RATU Ponijese Lou is the official title holder of the Taukei Naua after the Native Lands Commission appeal tribunal ruled in his favour at Saunaka Village on Thursday night.
Photo: Courtesy Fiji Sun
Ratu Ponijese's chiefly position was challenged by his fellow mataqali (clan) member but of a differenet tokatoka.
The appeals committe, which included former magistrate Aminiasi Katonivualiku, Ro Epeli Mataitini and Ratu Inoke Seru, met the two parties and handed down its decision after careful consideration.
A relieved Ratu Ponijese said through his spokesman, Tukai Lagonilakeba, that he was satisfied the decision had been reached amicably and looked foward in continuing from where his older brother and the late Taukei Naua, Ratu Josateki Sovau, had left off.
Mr Lagonilakeba said the two factions reconciled after the ruling and the people of Saunaka were satisfied. He said the matter had been a drawback in their daily village life and the ruling marked a new begining in the village.
"We are very happy with the outcome of the Appeal Tribunal ruling and I beleive that the 'vanua' of Naua are satisified," said Mr Lagonilakeba.
"It was a good hearing as both parties co-operated with the tribunal team.
"It's a new start for us and the Taukei Naua is looking foward to leading his people well."
Mr Lagonilakeba said the Saunaka chief's main aim was to safeguard the welfare of his people.
The yavusa Naua is one of the biggest landowners in the country, receiving substantial lease monies from their land. Some big business located on their land include the Nadi International Airport and hotels along the Wailoaloa beach.
Ratu Ponijese is a retired senior fire officer with Airports Fiji Limited.