17 Jun 2008

Ui Ariki must be held accountable, says Cook paramount chief

7:03 pm on 17 June 2008

A Cook Islands paramount chief says the ui ariki who proclaimed they were dismissing the Government must be held accountable.

Last week, members of the house of Ariki claimed they were dismissing the Queen's representative and government, and assuming leadership and ownership of the country.

The deputy prime minister, Sir Terepai Maoate, said in a statement to parliament today that the group is misguided and wrong and urged them to attend a meeting with the Government on Wednesday.

The Takitumu paramount chief and landowner, Pa Tepaeru Ariki, says she is surprised and disappointed.

She says the ui ariki are disrespecting the authourities and the Government's partnership with the House of Ariki.

"It was illegal what they did, to overthrow the government just like that it's treason. They should be answerable for this and I think that man who is on the island, Mr Mita, should be answerable for this too."

Pa Tepaeru Ariki says the Government should also be held accountable, because it knew what was going on and did nothing to stop it.