Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/62694

Interrogating the Vanua and the Institutional Trusteeship Role of the Itaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB): Understanding the Economic Marginalization of Itaukei.

File Size Format  
2017-12-phd-rokolekutu.pdf 1.79 MB Adobe PDF View/Open

Item Summary

Title:Interrogating the Vanua and the Institutional Trusteeship Role of the Itaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB): Understanding the Economic Marginalization of Itaukei.
Authors:Rokolekutu, Ponipate R.
Contributors:Political Science (department)
Date Issued:Dec 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Fiji is often perceived as an exceptional case in critical colonial discourses. That is, despite ninety-six years of British colonial rule, indigenous rights to land was protected in the hands of its indigenous peoples, the iTaukeis, in addition to the preservation of its socio-political structure. The dissertation contends however that the very institutions that define iTaukei indigeneity have created land dispossession and disempowerment. The study examines the question: Why is it that the vast-majority of iTaukei landowners are perpetually economically marginalized despite owning almost ninety percent of the land in Fiji? This question is important because Fiji is an agricultural economy and therefore land is the single most important asset in economic production. Yet the owners of this important asset, the iTaukeis are marginalized from its productive use. Drawing from a variety of primary, secondary and archival sources the study makes the contention that the socio-political structure of iTaukei society articulated under the Vanua, and the institutional arrangement that regulates the rights of access to iTaukei land under the trusteeship role of the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB), were colonial projects of exclusion, political oppression, ‘invisiblization’ and land dispossession. Such structures were established under the British colonial government to secure the availability of iTaukei land to non-iTaukei and corporations for economic development. ITaukes on the other hand, were placed on Native Reserves and restricted to subsistence agriculture. These structures continue to economically marginalize iTaukei in the post- colonial period. The dissertation further argues that the economic and political empowerment of iTaukei landowners both present and future hinges on institutional reforms in the
trusteeship role of the TLTB. This should include the nurturing of entrepreneurship of iTaukei landowners to become active participants in Fiji’s agricultural economy, as oppose to subsistence agriculturalists, as well as, putting in place the necessary measures to ensure the accountability of the TLTB in the administration of iTaukei land. Further, contrary to claims of British humanitarian effort and colonial benevolence the dissertation argues that the annexation of Fiji was not dissimilar from British colonial objectives in the seizure of Australia in 1788 and the annexation of New Zealand in 1840. The annexation of Fiji on October 10, 1874 was a means of securing the economic and geo-strategic interests of Great Britain in the Islands of the Pacific, but one that was justified under the notion of colonial benevolence.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2017.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/62694
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Political Science


Please email libraryada-l@lists.hawaii.edu if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.

Items in ScholarSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.