19 Jul 2004

Cook Islands politician says local council is victimising his people

1:52 pm on 19 July 2004

A Cook Islands politician on the island of Penrhyn has accused the local council of victimising his supporters over the use of full gas cylinders.

Twelve 100-pound-cylinders purchased by Wilkie Rasmussen to alleviate the gas shortage in Penrhyn have been moved out of the wharf warehouse.

However, Mr Rasmussen claims the council has denied the use of the only pumping device to enable gas to be pumped into smaller cylinders.

He describes it as victimisation of Penrhyn island people and particularly people that support him.

Mr Rasmussen says he appointed several people to help sell the gas to the public as he did not trust the island administration staff to handle the money.

He claims the administration owes thousands of dollars to the Cook Islands Gas Centre, and has not been able to pay to get gas to the island.

Mr Rasmussen says some locals are so desperate they've gone back to cooking with open fires.