Cameron Scott

Cameron Scott

Cameron Scott is the former editor of several community newspapers in New Zealand. He is now editor of the daily Cook Islands News, a position he has held previously. A former travel writer and features editor, he has operated an advertising and public relations company as well as a small publishing venture. Before moving back to the Cook Islands he worked as a freelance writer and relieving community newspapers editor for the Bay of Plenty Times in Tauranga, New Zealand. 

CIP hold on govt seen as ‘fragile’

Saturday September 22, 2018

The Cook Islands’ political situation is fragile and the government could change at any time, says an experienced political commentator.

Speaking to CINews on condition of anonymity, the source says the government could change within months or even weeks.

The possibilities are said to range from the CIP replacing prime minister Henry Puna with Finance minister Mark Brown, to the formation of a new coalition government which would be achieved by several MPs crossing the floor.

At the centre of the uncertainty surrounding the government’s future is the fate of dumped Internal Affairs minister Albert Nicholas, who has been suffering serious health issues, the source says.

At the swearing in of Mac Mokoroa as the new Internal Affairs minister on Wednesday, Puna told Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters that it had become necessary for him to terminate the appointment of “a minister” for personal reasons.

Clearly referring to Avatiu-Ruatonga-Palmerston (RAPPA) MP Nicholas, Puna said: “He has been unable to discharge his responsibilities of the high office of minister and it has become necessary for us to terminate the appointment and appoint a new minister in his place.”

Before this year’s general election in June, Nicholas spent some weeks in an Auckland, New Zealand hospital suffering from what was said to be a serious blood infection that had started with a centipede bite. He had been a patient at Rarotonga Hospital for some time before that.

Nicholas, who has been absent in New Zealand since the release of the judgements on the electoral petitions, is still an MP in the CIP government. Under current regulations an MP may be replaced if he misses 14 consecutive days of a parliamentary sitting.

On Thursday, prime minister Henry Puna said he was expecting Nicholas back on the island sometime this weekend.

If the government decided Nicholas couldn’t continue as an MP, there would be a by-election, which Demo candidate Teina Rongo could have a good chance of winning, the source says.

Combined with MPs crossing the floor, this could also trigger a change of government.

Yet another possible scenario is that as a result of losing his Cabinet post, Nicholas might “walk”, However the CIP numbers might then be made up by another “vaka-jumper” from the Demo Party, the source adds.

Age defeats Arorangi landmark tree

Tuesday September 18, 2018

AN old flamboyant tree which has been an Arorangi landmark outside the local school for decades has gone forever.

Contempt of court leads list of charges

Thursday September 20, 2018

Contempt of court features in five cases to be heard before JP John Whitta in the High Court today.

Five individuals face contempt charges, with one defendant up on four charges for the same offence. One of those charged with contempt is also charged with attempting to defeat the course of justice and is on a call over, while another faces a charge of being unlawfully found on a property.

Two people are appearing on separate charges of assault on a female, while another is charged with careless driving.

An application for variation of a probationary licence is also being heard.               - CS

Ambassador pays a visit

Friday September 14, 2018

Republic of Korea Ambassador to the Cook Islands, Seung-bae Yeo, presented his credentials as ambassador to the Cook Islands at a ceremony at Government House on Wednesday

The Ministry of Culture failed to take advantage of Taio Shipping Services’ final subsidised voyage for the year to the northern islands, opting instead to pay an extra $200,000 for a load of fuel and dangerous goods to be transported on the Cook Islands Towage barge Layar Mas, says company owner Tapi Taio.

Tip-off puts prisoner back behind bars

Wednesday September 12, 2018

Escaped prisoner Taana John is back behind bars after being captured by police yesterday afternoon. Cook Islands Police Service spokesman Trevor Pitt said John had been apprehended thanks to a tip-off and swift action by three teams of officers.

Cargo adds $200,000 to TMN bill

Wednesday September 12, 2018

Weeks after the last visiting Te Maeva Nui teams from the pa enua were farewelled from Rarotonga, a large amount of their cargo is still on the wharf, waiting to be transported to the northern islands.

Cook Islands prime minister Henry Puna and Foreign Affairs minister Marise Payne took to the Yaren international airport tarmac to provide the closing side event of the Nauru Leaders Forum.

Jet puts social media in overdrive

Friday September 07, 2018

The sight of an unfamiliar, white and green aircraft at Rarotonga International Airport earlier this week had the coconut wireless and social media humming.

No-one is owning up to writing a press release, supposedly from the Democratic Party, which sets out options for using a $37 million “surplus” announced by the government recently.

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