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Tailevu is one of the 14 provinces of Fiji. One of eight Provinces based in Viti Levu, Fiji's largest island, its 755 square kilometers occupy the south-eastern fringe of the island, along with some central areas. At the 2007 census, the most recent to date, it had a population of 55,692, the fifth largest among the Provinces. The main urban area of Tailevu is Nausori with a population of 21,645 in 1996.
Tailevu includes the districts of Bau, Nakelo, Verata, Wainibuka, and Sawakasa. Bau District includes Bau Island, the seat of the Kubuna Confederacy, one of three traditional chiefly hierarchies in Fiji. Kubuna's Paramount Chief, called the Vunivalu of Bau, is generally considered the most senior such chief in Fiji. Holders of the title included Seru Epenisa Cakobau, who forged the first nation-state out of the Fiji Islands and established the Kingdom of Viti, having himself crowned as King in 1871 before ceding the islands to the United Kingdom in 1874. The last to hold the title was Ratu Sir George Cakobau, who was also Governor-General of Fiji from 1973 to 1983. Since Cakobau's death in 1989, the office of Vunivalu has been vacant; this is thought to be partly because of disagreements over the succession. Discussions among the clans of Bau are currently underway to find a successor, with Cakobau's son, Ratu George Cakobau, considered a likely candidate.
Another Tailevu native, famous in a different way, is George Speight, who fronted the coup d'état that overthrew Fiji's elected government in 2000. Ratu Jope Seniloli, who was forced to resign the Vice-Presidency of Fiji in late 2004 following his conviction for coup-related offences, is also from Tailevu.
The Indigenous Fijians land, water ways, foreshore and sea-bed and fishing grounds is held in perpetuity among other special privileges they are entitled to as the Native People of Fiji.