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Browne slams Govt as ‘devious’

Friday January 25, 2019 Written by Published in Politics
Browne slams Govt as ‘devious’

Opposition Leader Tina Browne has slammed the government’s politicisation of taxpayer-funded infrastructure projects and accused it of “trying to hold people to ransom”.


Browne accused the government of being deceitful and devious and: “It’s got to stop!”

She says deputy prime minister Mark Brown has proven with his own public statements that the Cook Islands Party government is using projects to try to obtain support.

“In his own words, the DPM said our youngest Democratic MP Te-Hani Brown ‘was joining the government because she wanted the development work going in her constituency to continue’.”

“This is so dishonest,” says Browne.

“What his statement tells me is that if Te-Hani stands with the Democrats - the party she stood for and was voted in on in the general election - then the projects happening in Atiu will come to a halt.

“Is Mark Brown threatening this 23-year old with this?”

The Opposition Leader says Mark Brown has shown what his true colours are by his statement.

“He has clearly shown that this government continues to politicise projects.”

Browne says this was also evident with the failure of the government to upgrade the Muri road because Ngatangiia has a Demo MP.

“Here we are with the million-dollar Muri mile, the small strip of road that generates so much money.

“It is the most densely populated area with tourism accommodation on Rarotonga, but it fails to get any attention from the government year after year.”

“If Tama Tuavera was a CIP, you can be sure that Muri would be fixed up, but because he’s a staunch Demo who would never consider crossing to the CIP, the critical needs of Muri continue to fall by the wayside.”

“This is an inexcusable situation and one that was created by this government, trying to hold people to ransom is completely unacceptable.”

She added that infrastructure projects that are currently underway were already planned and budgeted for by Infrastructure Cook Islands – “the Democratic Party was very much part of the process as the Demos also approved the national budget along with the CIP, independents and One Cook Islands. Mark Brown can’t arbitrarily decide to stop any project, although he most probably likes to think he can.”

Browne says the DPM needs to prove his claim regarding the defection of Te-Hani Brown and the only place to do this is in Parliament.

“He can make whatever claims but these don’t mean anything until Parliament sits, so I’m saying, ask the Queen’s Representative to convene Parliament and we will see who commands the support of the majority.”

                - RM/release