Letters: Failing to plan, planning to fail

Monday December 02, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear editor,

Your article ("Development cooperation from Aussies", Dec 28) should be a major concern for all Cook Islanders, as it is for me.


The fact Prime Minister Henry Puna would shamelessly approach one of our major traditional aid donors and blatantly seek their continued aid funding positions us as no better than a desperate, broke-ass banana republic.

It shows we have failed big-time to competently develop our own country with any degree of economic nous and planning.

After we have officially become an OECD-determined “Developed Nation”, (complete with Puna’s audacious jaunts abroad to ask/request/clarify our country’s status), it’s obvious government’s sole course of action is to attempt to mitigate the potential difficulties our country will face from January 2020.

For it does stand to reason that if our country will be in a better financial position as a developed country, then we don't need further ongoing foreign aid that will truly benefit those developing countries who do desperately deserve that help.

And to be fair, it is really no different to other countries observing our newly developed Cook Islands paradise as begging for further ongoing foreign aid, as if we're really a country that is pretty much penniless, broke and destitute.

There are many developing countries in far more serious financial straits, who truly do need ongoing foreign aid assistance – where really, we don't want to be seen by other struggling countries to be eating any "foreign aid pie" meant for truly developing countries.

Andespecially not when our Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown has been boasting brashly and loudly that our nation’s economy is growing at nine per cent, beating China's growth, and where soon we'll be classified as a high-income country.

As a developed and high-income country post-January 2020 no longer eligible for foreign aid, realistically, it will be those low-income developing countries who will be the major priority for all economic assistance and will be deemed truly worthy of foreign aid.

So exactly what plans has government got to rebuild our economy, having failed to continue supporting our agriculture industry, our fishing industry and our pearl industry in the first place?

Yes, as the old saying goes, "if you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail."

Ka Kite e Kia Manuia,
Papa Williams

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