That’s the position that has continually been advised by “Big Brother” New Zealand’s former prime ministers, Helen Clark and John Key, as well as the present administration.
And that position will not change, because Cook Islanders will never support it!
When the United Nations during the 1960s forced New Zealand and colonialist countries globally, to allow their charges to be responsible for their own destinies, many former colonies chose full independence.
Since that time many of our sister islands have regretted their rash decision to become independent and have known only economic and social struggle. In most cases, poverty and government corruption have added to their economic and social ills.
Demo MP James Beer told Radio Matariki FM’s William Framhein last week on his morning session, that a fellow MP from Samoa had told him that if they could do it again, they would not have chosen independence. Instead they would have chosen self-government in free association with New Zealand, “like your country did!”
Perhaps Samoa should be given “our privilege.” At least they’d cherish it! And we Cook Islanders, both here in the Cook Islands and in Aotearoa New Zealand, and Australia and other points around the globe, ought to acknowledge and give a prayer of thanks to our whanau and administrators who were rather clever in requesting this unique governing system and New Zealand citizenship. It was granted only to the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau. Today, many other countries can only wish that they had been extended the same privilege.
So now, the issue of dual citizenship has now come to the fore, where “Big Brother” is simply expected to acquiesce to what Finance minister Mark Brown considers is a straightforward procedure to acquire dual citizenship, as if we have that right. We don’t, because we are New Zealand citizens by extended privilege only!
Where is the consideration to “Big Brother” regarding the benefits for all Cook Islanders and our country’s economy and infrastructure, over the past 52 years of self-government and free association? For us to enjoy this privilege (not a right), there are fundamental conditions that we have been aware of for many years. One of them: If Cook Islanders want a seat at the UN, they have no choice but to give up New Zealand citizenship.
Mark Brown’s talk of dual citizenship as a “do-able” option and his assertion that “Big Brother” will just agree with it, is a rich one, because most Cook Islanders here and abroad, really, really don’t support your government’s UN seat bid at all.
Give us a referendum to sort this out once and for all. Of course we will also ask “Big Brother” and our Aotearoa Cook Islands whanau to assist us in this endeavour, just so that we know we’ll have transparency, responsibility and accountability.
Perhaps you should forfeit your citizenship eh? Our self-governing history since 1965 leaves a lot to be desired, because history shows that those who governed our tiny paradise “Te Ipukarea” (actually, “misgoverned” is a more appropriate word), really had no idea what they were doing.
And then we come to the 1990s, when “Big Brother” brought in Lloyd Powell to work his economic magic wand, which he did to great effect, because we had bankrupted ourselves. The then-government’s over-bloated Public Service was severely downsized as a result, which caused many to go to New Zealand and Australia for jobs to pay for their mortgages here, while the rest sought employment in the private sector, or started their own businesses.
For many, it was like starting anew and afresh. Now our destiny really was in our own hands, simply because our government really was that incompetent.
Let’s hope that future governments will learn from Lloyd Powell’s intervention, and not bankrupt us again as a result of continued mismanagement. Now, in late 2017, there’s a sense of deja vu, because here we have “Big Brother” again helping our very own MFEM, yes, again as a result of our government’s arrogant mismanagement and economic hocus pocus incompetence.
Time to get a real job guys, because in my opinion, you still don’t know what you’re doing!