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$38,000 on post-election flights

Friday July 25, 2014 Written by Published in Politics
Prime Minister Henry Puna, pictured departing a plane in the outer islands in 2011. 11100350 Prime Minister Henry Puna, pictured departing a plane in the outer islands in 2011. 11100350

Parliament paid $38,000 on charter flights to return candidates from the Northern Group islands to Rarotonga after this month’s general elections.

Two flights were paid for by Parliament using Civil List funds. Parliament justified the spending, saying it is required to return the candidates to Rarotonga, and is in accordance with government regulations.

A flight was chartered on July 16 at a cost of $16,000 to provide transportation for candidates from Penrhyn and Pukapuka, along with their partners.

It is believed Democratic Party leader Wilkie Rasmussen, Member of Parliament-elect for Penrhyn Willie John, and Pukapuka MP-elect Tekii Lazaro were on the flight.

A second plane was booked by Parliament on July 19 for candidates and their partners in Manihiki and Rakahanga - including caretaker Prime Minister Henry Puna and Rakahanga MP-elect Toka Hagai.

CINews requested a list of the passengers from Air Rarotonga, however, the airline said it does not disclose the information to third parties.

The charter flights have come under fire from at least one MP, criticising the arrangements and saying alternative planning could have saved costs.


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  • Comment Link William Saturday, 26 July 2014 21:13 posted by William

    Unbeliveable!!!!!! How can those in authority including the PM (yet to be confirmed) sleep at night when the pensioners whose bank accounts were raided still awaits repayments. I believe its time a charity boxing contest is staged between the two main parties and all proceeds from the event to settle and repay money owed to pensioners. Forget about election appeals or drafting of new laws for pensioners. We may as well kick-start the 50th celebrations with a bit of legal biff in the ring. Ringside seats should sell at a premium. I would urge the boxing community to back the idea and help bring it to fruition. Lets get it on!

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