Mark Brown: Criticism of water committee

Friday July 10, 2020 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear editor,

You cannot please everybody. The members of the committee from the government side are all landowners on a number of the intake sites. We all have an intimate knowledge of the water system and our lands.

Who better to be on the select committee? Select committee members are appointed by a vote in Parliament not by special interest groups who have their own vested agenda. 

The same group questioned the Speaker on her ruling of their last petition. Now they question Parliament about the tabling of a bill for the establishment of To Tatou Vai. 


* Debate about who should lead fresh water consultation

They are now spreading misinformation in their latest mass email, eg “Landowner rights: rights of title have been almost entirely been eroded”. I view these actions as obstructive rather than constructive.

There will be public consultations, select committee hearings and landowner meetings. The government will continue to engage with landowners as it has for the last seven years of this project.

The Te Mato Vai project is virtually complete. Most of the intakes have undergone disinfection and are ready to hand over the people of the Cook Islands. 

The people are ready for clean drinking water from our water system.  If you don’t want water from the To Tatou Vai system, then you are free to install your own water for your own use.

Our people want to move forward not backwards.

Mark Brown
Minister responsible for CIIC.

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