HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 570:29 June 2011

Complaint laid with BTIB against Telecom Cook Islands

On 21 April William Framhein of Mervin Communications laid a complaint with BTIB against Telecom Cook Islands. Briefly the complaint is that Telecom was not registered to operate in the Cook Islands. The letter of Complaint to BTIB is set out below.

Mervin Communications Limited
Main Road, Maraerenga, P O Box 511, Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands. Telephone/Fax 00682 25020. Email; william@oyster.net.ck.
Without Prejudice
21 April 2011
Terry Rangi
Chief Executive Officer
Business Trade Investment Board

Kia Orana Terry
Further to Teanini Raumea’s email of 16 February 2011 to me and our meeting of 20 April 2011 we would like you and BITB to investigate and prosecute the complaint detailed below, at point number 2, in accordance with section 17 (1), (2), section 30, 37 and section 38 of the Development Investment Act 1995-1996.
1) The Parties in which the complaint is against.
1. Nicholas John Olson.
2. Telecom Pacific Investment Ltd.
3. TCNZ Cook Islands Holdings Limited.
4. TCNZ Cook Islands Limited.
5. Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited.
6. Telecom Cook Islands Limited.
7. Websatmedia Pte Ltd.
8. Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel).
9. Stratos Communications Incorporated.
2) The Complaint.
It is our opinion; the above Parties (who are foreign entities) are in breach of the Development Investment Act 1995-1996.
17. Restriction on carrying on business by foreign enterprise - (1) No foreign enterprise shall carry on business in the Cook Islands in any activity unless that foreign enterprise is registered pursuant to this Act to carry on business in respect of that activity.
(2) Every person who does any act in contravention of subsection (1) commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $25,000 and to a further fine of $1,000 for every day or part of a day during which the offence continues.
18. Approval to carry on business - (1) Every foreign enterprise wishing to carry on business in the Cook Islands in any activity shall make application to the Board for approval to carry on business in that activity.
(2) The procedure by which the Board shall consider and approve or decline an application made pursuant to subsection (1) shall be prescribed by regulation.
(3) Every person who for the purpose of obtaining for himself or any other person registration of an enterprise or any activity pursuant to this Act, makes a false or misleading statement in any material particular or supplies any false or misleading information in any material particular commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000.
The Parties numbered 1.1 to 1.9 above have for some time carried on and continue to carry on business, directly and/or indirectly, in the Cook Islands without being registered pursuant to the Development Investment Act 1995-1996.

Whilst Telecom Cook Islands has section 4 (1) of the Telecommunications Act 1989 in its favour; viz “No person other than the Company (Telecom Cook Islands) shall erect, construct, establish, operate or maintain any Network”, it does not excuse Telecom Cook Islands from section 17 (1) and (2) of the Development Investment Act.
3) Nature of Business Activity.
The nature of business activity carried out by those foreign entities mentioned above can be best described in the Telecommunications Act 1989 under Interpretation as “Telecommunications and or Radio communications”.
4) Business Trade Investment Board.
The Development Investment Act empowers the Business Trade Investment Board to litigate against those foreign entities for carrying on business activities in the Cook Islands illegally.
The Business Trade Investment Board should seek Court Orders under sections outlined in the opening paragraph of this letter and furthermore issue/serve notice upon those foreign entities, whether within its own jurisdiction under its own Act or Court Order, to cease business activities in the Cook Islands until such time those foreign entities become compliant with the Development Investment Act.
5) Our Expectation of the Business Trade Investment Board.
It is our expectation that the matter will not be swept under the carpet but that the Business Trade Investment Board will work diligently, honestly, and professionally in prosecuting this matter towards a conviction. An example must be made of, these foreign entities and the Business Trade Investment Board must illustrate to the people of the Cook Islands that it does its work in the best interest of the Cook Islands and no one else.
Finally Terry, we are aggrieved as local registered companies who are expected to be compliant with all laws of the Cook Islands and yet foreign companies are able to get away with carrying on business activities (illegally) without consent from your office.
We trust that the information provided for you above is sufficient for you and the Board to commence investigations and prosecution of the matter. If you need technical assistance on the nature of the business activity carried out by these parties please do let me know.
Kia Orana e Kia Manuia
William Framhein.
CC Minister Mark Brown
President of the House of Ariki
President of the Koutu Nui
Leader of the Opposition Honourable Robert Wigmore
Independent Member of Parliament Honourable Norman George
Heinz Matysik

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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