The abandoned Sheraton Hotel is being redeveloped by Rarotonga businessman Chris Vaile. The first section, which includes 41 rooms and a new swimming pool, is scheduled to be completed by the end of next month. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU / 23100417, 23100418 / 23100419/ 23100420/ 23100421 / 23100422
I have been following the news regarding the Main Road diversion being insisted upon by Pa Ariki and her lawyers, as well as her latest developer. It has been heartwarming to see the public of Rarotonga rise up and oppose a road diversion that is not in the public interest.
a member of the Kopu Ariki of Pa Ariki and holding the title of Takau
Rangatira, I recently filed an application to the Court asking that a
determination be made as to whether Papua Section 4 (the “Sheraton” land) is
title land or family land. For many years I have been opposing Pa Ariki’s
treatment of this land as her own personal cash cow, but at every turn, her
lawyers have repeatedly told my family that the land is title land owned solely
by Pa Ariki and that she can do whatever she likes, without any consultation or
notice to members of the Kopu Ariki of Pa Ariki who elected her. Because of
this, I decided to file my application to settle this question once and for all
as it is my belief that the land was never granted as “title land” in 1903.
have been given hope by the actions of the Kopu Ariki of Makea Ariki who filed
an application opposing the treatment of two large parcels of land in
Titikaveka as title land, and a Land Court Judge, after hearing the evidence,
has given a Report that says that in his opinion, those parcels of land are
family lands, and not title lands. This explains why for 25 years there has
been no Makea Ariki as that family no longer wish to elect an ariki who will
solely control huge parcels of tribal land, without any consultation with the
people that elect the ariki, and who can blame them.
same thing is happening in the Pa Ariki family, and I too see a future without
an election of another Pa Ariki until all our tribal lands are treated as
family lands, belonging to all of the tribe and not just one person to do with
as they wish, as is the case now. Who in this day and age would ever elect an
Ariki who is granted all the power over all the tribal lands, and those that
elect are shoved to the side until they are needed to elect another Ariki to do
the same thing again and again.
respect to the comments made by Pa Ariki’s lawyers, Mr (Tim) Arnold and Mrs (Tina)
Browne (former lawyer), both of them only have Pa Ariki’s interest at heart.
Many times over the years my family have tried to assert that we have rights as
to the use of the land, and we have tried to prevent Pa Ariki from selling
leases, however both lawyers have repeatedly told us we have no rights, hence
my application to determine this question once and for all – is this family
land or title land.
do not support a diversion of the Main Road and strongly ask that government
stay out of any decision to relocate the Main Road onto private land, for a
private business, especially given the strong public opposition to it. Any
attempt to close the Main Road, which is Crown land, should continue to be
opposed by all the public as it is a public asset, so we all have a say. Many
have referred to increased accidents, ambulances and fire trucks being
hindered, the risk of death given there is a dangerous sea passage right in
front of the property, and so on. For
once, government needs to listen to the concerns being raised by the public and
week I received a Minute from the Chief Justice acknowledging my application
which I filed on 15 May 2023. Given court proceedings have now commenced, I
would think that talk about the road diversion should stop, given that there
remains a possibility that the land may be deemed “family land”. But given our
treatment over the years, I’m sure Pa Ariki will think otherwise. I would hope
however that government will see sense, listen to the public outcry and leave
the Main Road where it is.
reira e te iti tangata o Takitumu, e pera katoa o Tumutevarovaro, auraka rava
tatou e tupou ki raro ake ite kavamani, ia Pa Ariki, e Chris Vaile I te tipu I
to tatou mataara , teia taku kapiki anga, Kia patoi maata tikai tatou kia ratou
,e Kia kite tikai ratou e ko te inangaro teia a te iti tangata o teia patireia.