Murienua MP James Beer posed the question to the minister about whether accommodation and restaurants reserved for Cook Islanders were able to be issued to foreign investors.
Turepu said that it was true that there was land that was allocated only to locals, but under certain circumstances could be passed on to foreigners.
“It is true, yes some areas have been allocated to locals only, but in the event where they cannot afford to participate in certain aspects of development that are intended for the locals, then the opportunities open up for foreigners,” Turepu said.
“This part is reviewed by the BTIB and it is up to their discretion whether to give it out to foreigners, or to sell it to our locals.”
Should local land be passed off to an overseas investor, the case is able to be appealed, although the minister has no say on the matter as it is a matter for the board to decide.
However, he did say that a request can be put forward to the minister, who can form a commission alongside opposition members.