In response to P.S. Jeffrey regarding ‘idle lands’

Dear Editor

With due respect to Jeffrey and his typical H.R.P.P. worded rant about idle land in Samoa going to waste, due to inactivity? What rain shower did Jeffery come down on? Has Jeffery just been swept into Samoa via Cyclone Gita? It is absurd to even suggest, that families from abroad are hell bent on keeping their Samoan families living on Customary Land in poverty!

It is the L.T.R.A. Act 2008 that has single handedly prevented families from negotiating any leases (if the whole family wanted too) of their lands privately without the slippery hands of the H.R.P.P. Government being involved! 

The L.T.R.A. Act 2008 gives the H.R.P.P. Government sole rights to be the middleman in any leasing agreements between the lessee and the lessor! 

The lessor (Families who own the Customary Land) become voiceless once their Sa’o (whether agreed by the majority of family or not) signs the dotted line at the Land’s Registry!

There has been caution placed upon any Customary Land being leased out by families both inside and outside of Samoa. This (enactment of the L.T.R.A. Act 2008 Act unto law unconstitutionally by this HRPP Government) is probably the main reason for the reluctance by some families to seek financial rewards.

Jeffery, I’m left to ponder, whether you have been handed Customary Land from your Ancestors, and have family buried around your land? 

In most Western Countries having land is valuable, and under the Torrens Land system it means having something of value that can be sold for a sum agreed upon by both parties! 

However, Customary Land with the bones of your Ancestor’s is something that God fearing Samoan’s don’t believe in upsetting or unsettling the spirits of our loved ones, even cash!

I want to point out to Jeffrey and all the brain washed locals who are still symphaizers of the H.R.P.P. Government! Money is sometimes not everything to Samoans! The bones of our Ancestors mean more to families than any wealth, that drives (at times) a wedge between families as money becomes the great motivator and not alofa or respect for one another!

I personally have had a similar case where my uncle asked me a few years ago whether we should sell our land for $2million tala to an international group, who would re-site the bones of our Ancestors to another piece of land, and give us some more land! My initial ‘wannabe Palagi reaction was yes, money first!’ Well, the family as a whole (and I’m glad I was seen as an imbecile at the time) kept onto our land and I am now a converted believer in family first, and not wealth! My family are working their land and survive by selling and living of the goods from the land given by our Ancestors to us!

Samoa is 80% Customary Land owned and yes, I too believe in each too their own! However, I don’t believe in any Government dictating to any family what they can or cannot use their Customary Lands for, let alone allow any Government to become the middleman in negotiations between the family and any would be investor!

Finally, Jeffrey I ask you one thing! Why do Samoan’s leave and go overseas? 

The answer you may have is because they are lazy and don’t want to stick around and help the family? 

Well, I hope you disagree with my analogy of your mental state? No, my Parents worked their arses off to send all our family in 1970 to NZ to hopefully give us children (4 of us under 5 years at the time) a chance to become better educated and raise our families as proud Samoan’s whilst living abroad! 

We have (as many thousands of Samoan families) also over the years given lots of monies to our immediate family, that helped the economy within Samoa progress and still even today! 

I’m also talking about the majority of ex pat Samoans who have done lots of wonderful things overseas and have also contributed to their local Samoan families! 

Jeffrey, to segregate us ‘overseas Samoans’ as people who know nothing about local Samoan life is like saying the Pope ‘prays but knows nothing about prayer!’ We are all Samoans no matter how little blood you may or I may have, and to toss us aside as nobodies is like an Ostrich with it’s head in the ground and bottom up, obviously thinking with the wrong end of it’s being!

Jeffrey, the problem lies in the L.T.R.A. Act 2008, and not us Samoan’s overseas! We just happen to see through all that propaganda ‘bull sugar’ feed to you and others by the H.R.P.P. Government! 

I wish you well Jeffrey and I do respect your opinion as we are of two different mindsets however, we are still both Samoans who love Samoa to the moon and back! Malo!


Iona Tusa 

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