Local government in Fiji

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This article is part of a series on the
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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 used to have direct input into national affairs through the Great Council of Chiefs and the Senate. The Great Council of Chiefs was a traditional body which advised the government on indigenous affairs and also functioned as an electoral college to elect the President and Vice-President; 42 of the 55 members of the Great Council were 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, were chosen by the provincial councils (one Senator each) and confirmed by the Great Council of Chiefs. The Military-backed interim government that seized power in a military coup on 5 December 2006 formally abolished the Great Council of Chiefs in 2012, and the 2013 Constitution promulgated by the regime similarly abolished the Senate. This effectively ended provincial input into national government affairs.

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 used to choose (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 generally centre on 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]

Fiji Province

Provinces - statistics[edit]

Division
(Capital)
Province Area
km²
[4]
Population
(2007 Census)
Population
(2014 Estimate)
[5]
Central
(Suva)
Naitasiri 1666 160,760 173,672
Namosi 570 6,898 7,544
Rewa 272 100,995 103,255
Serua 830 18,249 19,402
Tailevu 955 55,692 61,765
Northern
(Labasa)
Bua 1378 14,176 16,012
Cakaudrove 2816 49,344 50,494
Macuata 2004 72,441 65,995
Eastern
(Levuka)
Kadavu 478 10,167 10,856
Lau 487 10,683 10,623
Lomaiviti 411 16,253 16,542
Western
(Lautoka)
Ba 2634 231,760 238,802
Nadroga-Navosa 2385 58,387 58,300
Ra 1341 29,464 30,533
Rotuma 46 2,002 1,814

Towns and Cities[edit]

City
or Town
Date of
incorporation
Mayor (Party) Councillors Area
(square kilometers)
Population
(1996)
Ba 1939 Parveen 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: Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua; SRC: Savusavu Ratepayers and Citizens Party; TRLTA: Tavua Ratepayers, Landowners, and Tenants Association

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]