Leases are a common tool to enable surplus (or non-reserve) native land, tribal land or customary land to be used productively, be it for primary production, commercial or residential purposes. When properly crafted and managed, leasehold tenure should enable inalienable customary land to be used productively for the benefit of landowners, tenants and governmental development.
Unfortunately through a series of historical events, certain aspects of leases seem to have been ‘lost in translation’ from their original design in Victorian England to their subsequent application in parts of Australia and then the Pacific. Notably this variance relates to the ‘ownership’ of any improvements on the land, and there seems to have been an inadvertent alienation through leasehold that has occurred.
In this episode, I draw heavily on my lived experience to piece together why this ‘problem’ may have occurred and explain why leases should still be part of the ‘solution’ for customary land.
©️ Spike Boydell 2023
Host: Spike Boydell
Royalty free music used in this episode is from my Artlist.io subscription.
DISCLAIMER: The views, insights and opinions shared on the Customary Land Podcast are those of the Host, any Guests, and others they may cite. They do not constitute legal or financial advice and should not be construed as such by any individual, group or organisation. Before undertaking any dealing or action relating to customary land, individuals, groups or organisations should obtain professional advice from a qualified lawyer, experienced valuer and/or certified accountant with specialist expertise in your particular country. Alternatively, you can contact Customary Land Solutions for advocacy, advisory and capacity building solutions for customary and indigenous landowning groups and trusts on land management, leasehold, valuation and resource compensation issues (E: firstname.lastname@example.org).