Weird financial ‘seascape’ washes region

Monday September 17, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern and her delegation, including New Zealand Foreign Affairs minister Winston Peters were treated to a traditional welcome during their visit to Rarotonga earlier this year. The visit promoted New Zealand’s Pacific Reset programme. 18091617 New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern and her delegation, including New Zealand Foreign Affairs minister Winston Peters were treated to a traditional welcome during their visit to Rarotonga earlier this year. The visit promoted New Zealand’s Pacific Reset programme. 18091617

Dear Editor,

 

It’s been interesting catching up on the latest in aid programmes for our Blue Region and seeing New Zealand and Australia increasing their aid at the behest of the US to counter China’s influence in our region

It’s also interesting seeing them ask, “How high?” when the US tells them to jump. I can understand Aussies asking this, because they are kangaroos aren’t they, and jumpy, as is plainly obvious from the way they play their rugby (Aussie Rules I think they call it) but Kiwis? Aren’t they ground birds with no wings?

And isn’t it weird that New Zealand asks China for $917 million concessional finance to fund its Pacific Reset aid program (including aid to us) aimed at countering China’s influence in our region, and China approved it?

And why would we want Pacific Reset aid that comes with New Zealand’s cost of finance added to China’s cost when we already have concessional finance at China’s cost only sitting on the One China Policy aid platform and staring at us, unless of course New Zealand is borrowing at its cost and gifting it to us instead of on-lending to us, in which case yes please, and God bless New Zealand!

And if, as drumbeats on the coconut wireless are saying, that our share of Pacific Reset aid is to complete the Te Mato Vai project, isn’t that also weird?

We all know that New Zealand and other donor partners, except for China, tag their aid commitments with jobs for the boys and girls (technical advisors), and impose their own highly-paid contractors, which exponentially blows out cost at taxpayers’ expense. So why are we allowing this to happen? Watch Te Mato Vai become the government’s “Sheraton”, as one astute commentator described it not so long ago!

And before anyone asks why is the Paradise Prosperity Plan (PPP) development for the Pa Enua tagged by including Chinese partners, think again. It’s a Merchant of Paradise tag, not Chinese, and it’s because we need partners at the source of technologies and supplies for buildings and greatest 5-star market on the planet – 146 million middle class tourists last year. And we only want 62,702 (0.0425 per cent) of them to come at 65 per cent occupancy!

Talking about the Sheraton and/or Vaimaanga, may I suggest to the editor of CINews that abridging my letter September 12 and suggesting there was confusion over the tender process, has led to some people wondering how I could be confused over an explicit process like tendering.

Be advised that I have told those who have asked me that I wasn’t confused and if indeed MOP had the only tender, then the three parties Pa Ariki is now courting were solicited after the tender closed, which in countries like New Zealand, would, I believe, constitute fraud. But hey, are we not the “Crook Islands”? 

            Tim Tepaki

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