A team from the Elections Office is visiting the Lau Group of Islands from tomorrow to display the National Register of Voters and to encourage new voter registrations.

They will be joined by staff from the Births, Deaths and Marriages Office, who will encourage anyone whose birth has not been officially registered to come forward and do so.

The Minister for Justice and Elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said that the Bainimarama Government is committed to providing these important services to people living in isolated communities, who normally do not have easy access to them.

Fijians in the Lau Group will be able to check their entries in the Nation Register of Voters and those not yet registered to vote, including those who have recently turned 18, will be able to do so.

While the team from the Elections Office carries out its work, the team from the Births, Deaths and Marriages Office will be encouraging Fijians to register any unrecorded births.

This includes not only children but adults who may not have been registered at birth and as a consequence, don’t have marriage certificates because these require a birth certificate.

The Government is also concerned that many deaths in isolated areas are not being formally registered.

“It is important for Fijians to register their births so that they can have easier access to vital government services such as health care and education,” the Attorney-General said.

He stressed that no blame was being attached to anyone who had not registered because the Government recognised that this was often a product of isolation and the neglect of past governments.

“By contrast, the Bainimarama Government has made it a top priority to bring Government services closer to Fijians living in rural and maritime communities, and this tour of the Lau Group is an example of that commitment,” he said.

The first stop on the tour is Cicia Island tomorrow (Monday January 13th).

The tour will then travel to the following locations in the Lau Group:

14/1 Tuvuca Island
15/1 Cikobia
16/1 Nabavatu
17/1 Lomaloma
18/1 Lakeba
19/1 Komo
21/1 Kabara
22/1 Vatoa
23/1 Ono-i-Lau
24/1 Matuku
25/1 Moala

The Attorney-General added that similar tours to other remote and maritime areas in Fiji will be launched in the near future.

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