10 Dec 2003

Cook Islands police minister to decide on reranking of superintendent

4:39 pm on 10 December 2003

The Cook Islands police minister, Vavae Pare, is expected to make a decision shortly on the re-ranking of a former police officer, Piho Rua.

Mr Rua, who is the chief executive officer in the prime minister's office, was recently made a superintendent, the third highest ranking in the force, despite having left the police several years ago.

The police commissioner says Mr Rua's appointment was made because the PM needs personal protection and security advice but he didn't have the budget to supply a serving officer.

Mr Pare says he doesn't know why questions are being raised publicly when Mr Rua is not being paid twice for doing two jobs.

"There is always a negative attitude..no matter what, there are some people with a negative attitude,...it is not double dipping - I don't like the word, because he is only paid by the Prime Minister's Department - it is not double dipping to another police payment, no, .....I would like to see him carry on in the same role as chief inspector"

Vavae Pare, the police minister.

Piho Rua refused to comment on his appointment or on the possible re-ranking.