Solutions needed at summit, DPM
Cook Islands News
Thurs 05 Feb 2009
When the Deputy Prime Minister Sir Terepai Maoate took the floor at yesterday’s economic forum, he picked up where Pastor Tutai Pere left off during the opening service. Pastor Pere said that that we are all but stewards or caretakers of what is on Earth, and without the right type of people in place, everything we do is useless. Sir Terepai reiterated that point adding that we are all servants of God’s wealth and that we should carry this out with honesty and integrity.
The DPM said like he told last week’s National Sustainable Development Plan summit, we have already identified our problems and there is “no point in pointing fingers”. “We should be brainstorming on the solutions.” Since last November’s supplementary budget, he said that government is trying to deflect the impacts on Cook Islands of an economy that is slowing down. The building of the multi-sports complex has copped a lot of criticism in the past. But Sir Terepai said that if government did not go ahead with the stadium, “what else have we got”.
“On one hand we were so concerned about projects that we’re not bringing in economic benefits. But as we can see now this will be the replacement of a deficit of our tourists coming to our country [for the two major sporting events this year].” He said the government also received criticism at the time it started putting money aside for reserves for a rainy day.
Sir Terepai said that time has arrived, and it will continue to put money away for future rainy days. Cabinet has finalised the budget policy statement and the DPM said the best thing those at the summit could do is to give their thoughts on what government should do in order to stimulate the economy to maintain the status quo.
In opening the summit, Cook Islands Research Association president Angie Tuara said that the aims of the forum are to encourage dialogue between government, private sector and community; coming up with constructive views and solutions; and not straying to far away from the issues that affect us.