July 23, 2014
Without consolidation into a continuous block with beachfront Denarau would be pockets of mangrove of no use to developers
Khaiyum’s claim that he has protected iTaukei land ownership better than before is based on his claim that he has banned land swaps like the one at Denarau. Under this swap small parcels of native were swapped for Crown land. This was done so that there would be viable sites for tourism to be leased to developers. Ratu Timoci Vesikula has explained all this in the Fiji Live report on the link below. As a result of this swap the NLTB were able to “put all native lands together on a beachfront”. Without the swap Narewa landowners would have had scattered plots of mangrove rather than a consolidated block with beachfront on which hotels could be built. Khaiyum hopes this will be too hard for iTaukei minds to get around, no doubt assuming that everyone would have as much trouble following at his so-called ‘boss’. Denarau has brought a lot of money to Narewa landowners and this is what Khaiyum would outlaw in the name of protecting their land rights. Denarau is a good example of development where everyone benefits. Landowners get good rent and Nadi has a magnet drawing tourists and giving jobs to a lot of people from Nadi, not just in Denarau but all around the area.