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LETTERS: NZ ‘essential’ for support

Wednesday 23 March 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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LETTERS: NZ ‘essential’ for support

Dear Editor, with the arrival of Covid-19 to the Cook Islands, and with it the need for our people to quarantine or to isolate in order to protect others, Government is providing financial support to those who cannot work due to infection or resident in the same households.

The Welfare Packs provided by Internal Affairs, along with other measures like the isolation allowance for private sector employees, means that those who are directed to isolate or quarantine do not need to leave their homes to make ends meet, and they can do their part by staying at home.

The prudent expenditure of both domestic and donor funds provided by the New Zealand Government is essential to ensure that we can continue to fund ongoing health protection and economic support to our communities as the Omicron virus spreads throughout our community. We do not have unlimited funds.

The Welfare Packs and Isolation Allowances are intended to support households and not intended as full support. We expect that households will prepare themselves for isolation and this will include putting aside food and other household items. Already we are seeing families and communities supporting households in isolation. This is the way it should be. Government also provides support to households through the Puna system.

The reduction of the value of the Welfare Pack in line with the reduction in days required to isolate from 10 days to seven days is prudent. We note the positive comments on social media from Welfare Pack recipients stating the adequacy of support.

MFEM recognizes the importance of transparency of public expenditure and publishes regularly, most recently in the Quarterly Financial Results December 31, 2021. MFEM is working on a story now with CINews on Wages Subsidy, Welfare Packs and we will likely include other Covid-19 related expenditures. This information will be more up to date.  I believe readers will be surprised at the extent of support. For example, the Wage Subsidy for one month is around $4 million. If we add the business grants this adds another $1m.  

Garth Henderson, Financial Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) (In response to the letter to the editor - Reduction in welfare packages - published on Tuesday, March 22, 2022)


Dogs

Question? Why has this dog issue got out of hand” Is it neglect from dog owners, not doing their utmost to make sure their dogs don’t breed like rabbits and then get out of control, and not being able to control the situation?  I have been reading in the CI News and see that vets have been coming to Rarotonga to deal with the overpopulated dogs and cats problems to help control the wider problem. The blame is on the owners, and yes I totally feel for these poor animals, and yes it is very humane to rest these poor animal’s souls.

Tekura Glassie


Consumerism

Might be time to go back to how our ancestors lived. You can still catch fish on a canoe or a row boat. We might have to forgo bread, soft drinks and canned food but that's a good thing, yeah? We have got plenty of healthier local options. Taro, tarotarua, maiota, kumara, etc. Meat? We have still got goats, pigs and chickens, yeah? The real problem isn't petrol or it's high price. It's that we're addicted to a consumerist lifestyle that makes us dependent on others, isn't healthy and it's destroying the Earth. The phrases "living of the grid" or "going organic" are thrown about like they're some new discovery. Pfft. Our ancestors were living that way, mei muatanga'ana mai. Time to readopt those ways. Eaa to kotou manako

Richard Palmer


The Arenikau seat

For the first time in the history of the Cook Islands politic, we, the Democratic Party within the Arenikau constituency strongly believe that we have a very good chance of taking this seat away from the Cook Islands Party in the next election.  There are only two heavyweights vying for this seat, and they are; The Cook Islands Democratic Party and the Cook Islands Party, and we are expecting our Demo candidate to lock horns with the sitting MP, Tereapii Maki Kavana (CIP).  But, this is one seat that the CIP will desperately miss the most.

It was back in 2014 when the Cook Islands Democratic Party was last solely represented, and the following years after that, we (in our view), were blatantly mislead by a desperately motivated One Cook Islands Movement; where that coalition offered us nothing in return, but lots of disappointment and grief.  And during the following years, and up until last month, the Democratic supporters have been stabled in the backseat, anchored to the floor, hopelessly not able to breathe.  It has been a tough time for the Demos of late.

But today, we have regrouped, and are already preparing ourselves, to go alone and contest the next election under the umbrella of the Cook Islands Democratic Party.  Our Arenikau Cook Islands Democratic Party candidate has been confirmed by our Puna, and the opposition office will be announcing the candidate in due course.  There is no coalition with One Cook Islands, our supporters have thankfully quashed any ideas of any kind of coalition.  And it would be foolhardy and likely political suicide for the One Cook Islands Movement to continue fooling themselves on an OCI-DEMO coalition in Arenikau for their survival at the next election.  The Democratic Party in Arenikau doesn’t need to marry itself to another party’s political agenda to survive; there will, of course, be acrimonious debate on all levels, but we are totally convinced that we will do well on our own. 

The Cook Islands Democratic Party’s manifesto for the 2022 election is already building confidence back into the party.  Our participation will be positively effective, and it’s very encouraging to see our supporters showing willingness to abandon any vitriolic partisan attitudes, by putting our country ahead of our own political self-interest.  So, with a sustainable pathway in place, “It is time for a change”, we are now ready to govern our country wisely and responsibly, after the next election.

Teuira Ka