Commissioner of Police Maara Tetava says he will stand firm on his determination to continue in his post despite what he describes as “apparent aspertions” and doubt cast on his employment last week.
“As reported (last week), my tenure as Commissioner of Police has been publicly challenged. But despite considerable public interest, I have for the moment decided to reserve any further comment as this issue is now under further consideration by myself and the government.”
The Commissioner assured the Cook Islands' people and all visitors that, “as Commissioner of Police, I intend maintaining my role in ensuring the safety and continued security of our community”.
“I will be engaged in all aspects of policing with the support of the employees of the Cook Islands Police Service.”
Tetava also stood by his 33 years of professional and dedicated police service, including his past nine years as Commissioner.
“For as long as I live, my heart and thoughts will always be for the safety of our people, our visitors and our island nation - the Cook Islands.”
Tetava’s statement follows week of rumours regarding Tetava’s employment. Confusion surrounding his position continued last Thursday, when Police minister Vaine (Mac) Mokoroa said that according to his understanding, the commissioner’s term had ended on November 1, when his contract had ended.
The minister said one of the first things he had done since taking over as Police minister was to seek clarification on the tenure of the police commissioner’s employment.
Mokoroa said the commissioner had sent a letter stating that his contract in fact ended on December 1, 2018, “as warranted by the QR (Queen’s Representative)”, Tom Marsters.
“But I have asked him to provide that document (showing the warrant from the QR) which he hasn’t provided to my office, as well as his contract of employment (which) he has not provided to my office.”.
The minister said the tenure for a police commissioner was five years, plus a rollover of an extra two years.
However, he said Tetava had already served on the job for nine years.
“And my understanding is that he served the tenure of five years plus two years and another plus two years.
“So in all he has had nine years and I think Cabinet will be very reluctant to roll over his contract.”