‘I’m not a foreigner’ says Vaile

Friday September 22, 2017 Published in Letters to the Editor

Regarding the letter from Joe Ngatae, written succinctly in Maori and published in CINews on September 20, I would like to point out that I have resided in the Cook Islands for 45 years.

 

And Joe still classes me as a foreigner? He has attempted to castigate my hardworking friend George Maggie and whitewash his mate Teariki Heather, at Maggie’s expense.

Others also consider that Heather, as a minister of the Crown, has possibly conflicted himself on numerous occasions, but who am I as a foreigner to comment on that? I suspect the courts will eventually have to decide on this.

Ngatae should note Triad was awarded the contract earlier this year to do sealing at Takuvaine, one year late (the date on the contract document reads 2016, not 2017) and it was hundreds of thousands of dollars below T&M Heathers’ tendered price.

Triad, by the way, is 100 percent locally owned.

I mean Polynesian-owned, not owned by Chris Vaile, unless of course you are trying to say my wife and children are not classed as Polynesians.

Then there are all the local Polynesian workers and contractors people who get money from Triad’s contracts. We recently negotiated a supply contract with T&M Heather and paid over 50 per cent up front – that’s $54000 in advance.

Then there are numerous other people including Raro Mining’s Charlie Strickland, who received through us - as the lead contract was paid by MOIP, hundreds of thousands of dollars for crushed rock used on jobs for which we had the contract. I fought to ensure he got his fair share on all of these jobs.  

The first contract to do the roads in hotmix was a joint venture between us and T&M Heather, with us as the lead contractor. This contract was done on time and to MOIP’s satisfaction.

Joe Ngatae’s letter appears to have racial overtones and I take offence at this, as do many of the people who work with us – all of them Polynesians.

As a close friend and supporter of Teariki Heather, now that Ngatae has been told some of the facts, he might be a bit friendlier.

Triad is owned by people just like him.

And perhaps he will now understand that there are always two sides to the coin.

            Chris Vaile

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