1 Apr 2003

Cook Islands chamber of commerce raises concerns over new legislation

4:40 pm on 1 April 2003

The Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce is to raise its concerns about the powers vested by the proposed Commerce Act with the government.

The chamber's president, Ewan Smith, says they've asked the government to defer bringing in the legislation because the draft by a second consultant is very different to that initially proposed.

Mr Smith says among other things, he's concerned because the Act would set up a Commerce Commissioner whose decisions could only be challenged in the Appeal court.

"Appointing a person with very very wide powers ...very very hard to contest any decision made....fantastic penalties - personal penalties of million dollars, corporate ones of ten million dollars...ad we just wonder how appropriate that is to our business landscape here."

Mr Smith says they've been given until the end of the month to make a submission on the proposed Commerce Act.