15 Jul 2015

Cooks Govt slammed on purchase of cars for festival

3:54 pm on 15 July 2015

An MP has criticised the spending of more than half a million dollars on cars for VIPs at the upcoming Te Maeva Nui celebrations.

One Cook Islands Member of Parliament for Tupapa George Maggie

One Cook Islands MP George Maggie plans to protest with his sign at Te Maeva Nui Photo: Cook Islands News/RNZI

The Government has bought 20 Hyundai vehicles to ferry people around Rarotonga during the festival.

The One Cook Islands MP for Tupapa, George Maggie, says the money could be spent in better ways, such as paying for the Apii Nikao School, which has been waiting for the approval of $10 million of funding from China.

The cars will be sold to private buyers on the basis that purchasers agree to make the vehicles available to the government during the 50th celebrations, and let them be used for another conference in October.

The financial secretary, Richard Neves, says the school and the cars are different issues and there have been "some" expressions of interest for the cars.

He says the process has been used in the past and has worked.

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