He says the plan will include details of a feeder resort to be developed on Rarotonga as “the gateway to the world”. The plan will be released in three parts, will align with the National Sustainable Development Plan and will also satisfy government policy, says Tepaki
In a letter to CINews he said the plan would comply with with the One China Policy (OCP) provision for social, economic and cultural development and satisfy the funding criteria for concessional finance set aside under that platform for commercial sector activity.
“Born on the words of Henry Puna when he became prime minister in 2010, that ‘we need to develop the outer islands to help our brothers and sisters’, the Paradise Prosperity Plan is precisely that,” Tepaki said.
“If anyone doubts the people need help, they should visit the Pa Enua and count the empty homes and ask the mamas fishing in the lagoon for morsels to eat if they need help. Because they do!”
Tepaki said the plan was about correcting the country’s “fake economy” that was exclusive to Rarotonga and to a lesser degree Aitutaki, while other islands had no economy to speak of. The plan would develop islands with no economy and breathe life into them so they could contribute to the Rarotonga and Aitutaki economy instead of depending on it, he added.
“It is also about growing our economy on the back of government infrastructure developments and generating revenue to take our public sector out of aid dependency so we can earn the ‘developed’ status to be bestowed on us by the United Nations.”
Tepaki said it was initially intended that Merchant of Paradise would stand in as developer for government and hold one third shares in the matrix of PPP assets developed.
Pa Enua people would hold a third and Chinese development partners the other third.
“However, with both government and opposition reluctant to ascend to developed status and availability of OCP commercial sector opportunity funding expiring next year, the probable outcome being lost opportunity funding for the PPP development, MOP has decided to hand over its shares to the Pa Enua people and empower them to get on with it - and not wait for anyone.
“So that we are clear, the Pa Enua people will have no more tears to shed over their lost economy and (the fact that) only their will keeps them going.
“So waiting for government and prolonging their agony is no longer valid.”