Land Court awards Kolomotuʻa land, buildings to Moʻui Foʻou ʻIa  Kalaisi Fellowship

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Dr Pōhiva Tuʻiʻonetoa (L) and President Liufau Saulala (R)

The Mo’ui Foʻou ‘ia Kalaisi Fellowship has been awarded the lease of lands at Kolomotuʻa which have been the subject of a protracted battle between two churches.

The Tokaikolo Church wanted a declaration that the land on  which  the   church  stands,  the  church  itself  and  its  furnishings and two houses were the property of Tokaikolo and an order that vacant possession of the same be given.

In his ruling in the Land Court, Mr Justice Scott said he made his judgement based on the fact that the majority of fund raising, physical work on the land and church building had been done by local people and by members of the Fellowship who now worshipped there.

The matter of doctrinal differences was also a consideration in his judgement.

He also found that Cabinet had not acted properly in granting two competing requests for the lease of the land.

The Fellowship broke away from the Tokaikolo Christian Church International over the leadership style, perceived administrative irregularities and what were held to be the heresies of its president, Rev. Dr. Liufau Saulala.

The church at Kolomotu’a became the physical focal point of the Fellowship and Fellowship and members of the congregation who wanted to stay with the Tokaikolo church were not allowed to use it.

Doctrinal differences

In a 53 page judgement in which he made extensive use of documents and submissions made to the court by both sides in the case, Mr Justice Scott laid out the history of the land and the doctrinal and financial crises which had beset the Tokaikolo church.

The founder of the Tokaikolo church, Rev. Senituli Koloi, preached withdrawal from the pleasures of the flesh, led a deeply prayerful life and practised and advocated intense fasting.

He scorned feasting, displays of wealth, excessive obeisance to the powerful and all forms of ostentation.

When Dr Saulala took over, there were feasts and gifts for guests and questions were raised about whether he was turning his back on Rev. Koloi’s beliefs.

Mr Justice Scott said it was clear that a number of members of the Tokokailo church felt it had deviated from its original doctrines. He said it was not up to the court to settle these differences, but noted that in his later statements on salvation Dr Saulala had departed from the core beliefs of Rev. Koloi.

In his report on the doctrinal issues of the case, Mr Justice Scott cited an earlier case that said:

“Where property is given for the purpose of a particular voluntary association having as its band of union one or more distinctive fundamental religious tenets or principles, the majority of such association cannot, in the absence of express provision, by amalgamating with another body which does not hold such tenets or principles as essential oust from the  property  belonging to such voluntary association the minority who still adhere to  those tenets  and  principles”.

There were also serious questions about the church’s financial practises, including the failure to lodge proper financial records.  Under Dr. Saulala the church became involved in a series of failed business ventures, including what were essentially magic pills. Dr Saulala made incredible claims about foreign investment in the church and became closely involved with a convicted conman, David Hobbs.

“There is nothing to rebut the suggestion that his dealings with Hobbs resulted in an enormous financial loss to the Church and to its members,” the judge said.

The lease

In July and September 2002 and January 2003, Neomai Holani, a widow, applied to the Minister of Land for his consent to the surrender of seven portions of her tax allotment totalling one acre, one rood and 10 perches “for the work of the Tokaikolo Church.”

The application was approved by Cabinet and a section 54 notice was published. After a year an application for a lease of the surrendered land was lodged by The Tokaikolo Christian  Fellowship.

This application was approved by Cabinet in November 2005 and resulted in a lease finally being granted on 18   September 2009.

“Unfortunately, when the lease was granted to the Tokaikolo Fellowship in  Christ  of Kolomotu, the Ministry overlooked the fact that in 2006 a second application for a lease of  the  land, plus a small extra piece, had been received from Sione Maile, then the General Secretary of the Tokaikolo Church,” Mr Justice Scott said.

“This application, necessarily entailing the cancellation of the first application, was also approved by Cabinet.

“The result of this oversight is that no lease, in the form and to the lessee last approved   by Cabinet has ever been issued while  the  lease actually registered (and mortgaged) is not in the name of the lessee last approved by  Cabinet,” Mr Justice Scott said.

The Tokaikolo Church’s application was dismissed.

The main points

  • The Mo’ui Fo’ou ‘ia Kalaisi Fellowship has been awarded the lease of lands at Kolomotu’a which have been the subject of a  protracted battle between two churches.
  • The Tokaikolo Church wanted a declaration  that the land on  which  the   church  stands,  the  church  itself  and  its  furnishings and two houses were the property of Tokaikolo; and an order that vacant possession of the same be given.
  • In his ruling in the Land Court, Mr Justice Scott, said he made his judgement based on the fact that the majority of fund raising , physical work on the land and church building had been done by local people and by members of the Fellowship who now worshipped there.
  • The matter of doctrinal differences was also a consideration in his judgement.

