3,398 chiefly titles still vacant: Vasu

February 20, 2023 6:19 am

Minister of iTaukei Affairs Ifereimi Vasu.

The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs is developing mechanisms to help with the confirmation of vacant chiefly positions.

Minister Ifereimi Vasu says traditional or vanua governance is a major issue.

According to Vasu, there are 6,219 chiefly or customary titles in Fiji, of which 2,892 or 47 percent have been confirmed by the iTaukei Land Commission, but the remaining 53 percent, or 3,398, are still vacant.

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“This demonstrates to us the challenges but we will overcome this. We will look at ways to encourage unconfirmed title holders to be confirmed.”

Vasu says the “vanua” system must be formalized, which is also part of the coalition government manifesto.

He adds that the current practice is to encourage title holders to confirm their ownership, but there is nothing to empower them because the lease distribution formula that was previously used to support them was forcibly removed without consultation by the previous government.