12 Aug 2015

Car sale questions in Cook Islands

5:31 pm on 12 August 2015

An opposition politician in the Cook Islands says he wants more transparency over the sale of twenty cars bought especially to ferry around dignitaries for the recent 50th anniversary celebrations.

Cook Islands Democratic Party member James Beer.

Cook Islands Democratic Party member James Beer. Photo: RNZI/Sally Round

James Beer says government agencies should not be competing with the public to bid for vehicles from the barely used Hyundai fleet.

But Finance Minister, Mark Brown, says the accusation that the tax payer could be buying the same car twice is silly.

"That's just a ridiculous assertion. Because government departments buy vehicles every year. Those vehicles need to be replaced. Whether they buy them through local agents here, or whether they buy them through this availablity of vehicles that are being put up for tender, is redundant, because you've still got to buy cars anyway using government funds."

Mark Brown says this is the fourth time in fifteen years the government has had to import cars for VIP use because of an insufficient supply.