22 Sep 2015

Police complaint laid against Manihiki land claimants

4:52 pm on 22 September 2015

A complaint has been laid with Cook Islands police against Manihiki land claimants who threatened to vandalise the islands' two solar power plants if the government didn't advance them land compensation.

In August, in a highly unusual process, 10 Manihiki landowners were given about US$26,000 from the government's contingency fund - a reserve of public money meant for emergencies.

This occurred after the landowners became aware that compensation funds in the Land Court couldn't be accessed, and they threatened to turn off the power systems and re-enter their lands.

A businessman, George Pitt, says he laid a complaint with police on Tuesday.

He says the threats made by the landowners were wrong and criminal, and says they should not be rewarded for that kind of behaviour.

Mr Pitt says a criminal offence has been committed, which was aided and abetted by the Prime Minister.