3 Sep 2002

Cook Islands MP questioning why extra money going to overseas MP

5:43 pm on 3 September 2002

A Cook Islands government MP is raising further questions about why an extra 100,000 dollars has been allocated to the overseas seat held by Dr Joe Williams.

Wilkie Rasmussen, the MP for Penhryn and former high commissioner to New Zealand, says he's surprised that Dr Williams requested and got the money as ministerial support funds.

Dr Williams already receives constituency funds and uses the Consul General's office for support services as well as running a successful private practice in Auckland.

Mr Rasmussen says he's raised the issue with the Minister of Finance, Sir Geoffrey Henry.

"I haven't quite accepted the fact that you know that appropriation be made to his office, my understanding was that that appropriation was to be for an office in Rarotonga, but it turned out it's an appropriation for the money to be transferred to New Zealand. You know, I find that hard to accept."