The way it works in villages

Dear Editor,

Re: Is this legal?

P.S. Jeffrey, I might be wrong but judging from the content of your letter, you have never grown up or lived in a village, particularly a village like Salelologa.

Being able to trace my roots to Salelologa I must say that I am quite satisfied with the decision made by the village.

Decisions on running each village is undertaken by the Alii and Faipule of that village through the framework of the village councils. 

Decisions are arrived at through a long and, sometimes, tortuous negotiated process. I am not telling you something you don’t know already if you are a village guy!

On the decision about setting up shops in Salelologa, the decision was based on economic considerations and not racially motivated. 

Each application to set up shop within the customary land of the village will be carefully considered by the council taking into account the present and future benefits (vs the costs) to the village and its inhabitants, of approving such ventures. 

Where the applicants come from will be one of the factors taken into consideration. It is similar to a process of setting up a venture on government owned land in the Salelologa township.

Let me give you an example of how such an application might be considered in the future. Pretend that you are married to a Salelologa girl (perish the thought!) and wish to set up a shop in the village.

If the village council, after due consideration, decides you are not a desirable character to have and run a shop in the village the council might recommend that you set up shop in your own village or somewhere else.

The council might decide that the village can derive greater and long lasting benefits from having shops owned by people from the village itself.

Let me finish this letter by reminding you that village council decisions are final. Decisions like the Salelologa decision are how village taboos start but that is another story!


Vai Autu

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