Tuesday 28 February 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion
About two years ago, the Triad company sealed the Matavera roads. Now they coming back again to seal it. How much is this cost? My mate told me it’s about $3 or $4 million for a kilometre? Is this true?
Garth is boasting about the kavamani against corruption, hey I think you are doing it, on the side, hiding it with no tender. So what you say to this. Now, you hiding the Air NZ taxes. This is the people’s money, not yours man. Looks like one man band, money man, tender man, tax man, contract man e maki tikae.
No more tender.
(Name and address supplied)
Financial Secretary Garth Henderson replies – In response to the anonymous letter by ‘No more tender’, I note the following points:
1. The withholding of information around the recent Air New Zealand tax case has been due to instruction from the court and due to confidentiality clauses of the agreements in place. Once released by the Court this information will be available to the public. This is not a case of either myself or RMD making a unilateral decision to not disclose information. This information has been in the public domain for weeks. Please read slowly and digest.
2. The planned road works for Tupapa which I understand is addressed in the letter were recently awarded in accordance with the section 1.9.4 of the Purchase and Sales of Goods & Services Policy (Procurement Policy), specifically section c)
3. A variation to an existing contract was sort by Infrastructure Cook Islands (ICI) and considered by the Tender Committee that includes both myself and the Solicitor General and endorsed.
If you are serious about the matters you have raised in your letter, I expect that you will take the time to review the Procurement Policy available online, take some time to research and understand how good public roads are delivered. Incidentally, a kilometre of hot mix asphalt is closer to $1.5 million per kilometre and I understand we only have one construction company at present who can do this work. Note we publish the Rarotonga Road Program in the Budget which you can also review online. No need to rely upon your mate for this information.
If after all this research you still think I am a One Man Band, stop hiding behind your fake name and make a formal complaint.
I don’t appreciate being targeted personally in the public domain in this lazy fashion supported by lazy journalism.
Granting of bail
Bail resulting with a passport being surrendered to the court involves the Registrar being given a copy of the defendant’s travel ticket (return) and itinerary before they are handed the passport (Chief Justice puts a lid on Crown, defence squabble, Cook Islands News, February 27)
Records are kept by the court.
My client Joshua Utanga did this four previous times without a problem. When Crown Prosecutor Jamie Crawford asked for an application to be filed for Justice of the Peace approval, the reason she gave was to allow Crown Law to monitor and keep an eye on the defendant’s movements. She could have achieved that by asking the defence or Registrar to provide the Crown with copies of the ticket and travel itinerary. The Crown’s action added the cost to the defendant between $350 to $500. There was no cost when he uplifted his passport directly from the Registrar. Everything worked satisfactorily.
Now a new bail condition is suggested by Crown Law when a defendant elects trial by Judge and jury, for applications to go before a Judge. There is no legislation providing for that. This is intended to follow the practice in New Zealand where when matters depart from the District Court to the High Court, no procedures are reversed.
I humbly ask that we do not follow the New Zealand practice and procedures relating to the granting of bail, all other procedures are appropriate. The cost and convenience is a hindrance on the freedom and access to justice by Cook Islanders. I recommend that the granting of the release of passports for the defendants to travel should be handled by the Registrar with copies of the ticket and travel itinerary given to the Registrar and Crown Law office. Applications for the release of passports should only be referred to a Justice of the Peace or Judge of the High Court only in relation to very serious charges or special circumstances.