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LETTERS: Government spending questioned

Friday 13 May 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Opinion

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LETTERS: Government spending questioned

Dear Editor, the $580,000 Manihiki new administration building refers. Could those in charge have found a design any more inappropriate for a Polynesian Island? The building screams “Papa’a kit house — box with windows”.

Is this what we teach the children of Manihiki? We build without any element of Polynesian design whatsoever? That our Polynesian heritage of building design, combined with our heritage coral limestone churches, are to be disregarded for something uglier than a strip mall in Mangere?

Sadly, that’s not the worst of it. On Tuesday 3 May, as the Land Court was well into a successful Zoom session with Judge Isaac in Gisborne, connected to courthouses in Rarotonga, Mauke and Aitutaki, working its way through 138 cases, government decided to spend tens of thousands of dollars chartering a flight of officials to Manihiki.

It would have been bad enough if the charter was to cut the ribbon in front of the ugly box upon completion. Instead, the purpose of the charter was to have a picture taken by the billboard with a picture of the sad looking structure. Could have been done by Zoom. For what, $5 Vodafone data charges? The complexities of over 100 Land Court matters, papa’anga of ownership, leases, rent reviews, disputes, all dealt with by Zoom but a photo opportunity required the spending of 10’s of thousands of dollars?

We hear constantly from politicians, of every political cult, of how, by selling the likes of fishing rights, and seabed mining rights, that the revenue will benefit our most vulnerable, our disadvantaged, our elderly, our health care and education.

The question to the Secretary of Health is this. Will you, by reply to this missive, advise the number of people in the Cook Islands presently in need of cataract surgery? We all recall 2019 when dozens, or was it hundreds, were left out when the last set of eye surgeons visited Rarotonga. And have those surgeons repeatedly told Health that if the gear they have to cart in, were already at the hospital, how many more might have sight restored?

Mr Secretary, how many air-charters to the Northern Group would pay for that gear. Is it one, or is it two charters?

Now this writer knows how many Cook Islanders are waiting for cataract surgery, knows that so many are elderly, who are suffering every day trying to see the world through a fog, so, please tell the truth.

It’s an election year. Not a single voter should vote for the current mob in power if there is even one Cook Islander with cataracts not operated on by election day.

(Name and address supplied)