Hearings on whether the Cook Islands Party’s tax-free policy for the Pa Enua is tantamount to bribery will take place this week.
from the Cook Islands United Party, allege that the Cook Island Party’s policy
of tax exemptions for people in the Pa Enua earning under $60,000 was bribery similar
to the CIP’s free fly-in votes in 1978, which resulted in the Electoral Court
declaring the votes of the fly-in electors from New Zealand invalid.
At a call-over in
the High Court in Avarua on Thursday, Chief Justice Sir Hugh Williams set down
hearings to take place in Atiu on October 3 and October 4, in Mitiaro on
October 5 and Rarotonga on October 6.
The other part of
the petition alleges that Independent MPs Rose Toki-Brown and Te-Hani Brown
from Atiu were guilty of treating by giving away free food at an event on June
13, the day the general election was called. Both MPs were re-elected and
formed a coalition with the governing Cook Islands Party.
Justice Williams struck out that part of the petition, agreeing with the
respondents’ assertion that there was insufficient information for that claim
This has been
challenged by the Cook Islands United Party, and will go to the Court of