Friday 11 October

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Te reo o te KUKI AIRANI

$2 Friday, October 11, 2013

George blasts govt over Colagate inquiry TeenuI-MAPuMAI member of parliament norman George has lashed out against the government for its progress in undertaking an inquiry into the ‘Colagate’ affair. “Where is evidence of action? Where is the pride in their system?” said George. “The people of this country are fed up with this kind of nonsense.” “It could well be that the government has realised the futility of such a committee into looking into it.” the Public Accounts Committee - a parliamentary group - was tasked in June with the job

of looking into “the practice of certain importers splitting invoices for goods on which duty is calculated and payable”. The practice has often been referred to as “Colagate”. According to a source, planning meetings have been held but no irm date has been set to begin the inquiry. to date, it is believed only the Cook Islands Trading Company (CITC) benefitted financially from Colagate by separating their invoices – paying a 10 per cent levy on packaging and a 40 per cent levy on contents. George has described the prac-

tices associated with Colagate as “criminal”, and during the previous session of parliament said more than $18 million could be involved in lost revenue for the government. the PAC consists of chairman and MP John Henry, ngatangiia MP Atatoa Herman, Aitutaki MP and house leader Mona Ioane, Opposition Leader Wilkie Rasmussen, and former Prime Minister Jim Marurai. In addition to his criticism on PAC’s progress in looking into the matter, George has been critical of a provision in Henry’s motion for the committee to sit

“in-camera”. “you can’t have parliamentary sittings in secrecy–parliament is where the people are represented,” he said. “This most public, the most open of institutions, it’s the fountain of freedom. Right now that is not being represented by the PAC.” George has been waiting for parliament to deal with a separate motion he introduced as a private member which asks the government to establish a Commission of inquiry pursuant to the Commission of Inquiry Act of 1966. He has described his motion

as a “deep penetrating investigation of how Colagate was formulated and who beneitted”, and referred previously to the PAC motion as “timid” adding “It needs a lot more teeth.” During debate heard in parliament last June, MP’s discussed the motions put forth by George and Henry. “As we all know and are aware, as a result of public outcry and media [coverage], the minister responsible for the portfolio requested the committee to review the matter,” said Henry, referring to Finance Minister Mark Brown.

USP students graduate today

Wear it pink!

Liz Koteka and noeline Bridge from the Cook islands Breast Cancer Foundation, and rachelle Hooker, showed their support for breast cancer awareness month yesterday. 13101006 PInk WAS the colour to be seen in Avarua yesterday on breast cancer awareness day. The Cook Islands Breast Cancer Foundation (CIBCF)

manned a stall outside Westpac bank, with plenty of pink items up for sale to support the foundation, including pink ribbons for a donation and CIBCF

t-shirts and singlets also available. October is breast cancer awareness month. Staff from Westpac bank were kept busy feeding the queues

on Saturday, and the foundation would like to thank all the sponsors who support this very worthwhile cause. - Rachel Smith




BooK 52881 oR 22254


of people at the sausage sizzle, with all the proceeds donated to the foundation. The CIBCF pink stall will be set up at again the market

Seventy students will graduate from the University of the South Paciic in Takamoa today. At a ceremony to be held at the national Auditorium, 51 students who have completed degrees, certificates or diplomas at the university will be acknowledged for their achievements. They will be joined by 19 students who have graduated at other ceremonies in the Paciic region, but have not yet been awarded their qualiications in front of their family and friends in the Cook Islands. Of the 70 students, 43 are receiving postgraduate-level qualiications and ive are receiving diplomas or certiicates. A group of 17 people are receiving a Master of education, including 10 from the outer islands. Another group of 17 is receiving a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Service Management. Past students are also encouraged to come along and dress in the graduation robes to join the procession to the auditorium. the graduation ceremony will be held from 10am to 12pm. the event will be attended by the pro-chancellor Ikbal Jannif and vice-chancellor and president Professor Rajesh Chandra. - Briar Douglas




“For that reason, hence the tabling of the order, we seek for parliament endorsement and approval for the public affairs committee to proceed and continue.” “They (PAC) have more than enough competence to provide a very informed decision,” said Brown. the Atiu member also had choice words for the ruling CIP government, which he said “is unable to govern”. “this is a crippled and paralysed government,” he said. “Government by taxation is all they seem to be concerned with.” - Emmanuel Samoglou











Creative Centre Tupapa 5.30pm for 6pm Friday Ph 55097

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