The Minister for iTaukei Affairs Ifereimi Vasu has emphasized the significant impact of the absence of the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) in guiding indigenous affairs throughout Fiji.
During his ministerial statement on the progress of the GCC, Vasu highlighted the implications felt in village meetings, provincial gatherings, and national discussions on iTaukei affairs.
He explains that recognizing this gap, Cabinet endorsed a comprehensive review conducted by the GCC review team.
“They sought the wisdom of local communities, engaging in deep consultations with Fijians from all walks of life. Mr. Speaker this was a profound commitment to inclusivity. The team ensured that the voice of Fijians, from blasting markets of towns and cities to the village of our islands, was heard.”
Vasu says the team engaged in extensive consultations, ensuring inclusivity by seeking the wisdom of local communities and Fijians from various backgrounds.
“The team listed with respect to the hopes and concern of the iTaukei people, it highly recognized that each province hold a unique place in our culture space. Other ethnical groups also gave their opinion. This was to ensure that they too had a part to play in this important process.”
He says their mission was to weave together diverse opinions into a coherent plan for the future of the GCC.
Vasu underscored the importance of the review team’s recommendations, aligning with contemporary values, international standards, and ensuring the safeguarding of Fijian heritage while empowering iTaukei communities.