Fiji To Conduct Public Consultations About Proposed New Village Bylaws

Guidelines for iTaukei village life have existed since colonial times

By Luke Rawalai

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Nov. 9, 2016) – Consultations on the proposed new village bylaws are expected to begin by the end of this month.

iTaukei Affairs Ministry permanent secretary Naipote Katonitabua said the consultations would be done throughout the country.

Mr Katonitabua said if there was a need to take the consultations to individual villages, then they would not hesitate to do so.

"The village bylaws have been cleared from the Solicitor-General's office and is being distributed to village headmen, head of landowning units and clans so they can consult with us on the bylaws," he said.

"By this time all traditional leaders within the districts should have received a copy of the proposed bylaw.

"Otherwise an English or iTaukei copy of the proposed bylaw could be downloaded from our website www.fijianaffairs.gov.fj."

Mr Katonitabua said after consultations had been completed, the bylaw would be returned to the ministry which would then consider proposals made about the bylaws.

"Once all processes have been completed the bylaws will then be passed through Parliament to be enacted as a legal document," he said.

"In fact, there is nothing new about the bylaws because it has always existed from colonial times.

"In those times the bylaws dealt with petty offences and development issues at village level."

Mr Katonitabua said the bylaws then regulated iTaukei life and set a benchmark from where iTaukei people could gauge themselves.

"I think that once these bylaws are enacted in our villages we will be able to set up a sense of direction among villagers," he said.

Fiji Times Online.
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