The sanctity of the trusteeship role given to the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) by the indigenous landowner is “unequalled in our time”. Those words spoken by Ratu Sukuna in the 1940 debate on the iTaukei Land Trust Bill rings true today as it was more than 70 years ago. The indigenous landowner had unconditionally put his total faith behind this organisation when he entrusted the administration of his land to the Board. It is the Board’s sacred duty to protect that trust. Historical records show that Ratu Sukuna spent at least four years consulting the various indigenous landowning communities in Fiji before consensus was reached for the establishment of the iTaukei Land Trust Board.
Approval was first obtained from the various mataqali (clan) and yavusa (tribe) before it was endorsed by the respective provincial councils and the ‘Bose Levu Vakaturaga’. (BLV). The BLV, the then Fijian Affairs Board (now known as the iTaukei Affairs Board – TAB) and His Excellency the President appoint the trustees to the Board. As these institutions are the voices of the indigenous people, they singularly and collectively carry the mandate of the iTaukei. The trustees are responsible for the administration of iTaukei land on behalf of the native owner. In that regard, the trustee must see that the interest of the landowner is never compromised. The trustee is the common voice of the indigenous landowner who is required to work in partnership with government in the development of Fiji.
The iTaukei Land Trust Board controls and administers about 87 per cent (87%) of the landmass in Fiji. iTaukei land under its control encompasses kilometres of beachfront, flatlands, and every other landform of unlimited usage. The Board must ensure that any development over iTaukei land will bring the best economical return to the present and future landowner. Trusteeship Role