Monday 17 April 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Local, National
In Parliament last week, Opposition MP and Cook Islands United Party leader Teariki Heather said he had never seen an excavator which was purchased by the government working within the compound of the Corrective Services.
On Wednesday, Heather said he could vouch that the machine has been all around the island and used in others property.
Minister Angene said MP Heather’s question was implying that he was doing something wrong.
“It was purchased by Corrective Services for planting under my leadership,” the Minister said. “This machine I have asked the Prime Minister if it can be purchased for the Corrective Services to help with planting and help our people.”
Angene added people who wished to use the machine were asked to purchase diesel.
Heather probed further seeking justification on who gets to use the machine and if there was a log book which carried details of people who used the excavator and when.
Prime Minister Mark Brown said Heather was well aware of the background and answer to the question he had raised.
Brown explained the machine was to help prisoners with their work outside the community.
“We know the work they have been doing in the past is hard labour.”
PM Brown said the Minister for Corrective Services requested for a machine to help his ministry and be useful in the wider community.
He said the machine has been helpful in digging graves among other work in the community.
“Particularly for low income earners who can’t afford to hire machinery for small jobs around their homes. So for the cost of the price of fuel to run the machine, the community is required to cover the operation of this machine.”
Brown also said it was not the business of the MPs or Ministers to present working logs of operating machines before Parliament.
He added that if anybody is interested in how much a vehicle is being utilised, the appropriate people to see is the head of ministries.
Te Tuhi Kelly on 17/04/2023
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. The intent is in the wording.