/Khaiyum), to the government and finally to the landowners who get the crumbs only.

There is no financial democracy in the current process. It is the same old, same old ways. The I taukei have been used only as a token and means of achieving political aspirations of politicians and businessmen and that needs to be immediately eradicated or Fiji will end up like Somalia, Rwanda etc.

Advise to the i Taukei in Government and Disciplined Forces.
  • Kemuni na noda o ni tiko ena Matanitu, ni kakua ni vakamuri Khaiyum kei na nona vuvale, e na berabera na cudru ni kalou kei na vanua vei iratou me vaka na tauvi mate kei na mate baleta ni ratou sega ni taukei ni qele kei na qoliqoli.

  • Ia ena tarai kemuni vakatotolo ka vakaukauwa baleta ni o ni taukei ka na vakaloloma kina na nomuni kawa.
  • Ni veivutuni ka raica na dina qo de qai bera!!
  • Ena rawa ni bera na sasaga ni tamata me vaka na Union Movement, ia ena rawa ni totolo na cudru ni kalou kei na vanua.

From: Tobabasaga Bay, Nakorotubu, Ra.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would really like the Director for the Land Bank to reply to your comments so that we can see both sides of the story.It is sad that landowners in Fiji are not getting are not getting a fair return on land leases.A better approach would be to have land owner representatives at the negotiating table along with an independent land valuer/consultant to correctly value and advise land on land worth-there is the NLTB but seriously;what have they done?
I am not a landowner but my mother is an iTaukei and her mataqali is also facing similar issues.