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Letter: Vaimaanga backroad ‘disruption’

Friday 28 April 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor

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Letter: Vaimaanga backroad ‘disruption’

Dear Editor, While amazed with the speed in which Sonny Williams, new MP for Titikaveka tackled the Vaimaanga backroad project, what he succeeded the most was to upset the landowners.

Without consultation Sonny bulldozed coconut trees on the roadside alongside John Maoate’s pineapple plantation and another property nearby.  The landowners did not consent to what appears to be a series of wilful damages and earth moving activities without authority.

The letter writer is asked to drop a few lines to the editor not to condemn Sonny but to remind him to show respect and courtesy to all the landowners on each side of the Vaimaanga back road.

There is concern with the width of the road being bulldozed that there is another purpose in mind, to create a new main road around the back to allow a private hotel project to close the Titikaveka main road. Hopefully we are mistaken,

A word of advice Sonny, please consult the aronga mana and landowners.  Don’t make the same mistakes as Te Mato Vai. Nothing is free anymore. Add wisdom to your strength Sonny and you will win good support. 

Interested observer. (Name and address supplied)

Response

Kia Orana, 

Thank you for the opportunity to reply.

Unfortunately the letter writer is grossly misinformed or mistaken. If the writer took the time to speak to ICI (Infrastructure Cook Islands), the writer would learn that I had nothing whatsoever to do with how ICI is carrying out its road works.

My job as MP for Titikaveka is to speak and promote Titikaveka’s needs and requests in Government as do all other MPs.

For roadworks, we make requests to Government for these works for the village as requested by the village. The village made a strong request to me last year to have this Vaimaanga backroad repaired and resealed.

Once Government sets and confirms these works, they are then carried out by ICI. I’m not involved in these works and never ordered the removal of trees and hedges. I do pop out to the works to give the ICI workers support and encouragement.

For the road widths currently being set, I believe ICI is simply following the original roads surveyed back around 1906. Over the years since these boundaries have been moved, eroded, changed, encroached upon, etc. and now is a good time to correct this matter.

I was made aware of these issues only this Monday 24th April and was asked by ICI to mediate with the landowners concerned which I am prepared to do and still planning this.

These works need to be supported to improve the safety and comfort along these roads.

I encourage the writer and anyone else to talk to ICI for correct information on this, however I’m open to talks if they have any issues, on 55165.

Safe Driving All.

Sonny Williams, MP for Titikaveka.