Nausori began its economic boom in the early 1880s and plays an important role in the history of Fiji, while being declared a town in 1931. Economic opportunities were brought by the Sugar Industry in the small town in 1882, making it the first town in the country to have a Sugar Refining Company.
There are quite a number of landmarks and historical sites within and around Nausori. This includes old fortified villages’ monuments and buildings left behind by the indentured laborers. Fortified villages established in the early colonial era (early 19th century) have been sighted in Kuku, Nausori which dates back to the 1200s to 1500s.
Other historical landmarks include the Rewa Bridge, Syria Monuments, Indentured Laborers’ quarters, CSR quarters and the first Methodist Missionaries building in Fiji that was constructed in Davuilevu.
Nausori was initially the home to sugarcane and rice cultivation, however due to unfavorable weather conditions these proved futile. Nausori is a getaway to the North Eastern and Western side of Viti Levu.
The Eastern side is the Nausori Airport’s location while the South Eastern side is where the Rewa Delta along with the Central are part of the interior of Naitaisiri.
|Date of Declaration and First Boundary Proclamation||It was declared a township and enforced on July 17th, 1931.|
|Date of Subsequent Proclamation with Areas Covered||
Further alteration to the township boundaries was done on September 17th, 1973 by extending it as follows:-
Source: Nausori Town Planning Scheme, 2010
|Dates||History of Events|
|13.02.1962||The Town Planning Scheme was provisionally approved by the Town Planning Board (TPB)|
|08.10.1963||Amendments to Nausori General Provisions, Permits “Commercial Notice Development” as a Conditional Development within civic zones. Provisionally approved by the TPB.|
|15.02.1966||Amendment to the definition of Attached Dwelling Development Nausori General Provisions. Provisionally approved by the TPB.|
|24.07.1975||Suspension of the Nausori Town Planning Scheme of 1963. Areas were subjected to Interim Development Control in accordance with a new draft plan and the Town Planning Ordinance General Provisions (1970)|
|09.01.1976||Provisional approval to Nausori Town Center by the Director of Town and Country Planning. The rest of the areas are still subject to Interim Development Control.|
Source: History of Town Planning in Fiji, 1979
Nausori is a town that has evolved from what was once a thriving sugar industry in the 19th century, to a rural backwater town on the banks of the Rewa River from 1937 to the present.
It is historic in the sense that it was the first sugar mill established by the Colonial Sugar Refining (CSR) Co. of Australia in 1881. It also hosted the first major influx of Indian labourers to Viti Levu in 1881 to work on the sugar plantations in the Rewa Delta. The descendants of those labourers have remained in Nausori and/or have moved to other parts of the country.
Nausori has grown rapidly in the last few years because of the addition of Naulu/Nakasi and Wainibuku/Davuilevu Housing areas. In the 1996 census, the town’s population was 5,744 and by 2007 the population was 24,919. It is likely that the new adjacent areas may be incorporated into the town boundary in 2012.
Downtown Nausori is physically located by the Rewa River sitting on the border between the three provinces of Tailevu, Rewa and Naitaisiri. This strategic location makes it an important town serving a regional function for these provinces. It lies at the heart of the agricultural hinterland that was once home to sugar cane and thence rice cultivation. It is the gateway to the flat alluvial plains of the Rewa Delta, which is subject to flooding at intermittent intervals.
By contrast the newer Nausori from the opposite banks of the Rewa River in Wainibuku, Davuilevu Housing, Naulu and Nakasi are a direct consequence of Suva’s urban sprawl. The resident population of the town is heavily concentrated because of higher ground, which on most cases has saved it from the ravages of the delta flood. The process of urban sprawl is also heavily concentrated in this area, resulting in the heavy traffic jam on Kings Road during rush hour.
The economic base of the town is primarily in retailing and some services. There is some food processing but very little industrial or manufacturing base. Nausori could very rightly be regarded as a dormitory town for Suva, growing but not significantly.
The town is primarily composed of Indo-Fijians and the indigenous population. There are very few Chinese, and part Europeans left from the colonial era. Many new migrants into Nausori can be felt, particularly those coming from the Northern division and many others who have been relocated from Suva. They are mostly located in the suburbs of Nausori as the downtown itself is not densely populated. Those who do business there live outside of the area. There is much movement in traffic during the day indicating the rather transient nature of the town.
The sense of identity for the town cannot be easily established because of the town’s transient nature and of the sharp divide in ethnic lines which keeps the Indo-Fijians mostly in town and the indigenous people in their villages. However, this is slowly changing in view of the new additions to the township.