Sapunaoa supports L.T.C. bills
The village of Sapunaoa has welcomed proposed changes to the judiciary and the Land and Titles Court (L.T.C.).
A Sapunaoa village chief, Patea Aipovi Patea, confirmed their support in an interview with the Samoa Observer after meeting with a Special Parliamentary Committee seeking feedback on bills on Tuesday.
"Sapunaoa has decided to support the changes behind the three bills," said Patea.
"We finally reached a decision after meeting with the Committee, as we did not want to rush a decision when we did not have a fair understanding of the impacts of the changes proposed.
"However, we are happy that we finally understand the bills and we all decided to support these changes."
Patea said they appreciate the effort of the committee in hosting consultations to collect the views and opinions of the community about the proposed changes.
"They are tasked with a difficult job," Patea added.
"Facing all the different villages and trying to explain the changes is not easy. Therefore, we are grateful and we appreciate their hard work."
Asked about why they have decided to support the changes, Patea said:
“It will be much easier to deal with Land and Titles Court matters since it will be separated from [review by higher courts]
"We made some recommendations to the Committee to improve the legislation. It is now with them and they will include all the recommendations in their report.
"These (changes) are for the betterment of this country moving forward so we give them our full support."
Close to one hundred villagers starting from matai, ladies, untitled men and youths from Sapunaoa gathered to make their submissions.
Collectively the three bills, which are at the second-reading stage of the parliamentary process, would create an entirely autonomous L.T.C.
The changes are outlined in the Lands and Titles Bill 2020, the Judicature Bill 2020 and the Constitutional Amendment Bill.
Parliament will return to the bills once the committee reports on its findings on the community’s attitude towards the changes.
This is the last week the committee will be holding consultations on the bills.