Terry Rangi: Parliamentary audit inquiry into conflict

Thursday June 25, 2020 Published in Letters to the Editor
Terry Rangi, right, and Ngaa Kitai Taria Pureariki, owners of The Umu Experience in Rarotonga. 19091367 Terry Rangi, right, and Ngaa Kitai Taria Pureariki, owners of The Umu Experience in Rarotonga. 19091367

I refer to your article (“Killer in political conflict probe”, June 20) regarding a possible conflict of interest in my hiring inmate Ngaa Taria last year.

I understand given my position as chief executive for Minister George Maggie that this role comes with some level of public scrutiny – I accept that. To a point, it is part of the job.

The article stated the Minister signed off Taria’s work release while the head of Corrective Services was overseas, and without psychiatric sign off, implying that the correct protocol was not followed.

This is simply not true: I can confirm that the Secretary was in the country and the correct protocols were followed. The article also failed to mention that Taria had met the requirements of the Prison policy allowing him to be out on work scheme.

What is a concern is that Cook Islands News through its editor is creating unnecessary division in our community.

Cook Islands News used to be a respected newspaper with accurate reporting but now it appears to be all about creating headlines and false statements.

Why aren’t you checking your information before print? Is there any thought given to the damage to people by the inaccurate reporting?

We used to have local journalists who understood the context of living in a close knit community. It appears that our daily newspaper is imitating a big city publication using sensational headlines and gossip.

The story of Taria and I was in the public domain extensively late last year so it surprises me that Cook Islands News continues to use this story. Is there no current news? All this is doing is hurting all the families involved.

I can only assume that much of this is politically driven against me and the Minister or to create the idea of wrongdoing when there has been none.

Terry Rangi
Chief executive
Minister George Maggie’s Support Office

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