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LETTERS: ‘Broken promises and new promises’

Monday 25 July 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Editorials, Opinion


LETTERS: ‘Broken promises and new promises’

Dear Editor, the PM’s campaign whirlwind trip to Mitiaro on Thursday 21st July was headlined with major issues covering Covid-19, tourism, telecommunications and seabed mining.

The latter, receiving most of the discussion with the PM touting that the Cook Islands will receive, not millions, but billions in seabed mining revenue. Certainly, a bold wishful statement, engaging and enticing voters a week out from the polls.

The PM’s previous visit in 2021, was when he came to open the Bowling Club. The PM promised back then to look into and fix the radio and television. Well, its 2022 and close to the elections, he returns and still no radio and no television. A broken promise. Now, picture this scenario on Rarotonga, with no local, regional and international news at all. Total media blackout. No sports news and no current affairs news. Was this a deliberate plan by Government to keep the people in the dark? You figure that out yourself. It cannot be for the lack of funds. Government has paid an estimated 40 chartered flights up north, over a four-year period, to the tune of $35,000 per charter. You do the maths!

An elderly Mama said to me, ‘Paul, we got no idea what’s happening on Rarotonga’. I asked her, ‘do you know that the DPM was charged and was suspended?’ The answer was a blank stare.

Significant in the PM’s new promise announcement, is his unwritten policy that wage workers will not be taxed. In his own words, “kare kotou e terio ia”. What Mark Brown really meant was, the new tax threshold of $15,000 will eliminate those wage workers earning less than $15,470 ($8.50 per hour at 1,820 total hours per annum). Another words, you will still be taxed, however a tax refund will be issued to those earning under $15,000.

On the subject of wage workers earning $8.50 an hour on the island, I asked the front table this question, “is it fair that the MP of the island is on $43 an hour, the two Cabinet ministers are on $54 an hour and the PM is on $65 an hour, given the high cost of living in the outer islands?” Of course, the PM intelligently explained himself and stated that the new Government will increase the minimum wage in the future.

The PM’s election predictions brought loud applause in the meeting, saying, “I promised Mangaia a seat at the table (Cabinet?), Rarotonga sure six seats, Ngaputoru four seats, northern group four seats and Araura two seats.” That’s a rugby team with two subs. Of course, these predictions are far from the truth. In my view, the CIP will struggle to get two seats on Raro, none on Mangaia, maybe two from Ngaputoru, three from up north and one from Araura, that’s only eight – two short from 2018. This was the same result in 2018 where CIP managed to form a minority government with the independents.

The tables have now completely turned in 2022, a new serious alternative party has emerged in the United Party, pushing for real change with an anti-corruption agenda, the Democrats are rebuilding lost ground and the king-maker independents have joined the CIP, albeit, a suspended DPM in its ranks.

What is telling in this and past elections, is the imbalance of power in the distribution of seats. The Outer Islands hold 14 seats and has a strangle-hold on the outcome of the elections, whilst the capital, has only 10 seats. This is where the CIP government has concentrated most of its national development capital budget and resources, in the Outer Islands! There is a saying, “if you don’t vote, you get the government you deserve, and if you do, you never get the results you expected”.

I sincerely believe, on 1st August, our people will vote for real change, for political and economic transformation and reform, with good, people centered policies and new blood. Roald Dahl stated, “Somewhere inside of all of us is the power to change the world”.

Let’s unite and make the change.

Paul R P Allsworth

Mitiaro United Party Candidate

Dignity of people

E poitirere ana te ‘kopu tangata o te aroa’, i te manako o tetai au taeake.

E tuatau tuke rai oki teia. Ka rauka I tetai uatu putuputuanga I te akaranga e, ka rave aia I teia, me kore ka rave aia I tera.

Me noo marie ra tatou, ka kite tatou e te tupu akaou nei te pu rakau tei kanga ia tona tupu e te ngaru Koviti.

Me noo marie tatou, ka kite tatou e te taka nei te angaanga no roto mai I te au kaveinga tupunu a te ‘kopu tangata’.

Irinaki pakari te ‘kopu tangata o te aroa’ I te turanga tiratira tu o te iti tangata. Auraka tatou e akaiti mai to tatou turanga teitei.

It always surprises our Party, the thoughts of our political opponents.

We know this is a campaigning period. Parties are quick to show what they will do.

But if we look quietly, we will see how immediately on the significant reduction in Covid affecting us, our Party Government took the bold steps to reinstate without missing a step, socio-economic programmes placed on hold, while we were holding our peoples’ lives (family, community, island, business) safely.

CIP believes in the dignity of our people. Let not any Party policy reduce our dignity to less.

Vaine Wichman

CIP Policy Director