19 Sep 2006

Cook Islands property developer rejects claims he is funding political party

7:49 pm on 19 September 2006

A major property developer in the Cook Islands has denied he is behind any funding of the political party, the CIP.

A local newspaper, the Cook Islands Times, has reported the Democratic Party believes thirty thousand US dollars stems originally from Wellington based, Tim Tepaki.

They believe this places the CIP under some obligation.

The CIP says the money is a loan from a former Prime Minister, Robert Woonton.

Mr Tepaki says he has had financial dealings with Dr Woonton that might have helped him offer the loan:

"what I have done is I've bought Robert Woonton place which I have leased for a year or two now and I suspect he has now loaned to the CIP"

Tim Tepaki says suspicions that he is backing the CIP might have increased because he hitched a ride on a CIP charter plane to the northern Cook Islands to look into investment possibilities.