Image Database Export Citations


The Roles and Responsibilities of Absentee Land Owners in the Pacific: A Niue Case Study

Show full item record

Type: Conference Paper
Author: Levi, Ahohiva; Boydell, Spike
Conference: Traditional Lands in the Pacific Region: Indigenous Common Property Resources in Convulsion or Cohesion
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Conf. Date: September 7-9, 2003
Date: 2003
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2335
Sector: Social Organization
Land Tenure & Use
Region: Pacific and Australia
Subject(s): IASC
land tenure and use
property rights
governance and politics
Abstract: "This paper investigates the conflict created by absentee land owners, who in many cases have become permanent residents in New Zealand, Australia, the US or Canada. From 1900 onwards, New Zealand administered the Pacific Islands of Niue, the Cooks and Tokelau. People within these islands were accorded the status of British nationality and New Zealand citizenship. As a result, many indigenous landowners migrated, in common with islanders from Samoa and Tuvalu. Such migrants retain certain land rights in their absentee capacity, which can be a major impediment to development. "Niue is the smallest self-governing microstate to have emerged from the United Nations promulgated decolonisation programme of the 1950s (current population 1460). It decided to become self-governing in free-assocation with New Zealand in 1974. Colonisation had brought the western approach to freehold title, but under the Niue Land Ordinance (1969) land ownership reverted to native title, on the basis that individualised freehold title was something foreign to Polynesian society. "In Niue, the acquisition of communal rights to land is through custom and traditional practice, largely handed down by birthright from generation to generation. One's obligation to ones family originates from the land its mana. However, indefinite periods of continuous absence as a member of the magafaoa without contributing to its welfare have caused difficulties to those remaining on the land. Using grounded data from a qualitative survey of five percent of the resident population, this paper addresses if silence and non-contribution is acceptable to satisfying traditional obligation."

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
Boydell_&_Levi_-_absentee_land_owners.pdf 522.2Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following document type(s)

Show full item record