Enticing deal for new MP

Wednesday February 13, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Reading the news in the papers following Mangaia's newly elected Demo MP Agnes Armstrong's by-election success, deputy prime minister Mark Brown was clearly the first cab off the ranks with the shocking news of Demo MP Te-Hani Brown's defection to the CIP coalition government.


He was very quick to tell us the reasons why former Demo MP Te-Hani Brown was defecting and it's obvious to us all that they had already planned ahead for this eventuality, with a range of promised lollies to sweeten and seal the deal, as both would very soon reveal and confirm publicly to the nation.

In my books that was a "wrong" action many would definitely construe as tantamount to bribery.

Especially because no sooner had DPM Brown announced MP Brown's defection, he quickly followed that news by immediately making the point that the ongoing infrastructure projects would continue in Atiu.

Thereafter, MP Brown confirmed her defection while also acknowledging the DPM's statement and confirming it as the reason why she decided to leave the Demo party.

Coincidentally, in CI News' Saturday February 9 paper on Page 14 was an article "China 'bribing' Pacific Nations" with the following excerpt: "A new American intelligence report accuses China of aligning itself with Pacific Island nations through bribery, investments and greater engagement ...The report states that China is currying favour with numerous Pacific countries through bribery, infrastructure investments..."

Is there a difference to Henry Puna and Brown using infrastructure developments to entice MP Brown?

In my view, bribery is bribery is bribery, no matter how you look at it.

This latter sentiment attributed to DPM Brown's CI News Wednesday January 23 front-page article, "Govt says Te-Hani to defect". He also added: "She is supporting the government based on the work ... to continue with those development works."

Unequivocally, this CIP coalition government enticed MP Brown with offers of infrastructure projects continuing in Atiu. It is wrong!

A likely viewpoint I believe all Cook Islanders may share is that it is an incontrovertible fact that this government did in fact commit a "wrong action" by offering such an enticement to the Cook Islands' youngest ever elected Atiu MP Te-Hani Brown to defect. And that she did in fact accept it.  Enough - time for change!     

Tumunu (Abridged)

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