By Mike Puia
MEMBER of Parliament for Rennell-Bellona province, Dr Tautai Agikimu’a Kaitu’u, has defended a letter he had signed allowing his land to be mined, which is attracting public attention.
The letter, dated November 26, 2017, was addressed to Bintan Mining Company and copied to the Director of Mines.
It shows Kaitu’u as one of the individuals who signed the letter consenting Tekakamagoku land in central Rennell to be mined.
The letter was posted in various social media groups and was carried in front pages of newspapers.
The letter prompted unnamed constituents to attack their MP. Some claimed Kaitu’u has been “two-faced” over the issue of mining on Rennell.
Some constituents say Kaituu presents himself to be against mining operations on Rennell Island but in fact signed his land to be mined.
Some constituents question the integrity of Kaitu’u. Some say Kaitu’u is claiming to champion his people’s fight against mining in Rennell but in practice allowed mining to continue.
Other unknown constituents claimed that Kaitu’u has been lying to the people of his province and country and is playing double standards.
Most people who spoke against their MP were not named.
Kaitu’u confirmed to Island Sun Gizo that he did signed a document purposely to stop their land at Tehakaamagoku from being mined by other people.
“The paper I signed was to protect our land from different people. I don’t know why Janus has to be mentioned in a story carried in the front page of Island Sun newspaper?” Kaitu’u said.
He said he sees no reason why signing a paper to protect their land from being mined by different people would become an issue.
“The question is if I decide to mine some of my land, which is not the case, what’s the issue?” Kaitu’u asks.
He said he stands against mining because there are things that are not right.
“I only stand against mining because land registration was not done correctly, there were no good deal companies done with landowners, there is no land rehabilitation on sites mined and obviously, digging happens all over the place. These are things that I don’t support,” Kaitu’u said.
He said the way mining is done on Rennell is “bad mining” and these are things he is mindful of.