The lawful traditional rights and interests of the indigenous inhabitants of the "New Territories" shall be protected by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Non-indigenous inhabitant (非原居民) is a resident in the New Territories of Hong Kong, whose ancestors were not inhabitants there before the commencement of British rule in 1898 and do not have the same special rights as the indigenous inhabitants.
Special rights are restricted to the village that the indigenous inhabitant is from. In order to protect the tradition of villages, male indigenous inhabitants have the right to apply for small house, known as ting uk (丁屋) in Cantonese. Properties are only inherited by male members of a village.
People have been living on boats in the New Territories for generations, and they do not usually own land or houses. They have no special rights because the Hong Kong government since 1898 only recognises established villages.
Conflicts between indigenous and non-indigenous inhabitants
As a result of a large influx of non-indigenous inhabitants into the rural villages, conflicts between indigenous and non-indigenous inhabitants are surfacing. Because the management of a village was only in the hand of indigenous inhabitants, non-indigenous inhabitants could not participate in the matters of the village.