The Reservation Process

The iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) also deals with reservations and de-reservations of itaukei land as mandated by Section 15 of the iTaukei Land Trust Act 1940. The purpose of Section 15 is to allow TLTB to keep a portion of their land as iTaukei Reserve also known as Native Reserve.

Section 15.-(1) says that … “It shall be lawful for the Board, by notice in the Gazette, to set aside any portion of iTaukei land as iTaukei reserve. (2) Every such notice in the Gazette shall also be published in a newspaper published in the Fijian language and circulating in Fiji”.

Landowners who wish to set aside a portion of their land as iTaukei Reserve may do so by expressing the same in a letter to TLTB or the Reserve Commissioner. The Roko Tui will also be required to provide a letter of support for the landowners’ reservations request. This is to allow the smooth running of the reservations process especially when the Land Claims Tribunal is convened by the Reserves Commissioner.

On the back end, population growth is determined, the land parcels they owned and those which have already being “reserved” for their own use (and cannot be leased out; unless de-reserved). When that analysis is completed then the land in question will be inspected to check if there has been anyone living on the land or any improvement done on it. After which the Reserves Commissioner will convene the Tribunal and complete the process asking questions about the land to the applicant(s) to verify claims if there are any.

The Reserves Commissioner will then recommend for the reservations of that land to the TLTB Board of Trustees. If endorsed by the Board of Trustees then it will be published by the Government gazette as well as in the daily newspapers.

The De-reservation Process

The purpose of reserving land is to disallow the leasing process to take place on that land and to allow the landowners to use it for their own daily living (maintenance and support).

If there is enough land being used by the landowners (tokatoka/mataqali/yavusa) a portion of that land parcel may be put “outside reserve” – meaning that it is then available for leasing and to be a source of income for the landowners.

Section 17 gives the right to TLTB to put land “outside the reserved area” into reserve so that it can be leased out for a purpose to be determined by TLTB.

It can be put outside reserve forever or within a set timeframe. All land that is being put outside reserve within a given time will reverted back to reserved land once that timeframe is reached.