“You the people of Efate — your hearts are as soft as the alluvial soil of the land so that when the rains come, the seeds in the soil germinate with ease”.

The above poetic statement was made by the Head of State when the six representatives of landowners of Port Vila paid him a courtesy call at his Office.

Following the confirmation by the Group of their receipt of their Green Certificate, the Group’s Spokesman, Chief Denny Kalmet has now confirmed the receipt of the Negotiation Certificate from the Minister of Lands, Alfred Maoh, on November 5.

The spokesman says this is the latest breakthrough towards their legal recognition by the Government, to entertain any investor who is interested to negotiate to use reclaim land in Port Vila to invest.

“This breakthrough confirms the Government’s recognition of the right of custom land ownership of reclaimed land in Port Vila”, he says.

The Minister of Lands signed the Negotiation Certificate for the first reclaimed land in Port Vila, which the Government through the Land Management Policy Committee (LMPC) approved for an investor or interested person on the reclaimed land, to negotiate a new lease with the custom landowners.

The custom landowners of Port Vila through Golden Rock Ltd. (GRL), wish to say they are grateful to the Government for recognising the right of the custom landowners (over reclaimed land) and acted to confirm it.

“This struggle dates back to November of 2012 when the custom landowners came together to fight for their right which today is recognised by the Government so that November 5, 2019, marked a historic breakthrough for the custom landowners to reclaim their right in an urban boundary” said the Spokesman.

“Also our gratitude goes to the Head of State who was the first to receive the landowners of Port Vila and poetically compared them to soft, rich alluvial soil.

“This is an appeal to all interested authorities, Non-Government Organisations and investors in Port Vila that we the custom landowners are interested to work with you to secure your land leases on our reclaimed land”.

The spokesman says there is only one cook in the kitchen but the cooked meal is shared by the whole house.

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