Prior to 1st January 2011, the distribution of lease monies to landowners was distributed according to the hierarchy structure of the iTaukei landowners.

After deduction of TLTB’s poundage (10%), the balance was distributed as follows:

  • Turaga iTaukei (TT)       – 5%
  • Turaga Qali   (TQ)         – 10%
  • Turaga ni Mataqali (TM) – 15%
  • Lewe Ni Mataqali   (LM) – 70%

Previously the above distribution of lease monies was done on a six-monthly basis. TLTB Officers used to go around to all the Landowning Units (Yavusa, Mataqali & Tokatoka) and distribute lease money physically. This distribution method was used up to 31st December 2010.

A major issue that arose from this distribution method was in some cases; the Turaga ni Mataqali or the Turaga iTaukei for some landowning units would not share the lease distribution with the other members of the landowning unit or would only distribute the lease money to a selective few members of the landowning unit. This prevented all individual members of the landowning unit from accessing and enjoying the income derived from their land.

The Decree on Equal Rent Distribution came into effect from 1st January 2011. Due to the Board’s inability to distribute lease monies equally at that point in time, The Board had agreed that lease monies (100%) be distributed to the Trustees of the various Mataqali’s. Each Mataqali was required to set up a Mataqali Trust, appoint its Trustees, open its bank account and have their Deed of Trust registered. Once that was in place, the lease monies were distributed into their Trust bank account and the Trustees was tasked with the responsibility to distribute lease monies equally to all their living members. This distribution process continued till April 2015.

From May 2015, the digitalization of the Vola ni Kawa Bula (VKB) was completed for 4 provinces, hence the Equal Rent Distribution policy was piloted on them. The first 4 provinces were Ba, Bua, Cakaudrove and Macuata. The other 9 Provinces continued with lease distribution through the Trust bank accounts while their VKB records were being digitalized. All the 14 Provinces in Fiji have now had all their VKB records and details digitalized in December 2015. As a result, TLTB went live with Equal Rent distribution for all the 14 Provinces with effect from 4th January 2016.

While distributing lease monies individually was encouraged as per the requirements of the Decree, the Board had also considered Mataqali’s with less lease monies (due to less number of leases) but had large number of members. Distributing a total sum of lease monies of $500 per annum to more than 100 members would be unrealistic. For these category of landowning units, preferred option made available to them was to make use of the “Assignment of lease funds” provision available under Section 14 (3) (e) of the Act.

All that was required of Mataqali’s that opted for the above option was to write a request letter to the Board, attach their meeting minutes and get their Mataqali members (above 18 years) to sign and endorse their proposal. The assignments of their lease monies were considered on a case by case basis and must focus on projects that would benefit all its current and future Mataqali members. The Board mostly considered requests for Assignment towards Housing Schemes, establishments of Mataqali business, repayments towards project or loans that had already been committed prior to the commencement of the equal rent distribution policy.

All lease distribution of lease monies under the Equal Rent Distribution Policy of the Board or through Assignments to their trust bank accounts are all processed and paid through on-line banking and cuts out the risk of manual distribution that used to be entertained by the Board in past years.