Te Tuhi Kelly: ‘We are treated like a buzzing namu’

Wednesday 26 February 2020 | Published in Letters to the Editor


Dear editor, You may recall that in October 2019 I announced my intentions to start a new political party, the Progressive Party of the Cook Islands, to address once and for all the political appointments, the treating, bribing of voters and other irregularities at voting time and favouritism of public service appointments rampant in our society.

I have indeed registered a new political party to contest the general elections in two years’ time and will be carrying out a formal launch.

It comes as our Prime Minister was at an anti-corruption conference in Kiribati, attended also by the Cook Islands Police Commissioner.

I can’t believe that the man, along with other Pacific leaders, can lay in their beds at night straight.

In my 10 years of making my home here in the Cook Islands, marrying a local and cementing my familial ties to my Cook Islands relations, I have been subjected to bias, disregard, backstabbing and downright prejudice because I dared to speak out.

I have seen members of their families and friends being promoted and given roles they have not the qualifications, knowledge or management experience for. I have experienced bad decision-making, personal attacks and emotional responses to belittle staff, from these appointees.

I have seen them dipping into ministry budgets to finance their overseas trips.

So when I see Puna attending this conference, it is all talk and hot air.

You can have a go at me for this article but the fact is, the more we talk about change the less change happens. You the reader know this is happening, so don’t be surprised about this article.

This is a drain on our resources, it is a drain on our ability to take our rightful place in the world, it is a drain on providing a stable and focused economy not reliant or beholden to anyone, it is a drain on our ability to provide our children with high standards.

We are no longer seen as relevant by these people and have been consigned to irrelevancy as if we were annoying little namu, buzzing away in the background … but no longer, the people finally have a choice, there’s a new kid in town.

Te Tuhi Kelly
The Progressive Party