Smoke Signals

Friday September 28, 2018 Published in Smoke Signals
Smoke Signals


A staff member of the Cook Islands News tried to contact a senior public servant over two days recently. On the first call she was told he was in a meeting. On the second call she was told he was out in the field. He was away for the day on the third call and the fourth was that he was sick. By the fifth call he was on annual leave but, by the sixth call, he was just simply out of the office and contactable on his mobile. He was not answering his mobile however.



It looked wrong and incongruous to see in your paper recently a photo and story of tourism chief executive Halatoa Fua praising and congratulating a company for a business achievement when two of the representatives in the picture are so-called volunteer staff who come into the country under the radar of “foreigners here to help” when it amounts to tax dodging.

Far too many operators use this backdoor method of getting cheap labour dressed up as work experience in order to grow their businesses and make money without meeting PAYE taxation and employment obligations.

It’s a bit like the online mail order shopping scam that deprives the government of VAT or in the case of New Zealand GST.

These rackets need to be investigated and busted, MFEM.

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