In response to the A.G.’s assurance

Dear Editor,

I write in reference to your story A.G. rejects land threat on the Sunday Samoan.

Do any of you notice that he confirms that customary Land leases are registered under the L.T.R.A. 2008? 

This means that a single person is given a freehold title and the Aiga potopoto cut out. The HR.P.P. State then completely owns the land and can tell the freehold owner to hand the land over, or tax it, or control it totally.

This is what Ruiping Ye, academic, says about that.

“According to Ruiping Ye, LLM Victoria University, Wellington, section 33 of the LTRA, ‘specifies that knowledge that a ‘trust or unregistered interest is in existence’ is not fraud’, and ‘trust includes registered trust, as opposed to trust as a type of unregistered interest.’ 

Ye argues, ‘purchasing the land with the knowledge of a registered trust may still not constitute fraud, as is the case in purchasing the land with the knowledge of unregistered interest. This may be so even where there is some dishonesty involved.’

Therefore, the practical effect of sections 32 and 33 would constitute alienation, breaching the substantive law, and therefore be illegal, but the bona fide purchaser’s title will still be unimpeachable.

Section 79(2)(e) L.T.R.A. 2008 specifies that ‘the loss or damage [arising] from the breach by a registered proprietor of any trust’ cannot be compensated by the government. ’In total, there is no protection against breaches of trust; a matai who is the registered proprietor could alienate the land and the beneficiaries will not be compensated by the government.


Maua Faleauto

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