For more information 

Judge warns plaintiff party to consider personal questions against defendant

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  1. Kuo foaki ki he feohiʻanga lotu Moʻui Foʻou ʻIa Kalaisí ʻa hono lisi ʻo e ngaahi kelekele ʻi Kolomotuʻá ʻa ia ko ha tefito ʻeni ʻo ha fepaki kuo fuoloa mai ʻi ha ongo siasi ʻe ua.

    Naʻe fiemaʻu ʻe he Siasi Tokaikoló ke fakahā fakalao ko e kelekele ʻoku tuʻu ai ʻa e Moʻui Foʻoú, mo e fale lotú pehē ki he ʻū nāunau fale mo ha ongo fale ʻe ua ko e koloa ia ʻa e Tōkaikoló peá ke tuʻutuʻuni ke tuku ange ʻa e koloa ko iá mei he Moʻui Foʻoú.

    ʻI he tuʻutuʻuni ʻa Fakamaau Scott ʻi he Fakamaauʻanga Kelekelé, naʻá ne meʻa ai ʻo pehē ne tuʻunga ʻene fakamāú ʻi he moʻoni ko e lahi taha ʻo e paʻanga ne tānakí, ko e ngāue ne fakahoko ki he kelekelé mo e fale lotú ko e fai pe ia ʻe he kakai ʻo e koló mo e kau mēmipa ʻo e feohiʻangá ʻoku nau lotu ai he taimí ní.

    Naʻe hoko foki ʻa e ngaahi kehekehe ʻi he tokāteliné ʻi he meʻa ne fakakau ki he ngaahi makatuʻunga ʻo ʻene fai fakamāú.

    Naʻe toki ʻilo foki ʻe he fakmāú naʻe fehalaaki e kapinetí ʻi hono foaki ʻo ha kole lisi ʻe ua naʻe fakahu atu ki he kelekele ko ʻeni ne tuʻu ai ʻa e Moʻui Foʻoú ʻi Kolomotuʻá.

    Naʻe motu ʻa e Feohiʻangá mei he Tōkaikolo Fakavahaʻapuleʻangá tuʻunga he founga tataki ʻo siasí, tōkehekehe ʻi he anga e fakakaukau ki hono fakalelé mo e pehē kuo hē ʻa palesitenī Faifekau Toketā Liufau Saulala mei he tefitoʻi taukave ʻa e siasí.

    Ne hoko ʻa e siasi ʻi Kolomotuʻá ko e fakamaʻunga ia ʻo e Feohiʻangá ʻo ʻikai fakaʻatā e kau mēmipa ne nau fili ke kei nofo pe ʻi he malumalu ʻo e kāingalotu Tokaikoló ke nau ngāueʻakí.

    Kehekehe fakatokāteline

    ʻI ha tuʻutuʻuni peesi ʻe 53 ʻa Fakamaau Scott ʻa ia naʻá ne fakaʻaongaʻi lahi ai e ngaahi tokiumeni mo e ʻū sapimīsini pe ʻū fokotuʻu ne fakahū atu ki he fakamaauʻangá ʻe he ongo tafaʻakí fakatouʻosi, naʻá ne tuku mai ai e hisitōlia ʻo e kelekelé mo e ngaahi meʻa fakatokāteline pehē ki he ngaahi faingataʻa ne tofanga ai e Tōkaikoló.

    Naʻe malangaʻaki ʻe he tokotaha na’á ne fokotuʻu ʻa e Tōkaikoló Faifekau Senituli Koloi ʻa hono siʻaki ʻo e ngaahi fakafuōuō fakamātelié, pea nōfoʻi pe ki he lotu mo e ʻaukai lahi.

    Naʻá ne fehiʻa he kai kātoangá , fakaʻaliʻali koloa, fakaʻapaʻapaʻi kinautolu ivi mālohí mo e ngaahi founga kotoa ʻo e ʻai ke hā atu ki māmani mo e kakaí.

    ʻI he taimi ne hū hake ai ʻa Dr Saulala ki he lakangá ne hoko leva ʻa hono fai ʻo e kaikātoangá mo e foaki meʻaʻofa ki he kau fakaafé pea fai leva hono fehuʻia pe kuo sītuʻa ko ā ia mei he ngaahi tui ʻa Faifekau Koloí.

    Ne meʻa ʻa Fakamaau Scott ʻo pehē naʻe mahino ko e tokolahi ʻo e kau mēmipa ʻo e siasi Tōkaikoló ne nau ongoʻi kuo ʻalu kehe ia mei he ngaahi tefitoʻi tokāteliné.

    Naʻā ne pehē foki ʻoku ʻikai ko e meʻa ia ʻa e fakamaauʻangá ke ne fakatonutonu ʻa e ngaahi kehekehe ko ʻení , ka ke fakatokangaʻi ʻi heʻene ngaahi fakamatala ki muí kau ki he fakamoʻuí pe salaveisiní kuo mavahe ʻa Dr. Saulala ia mei he ngaahi tefitoʻi tui ʻa Faifekau Koloí.

