The politicization of land and the paradox of indigenous ownership : the case of Fiji

Date
2007
Authors
Rokolekutu, Ponipate R.
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Abstract
The institutional and legislative framework which governs the control and access of Fijian customary land has created and perpetuated a paradox of indigenous ownership of land. Despite owning eighty seven percent of Fiji's land, indigenous Fijians are still overwhelmingly represented at the lowest socio-economic scale in Fiji's modem economy. Such a paradox is camouflaged by a racial discourse invoked by the politicization of land by indigenous ruling elites. The current land discourse has evolved entirely around the issue of land rental payment. Leaders of both ethnic communities including academia have propagated the creation of a legislative and institutional land tenure framework that ensures fair tenancy for Indo Fijian tenants and equitable returns to indigenous Fijian landowners. The study contends that such a discourse reproduces the economic passiveness of indigenous Fijian landowners and their dependency on land rental payment. As such the study propagates an alternative land discourse which involves the incorporation and integration of indigenous Fijian landowners in the commercial cultivation of their land whether in sugarcane farming or other forms of commercial agriculture.
Description
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2007.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 114-120).
ix, 120 leaves, bound ill. 29 cm
Keywords
Land tenure -- Fiji, Land use -- Fiji
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