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.
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?
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.
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.
course, if NES does not file charges, any of those witnesses may do so under a
and address supplied)
New minimum wage ‘plain, simple labour exploitation’
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).
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.
plain and simple labour exploitation if you ask me.
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.
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.