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Porio maintains process ‘unfair’

Monday December 17, 2018 Written by Published in Politics
Agriculture minister Rose Brown has been accused of making false claims. 18161205 Agriculture minister Rose Brown has been accused of making false claims. 18161205

Atiu resident Tereapii Porio Maka Kea says Agriculture minister Rose Brown’s reply to his letter to the editor of CINews about government employment issues on Atiu contains “false information.”

He says the reply, which appeared below the letter in last Tuesday’s newspaper, falsely claimed that he is a candidate for the Cook Islands United Party (CIUP) on Atiu.

“She has given false information,” Porio wrote in an email to CINews.

“There is no CIUP in Atiu yet and I have, and will always be, a Cook Islands Party Tumu, as will my family.

“She clearly showed she is cooking up another story to divert CINews readers and other people to her side, for which she is very wrong.”

Porio’s letter said that on September 28, he and the executive officer for the Atiu Island government, Maara Tairi had received letters of suspension from island mayor Upokoina Mokoroa. He said the letters had included Brown’s name, and this had led him to the conclusion that the minister was not happy because he had been given the job at Agriculture In his opinion, the executive officer had been suspended because he had not listened to Brown’s advice to suspend Porio.

He also alleged the issue of his job, which he said had been okayed by the Public Service Commission, had arisen again because he had recently won the by-election to select a new Teenui council member in Brown’s constituency.

This allegation and other details regarding the suspensions drew a sharp response from Brown, thanking Porio and “the motelier,” believed to be Atiu accommodation owner Roger Malcom, for their “political response.”

Brown’s reply also made allegations involving Porio that CINews was unable to print for legal reasons. 

Last week Porio also sent CINews copies of emails which he said provided evidence that he and Tairi had been subjected to a “constructive dismissal”.

One of the emails was from Rose Brown’s secretary Bob Williams, suspending Porio and executive officer Maara Tairi.

“It was her (Brown’s) instruction....and the prime minister mentioned that they (Williams and Brown) should proceed with caution. This is unfair treatment for us normal and low-ranked people. It is sad that it stated, “the wishes of the minister”.

“I chose to speak out now because I am not happy anymore with the way this government is handling the (suspension) cases for us,” Porio wrote.

“It is called corruption. They accuse me of many things, but there was no police report to back them up.

“I am being treated unfairly and I have been a strong CIP supporter.

“I am providing the emails that have come to my hands as evidence that I am not making up these stories.”

CINews tried a number of time last week to get a response to this story from Brown, but was unsuccessful.