We read in the article ‘Cook Islands deputy PM out of parliament’ (RNZ/ The Fiji Times 6/2/24) that after being convicted on the charge of “taking public funds”, Robert Tapaitau “has been removed from parliament”.
The chief justice found him and
two other (former) state officials guilty on virtually all charges brought
Cook Islands PM Mark Brown
couldn’t have put things more succinctly in his response when said “they accept
and would abide by the court’s decision. This case has demonstrated the
integrity of our judicial process. No person is above the law, our system of
checks and balances has not been compromised, and if you are found to be in
breach of the law, you will be held to account”.
Too right. That is as should be.
The people’s trust and confidence in proper governance can only be sustained
when those in power and positions of responsibility in society are held to
account for their transgressions. Other countries in the Pacific can draw from
the Cook Islands PM’s principled and ethical stance.