    ʻI heʻene lave ki he ngaahi ʻīsiu fakatokāteline ʻi he hopó ni, naʻe lave ai ʻa Scott ki ha hopo ki muʻa ne pehé ni e tuʻutuʻuni aí:

    Ko ha koloa ʻe foaki ʻo taumuʻa ki ha kautaha ngāue ʻofa ke ne maʻu koeʻuhi ko haʻanau faʻahinga taumuʻa ʻoku nau muia pe ʻi ha ngaah tefitoʻi tui fakalotu lahi ange,ʻe ʻikai hoko ha hiki ia ʻa e tokolahi taha ʻo e kautaha ko iá, ʻokapau ne ʻikai ha tuʻutuʻuni ke fakamahino, ki ha toe sino kehe ʻoku ʻikai ke nau tui tatau ke toʻo ai e koloá mei he tokosiʻi ʻo e kautaha ngāue ʻofá ʻoku nau kei piki pe ki he ngaahi tefitoʻi tuí mo e ngaahi tefitoʻi moʻoní (pilinisipoló).

    Naʻe toe ʻi ai foki mo e ʻū fehuʻi mahuʻinga kau ki he ngaahi meʻa fakapaʻanga ʻa e siasí, kau ai ʻa e ʻikai lava ke fakahā ha lēkooti fakamatala fakapaʻanga.ʻI he malumalu e taki ʻa Dr. Saulalá ne kau ʻa e siasí ʻi ha ngaahi tila fakapisinisi ne ʻikai hano ola, kau ai ʻa e foʻi ʻakau ne pehē te ne lava ke fakahoko ha mana.

    Naʻe taukaveʻi lahi ʻe Dr Saulala ke fai e ngaahi fakatupupaʻanga muli ʻi he siasí peá ne fuʻu vāofi mo e tangata kākā ne ʻosi tauteaʻi ʻi he fakamaauʻangá ko David Hobbs.

    ʻOku ʻikai ha meʻa ke ne fakahalaki ʻa e fokotuʻu ko ia ʻo pehē ko ʻene tila ko ia mo Hobbs ne iku ki he mole lahi fakapaʻanga ki he siasí mo hono kau mēmipá, ko e meʻa ia ʻa e fakamāú.

    Ko e lisi

    ʻI Sepitema 2002 mo Sānuali 2003 , naʻe kole ai ʻa Neomai Hōlani, ko ha fefine uitou, ki he Minisitā Fonuá ke ne tali ke foaki ʻa e konga ʻe fitu ʻa hono ʻapi tukuhaú ʻa ia ko e ʻeka ia ʻe taha luti ʻe taha mo e pole ʻe 10 ki he ngāue ʻa e siasi Tōkaikoló.

    Naʻe tali ʻa e kolé ʻe he Kapinetí peá naʻe pulusi leva ʻa e fanongonongo ʻo hangē ko e tuʻutuʻuni ʻa e kupu 54. ʻOsi ha taʻu ne fakahū atu leva ha kole lisi mei he Tōkaikoló ki he kelekele ko ia ne foakí.

    Naʻe tali ʻa e kole ko ʻení ʻe he Kapinetí ʻi Nōvema 2005 pea iku ai ki hano foaki ʻo e lisí ʻi he ʻaho 18 ʻo Sepitema 2009.

    “Meʻapango, ko e taimi ko ē naʻe foaki ai ʻa e lisi ki he Feohiʻanga Tōkaikolo ʻIa Kalaisí, naʻe ʻikai fakatokangaʻi ʻe he Potungāué naʻe ʻi ai e kole lisi ia hono ua ʻi he 2006 tānaki atu ki ai mo e toe kiʻi konga siʻisiʻi, meia Sione Maile, ko e Sekelitali Seniale ia ʻa e Tokaikoló he taimi ko ia”, ko e meʻa ia ʻa Scott.

    Ko e kole ko ʻeni, ʻa ia ne ne kaniseli ʻe ia ʻa e ʻuluaki kolé, ne toe tali ia ʻe he Kapinetí.
    Ko hono ola ʻo e foʻi taʻefakatokangaʻi ko ʻení ko e ʻikai ha lisi, ne foaki ki he tokotaha lisi ne toki tali fakamuimui ʻe he Kapinetí ne lēsisita pe mōkisi ʻi he hingoa ʻo e taha lisi ne tali fakamuimui ʻe he Kapinetí (Tokaikoló), ko e meʻa ia ʻa Fakamaau Scott.

    Naʻe ʻikai leva ke ne tali e kole ʻa e Siasi Tōkaikoló pea ʻe kei hoko atu pe Moʻui Foʻou ʻi he kelekele mo e siasi mo e nāunau ʻapi .