Lord Fakafanua claims Pātangata land is his, asks govt to reconsider land distribution

    PHOTO: Left – Lord Maʻafu Tonga’s Minister of Land and Survey, R – Lord Fakafanua Tonga’s Former Speaker of the House

    Lord Fakafanua has written to Tonga’s Minister of Land and Survey, Lord Maʻafu, asking him to reconsider the government’s decision to distribute the land at the village of Pātanga to its settlers.

    The land at Pātangata was redistributed earlier this year so electricity could be connected to the village.

    According to a report in Tālanga newspaper this week,  Lord Fakafanua believes the estate is his.

    However, Lord Maʻafu said the government stood by its decision and that Pātangata was a government estate.

    Lord Fakafanua, the noble of Maʻofanga estate, said he believed Pātanga village was one of his estates because of the outcome of a series of Land Court cases brought  by his grandfather.

    Tālanga has since denied stories in other Tongan news outlets that Lord Fakafanua had taken legal action against the government.

    The newspaper said the noble only wrote to the Minister of Land and Survey, claiming the estate was his and asking the government to review its decision.

    It has been claimed that Pātangata, which is also popularly known as Tukutonga, was joined to another block of land called Finepani.

    The lands were claimed by Fakafanua Kisione Lēlea, Lord Fakafanua’s great grandfather but was rejected in a Land Court Case in 1924 according to Kakalu-‘O-Tonga newspaper.

    Fakafanua Lēlea divided Finepani into two and gave the lands to two of his heralds, Sōsefo Kātoa and Kēlepi Veʻehala, Tālanga reported.

    Kātoa and Veʻehala registered the lands with the Ministry of Land and Survey in December 1928 and January 1929.

    Tukutonga was leased by Lord Fakafanua’s grandfather to an American citizen named Drucker with the approval of the cabinet – decision number 1041- on January 1, 1971.

    However, in 1972 the cabinet changed its decision and declared that Tukutonga was part of the government’s estates.

    Fakafanua took the government to court in 1975 and won his case before Chief Justice H.S.Roberts.

    However, his victory in the Land Court Case – number 13 of 1975 – was appealed by the government which took it to the Privy Council.

    Kakalu-‘O-Tonga quoted Lord Ma’afu as saying the government won in its appeal.

    Fakafanua then began another legal action, but the case stalled and has not been pursued since then.

    Lord Maʻafu reportedly said the government would stand by its decision on the distribution of Pātangata and Lord Fakafanua was free to take any legal action against government.

    He said only a court decision could change the government’s decision.

    The main points

    • Lord Fakafanua has written to Tonga’s Minister of Land and Survey, Lord Mā’afu, asking him to reconsider the government’s decision to distribute the land at the village of Patanga to its settlers.
    • The land at Patangata was redistributed earlier this year so electricity could be connected to the village.
    • According to a report in Talanga newspaper this week, Lord Fakafanua believes the estate is his.
    • However, Lord Ma’afu said the government stood by its decision and that Patangata was a government estate.

    For more information

    Tongan legal and court system (South Pacific Lawyers’ Association) 

    1 COMMENT

    1. Kuo pehē ʻe Looti Fakafanua ko Pātangatá ko hono kelekele pea kuó ne kole ki he puleʻangá ke toe fakakaukauʻi ʻa ʻene vahe ʻa e kelekelé ni.

      Kuo tohi ʻa Looti Fakafanua ki he Minisitā Fonua mo e Saveá, Looti Maʻafu ʻo kole ange ke toe vakaiʻi e tuʻutuʻuni ʻa e puleʻangá ke vahe ʻa e kelekele ʻo Pātangatá ki he kāinga kuo nau nofoʻí.

      Naʻe tofi e kelekele ʻo Pātangatá he konga ki muʻa ʻo e taʻu ní koeʻuhī ka e lava ʻa e ʻuhilá ʻo taki ki he koló ni.

      Fakatatau ki ha līpooti ʻa e Nusipepa Tālanga ʻo e uike ní ʻoku tui ʻa Looti Fakafanua ko e tofiʻa ia ʻoʻona.

