11 Feb 2013

Cooks government to act over 'Colagate'

5:14 am on 11 February 2013

The Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna says his government will take action over the so-called 'Colagate' issue this week.

It was revealed last month that since the mid 1980s the Cook Islands Trading Company, which imports Coca Cola, had an arrangement cutting its import tax.

An independent MP Norman George says the arrangement has cost the country millions of dollars and hurt competitors.

Mr Puna says taxpayers and businesses deserve a government that can help bring closure to such a controversy and settle the lingering bitterness it has created.

But he says his government is not in the business of conducting witch-hunts despite the abject failures and lack of courage by the previous administration in dealing with such hot button issues.

Mr Puna says there may need to be a broader investigation to determine the scope of the levy arrangement and the involvement of other companies.