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House is not PM’s private home

Thursday June 12, 2014 Published in Letters to the Editor
Prime Minister Henry Puna. 14033106 Prime Minister Henry Puna. 14033106

Dear Editor, It is disgusting to learn that PM Henry Puna has been renovating his house for about three months now.

The last two months was the renovation of the house worth thousands of dollars and this week is the re-fencing of the whole yard with timber posts worth thousands of dollars too.

The fact of the matter, people of the Cook Islands,  is that for the last two years they (CIP Government) had been announcing a deficit budget including the recent publication last week of a probable deficit budget for this new financial year. I was told that the Head of Ministries had been told to cut down on spending.

The assumption here is that this is government funds being spend on this renovation because it is the workers of Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) that are doing this renovation. Why now, at the end of his term and a month before election? Please, somebody explain why the need to spend public funds on the PM’s private home while health staff are not being paid overtime, allowances and some adjustment is needed to doctors’ salaries. There are many many areas needing funding in order for those services to improve. The Justice Department is way behind in their land court transcripts, with court cases are being held up for months and years.

People of the Cook Islands, wake up and fix all these abuse and misuse of your money, by voting a change to this government.

“Irate Tax Payer”

(Name and Address supplied)

Trevor Pitt has responded:

This is not the PM’s private home.  The house is government property, which is why CIIC is meeting its responsibility/obligation to renovate. 

The programming for renovation work has nothing to do with the PM as he does not micro-manage the CIIC.  It has a CEO and a Board to oversee its role and operational responsibilities. 

As the occupier of the government asset, the PM quite appropriately submits requests for work to be done (including a fence to stop wandering animals) and it is then assessed by the Corporation and programmed into their normal, annual schedule. 

The previous PM Jim Marurai had work done on his government house also.  No one asked or raised any questions about the cost or appropriateness of that work. 

I was the PM’s advisor then and know all about the renovations of his house, as well as office.  Moaning now is simply a political ploy.   

1 comment

  • Comment Link Remi Tumu Wednesday, 18 June 2014 02:24 posted by Remi Tumu

    Why can't the government provide a permanent resident for the Prime Minister, regardless which party comes in power. I believe it's about time a permanent resident for the PM should be established and call " ARE AKAPUANGA" or "MARAEA ARATAKI" etc