25 Nov 2014

Too much money on Cooks 50 years

5:06 pm on 25 November 2014

The Cook Islands opposition party says the money set aside to celebrate 50 years of independence is excessive, and should be spent elsewhere.

The MP for the Murienua constituency, and the Democratic Party finance spokesperson, James Beer, says the government is planning to spend 1 point 2 million US dollars on the 50th anniversary.

He says there should be a celebration, but it should be modest, and 400 thousand US dollars would be more reasonable.

Mr Beer says more money should instead be spent on addressing de-population, and a lack of shipping access to the outer-islands, particularly the northern group.

"We seem to be putting a lot of money towards having parties, and a lot of money towards going overseas and meeting dignitaries, but at the end of the day, the most pressing issues are the issues at home. And those issues, though we should be celebrating our 50th anniversary, we should be more tuned to what are the biggest concerns this country is facing."

James Beer says the money could instead be spent on creating a shipping solution that allows two way economic development between the outer-islands and Rarotonga.