6 Mar 2009

Cooks' Chamber of Commerce says government not keeping economic promise

4:39 pm on 6 March 2009

The Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce says the government has reneged on its undertaking to ensure preparatory work for the Pacific Mini Games boosts the local economy.

The comment comes amid allegations of financial mismanagement by the company in charge of the games and follows an announcement by the chief executive that the government's checking its financial records.

The chamber's president, Steve Anderson, says it opposed the government's bid to host the games in the first place.

"Government gave an undertaking to the Chamber of Commerce that half of the 12 million dollars it borrowed from the Chinese would be spent in the local economy to stimulate retail and construction industry. We now hear government is possibly purchasing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of materials overseas without suing the local tender process or without putting the money into the local economy so if the audit can resolve that issue we'll be very keen to see the results"

Steve Anderson says although it's concerned about the quality of the construction work that's being done, it simply wants to see the games go ahead.