Te reo o te KUKI AIRANI

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New process for top cop’s job
PM Marurai says a ‘local appointment’ more likely
A new appointment process

is under consideration for the next Cook Islands Police Commissioner. with commissioner Pat Tasker’s two-year contract coming to an end in June, government is considering a new appointment process this time round. CInews asked prime minister and police minister Jim Marurai what can be expected in the process appointment of a new commissioner. The appointment of Tasker followed the process recommended in the 2006 Review of the Police Department led by former nZ Police Commissioner

(2000-05) Robert Robinson. The review recommended that ‘for future appointments to the positions Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Police, the government should adopt a formal and transparent process’. The report said candidates should be assessed by a panel of five people with only one being a ministerial appointment, and that the panel should recommend the preferred candidate to the minister and cabinet for appointment. In 2007 government followed that recommendation to the letter by employing former nZ High Commissioner Kurt Meyer

as a human resource specialist to assist the panel made up of members Tim Arnold, Trevor Clarke, nikki Rattle, Tua Dyer and nZ assistant police commissioner Jon white. now, Marurai says, government may change the process for the next appointment. we put six key questions to the minister. The responses supplied by his office follow the questions below. - What will be the process in relation to the selection of a new police commissioner? Will the selection process be transparent and will members of the wider community be involved like last time? The prime minister indicates the forthcoming appointment may not be a complete replica-

tion of the process which resulted in new Zealander Patrick Tasker getting the job in 2007. That’s partly because the police department has progressed some distance beyond the rehabilitation work required at the outset, a few years ago. In addition, the prime minister says that the consideration of a local appointment is more likely this time around given government’s long-standing desire for Cook Islanders to fill key roles. The procedure of engaging an independent assessor (of candidates) will be considered, particularly in terms of this option’s financial implications. An appointment panel (to be established by the prime minister) is likely to be comprised of three people (reduced from

the previous and recommended five). - Knowing the current commissioner finishes on 17 June 2009, can the government provide an outline of the timeframes around any selection process? Marurai says he will gain a firmer idea of the process for the appointment of a new police commissioner over the next three weeks. - When does the government hope to announce a successor to police commissioner Tasker? The three-week time frame takes into account the need for advertising and finalising candidates for the job, and for the new commissioner to take up duties by June 18. - Will there be a handover

period between the outgoing commissioner and incoming commissioner? Finalisation of candidates is expected to be completed by mid-May after at least one month’s advertising (thus allowing ample handover time). - How does government intend to ensure the police continue to grow and improve under the next appointed commissioner? The prime minister says he wants to ensure that improvements in operations and management systems are sustained by the incoming commissioner, including key linkages with new Zealand Police, and supporting structures for ongoing training of police personnel. - Helen Greig

Restaurants press to amend tobacco law
Total ban would force people to go home if they want to smoke
BusInessMAn Jack Cooper believes that people in tourism do not realise the impact the Tobacco Control Act will have on the country’s largest industry. The Restaurant Association spokesman is leading the charge to have sections 29 and 30 withdrawn or amended to

allow designated smoking areas on licensed premises. “Currently most licensed premises restrict smoking in their restaurants, but a total ban as the act states is unacceptable. “It appears that what the Cook Islands wants is to surpass what new Zealand and the rest

of the world has introduced.” Cooper says close to 1000 signatures have been collected supporting an amendment to sections 29 and 30 which would leave the law as it stands. These signatures, which include tourists, were collected from restaurants, bars, the Rarotonga Golf Club and the Game Fishing Club. “not only are licensed restaurants and bars affected, but

resorts are as well because their whole properties are licensed and the only place, including the beach, under this act to smoke, would be in their rooms. some resorts do not allow smoking in their rooms.” Cooper says, as one health department official suggested, employees who smoke would have to go home to smoke. “Can you imagine the drop in productivity? The global

economy is fragile enough and I do not feel that we should erect another hurdle for visitors visiting our shores.” Cooper says that Auckland international airport now has a smoking deck to facilitate some travellers’ needs. “They have always allowed smoking outside. under our proposed act that would be a no-no as it is a public area.” Cooper believes that a total

Westpac welcomes new manager
wesTPAC Bank is welcoming the arrival of its new general manager this month. Rob Buick will be taking over the reins from wayne Beckley whose two-year contract has come to an end. After a month-long handover period, Beckley will depart Rarotonga on March 30 to head back to westpac’s headquarters in sydney, Australia, to take up a new role there. Buick has come to Rarotonga direct from westpac’s premium business group in Brisbane. He has worked for westpac for 23 years now and says the decision to move to Rarotonga was easy. Buick has even worked here

new Westpac manager rob Buick. 09030910

before for nine weeks in 2007 in an acting general manager capacity before Beckley’s arrival. working and living in the Pacific is not new to Buick either – he spent two years from late 2005 with westpac in Tonga where he was head of sales and services. He plans to continue the bank’s focus and emphasis on its customers. “It’s about keeping them informed and meeting their needs.” Continued commitment to community projects is also a priority for the new manager. Buick has moved here with his wife Alana and seven-yearold daughter.

He’s a sports fan too, used to play touch and take part in hash house harriers, but says it’s been eight years since he last took part in outrigger paddling. Buick, who brought his paddle with him, says he started out in the sport 16 years ago when he was based in McKay, Queensland. while he is thinking about getting back into it here, he says it’s going to be about finding the time. “It’s a team sport where you have to make that commitment to be there and train.” In the meantime, Buick and his wife are hoping to take part in future triathlon events, including the annual Round Raro Relay this september. - HG

ban on smoking would inhibit people from dining out if there was not a designated area where they could smoke if they wish to. “This would certainly have an effect on the hospitality industry. Cooper agrees that smoking is hazardous to one’s health but so are many other items that are freely available. “It is not our intention to promote smoking but give the people a choice.” He adds that policing this act will also be a nightmare for the Ministry of Health, which appears to have their hands full trying to look after our hospitals. “Penalties of $10,000 for the body corporate and $2000 for an individual are outrageous – it would be cheaper to smoke dope.” The impact of these clauses in the act means that all restaurants cannot allow smoking on the premises including the carpark and surrounding area that is considered to be part of the licensed premises after June 1, all licensed premises including the resorts cannot allow smoking on their premises after June1; resorts having a licence means that areas including surrounding pool areas will have to be smoke free from June 1. - Moana Moeka’a
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