Staff cuts needed at BTIB

Thursday February 15, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor

The Koutu Nui has every reason to be alarmed about the growing number of ex-pats serving (mostly) the tourism sector.


The Koutu Nui’s emphasis on the Business Trade Investment Board (BTIB) should be put in context.

The BTIB was established with one core task – take applications from foreign investors, approve or disapprove those applications, and then enforce the conditions of those approvals and toss back on the plane those that fail to meet the conditions and rules.

Instead, the BTIB has, under successive CEOs, been turned into the typical self-important ‘empire’. They seem to now have well over a dozen staff who seem to spend most of their time organising sales of crafts from the outer islands and food days on the beachfront.

When was the last time BTIB tossed out errant ‘investors’? When was the last time they enforced their own policies – for instance that any investor to Rarotonga get off the plane with a million dollars in the bank? And no, not in the form of a loan, but in the form of cash so that they have no reason to borrow the same money that locals might borrow from the local bank?

The BTIB law and regulations do not need fixing. The law gives the BTIB enforcement powers that must be second only to the powers of the police.

What the BTIB needs is a CEO who will cut the staff back to the three or four people it would take to perform the core task, and then work through every file and identify those foreigners who have not turned out to be suitable.

            (Name and address supplied)



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