Given the complexity of customary land and water rights in Fiji, the interconnected nature of such proprietary interests has caused some confusion and uncertainty.
To this end, and in recognising the need to maintain a clear narrative given the substantive issues raised by the various stakeholders and the public on the review of the Surfing Areas Act 2010 Regulations, the Government has clarified its intention.
In a statement, Government says it intends to encourage the liberalisation of access to marine areas to support economic growth whilst also providing an equitable return for any customary interests in accordance with the Constitutional guarantee.
With the public consultations still underway, Government clarified that the legal efficacy of the 2010 legislation in its current form remains the law.
Public consultations for Labasa, Savusavu and Taveuni will be held on 4 and 5 September 2023.
Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation and the Office of the Attorney-General are undertaking the review which is supported by a team of consultancy experts, tasked to independently facilitate the review and consultations with the larger public and provide recommendations for Government’s consideration.