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Letter: Previous Sheraton developer responds

Wednesday 6 December 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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Letter: Previous Sheraton developer responds

Dear Editor, Contrary to popular belief, Tim Tepaki, a previous Sheraton developer and current developer of the private sector $300 million PERCI development, wasn’t broke.

To be clear, it was his equity lender that went broke, not him, and it was Te Marae Ora that referred him to New Zealand hospital during Covid-19 pandemic, where he cannot act, not him.

He said Tim Arnold was right when he said “what has been approved cannot, now be unapproved without an Act of Parliament and compensation paid”. The truth is the Italians placed the ring road on the back because the main entry to the complex is on the back and got rid of the front main road because they wanted a bigger beachfront – it follows if a new EIA is required it’s for the main road only, not the ring road!

But had they thought like Halatoa Fua (National Environment Service director), they would have realised the Sheraton is bound by streams that get murky during rainfall, causing the beachfront and shallows to be murky as well, and the main road protects the low-lying property from flooding – Tepaki said a second EIA was produced and approved in 2009 with the main road as is, because the ring road had sharp bends and likely to slow traffic! 

Now he’s returned from New Zealand hospital, he admits he and his mates wrote this five-sector PERCI as blueprint of hopes, dreams and aspirations of Cook Islanders. He said if they can vote government in or out at will, it’s time they knew they have the power to move Cook Islands tourism up to five-star, wages up to New Zealand standard and reverse depopulation – which are the main objectives of PERCI!

Tepaki also said the Cook Islands Government owed over $200 million after Covid-19 pandemic, whereas he owes nothing, and they’ll require a five-year moratorium to wipe the slate clean. He said it’s time people knew the Cook Islands is the richest country on earth with 15,000 onshore people, 246 square kilometres of landmass and a vast 1,800,000 square kilometres of national waters littered with fish and minerals.

He said they’ll harvest fish instead of giving away fishing licenses and leave minerals for CI Government to harvest, but warns that harvesting nodules 7000 metres deep is a tough ask given that Africans are sitting on a goldmine and it may disturb the beginning of eco systems.

For the record, parliament mandated him as lessor and holder of land lease in the Unit Titles 2005 Act and he admitted he dilly dallied when his equity lender went into statutory receivership, just when his prime lender was ready to bankroll him for selling $30 million of unit titles at the Sheraton.

And for the record, PKF Receivers acted for him and reported on 10 December 2014 that he owes nothing, meaning his holding bank records for seven-years expired on 10 December 2021, meaning he had seven months up his sleeve when he went to hospital on 17 May 2021.

And for the record, his New Zealand legal teams will fly to the Cook Islands when local representation is appointed, and they say he’ll win all cases as he was mandated by an act of parliament, just as Tim Arnold said – more to come!

Native Whisperer

(Name and address supplied)