Clerk of House issue draws sharp response

Thursday November 08, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,


The conceit of some people knows no boundaries.


In one foul swoop, John Scott (CINews, November 6) has managed to promote himself and two of his former colleagues while passing a slight on the rest of Cook Islanders.

Yes, the parliamentary services staff have an essential role in helping MPs carry out their duties, but many of the current staff also have the skills and talent to take up the position of Clerk of the House, because many of them have worked there for years and therefore have the experience necessary for the job. And that includes Tangata Vainerere.

Mr Scott talks about his precious trio of former clerks as being the only skilled people in the country to take up the position and he makes his former post sound like rocket science. Sorry, but it's not. Parliamentary Services is like any other business.

The new employee can learn the tricks of the trade the same way Mr Scott learned it: by familiarising himself with Erskine May and the Standing Orders, travelling to clerks training sessions and workshops held in Commonwealth Parliamentary Association member countries, while at the same time working in the House.

Nothing beats hands-on training. There is no mystery regarding the inner workings of the Parliamentary Services although Mr Scott would like us to believe there is. Like any job, its particular workings can be learned in time.

Then there's the fact of why Mr Rakanui was removed from his post in the first place. Surely being able to get along with your superiors and fellow staff members is a necessary requirement for the job too?

Being a good manager of people is as important as knowing the Standing Orders. Not to sound ageist about it, but Scott and Caffery retired decades ago. It’s time for young Cook Islanders to have a go. Mr Scott had the chance to change the appointments system when he worked there but he did not so why complain now when he is completely powerless to do anything.

If he really wanted to help. why not visit the Parliamentary Services in person and offer to pass on some of his skill and experience to the staff there instead of badmouthing the services through the media. In the meantime let the PM/QR/Speaker do their jobs and make the right appointment to the post. 


(Name and address supplied)

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