When will we get answers to corruption allegations?

Saturday June 14, 2014 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor, While yours and other papers reveal the extent of alleged government-led corruption in our country that begs for strong leadership to stamp out, official watchdogs let the burglars in and help them out with the loot.

What has happened to the Bishop bribery investigation? Will anyone do anything about the Heather allegations? Will the Puna smokescreen clear to reveal him getting a pearling aid grant of $100,000? Like others, I rely on a Democratic government to establish a Corruption Commission and clean house.

To some of our people, headlines of government officials plundering our money mean little in their daily struggle to survive. I have visited many households in past weeks just in Ngatangiia, and am dismayed at the number of old people I have met living on their own in modest surroundings. Their families have gone to NZ and they fend for themselves. Some have never voted. No government programme has reached these most deserving citizens; the old, the very people whose work and loyalty to the Cook Islands is rewarded by being ignored by governments more concerned with travel, salaries, cars and a lavish lifestyle, all paid for by we taxpayers.

Worthy though they might possible be, what on earth use is a shark sanctuary, a marine park, or a climate change programme to our old people who lack basic amenities of life? 

My sense is that Cabinet can spend more on a single blow out meal at a fancy restaurant than some of the old people have to survive on for a whole year. They waste our money on a hugely expensive water project, certain to make future generations poor as our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren pay back the loans. They hire highly paid “consultants” to sell the message to us, and regularly approve a tourism budget, including the infamous airline subsidies, so large ordinary people can’t begin to understand it all. The people who do understand, bend things to benefit personally from it.

 

While those in government dream about themselves on the world stage, what about the needs of our people? Isn’t it time the message of modesty and humility everyone hears on Sunday actually means something? I hope people will vote for simple, honest, government and not the bunch presently dodging the hard questions. (Abridged)

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