Vanuatu LandmarksThings to see in Vanuatu
Excursion to Vila City Highlights | Land Excursion
The first stop is the Pango Village, which offers a snapshot of the contemporary life of Ni-Vanuatu people. Celebrate the tasting of the season's season's fresh fruit and browse Mom's handicrafts market for some of the best artisans and memorabilia. Then you will see Chief's Nickamal (meeting house); with its facade, which forms a screen for a great wall-painting, and a post guarded over its entry, you will learn of this impressive symbol, which is of great importance in the Vanuatu people.
You will take a climate-controlled carriage tour along the picturesque promenade along the Lini Highway to the dockland area. See the unmistakable architectural style of the Vanuatu Republic, along with sights, places of interest and information about contemporary living in the Republic of Vanuatu.
Improved security for customized owners: Important changes in Vanuatu's new soil law
In Vanuatu last Thursday, a historical bill on soil reforms was passed that will drastically change overland transport and improve the safeguarding of the rural habitual owner's right. There are four main changes to the new laws: they amend the constitution to allow recognizing the usual institution and a part for the Malvatumauri (National Council of Chiefs) in deliberating Parliament on changes to property ownership; they allow the usual institution to make definitive decisions about who the habitual holders of a property are; they deprive the minister of control over the usual property; and it is expected that the treatment of the property will become fair.
It will briefly describe the processes that have resulted in these historical changes and explain the main features of the new country reforms to you. There is Vanuatu about 1750 kilometres eastwards from North Australia, between New Caledonia and the Solomon Mountains. In the last survey, the total Vanuatu populations were 243,023 inhabitants in an 85 island group, 176,816 of whom live in the countryside and 52,207 in towns and cities (National Population and Housing Ceensus 2011: x).
It is also one of the most cultural and language rich nations of Melanesia and the rest of the word. This conquest was dominated by the Minister of Agriculture. During the 30 years since the 6,803 lease agreements became independent, 1,458 have been subscribed by the Minister as landlord, i.e. 21.
Initially, the authority of the cathedral was only provided for plots of property that were sold before becoming independent, where the title to the property was controversial, so that the use of the authority of consent for lease agreements was to decrease. However, trends suggest that the use of the ministry's authority to conclude tenancy agreements has grown over the years in line with the growing interest in property gambling in Vanuatu.
In 2004, at its highest point, the Minister of Real Estate signed almost 250 lease agreements for agricultural areas on previously common lands (Justice for the Poor 2012). However, these numbers probably overestimate the amount of rental contracts awarded by the ministry, as around 29 percent of the rental contracts recorded in Vanuatu do not name the landlord (Justice for the Poor 2012).
Since April last year I have been working as legal adviser to Minister Regenvanu, a post I still have. Immediately we launched an aggressive programme aimed at combating bribery at the level of ministers and implementing a large-scale rural reforms programme. Mr Regenvanu chaired a country-wide consultative visit in which I participated to obtain Council on the necessary changes to the Vanuatu legislation on real estate.
It builds on the 20 suggestions made at the 2006 National Land Summit. Last year, a Minister Regenvanu led a seminar with a number of ANU experts to discuss the legislative framework for which I was the lead author.
It was culminating in a national land rights summit in Port Vila on 16-17 October 2013, with the participation of the current Prime Minister and other ministers, the National Council of Chiefs, the Director of the Vanuatu Cultural Centre and the staff of the Vanuatu Cultural Centre from across the entire country, as well as delegates from the main governmental and non-governmental bodies and selected prestigious chiefs, womens and young people during the country-wide consultations.
Malvatumauri and the National Summit on Rights of Lands support the new legislative act. Afterwards, the legislative process of overhauling the country and the changes to the constitution were adopted by parliament in December 2013 and eventually adopted on Thursday, 30 February 2014. This new Customs Basic Administration Act, which supersedes the previous Customs Court Act, establishes new procedures for the identification of custom-owners' associations and for the settlement of conflicts over customs as well.
Restricted procedural remedies, such as an improperly conducted assembly, but require that definitive mandatory findings on the identity of ownership groups can only be made by usual bodies. It is an important and historical effort by the Vanuatu Parliament to change the Constitution to better express the supremacy of the usual rather than the state bodies in identifying customs holders.
This is expected to make it easier to identify these important questions at the levels of a particular town or customs territory. It is not without problems to enable the very beloved Vanuatu institution (called Nakamale) to make provisions about the owner of an area. Apart from a large number of questions of transposition, much of the debate on the functioning of traditional institutes includes a objectification of these institutes and does not recognize that the latter are mostly domination by chiefs, whom I call "the masters of modernism" (see McDonnell thesis in brief).
More equitable leases, including the free and pre-announced approval of communities to any developments on their lands, are the foundation for the great reform of the Law on Rural Reform. This new letting procedure also demands compliance with the environment and security in design and maintenance of accessibility to parks, coastline and lakeside properties.
While all these demands seem simple in the Australian market, they represent a fundamental realignment of lease practice that has taken place in Vanuatu in the past. The reform of the Soil Reform Act also removes the authority of the Minister of Agriculture to act on disputed ownership groups' names without the agreement of the opposing political groups (the foundation of the above -mentioned landholding).
Likewise, the Minister has no authority to conclude lease agreements for state property without the agreement of the Council of Ministers and other competent bodies. Hopefully, this will drastically alter the way we deal with lease agreements for common lands and put an end to the historical corruption that many former ministers have practiced in the widely spread lease of common and state lands, often without the agreement of condominiums communities or for their own benefit.
Collectively, these packages represent a new age for the preservation of habitual property right onshore in Vanuatu and hopefully a more just and lasting evolution in the world. However, they also represent a major threat to investors' interests, which are so important in Vanuatu policy. In Vanuatu it is already being discussed that if there is a change of regime, the present oppositions will withdraw the bill.
He is a lawyer, economist and antropologist who is writing a dissertation on country and justice at the ANU. Currently the legal advisor to the Ministry of State in Vanuatu, she was the lead author of the rural reforms described in this work.