It’s time to listen to voices of the people

Thursday November 02, 2017 Published in Letters to the Editor
Prime minister Henry Puna and fi nance Minister Mark Brown have copped a pasting from letter-writer Papa Williams after Brown attacked Williams in a letter to CINews last Saturday. 17110108 Prime minister Henry Puna and fi nance Minister Mark Brown have copped a pasting from letter-writer Papa Williams after Brown attacked Williams in a letter to CINews last Saturday. 17110108

This is my first response to Finance Minister Mark Brown’s vile and contemptuous letter in CINews on Saturday October 28.


He has raised some issues and I will address them first.

He says, I write “disparaging letters in the newspaper about the CIP government...” 

From “The Macquarrie Dictionary,” Revised Edition 1985: “Disparage”, v. 1. To bring reproach or discredit upon; lower the estimation of. 2.To speak of or treat slightingly; depreciate; belittle. “Disparagement”, n. 1. The act of disparaging. 2. Something that causes loss of dignity or reputation.

My reply: Arrogant, vindictive, bullying, vengeful, disrespectful, threatening and contemptuous, intimidating, insulting, dismissive, demeaning, denigrating, big-headed - and too much power!

Here’s the irony, Finance minister Brown. You publicly state that my comments are disparaging and disrespectful of your CIP government.

The reality is that your CIP government treats its people appallingly, with no respect and certainly without compassion and humility. It treats us as simpletons and uses words such as “arrogant”, “vindictive”, “bullying”, etc against its own people!

Your CIP government (because it’s not, I believe, the people’s government, otherwise you would listen to them and actually address their concerns), is so disrespectful and scathingly dismissive of we the people, that despair and hopelessness sets in. So much so, that many are still choosing to leave our beautiful paradise Te Ipukarea, to live and find work in our other beautiful paradise, Aotearoa.

So prime minister Puna and Finance minister Brown, enough about your UN seat ambitions too. Listen to the people and leave our New Zealand citizenship alone!

It’s a bit rich you accusing me of being disparaging about your CIP government, when it is you and your ilk, who should be prostrating yourselves on the ground before your very own people whom I believe you have disrespected, dishonoured, ignored, intimidated, insulted, treated with contempt, vilified and victimized.

I believe you should beg your people for their forgiveness for your collective moral sins and actions against your own people. You should sincerely offer your resignations, pay back any and all monies that may have gone to parts unknown and promise never to stand for public office ever again.

Well, we can only dream, eh? It’s sad, because your CIP government will simply continue to drive us further into bankruptcy and a doomed future (go on, make a liar out of me, prove me wrong).

It’s a safe bet that you won’t prostrate yourselves, humbly seeking the peoples’ forgiveness. It follows, therefore that your arrogant, disrespectful, vindictive and disparaging ways towards we, the people, will continue. And should that be the case, I shall invoke my Constitutional and democratic right to continue to criticise you, because for far too long you and your CIP government have betrayed and violated your peoples’ trust and trashed and trampled the privilege of government we had entrusted to you.

Parliamentary Opposition Leader Office chief executive Wilkie Rasmussen’s CINews column of October 30 confirms I receive no payment as a staff member.

I receive no payment to write what Brown described as “filthy, scaremongering stories.”  In fact I receive no payment from the Parliamentary Opposition Office for anything.

The contents of my letters are carefully researched and are part of an ever-evolving collective collaboration with a diverse range of locals from the Pa Enua, as well as entrepreneurial mamas and papas from the Punanga Nui market, Muri night market and the National Library. I talk to fishermen at the wharf, locals and visitors alike around town, and more. I’m able to then write letters expressing their thoughts and opinions, for the public’s perusal and comment. I’m asked by many to write their concerns and I honour them.

When they are completed, all of my letters are thoroughly researched and checked for their veracity, then back-checked for final verification, before being sent to CINews. 

The other thing is, I do not lie. Brown’s advice to me to, “treat your country and our people with more respect,” is a damning indictment against his CIP government, whose arrogant and dictatorial style of running the country has resulted our people choosing to move to Aotearoa in ever-increasing numbers. For those who remain behind, there is a genuine, palpable fear and loathing of this CIP government, “led” by prime minister Puna and Finance minister Brown

In my opinion, Brown and his CIP government will go down in history as the most despised, and loathed regime we have had. All seven years of it.

And they wonder why they are regularly maligned in the public arena by their own people, whom they treat as simpletons, with indifference and disrespect.

Ordinary mamas and papas tell me that they fear and no longer have trust and faith in PM Puna’s arrogant and dictatorial government, which doesn’t even respect or bother to listen to its own people.

Government employees tell me they’re scared to criticise or complain about the government or they will lose their jobs. Departing Cook Islanders say the government hasn’t done enough to help its own people, (wages too low, mortgage rates too high, health system issues, youth and suicide issues), etc.

These concerns and worries, mean the government has failed to serve its people. I believe the most simple and best way to serve your people begins with respect, humility, truth, integrity, honesty, honour, love, compassion and dignity. 

Finance minister Brown, you accuse me of not respecting our people and country. Well, you and your CIP don’t respect our people, so I don’t care a hoot what you think of me! But I do most emphatically care what our people think of me and my/our collective opinions. 

So, contrary to what you may say, I simply hope and trust that my actions with pen and paper, and my dedication to helping kith and kin proves to our people, my simple adoration of them. Because in this big and challenged world, our people are “Cool World Citizens”, and this is validated by all our valued manuhiri, who simply love us.

Finally, my respect for my people and my country is evident in all the letters I have had published in CINews.

            Papa Williams

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