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Concern over proposals to change Cooks occupation rights

September 22, 2015 6:16 pm

A group of traditional chiefs in the Cook Islands say there is overwhelming opposition to proposed changes to land occupation rights in the country.

The Koutu Nui president, Terea Mataiapo Paul Allsworth, says a draft practice note written by the country’s law society and judges, which outlined proposed changes to the law, was recently made public in error.

He says people are very concerned with a number of the provisions, including that occupation rights may no longer be granted in perpetuity but for just 60 years.

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Terea Mataiapo says he will submit a document to the Ministry of Justice outlining the landowners’ concerns, and urging for consultation.

“The draft practice note only by error came out to the public, so that’s why there’s been a reaction by the landowners. There needs to be more consultation by the landowners on these issues and from all accounts, the majority of landowners don’t want any changes, or if there are any changes, they want consultation.”

The Koutu Nui president, Terea Mataiapo Paul Allsworth.

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