1 May 2008

Cook Islands opposition party finds instant wealth proposal unrealistic

3:28 pm on 1 May 2008

The Cook Islands Opposition Leader, Tom Marsters says the proposal by a Sydney based New Zealander promising instant wealth for the country is very questionable.

Bruce Ruatapu Mita is promising people billions of dollars if the country's offshore manganese nodules are used as collateral on the futures market in New York.

While Mr Mita's proposal was dismissed by the government, he is now organising a conference in Rarotonga in a bid to convince traditional leaders or Ui Ariki that they are the rightful owners of the nodule resource.

Mr Marsters says that is not correct because the sovereignty of the nation, including the EEZ, rests with the government.

He says they have met Mr Mita but his proposal wasn't convincing.

"This is one area where we in the opposition were concerned because there was all talk, it was all about acting on behalf of the principals in New York somewhere but there was not firm proposal put on the table."

Tom Marsters