The Cook Islands deputy prime minister Sir Terepai Maoate has reacted angrily to comments made by the Mayor of Waitakere City in Auckland over the state of Muri Lagoon on the main island, Rarotonga.
Bob Harvey, who this month toured Polynesia with the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, singled out the Cook Islands and Tonga claiming their countries are turning into environmental disasters.
However, Sir Terepai says Mr Harvey's comments make him out to be an expert on the Cook Islands, but he was in Rarotonga for only 22 hours.
He says Mr Harvey also missed the point when he said that government officials were failing to give attention to the environment.
"Which is totally wrong I dont like people like that coming to my country telling me something like that it's like going back to the colonial days thats the attitude I see with people like that."
But Mr Harvey is unrepentent saying these precious islands are being polluted and officialdom is doing noting about it.