Cabinet’s new ‘young gun’ Albert Nicholas has his work cut out for him, as the new Minister for Internal Affairs, Ombudsman, Youth and Sports, and Punanga Nui.
The fate of Apii Nikao lies in the hands of Prime Minister Henry Puna.
A positive decision by Puna will be seen as an important leap forward in the Apii Nikao rebuild saga that has been described by outraged community members as akin to an aftermath of a cyclone.
Ministry of Marine Resources secretary Ben Ponia says complaints that fewer fish are being caught by local fishermen can’t be blamed on purse seining activities in Cook Islands waters.
Recreational fishermen are catching less yellowfin tuna this year, sparking concern that purse seine fishing is having an impact on local fish stocks.
In a rare political move yesterday, the government gained approval to spend an additional $1.7 million to pay for new coins and ‘top up’ the civil list budget.