22 Apr 2015

Cooks secretary gets brief travel ban

2:37 pm on 22 April 2015

A government secretary from the Cook Islands has been given a temporary travel ban following an indiscretion during an official visit to New Zealand.

Cook Islands, Ben Ponia

Cook Islands, Ben Ponia Photo: Supplied

The secretary of the Ministry of Marine Resources, Ben Ponia, has been told to stand down for overseas travel until June.

Mr Ponia was the focus of a police call-out to an Auckland hotel in February, where he was attending an international fishery conference.

The Public Service Commissioner, Russell Thomas, says the Code of Conduct Policy provides for the written warning, and Mr Ponia has been told future breaches might result in an instant dismissal.

Mr Thomas refused to say whether Mr Ponia had been unable to travel overseas since the incident, or whether the travel ban had been imposed as from last week.