Land laws

Samoa's former Head of State felt pressured to sign land law

Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi said he signed the Land Title Registration Act in 2008 before realising there should have been a referendum on it.

Tupua, who was speaking at a conference in New Zealand, said he was told the act would not affect customary land rights.

He said Samoans need to understand legislation that effects their customary rights and do everything to keep their land.

Protests continue over Samoa's controversial land law

On Saturday about 200 people marched through Apia protesting against the Lands Title Registration Act 2008, which they claim violates customary land rights by breaking communal land into individual titles.

The government denies the law infringes on customary rights, saying it only applies to freehold land.

RNZI reports the march was well attended by both the public and a high police presence.

The march ended at Mulinu'u where speeches were made expressing public concern about the possibility of land falling into the hands of foreign investors.

About 200 turn out to protest against Samoa land laws

They were marching against the Registration of Land and Titles Act of 2008, which requires the registration of public land, freehold land, and customary leases and licences.

Critics say the law violates customary land rights by breaking communal land into individual - private - titles.

A paramount chief, lawyer, and former opposition politician, Leota Su'atele Manusegi, who was at the protest, says the law opens land for sale and exploitation.