Permanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs Pita Tagicakirewa has emphasized that the passing of the iTaukei Affairs Amendment Bill 2023 has provided the provisions for the reinstatement of the Great Council of Chiefs.
However, Tagicakirewa says it is important to note that the passing of the amendment bill is just a transitional arrangement.
The passing of the amendment bill was just the first step, as the groundwork to re-instate the GCC as a statuary body will begin now.
Tagicakirewa says the next step is to appoint an implementation team to look at the recommendations of the GCC Review team.
“Two things we are looking at first is to put together an implementation team, the GCC review implementation team, to assess and analyze the recommendations and take them back to Cabinet, even though Cabinet has endorsed the recommendations in principle. So now it’s the job of the GCC implementation team is to analyze the recommendations and take them back to Cabinet.”
Tagicakirewa says the implementation team will put in place the mechanisms to implement the recommendations.
“The first recommendation is for the GCC to be independent and politically neutral. The second recommendation is for the GCC to be reestablished as a statutory trust. The third recommendation is for the iTaukei Trust Fund to be brought under the GCC, the proposed GCC statutory trust. The first three recommendations, to me, they are the major ones, and they will need to be analyzed properly and taken back to cabinet.”
The iTaukei Affairs Ministry is emphasizing that they are working with people who have specific skill sets to implement the GCC review report.
These include the iTaukei Executive Forum comprising the heads of all the iTaukei institutions including the Fijian Holdings Limited, iTaukei Lands Trust Board, iTaukei Trust Fund Board, iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission and the director of the Center for Appropriate Technology and Development.