No government mandate for Cook Islands UN seat

Monday March 05, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

 

To the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Ms Ardern.

The majority of Cook Islanders want to retain our Kiwi passports and the current arrangement with New Zealand suits us just fine.

Most of us will not benefit from any change in our special arrangement of ‘free association with New Zealand’ and very grateful for the many benefits that this status has brought to the Cook Islands.

There have been many letters to the editor expressing their concerns about changing this status and what it would mean to our islands. May our partnership with New Zealand continue long into the future.

I would like to point out that the current government does NOT have a mandate from the people of these islands to change this status and I would urge that you ask them (the Cook Islands government) to show a clear mandate by calling for an election with this issue clearly discussed on the campaign, or by holding a referendum requiring a majority of the people.

The case for a seat at the United Nations table is one for those politicians wanting a gold-plated retirement scheme at huge expense when the money could better directed into the health, education and welfare of the ordinary Cook Islands person.

            Kevin Barr

            Wellington

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