Press Release, Bairiki, Tarawa 23 August, 2013
Kiribati Government plan to purchase a piece of land in Vanua Levu has got the nod from the Fiji Islands Government, bringing Kiribati closer to its wish purchase land in Fiji.
Under Fiji’s law all land purchase has to be consented first by the Fiji Government. “We’ve got the Government’s consent when Fiji’s Lands and Mineral Resources Minister signed our application for consent to a dealing, as required under Section 6 & 7 Land Sales Act, Cap 137 of Fiji’s law, last month (July)” a statement from the Office of Te Beretitenti said.
“There are conditions of course such as the transfer of property be complete within 3 months, funds for this purchase be brought from an offshore account, clearance from the Commissioner from the Inland Revenue and Governor, Reserve Bank of Fiji be sought and that approval is also sought from the Fiji Trade & Investment Board if this property will involve with commercial or business activity,” the statement said.
The consent means Kiribati’s plan to purchase this land known as Natoavatu Estate from owners and trustees, the Church of England is about to roll out.
According to the Office of Te Beretitenti, Government negotiations over the land began about 2 years ago, in 2011 Government finally identified Natoavatu as an ideal land to buy followed by Parliament’s approval of 9.3 million Australian dollars in 2012 for the purchase.
Natoavatu Estate is being looked after by a Manager employed by Trustees of the Church of England and there are no settlements whatsoever except for lengths and depth of lush forestry.
Natoavatu Estate is measured 5,451 acres or fifteen times bigger than Betio, the commercial heart and most populated area of Kiribati.