Local government of Fiji


Local government of Fiji

Fiji is divided administratively into four divisions, which are further subdivided into fourteen provinces. 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.

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, has the status of a dependency. The government includes it in the Eastern Division for statistical purposes (such as the census), but administratively it enjoys a degree of internal autonomy and 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. [http://www.regdev.gov.fj/dos.htm]


= Provinces - statistics =

Towns and Cities

External links

* [http://www.citypopulation.de/Fiji.html#i8613 Population statisitics]
* [http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:RplJu5hkXbwJ:www.unescap.org/huset/lgstudy/country/fiji/fiji.html+Fiji+provinces&hl=en Local Government in Asia and the Pacific - Fiji]


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