MOP proposal warning misplaced

Wednesday August 22, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor
“Legendary” New Zealand prime minister John Key – pictured here with PM Henry Puna at the 50th anniversary celebrations in 2015 – borrowed money from China to “haul New Zealand’s economy out of deficit following the financial crash of 2008”. 18082112 “Legendary” New Zealand prime minister John Key – pictured here with PM Henry Puna at the 50th anniversary celebrations in 2015 – borrowed money from China to “haul New Zealand’s economy out of deficit following the financial crash of 2008”. 18082112

Dear Editor,

May I respond to Wellington’s financial guru Kevin Barr’s letter of August 20, headed ‘Sting in the tail’, in which he rings a bell that tolls for us at Merchant of Paradise (MOP) and warning us about “the sting in the tail when borrowing large sums of money from the Chinese”.

By his own admission, Kevin knows little about MOP’s proposal and expresses his concerns accordingly. And he has put his name to his letter, meaning his concerns are genuine and worthy of response. And may I thank him for his concern!

Firstly, might I suggest that Kevin tolls his bell for New Zealand instead, because it is New Zealand that borrows large sums from China and not us. Our account with China is only $43 million and current!

In saying this I am reminded of legendary prime minister John Key, who hauled New Zealand’s economy out of deficit following the financial crash of 2008 by borrowing money from China, just as the US, EU, Australia and the rest of the world are now doing. And he went on to develop New Zealand’s “rock star” economy didn’t he?

Secondly, yes we all know of Tonga whining about their distressed loans from China and begging forgiveness, but as a financial guru, Kevin would know that in the first instance loans are transacted on sustainable debt servicing, and if Tonga’s debt servicing subsequently became untenable it’s on Tonga isn’t it, not China!

Worth noting is that the same publication of CINews on August 20 quoted Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa, who referred to Tonga’s distressed Chinese loans in an article headed ‘Chinese debt write-off plea a bad idea’. Now that’s what I call a real prime minister and not virtual!

May I now roll out some background information on MOP’s proposal in response to Kevin’s letter, on a need-to-know basis.

We have ascended to “developed” status under the UN measure of GDP per capita for being under New Zealand’s realm and part of John Key’s rock star economy, and we are only the third country to ascend to that status in our antipodes region, the first two being Australia and of course New Zealand.

Our ascension to developed status is a fake, as our tourism-led economy is exclusive to the immigrant hub of Rarotonga and nearby Aitutaki, the latter ascending because some brutal developer (yours truly) kicked the crabs and mosquitoes off Akitua Motu and nearby Ootu peninsula some 30 years ago and converted them to the prime tourist destination for the Cook Islands that it is today, while the rest of our islands have no economy to speak of and are dependent on aid.

Like it or not, we are now denied UN aid available to developing countries, thus reducing us to begging for aid elsewhere. Fortunately, our main donor partners New Zealand and China have chosen to continue aiding us regardless, which makes them complicit in feeding our aid dependency and thumbing their noses at the UN doesn’t it? God bless them!

With big brother the US shivering at China’s rise to global dominance, New Zealand and Australia have been called upon to up their aid and upend China’s influence in our region.

Is that not a silly game to play, borrowing from China via the UN World Bank and on-lending to us with their clip on the ticket, when we have our own corridor direct to China’s money called the One China Policy (OCP), which states, “the government of the People’s Republic of China will assist the people of the Cook Islands to achieve their objectives, in full, in the areas of social, economic and cultural development”, and which is unconditional?

Those who followed the global crash of late 2008 will know it was a financial crash at the hands of rogue international banks in the US who were peddling US bonds with no asset backing, for which the full impact is yet to come in 2020, when the UN will rate all currencies of the world on asset backing.

Needless to say, if New Zealand’s currency crashes, so will we if we remain under New Zealand’s realm instead of ascending, and with a socialist government now in play, what are the odds?

As for stories that it was China who caused the financial crash of late 2008, it’s fake!

China was actually a developing nation like us, with 85 per cent of its economy domestic and growing while developed economies of the world crashed.

Its rise to dominate the global economy is by default, because developed economies defaulted on money supply!

May I now roll out a synopsis of MOP’s proposal to enlighten Kevin, on a need-to-know basis of course.

MOP’s vision is to empower Cook Islanders to develop their islands for the prosperity of all, much like China’s Belt Road initiative of inclusive developments for the prosperity of all, employing concessional finance already set aside by China for commercial sector development under OCP.

The art of development is to scope a good idea and the money will surely follow, so the play is to scope a development in accordance with China’s agenda and the money will surely follow.

As any good developer knows, implementation is much like prostitution, where the developer oversights the project as pimp while architects, engineers, surveyors, lawyers and accountants sell their services for a fee as prostitutes. And yes, the vision is for Cook Islanders to become pimps and immigrants to become prostitutes!

The Cook Islands is asset-rich but cash-poor, its assets in pecking order being the friendly Christian people on tranquil islands with pristine lagoons that made the Cook Islands a safe haven with growing tourism, its vast 2.25 million square kilometres of national waters roamed by wild fish that can be farmed to supply half the world with fish, and a seabed littered with rich mineral nodules that can take the Cook Islands to the top of the world’s rich list if and when harvested.

In a nutshell, the MOP proposal, known as the Paradise Plan, is an integration of tourism-led development with agriculture and farming integrated for food security and shipping and airlift services integrated for sustainability, all operating as one for economy of scale.

The proposal is to allow people on islands with no economy to step up and develop their land for the prosperity of all, in joint venture with Chinese partners with skills necessary to implement the development and on a 67 per cent local and 33 per cent Chinese shareholdings basis, so they can contribute to the national economy instead of depending on it.

MOP will walk beside the partners and not take shares in island developments of tourism and agriculture, but will hold the 67 per cent shares in off-island fishing, shipping and airlift.

The on-island developments of tourism and agriculture will be undertaken as unit title developments, which I expect Kevin will be familiar with, meaning the land remains whole for the common use of all and can’t be used by the financier for security purposes.

It goes without saying that if the development goes bust the financier may come and remove the units developed above ground and in the airspace it paid for, but the land stays!

I trust that the above information explains the MOP proposal for our friend Kevin?

            Tim Tepaki

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