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LETTERS: Storm water runoff probe

Tuesday 17 May 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Opinion


LETTERS: Storm water runoff probe

Dear Editor, we see from Cook Islands News reporting that National Environment Service (NES) Director Halatoa Fua is undertaking further investigation into the “storm water runoff” at the Sheraton.

Perhaps the general public can assist. Hundreds of us saw the creek alongside the Arorangi border of the hotel site being destroyed by giant diggers. All in broad daylight.

Now, there are only three or so earth moving contractors on Rarotonga. So, it won’t be too difficult to put a name to the company. Next, can we suggest that Mr Fua investigate the files in the NES office and see if any consent, whatsoever, was given either pursuant to Sections 36, 50 or 51 of the Environment Act 2003?

If there is no such consent, then can we the public point the Director to Section 59 of that Act which lays out the maximum fine of $100,000 plus $10,000 per day and of a maximum jail term of one year.

So, Mr Director, we hope this assists your investigation. We look forward to CINEWS reporting the name of the company and reporting any criminal charges that NES may bring. Pretty simple case. Destroyed waterway with no consent, polluted lagoon, and more, and hundreds of eye-witnesses.

Of course, if NES does not file charges, any of those witnesses may do so under a private prosecution.

(Name and address supplied)

New minimum wage ‘plain, simple labour exploitation’

Here’s what I see as an American. I am not a financial expert just a labour worker in the states but I can do math. Here is what I see – A raise of $8.50 isn’t much to get excited about if you are a native Cook Islander but imagine the labourers coming to your island to work from Fiji where the minimum wage (will be) $4 Fijian (by 2023).

Now they are employed in the Cooks for $8.50 NZ which when converted to Fijian money is $11.88 almost $12 dollars or three times their minimum wage. No wonder they are happy to work on your island. You would be happy to work on your own island if you could make three times the minimum wage equivalent like the Fijians, which would be $24 an hour in NZ money.

It’s plain and simple labour exploitation if you ask me.

Edward Keker


If I remember correctly, Government was on track back in 2019-20 with raising the minimum wage from $7 with the target rate $10 per hour to be reached 2021-22. Then enter Covid-19. Government turned around and paid out benefits to all employers/employees who would otherwise have been made redundant in 2020.

Businesses to date have benefitted from the grants, and wages subsidies and training subsidies and is still receiving this today. I salute those companies that have managed to stay afloat without government assistance throughout this period for reasons known to themselves. The PM together with the Financial Secretary have addressed the nation several times to advise the course of action that they have taken to be able to continue to serve this nation of ours – going into debt to do so.

Ann Taruia