‘Forced’ sale of land for big projects

Tuesday June 18, 2019 Written by Published in National
Koutu Nui president Terea Mataiapo Paul Allsworth. Koutu Nui president Terea Mataiapo Paul Allsworth.

Landowners fear a return to colonial days of property confiscations.

Government can compulsorily purchase property if landowners refuse to hand it over, under a new law.

Traditional leaders worry Cook Islands are heading back to the old practice where government took land by “force”.

During the consultation process, said Koutu Nui president Terea Mataiapo Paul Allsworth, the leaders had opposed the sections of the new Infrastructure Bill that allowed the government to take land by warrant.

But the bill has been passed by Parliament with support from both sides of the House.

It comes after problems getting land access  for big projects like Te Mato Vai. This led to delays in the multi-million dollar project to provide potable water to Rarotonga residents.

The new law says agreement with landowners should be obtained, to acquire land for infrastructure purposes. But if agreement cannot be reached, the infrastructure manager may seek dispute resolution – and failing that, the manager can apply for a court warrant to compulsorily acquire the land.

The court can grant the infrastructure manager whatever right or interest in the land it is satisfied is appropriate and reasonable in the circumstances.

The court also has the power to direct the length of term and other conditions, as well as appropriate compensation.

Allsworth said they were not happy with the power vested in government.

“We are aware that if landowners don’t agree, the government can take the land by force so we are not happy with this,” he said. “The landowners were against the idea of taking land by warrant.

“It is better both parties agree on the term and conditions for land being acquired for infrastructure purposes rather than reaching a situation where the landowners may be disadvantaged.”

5 comments

  • Comment Link Tekura Panga Rio Taria Saturday, 22 June 2019 14:01 posted by Tekura Panga Rio Taria

    MP's got a hike in their pay so they can buy everyone off their lands? Sad though that they may prosper however they will have a lot of problems because of what they are doing to the family's, landowners.
    Fight for your rights because you do have your rights. Like NZDERS are still fighting and are winning back their lands which the government was making huge of profits from and then they have to pay the landowners back??
    Its GOD'S land for His people. AMENE!!!!

  • Comment Link Jason Tini Thursday, 20 June 2019 17:11 posted by Jason Tini

    What uttter stupidity is this , we live in a democracy and our government are practicing Dictatorship , idiots all you ministers are idiots too think you can just jump on anyone’s land and take it over without concent ..ARE WE TAKING ON WHAT THEY DO IN CHINA ...GET A CLUE YOU STUPID MPS FFS....So sick of this Crap

  • Comment Link Joseph Elia Thursday, 20 June 2019 08:54 posted by Joseph Elia

    E makimaki rai teia government. Arduously ignorant and self esteemed. To take the land from the local landowners will, beyond doubt, create bigger problems for future generations, and to the Cook Islands people as a whole.
    Consider the unfortunate case of our Maori tangata whenua of New Zealand. Many, if not most, at the present are paying rent on their (supposedly) own land that were taken from them. Homelessness is becoming a major problem in Auckland itself today.
    The same problem with land has been happening in Hawaii for many years now - and still unsolved. I've seen many native Hawaiians living homeless on their own land because they couldn't afford to pay rent.
    Don't create more problems to our already fragile land. Leave the lands alone.

  • Comment Link Nio Jim Mareiti Thursday, 20 June 2019 06:41 posted by Nio Jim Mareiti

    Kia orana e te iti-tangata Kuki Airani o teianei ao katoatoa e tatau nei i teia tuanga.

    Te akaroa i to tatou iti-tangata, e to tatou ipukarea. Te riro nei na te ture,e te akavaanga o te moana e tuku i te tika. Teiea to kotou karape e te aronga amani ture? Teiea te vaerua Keretitiano e te aroa ua? Tei tuatua ia e e iti-tangata irinaki Atua tatou.

    Kare teia i te vaerua Atua.E vaerua kino teia.E vaerua Ahaba teia,e vaerua Iesebela, teia. Te akaroa tikai.Te oki nei tatou e takinokino i to tatou uaorai iti-tangata i teia ra, e te au ra ki mua.
    Tatau ia 1Ariki 21.

    Irinaki au e kua ikiia kotou ei akaora,ei tavini i to tatou iti-tangata.Kare ra,e takinokino i te iti-tangata,

    Te akari atu nei au i toku reo tangi i to tatou iti-tangata

    E no reira teia te tara a te pakari,Kakaro tika e aku ariki me tauri tei runga i te a'i kikau

    Kia orana

  • Comment Link Attiya Thursday, 20 June 2019 00:06 posted by Attiya

    God will decide. No man on this planet will truly own land. It is Gods "Will" that decides, not mañ.

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