Land in the Fiji Islands is managed through three complementary systems- Native Land , freehold land and Crown Land . Freehold land can be bought and sold. Native Land and Crown Land cannot be bought and sold but is available only on a leasehold basis. Leasehold land can be developed as much of it is available on a long-term lease basis (often 99 years). Each type of land tenure has different implications for the development and planning processes.

Native Land

Approximately 83% of land in Fiji is Native Land . All Native Land belongs to village groups or 'land-owning units'. Typically a portion of each land area is set aside for the site of the village, and the rest is Native reserve. Land within native reserve may be made available for use and development by others through short- or long-term lease. In order for development to take place on Native Land , the developer must obtain a lease.
Leases of Native Land are available through the Native Land Trust Board (NLTB), a statutory authority which administers all such lands on behalf of the Fijian owners. All applications for leases of Native Land are made to the NLTB. Any agreement or dealing concerning Native Land made with any other person or group has no legal standing. Once an NLTB lease has been issued, the land must go through a process of de-reservation before development can take place. Any application for development permission, subdivision, or rezoning of Native Land must be accompanied by a copy of the lease document(s) as evidence of the applicant's legal right to the land, and the NLTB's consent to the land's development. Development leases are issued for particular types of development (residential, commercial, tourism, etc) and if a lessee wishes to carry out a different type of development, the agreement of the lessor must be obtained.

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Freehold Land

Approximately 10% of land in Fiji is freehold land registered under the Torrens system of land registration, by which titles to land are guaranteed. Freehold land can be purchased, transferred, or leased, subject to the conditions of the Land Sales Act , which among other things restricts the quantity of land which can be purchased by individuals who are not resident in Fiji , and by companies not wholly owned by Fiji citizens.

Crown Land

Approximately 7% of land in Fiji is Crown Land , administered by the Department of Lands. In addition, all foreshore lands below mean high water mark, the soil under Fiji waters and the beds of navigable rivers and streams are Crown Land . Like Native Land , Crown Land is not sold outright but some is available on a leasehold basis. Crown leases are granted and managed by the Director of Lands.

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