APID accused of improper land acquisition
Landowners on Rennell Island have claimed Asia Pacific Investment Development (APID) have unlawfully breached procedures of land acquisition and registration bypassing them as the rightful owners’ to the lands.
Urging the Commissioner of Lands, Nelson Naoapu not to consider any land acquisition registration for APID Mining Company on Rennell.
But APID denied all claims and said, they followed all rightful procedures to the lands acquisitions and registration, with approval granted by the Commissioner.
Spokesman for concern landowners alleged APID’s claim to have acquire majorities of tribal land in Rennell for their operations have not gone through any rightful land acquisition with the landowners before registering the lands.
“There was not even one consultation done with the rightful people, nothing was done for the purpose of acquisition of lands in Rennell.
“What they did was, they use close associates or cronies to pursue those who know little on such issue and force them,” said the spokesman.
The concern landowner said, rightful landowners have no say at all to express themselves and their views in any consultation.
“There is no chance at all for them to express what they would like to do and be done on their lands; instead they went about forcing certain individuals to do it.
“Added; that most of the land acquisitions done on the island as purported right are incomplete with lots of illegal dealings by the mining company with some selfish people who are not rightful landowners.”
According to obtained document dated 9th July 2015 from the Lands Commissioner to APID’s land acquisitions and registration, the company has been approved for following the right procedures as stated in the Mines and Minerals Act.
“The process has been carried out in accordance to the Minerals Act and Lands and Title Acts for the mining company and lease and rental has commenced in June and possession of the land has already taken place by Asia Pacific Investment Development Limited.”
Landowners however said, the processes are done incomplete and are done with forcing certain people who know no knowledge of the issue to get approval.
“This is a crave concern for the landowners because APID is continuing to cause damage on our lands without any proper agreement and consultations.
“We are calling on the commissioner of lands not to approve any land acquisition and registrations for APID Mining Company in Rennell.
“Taking into consideration also the fact that APID has been issued a 14 days’ notice by the Minister of Mines on some related issues on the land acquisition with the landowners in the notice.
“Despite the notice, APID ignored replying until today,” claimed the spokesman.
“The 14 days’ notice clearly indicates APID Mining Company not to engage in any land acquisition or registration and should stop immediately with its activities.”
He added calling on the commissioner not to be influenced but to take a positive stand on the issue.
“We have had enough of suffering on their continuous oppressions on our resources,” he said.
“APID will surely try to pursue your good office, but bear in mind that it’s enough for us. Whatever decision you be making will definitely determine the future of the people on Rennell.”
He said there will be numerous excuses including false documents provided and I urge you commissioner to be careful.
“I just want to advice you that for whatever land acquisition documents APID present before you, it needs revisiting because all these documents and information’s spilled off from incomplete process of land acquisition.
“And you must prove to yourself of these land acquisition documents are true before making any further step,” urged the landowners.
By BRADFORD THEONOMI