The iTaukei Lands & Fisheries Commission (TLFC) is a statutory body constituted under the iTaukei Lands Act 1905 and the Fisheries Act 1941 to adjudicate on disputes regarding land ownership, fishing rights and customary chiefly positions. The Commission is the custodian of various significant registers for the iTaukei which are maintained and updated from time to time. These registers contain vital records which facilitate the resolution of disputes. The most significant of these registers is the Native Register of Land (RNL) also known as the Vola ni Kawa Bula (VKB). The RNL or VKB has been manually kept and updated since the first sitting of the Native Lands Commission in the early 1900. In 2014 work started on digitising the RNL to address the growing demand for greater accessibility.
The iTaukei Lands Appeals Tribunal makes rulings on Appeal cases that challenge the decision of the Commission on land ownership, boundary, fishing rights and customary chiefly titles. Adjudication by the Appeals Tribunal is always final and cannot be challenged in a court of law.
In 2010, Cabinet approved By-Laws for all “Declared iTaukei villages”. For this, all settlement boundaries needed to be demarcated before they can be declared as iTaukei villages by the iTaukei Affairs Board. A special project Team was established under the TLFC for this purpose in addition to their on-going task of demarcation and survey of iTaukei land parcels around Fiji that have never been surveyed.
Listed below are the Registers which contain vital records for the iTaukei:
• Evidence Book : comprises of collection of sworn statements from the various provinces,Yavusa, Mataqali and iTokatoka, recording statement about their tribal land, chiefly title, traditional social status and genealogy or Vola ni Kawa ;
• Tribal Statement (Tukutuku Raraba) : contains the history of migration of the iTaukei people per provinces and tribes;
• 1st VKB Register : comprises names of the iTaukei people who lived during the Veitarogivanua sitting in the various provinces;
• Register of Native Land also known as the Vola ni Kawa Bula: comprises Titles of iTaukei land per provinces;
• 1st Demarcation Register (Yalayala Vakaviti) – this Register contains sworn statements of iTaukei land boundaries per province;
• Register of iTaukei land- This is a record of surveyed iTaukei Land boundaries and their owners per provinces;
• Customary Fishing Rights – This is the record of iQoliqoli boundaries and their owners.
1875-1882: Land Claim Commission carried out
1880 : Commission established under the Native Lands Ordinance
1905 : Determine the background and migratory history of each Yavusa.
Describe or define boundaries to land they owned.
Record in a register the name of the owners.
1947 : Establishment of the Native Fisheries Commission1947 : Establishment of the Native Fisheries Commission
1970: Fiji gained Independence
1990 : Establishment of Project Unit
iTaukei Affairs Act 1944
iTaukei Lands Act 1905
Fisheries Act 1941