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LETTER TO EDITOR: ‘PM should be held responsible’

Tuesday 14 March 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


LETTER TO EDITOR: ‘PM should be held responsible’

Dear Editor, Wouldn’t you think that when 62 per cent of the voters said yes to the cannabis referendum during the 2022 general election on August 1 to allow for research and medicinal use that the Government would want to make life easier for patients arriving in our nation with a legal prescription for medicinal cannabis products?

This is basic common sense 101, given that this is a mandate from the people.

But no, the opposite has happened and Prime Minister Mark Brown has to take responsibility for not upholding the law on the importation of legally prescribed medicinal cannabis by all travellers into the Cook Islands, both locals, returning locals, contract workers and all tourists alike.

Not only is the PM the Minister responsible for Customs, his portfolio also includes that of the Attorney General and the Police. In other words, Mark Brown is the ‘Top Cop’ in our nation, the main man responsible for law and order in our society.

So why won’t he uphold the law on legal medicinal cannabis importation in our country?

Now the PM may try and rationalise that he needed all the petitions to be settled before ‘The Government was to move very quickly in legalising medicinal cannabis which will allow doctors to prescribe it for patients’.

But that is not the case and doesn’t make any sense because it was pointed out to the PM, if he didn’t already know this in the first place that he had a great number of directions he could follow under the laws of the Ministry of Health Act 2013 to not only implement a medicinal cannabis plan for the people but could immediately see the legal importation of medicinal cannabis products in our country.

So why didn’t the PM do his job and make life easier for the people?

As the ‘Top Cop’ in our nation the PM has failed to protect and serve our people and not allowed our community to live in peace by his refusal to take responsibility to uphold the laws on medicinal cannabis importation.

The incompetent practices of Mark Brown regarding his rejection to take responsibility for the legal importation of medicinal cannabis under the authority of his portfolios has caused a multitude of hostilities, namely, he has tarnished the reputation of our judicial system by causing confusion with Customs, the Police, Crown Law and the Criminal High Court by not clarifying their legal duties regarding the legal importation of medicinal cannabis. The PM has helped to strengthen the illicit black market of medicinal cannabis by forcing patients to go underground and seek medicinal relief from their physical and emotional ailments when all he had to do was have some empathy in showing them the legal path forward that was already there for them and worst of all the PM has interfered with the sanctity of a doctor patient relationship by making it into something criminal.


Steve Boggs

Raro visit

Why were the Chinese here last week? Maybe the answer is they must want something.

The position is clear, people who visit and stay on Rarotonga can:

  • Eventually get citizenship
  • Own land
  • Build a hotel and casino

But in China a Raro can’t do any of these things.

Let the people and the government choose.


(Name and address supplied)

Vehicle registration

The registration scam being run by BCI. If a vehicle remains unused (registration year) then the following year the owner goes to register it, BCI then comes up with ‘Oh you have to pay for the previous year’.

Can BCI please clarify where under the Act they are authorised to do this.

If the Act has been amended please show the public.

Rule of Law

(Name and address supplied)

Hawaii flights

The article highlights that with Honolulu it gives Americans a couple extra nights in the Cooks, given the schedule has us arrive Saturday and depart Sunday (‘Still undiscovered’: Rebuilding North American tourist market underway, Cook Islands News, March 8, 2023).  That is certainly a plus but it creates an issue as well.

The downside is we get back home on Monday, requiring an extra day off from work. Many, if not most, Americans get only two weeks’ vacation a year. The schedule means we can’t go for two weeks, so Americans are restricted to the 8-day trip. However, this also means most Americans can’t take another week-long vacation, unless it’s timed with a national holiday (which are limited in our summer when most go on holiday).

The old Air NZ schedule worked well for us in that it fit into a schedule that worked in whole weekly units without bleeding into a new week.

One solution is to work with Hawaiian Airlines, Air Tahiti Nui and Air Rarotonga to create a “circle” route. Hawaiian and Tahiti Nui both serve Seattle and LA, creating two gateways for North Americans and Europeans into the Pacific.

Hawaii-Rarotonga-Tahiti, that’s an easy sell for North Americans and Europeans, and is done in a way that would expose more Northerners to Rarotonga and the Cooks.

Marketing a three-for-one Polynesian holiday would be attractive, but current airfare structures more than double the cost when trying to book it this way, which is why an agreement would be helpful.

Patrick Chapman