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Details of Cabinet Meeting delayed

Wednesday 18 January 2023 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in National, Politics

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Details of Cabinet Meeting delayed
Prime Minister Mark Brown in Parliament making his 2021-22 budget speech last year. Photo: CI NEWS/21060843

The Cook Islands Cabinet has met for the first time this year, but details about the meeting remain scarce.

Cook Islands News asked on Monday morning and again on Tuesday morning whether there was any chance of a press conference or meeting with Prime Minister Mark Brown following the Cabinet’s meeting on Tuesday.

However, a spokesperson for the Government told Cook Islands News that the PM would not be available for a press conference or meeting until Friday.

PM Brown has been contacted for comment.

Cook Islands News understands that The Revenue Management Division was due to make a submission to Cabinet, outlining the costs incurred and to be borne by Cook Islands taxpayers, in the legal action taken by Air New Zealand over ‘overpaid tax’.

Revenue Management Division Deputy Alan Richardson had previously told Cook Islands News a summary of the judgement would go to Cabinet on Tuesday.

On Friday, Financial Secretary Garth Henderson told Cook Islands News that in the submission to be presented to Cabinet on Tuesday, there will be some recommendations.

“After that I’m pretty comfortable going public, it’s just that before you have fully briefed Cabinet, going into the public domain is not the best thing to do,” he said.

On Tuesday after the Cabinet Meeting, Cook Islands News emailed Chief of Staff Ben Ponia asking him what was discussed in Cabinet, whether any decisions were made, what papers were presented to Cabinet and why they had decided to delay the press conference to Friday.

Cook Islands News has not received a reply to the questions.