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LETTERS: Old Sheraton redevelopment endorsement

Friday 20 May 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Opinion


LETTERS: Old Sheraton redevelopment endorsement

Dear Editor, excellent letter from a member of the public (Cook Islands News, May 17) addressed to the Director of National Environment Service regarding the pillaging of the creeks on either side of the Vaimaanga/Sheraton hotel site by heavy machinery.

As the letter writer points out, there were plenty of witnesses, so the Director cannot hide on this issue. So why is he moving so slowly on this clear issue?  

The Prime Minister recently endorsed the new initiative to develop the old hotel site, essentially supporting the concept of economic development, employment, etc, both during renovation stages, as well as ongoing… quite right Mr PM. He also pointed out that Government was not putting in any public or taxpayer money into this private development. Nice to see.

So what is the Government putting in? Could it be that by the PM being seen as endorsing the development, he is giving the project considerable legitimacy, which will come under closer scrutiny from the public, when the current (main) coastal road, is cut off, and the travelling public will be required to detour the long way around the back of the development site, before rejoining the main road somewhere. Any comments?

(Name and address supplied)

Friends of Fiji

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to the 18 May article in the Cook Islands News (Friends of Fiji to take Government to court).

Friends of Fiji Incorporated (“FOF Inc”) is not raising this discriminatory issue for all Fijians living in the Cook Islands. The FOF Inc President made that statement on behalf of its members.

FOF Inc and Cook Islands Fijian Association (led by Ana Mataitini as president) are two different NGOs with distinct objectives! FOF Inc’s objectives include human rights activism, advocating public rights and influencing the government to hold it responsible while serving as a mechanism for public participation in the governance of the nation. Cook Islands Fijian Association, on the other hand, is aligned to healthy living, cultural activities of Cook Island Māori and the values, morals, ethics and customs (“Cultural arts or tivaevae issues” is how it is termed on the Ministry of Justice database) of their financial members consisting of approximately 150 Fiji passport holders.

Some of them are not legally residing in the Cook Islands. Both Ms Mataitini and Jaewynn McKay should read the comments by FOF President and realise that any spokesperson worth her salt will know that FOF is a registered NGO and represent lawful resident tax-paying members and does not need the endorsement of anyone, especially another NGO, to hold such a view!

Lavi Rokoika

Legal Counsel