Williams refutes PM’s outburst in parliament

Tuesday December 05, 2017 Published in Letters to the Editor

I am writing about the story in last Friday’s CINews which told of prime minister Henry Puna’s outburst about me in parliament.


The story said, “PM Henry Puna has rejected claims made by Rarotonga resident Papa Williams that the Cook Islands government is aspiring to graduate to developed country status for the purpose of gaining a seat at the UN as ‘nonsense’.”

Well prime minister, at least we both agree that yes, this sentiment is “nonsense”.

Unfortunately, either the reporter got his facts all jumbled up or the prime minister’s team of minions or perhaps even the PM himself, got the “facts” so very wrong, that he scored an “own goal.”

To clarify, I refute the PM’s assertion that I made any such claim, connecting one issue to the other.

I had three letters published in CINews in October as a result of Finance Minister Mark Brown’s “UN” article which was published on October 4.

I re-read them, and I believe your assertions are totally wrong.

Another quote from last Friday’s story: “...comments made by Williams in a letter to the editor of CINews in October were not correct. Williams had warned that if the government pursued its UN ambitions, Cook Islanders would have to forfeit their New Zealand citizenship. Puna said he was bemused as to where Williams’ ideas had come from.”

Finance minister Brown’s October 4 article was headlined, “New push for UN membership” and it is the reason I replied in CINews.

The Oxford-Advanced Learners Dictionary, 2010 says when used as a verb, the word “forfeit” means “something to lose or have something taken away from you.” As a noun it is, “something that a person has to pay, or something that is taken from them.” And as an adjective, “taken away from somebody as a punishment.”

Brown’s October 4 article said, “New Zealand earlier said the Cook Islands’ bid to gain UN membership would mean they could lose New Zealand citizenship.”

Note: “lose” (“forfeit).

It should be crystal clear now to the prime minister, his minions and we the people, that the prime minister does not need to be bemused any longer. Now he knows that the idea came from his colleague, our very own Finance minister, Mark Brown, in his CINews article!

As readers may already gather, I carefully research all subject matters and issues in my letters that I forward to the CINews for publication. I suggest that the prime minister and/or his minions should simply apply this same ethos of excellence, and ensure the veracity of their accusations/comments, before disseminating them to the public.

Last Friday I had the privilege of discussing with four bright youngsters (our future leaders), some simple, straightforward facts about our CIP government.

We talked about how the Cook Islands Police Service choose to prosecute their peers for not wearing motorbike helmets while at the same time protecting politicians from prosecution as a result of motor vehicle accidents.

And yes, they had read my letter in last Tuesday’s CINews where I raised these and other issues regarding the obvious double standards and hypocrisy that I believe defines the current government and its leadership.

I suggested they talk with their peers, friends, parents and family and give their no-good role model leaders (yes, you guys!) a piece of their mind.

“After all, I told them, it will be your generation and your mokos who will be paying off our country’s kaiou - no thanks to the financial and economic hocus pocus mismanagement of the current CIP government.

            Papa Williams


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