31 Oct 2002

New Cooks Undersecretary get significant support funding

6:07 pm on 31 October 2002

The former leader of the House in the Cook Islands, Tupou Faireka, has given up the position to take the job of Under Secretary of Health.

Mr Faireka has also been given over 76-thousand US dollars in ministerial support funding, which had originally been designated for a seventh Cabinet minister.

He received the money as a proposed constitutional amendment to increase Cabinet numbers from the current six members to seven was not supported.

The chief executive officer to the finance minister, George Turia, says cabinet had already appropriated the ministeral support and they felt it was better to redesignate the money to the new undersecretary's office.

As undersecretary of health, Mr Faireka gets more in ministerial support payments than the minister of education.

Undersecretaries are the equivalent of assistant ministers - posts which were abolished during the 1996 financial crisis.