‘iTaukei statutes will be reviewed’ – Fiji President

Fiji Parliament speaker and Tui Cakau Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu shakes hand with President and Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere at the opening of parliament in Suva, on Friday, February 3, 2023. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Principal iTaukei statutes will be reviewed, President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere said.

Among those statutes are: iTaukei Affairs Act, iTaukei Lands Act, iTaukei Land Trust Act, iTaukei Trust Fund Act, and the iTaukei Development Fund Act.

“This will position the relevant institutions to deliver their mandates efficiently and effectively,” he said in Parliament yesterday.

“The iTaukei institutions will be reviewed.

Institutions such as the iTaukei Affairs Board, and provincial, tikina and village councils will be strengthened.

“The iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission, the iTaukei Land Trust Board, the iTaukei Trust Fund Board, and the Centre for Appropriate Technology and Development (CATD) will also be reviewed.

“Again, the aim is to enable effective service delivery consistent with the Government’s mandate in accordance with the universal standards of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the ILO Convention 169 on the Rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.”

And in ensuring those rights, Ratu Wiliame said one of the objectives of the Government was to improve the economic position of the iTaukei and lift living standards of villages and settlements.

“The Government recognises that it is in the national interest for the iTaukei to increase their involvement in commerce.

“To help achieve this, an inaugural iTaukei Resource Owners Forum will bring together resource owners and advisors with the necessary expertise to develop a roadmap moving forward.

“This is an example of the inclusive approach that Government will continue to embrace.”

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