Claims Cooks Gov Has Misled People Over EU Fishing Deal

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Unchangeable "fatal flaws" ignored

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 18, 2016) – There are claims in the Cook Islands that the people have been misled by the government over the European Union purse seine fishing agreement.

The government has been repeatedly advised by its own officials that the draft agreement contains fatal flaws that cannot be changed.

Our corresondent says this information is in an email from the foreign affairs secretary Tepaeru Herrmann to the finance minister Mark Brown, and various government officials.

Mr Brown and prime minister Henry Puna have continuously denied the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement is a done deal because, although endorsed by cabinet, it hasn't been signed by Mr Puna.

But Ms Herrmann's email points to a very different picture.

It also shows how advice from foreign affairs on the flaws was ignored and not included in the supposed revision of the text by the Cooks government before it was initialled by the secretary of the Ministry of Marine Resources, Ben Ponia, last year in Brussels.

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