Some questions for finance minister and the PM

Friday May 25, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor
Prime minister Henry Puna and finance minister Mark Brown pictured in parliament. 18052409 Prime minister Henry Puna and finance minister Mark Brown pictured in parliament. 18052409

Dear Editor,

Tim Tepaki has said his “Paradise Prosperity Plan” proposal will generate more than $120 million in operating profit.

He also says that he is a better developer than Mark Brown, but Mark Brown is a good bean counter. However, he doesn’t say whether Mark Brown is a better bean counter than he is.

It is very difficult to get the prime minister and the finance minister to directly state the CIP government’s position with Tepaki, so it will be nice if they do. And in response to these questions they just might reply!

Can the two gentlemen provide some clarity around this issue?

1. Will the CIP Government be signing any deal with China to finance the Merchants of Paradise proposal that Tepaki has published?

2. If it does will this be under Tepaki's previous statements that the Cook Islands Government guarantee the loan?

Now for Tepaki, I see his plan is soon to be published, but let me ask him these two pre-emptive questions:

1. To make a $120 million operating surplus, how much gross turnover would you expect to earn to achieve this?

2. Would part of that plan that involves the Chinese include mining our Marae Moana for the manganese nodules?

In many places around the world but particularly in Africa, Chinese are heavily involved in mining the gold and rare minerals, so I am genuinely interested in the answers that Tepaki could give and with an election on the horizon it would be good for the CIP and Tepaki to tell us clearly what they intend to do with each other after the elections.

I have read how the Demos have made their position very clear in recent days, they are going to put a halt to further borrowing from China and the ADB. I have to give them some credit, even if some people consider it a bad idea; at least there is no need for further clarity on the Chinese issue from them.

But as a keen observer of politics and in an effort to discover which party has the better policies, it would be good for Mark Brown if the prime minister and CIP leader would agree to provide that information for the voters. Because I am sure that Tepaki will not be short of words in coming forward with his opinions.

Still sitting on the fence before I vote.

            Concerned Citizen

            (Name and address supplied)

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