      Ka neongo iá kuo pehē foki ʻe Looti Maʻafu ia ʻoku kei tuʻu pe ʻa e puleʻangá ʻi heʻene tuʻutuʻuní pea ko Pātangatá ko e tofiʻa puleʻanga ia.

      Kuo fakaʻikaiʻi ai ʻi he fakamatala ʻa e Tālangá ʻa e pehē ʻe he niʻihi ʻo e ngaahi mītia Tongá kuo ʻosi fakaʻilo ʻe Fakafanua ʻa e puleʻangá fekauʻaki mo hono tofi ʻo Pātangatá.

      Pehē ʻe he nusipepá ne tohi pe ʻa e nōpelé ia ki he Minisitā Fonuá mo e Saveá ʻo ne fakahā ʻene tui ko e koló ni ko hono tofiʻa mo kole ki he puleʻangá ke toe vakaiʻi ange ʻa ʻene tuʻutuʻuní.

      Kuo pehē ko Pātangatá ʻa ia ʻoku toe ʻiloa lahi ko Tukutongá ne tuʻu fakataha ia mo e konga kelekele ko Finepani.

      Naʻe tala ʻe Fakafanua Kisione Lēlea ʻa ia ko e kui ua ia ʻa Looti Fakafanua ʻi he 1924 ʻa Pātangta ka ne ʻikai tali ia ʻi ha fakatonutonu fakamaauʻanga kelekele fakatatau ki he nusipepa Kakalu-ʻO-Tongá.

      Ka ne pehē ʻe he lau ʻa e Tālanga ne iku ʻo vaeua ʻe he ongo matāpule ʻa Fakafanua Lēlea ko Sōsefo Kātoa mo Kelepi Veʻehala ʻa Finepani ʻo na lēsisita ia maʻa kinaua ʻi Tīsema 1928 mo Sānuali 1929.

      Ko Tukutonga leva ia ne lisi ia ʻe Fakafanua, kui ʻa Looti Fakafanuá ki he tangata ʻAmelika ko Drucker peá ne tali e he kapinetí e lisi ko ʻení ʻi he tuʻutuʻuni fika 1041 ʻi Sānuali 1971.

      Neongo iá ʻi he taʻu 1972 pē naʻe toe liliu ai ʻe he kapinetí ia ʻene tuʻutuʻuní ʻo fakahā ko Tukutongá pe Pātangatá ko e tofiʻa puleʻanga pe ia.

      Ne ʻave ai ʻe Fakafanua ʻa e puleʻangá ki he fakamaauʻangá ʻi he 1975 ʻo ne ikuna ʻi ha hopo ne fakamaau ai ʻa e Fakamaau Lahi ko Chief Justice H.S Roberts.

      Neongo iá naʻe tangi ʻa e puleʻangá ia ʻi he ikuna ko ʻení ʻi he hopo fika 13 ʻo e taʻu 1975 ʻa ia ne ʻave eni ʻo fakatonutonu ʻi he Fakataha Tokoní.

      Kuo lipooti ʻe he Kakalu-ʻO-Tongá ha lau ʻa Looti Maʻafu ʻo ne pehē ne ikuna ʻa e puleʻangá ia ʻi heʻene tangi ko ʻení.

      Ka naʻe toe hoko atu pe ʻe Fakafanua haʻane ngāue fakalao heni ka ne iku ʻo tuʻu ʻo ʻikai ha toe ngāue ia ki ai.

      Kuo pehē ai ʻe Looti Maʻafu ʻe kei tuʻu pe ʻa e puleʻangá ʻi heʻene tuʻutuʻuni ke vahe ʻa Pātangatá pea ʻoku tauʻatāina pe ʻa Looti Fakafanua ia kapau te ne hoko atu ʻo fai ha ngāue fakalao ki he puleʻangá.

      Ne meʻa foki e lōtí ʻo pehē ʻe toki taʻofi pe hono vahe ʻo Pātangatá ʻo ka ʻi ai ha tuʻutuʻuni fakafakamaauʻanga pehē.

      Kuo lava foki hono tofi ʻo e koló ni ka ʻoku teu atu ʻeni hono vahe mo fakanofonofo ki ai e kāingá.

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