Local government in Fiji

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Fiji is divided administratively into four divisions, which are further subdivided into fourteen provinces; the self-governing island[1][2][3] of Rotuma and its dependencies lie outside any of the four divisions. Each division is headed by a Commissioner, appointed by the Fijian government. The divisions are basically agglomerations of provinces and have few administrative functions of their own, but serve to foster cooperation among the member provinces for providing services. Each province has a provincial council which may make bylaws and impose rates (local taxes), subject to the approval of the Fijian Affairs Board, a government department. The board must also approve the appointment of the Roko Tui, or executive head of the provincial council, who is usually a high chief, although in recent years, commoners have sometimes been chosen.

Map of the divisions of Fiji.

The provinces have direct input into national affairs through the Great Council of Chiefs and the Senate. The Great Council of Chiefs is a traditional body which advises the government on indigenous affairs and also functions as an electoral college to elect the President and Vice-President; 42 of the 55 members of the Great Council are chosen by the provincial councils, three from each province. In addition, 14 of the 32 members of the Senate, the upper house of the Fijian Parliament, are chosen by the provincial councils (one Senator each) and confirmed by the Great Council of Chiefs.

Additionally, the island of Rotuma, north of the main archipelago, is self-governing according to the Rotuma Act promulgated in 1927. The Fiji government includes it in the Eastern Division for statistical purposes (such as the census), but it has its own council which is empowered to legislate on most local matters. Like a province, Rotuma chooses (through its council) 3 members of the Great Council of Chiefs and 1 Senator.

Below the provincial level, districts and villages, based on extended family networks, have their own chiefs and councils. Indigenous Fijian administration is based on the koro, or village, headed by a Turaga ni Koro elected or appointed by the villagers. Several koros combine to form a Tikina, two or more of which comprise a province. In addition, municipal governments have been established for the cities of Suva and Lautoka, and for ten towns. Each has a city or town council elected for a three-year term, presided over by a Mayor chosen by the councillors from among their own members. On 15 February 2006 the government announced legislation to change the local government term of office from three years to four.

Provincial administration, and its sub divisions, cater for ethnic Fijians, town and city councils cater for urban residents of all races. Local authorities have also been established for rural areas, with advisory powers and these provide a voice to people of all races outside the provincial structure. The Ministry of Regional Development ensures that Fiji's rural areas are provided with the access to opportunities and basic amenities that are enjoyed by the urban areas. This is done through its district administrations which are involved in community capacity building, coordinating the development projects like upgrading of rural roads, upgrading of cane access roads, development or roads for access to cash crops and other capital programs in their respective districts. They also attend to some statutory functions such as registration of births, deaths and marriages, liquor licences and acting as Third Class Magistrates.

Fiji is divided into 17 districts, each with a district officer and five sub-districts with assistant district officers. The districts are generally based around towns and cities, but some follow provincial or tikina boundaries. The districts are: Ra, Tavua, Ba, Nadi, Nadarivatu, Keiyasi, Nausori, Navua, Vunidawa, Suva, Korovou, Macuata, Savusavu, Bua, Taveuni, Seqaqa, Saqani, Tukavesi, Kadavu, Rotuma, Lomaiviti, Lautoka. [1]

Provinces - statistics[edit]

Division
(Capital)
Province Council Chairman Area
km²
Population
(2007)
Central
(Suva)
Naitasiri Ratu Ilaitia Tuisese 1666 160,760
Namosi Ratu Kiniviliame Taukeinikoro 570 6,898
Rewa Pita Tagi Cakiverata (acting) [1] 272 100,787
Serua Atunaisa Lacabuka 830 18,249
Tailevu Josefa Seruilagilagi 755 55,692
Northern
(Labasa)
Bua Ratu Filimoni Ralogaivau 1379 14,176
Cakaudrove Sitiveni Rabuka 2816 49,344
Macuata Ratu Aisea Katonivere 2004 72,441
Eastern
(Levuka)
Kadavu Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo 478 10,167
Lau Ratu Josefa Basulu 487 10,683
Lomaiviti Ratu Jo Lewanavanua 411 16,461
Western
(Lautoka)
Ba Ratu Ovini Bokini 2634 231,760
Nadroga-Navosa Ratu Sakiusa Makutu 2385 58,387
Ra Simione Naikarua 1341 29,464
[1] The Rewa Provincial Council wants Ro Teimumu Kepa, the Roko Tui Dreketi (Paramount Chief of Rewa and of the Burebasaga Confederacy) to hold the council chairmanship. Until the coup of December 2006 she was a Cabinet Minister, and thus constitutionally disqualified from holding a council chairmanship simultaneously, and the Provincial Council has decided to leave the position vacant until the constitution is changed.

Towns and Cities[edit]

City
or Town
Date of
incorporation
Mayor (Party) Councillors Area
(square kilometers)
Population
(1996)
Ba 1939 Pravin Bala (NFP) 15 327 14,596
Labasa 1939 Pradeep Singh (FLP) 12 360 27,949 (2007)
Lami 1977 Tevita Buatalevu (SDL) 12 680 20,529 (2007)
Lautoka (city) 1929 Rohit Kumar (FLP) 16 1607 52,220 (2007)
Levuka 1877 George Gibson (Balance) 8 67 3,745
Nadi 1946 Shalesh Mudliar (NFP) 15 577 42,284 (2007)
Nasinu 1999 Rajeshwar Kumar (FLP) 21 4500 87,446 (2007)
Nausori 1931 Vikash Singh (NRA) 12 167 47,604 (2007)
Savusavu 1969 Ram Pillay (SRC) 9 800 4,962
Sigatoka 1959 Ratu Isikeli Tasere (SDL/NFP) 10 127 7,940
Suva (city) 1881 Ratu Peni Volavola (SDL) 20 2048 85,691 (2007)
Tavua 1992 Chandra Singh (TRLTA) 9 100 2,418
FLP: Fiji Labour Party; NFP: National Federation Party; NRA: Nausori Ratepayers' Association; SDL: United Fiji Party; SRC: Savusavu Ratepayers and Citizens Party; TRLTA: Tavua Ratepayers, Landowners, and Tenants Association

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Rotuma_Act
  2. ^ http://www.itc.gov.fj/lawnet/fiji_act/inter_act_list.html
  3. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=B9Qww9fVkGIC&pg=PA239&lpg=PA239&dq=rotuma+free+association&source=bl&ots=yyE_6WYTgQ&sig=3SMYyQfkQjvX_1i8WK5wqfY9LPA&hl=en&ei=bIE3TPWxF8G88gaD2OSmBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=rotuma%20free%20association&f=false

External links[edit]