The New Ireland Lands Board was officially sworn in today, in Kavieng by Commissioner Hanley Logoso, in the presence of the Governor of New Ireland Sir Julius Chan and members of the Provincial Executive Council.
The reappointed board members consists of John Wesley as Chairman, Gerard Kasik as Deputy Chairman and members Patrick Maris, Florence Stocken and Vincent Tadigu while Provincial Administrator Lamiller Pawut is automatically an Ex Officio member.
The board was challenged to take up issues facing the provincial lands division amidst cases of Waigani Lands officers bypassing the Provincial lands office and illegally facilitating land titles for individuals including members of parliament.
Provincial Administrator Lamiller Pawut reminded the board that since the devolution of lands powers, the Provincial Board has the powers to make and implement decisions.
“ A lot of the Lands Officers from Port Moresby do not know about the devolution of powers to provinces that is why we continue to face issues with land titles going into the wrong hands because of stupid decisions by Waigani lands officers.
I want us to be able to make decisions and implement those decisions here in the province,” said Pawut.
Governor Sir J stressed on the importance of land as a commodity while assuring the board that they have the full support of his Government by ensuring they are properly funded to carry out their duties and responsibilities.
Chairman John Wesley said,” We’ll do our best to help this province by acting as a Watch dog for our people. Ensuring all land transactions are done lawfully. We will also address all cases on land disputes.”