4 May 2012

Cook Islands opposition accuses minister of giving family business contracts

8:38 am on 4 May 2012

The Cook Islands Opposition leader has accused the government of giving infrastructure company T&M Heather - infrastructure minister Teariki Heather's family business - unfair priority over other contractors.

Wilkie Rasmussen says T&M's rivals have filed complaints with his office, claiming contracts are being awarded to T&M without being publicly advertised first.

He says this goes against the rules of transparency and accountability when public funds are involved.

Mr Rasmussen says this indicates the prime minister is not in a strong enough position to restrain or manage the activities of his minsters.

And he says the portfolio of infrastructure and planning should not have gone to someone involved in a company engaged in infrastructure work.