2 Mar 2009

Outgoing Cooks police commissioner critical of Treasury tactics

3:06 pm on 2 March 2009

The outgoing Cook Islands police commissioner, Patrick Tasker, says he decided not to seek reappointment four days before an incident involving Treasury staff.

He abused some staff but apologised for the verbal altercation which occurred on February the 20th.

The prime minister's executive advisor, Trevor Pitt, last week confirmed Mr Tasker's decision to end his tenure in June, adding that he was not sure how the Treasury incident would have played out for Mr Tasker had he sought re-appointment.

Mr Tasker has clarified that the altercation was over what he says were the illegal actions of Treasury in suspending funding without the legal power to so.

He also claims the Treasury officials admitted they had previous Crown Law advice they were unable to legally suspend funding.

But in an email to Radio New Zealand International, he says they still continued with this tactic to blackmail ministries.

The position of Mr Tasker, who is a New Zealander, has been fully funded by the Cook Islands.