If Media around the Pacific want a story about bias and the abuse of an office for personal favor or gain, this story would fit right in.
An application was made to the Land Management and Planning Committee – LMPC on Friday the 13th of September 2019.
24 hours after on the 14th of September 2019, the application was approved and stamped by the LMPC Chairman Don Patterson.
The application to change the categories listed on a property from an Urban Residential Lease to a Commercial Lease was approved on a Saturday.
The Vanuatu Leader of the Opposition has also questioned the motives behind the approval as it is the first time for an application to be approved within 24 hours and also on a weekend.
Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau has questioned the LPMPC brainchild Ralph Regenvanu publicly on social media as to what extent is the LMPC operating.
On the 13th of September 2019, the LMPC wrote to AKIRIKI Limited and informed them of their application to surrender residential lease 11/0A24/081,082,083.
The leases surrendered were to have their lease category changed from residential to commercial.
The letter of approval is now circulated on social media and everyone is amazed at the efficiency set by the LMPC to the extent of granting an approval over the weekend whilst a lot of transfers before the LMPC are still pending.
Most commentators cite the transfer of titles still pending after many years and one in particular that has never been approved is the lease title for Saralana Park which is to be transferred out from the Fes Napuan Committee back to Vanuatu National Cultural Center -VNCC.
The lease transfer on that title was signed by MP Ralph Regenvanu who was then Minister of Lands and also part of the Fest Napuan.
The LMPC is now being questioned as to whether its operations are genuine or politically motivated and to whose interest is this high office operating for?
Don Patterson and his committee members will be expected to be efficient, and reliable in screening and approving any other application. just as they have done here.
The motives behind the weekend approval are not known and there is no reason to not wait till Monday morning to complete all the transfers.