Print this page

Talbot walks, Puna talks

Friday July 12, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor
James Talbot during one of his walks in New Zealand. James Talbot during one of his walks in New Zealand.

Dear editor,

To the people who find the wage increase of the Cook Islands MPs outrageous I invite you to look at your job, your industry, and figure out what you could do and achieve with an extra $50,000 per year, as Prime Minister Henry Puna gave himself. I invite you to send lists of how $700,000 every year will improve your work, sport and charity.


James Talbot walked New Zealand to raise $23,000 for the Creative Centre. All MPs receive an extra $20,000 per year for doing nothing, or nothing extra.

An MP allegedly guilty of electoral fraud receives $70,000, not three years in jail like the teacher who falsely claimed his salary for a year.

Meanwhile, an MP with an outstanding arrest warrant in New Zealand for stealing a rental car, is congratulated, reinstated as an MP and awarded an extra $20,000 a year – not one year in prison like that faced by a sick old man who stole $19.72 of food.

Is this fair? The minimum wage increased 50c an hour. In an eight hour day that’s an extra $4; an extra $1040 a year. It will take this person saving their wage increase 41 years to meet the same $50,000 that Puna receives.

Mark Brown says they haven’t had a pay rise in 15 years – well, they haven’t been doing the job for 15 years unlike teachers, and police officers, and what do they earn? They go to work every day, every week, every year; they earn half of Puna’s bonus if they are lucky.     

RAT Mave