online poll | your say on the unit titles bill

ONLINE POLL Have your say on the Unit Titles Bill. Vote on the planned legislation or preview the results here. Let others know about this online poll by clicking on the email link here or below. This independent poll will stay open for 30 days. powered by avaiki - your worlds most transparent companies ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would be much more certain on voting if I had access to the proposed legislation. Is the anywhere on-line where one can see a copy

Anonymous said...

This petition is clearly inspired by Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD). The Unit Titles they are talking about are leases, not freehold, and will enable meaningful investment and create wealth in the Cook Islands despite high levels of country specific political and economic risk.

A Select Commitee went to all the islands to take submissions on the bill. To bad these naysayers and negative people didn't say anything until Government spent all that time and money with public consultations to change the bill to protect the Cook Islands interests.

I think the bill (as it now stands with amendments) is probably the most visionary and bold piece of legislation we have seen in a long time.

avaiki said...

avaiki responds: unfortunately requests for digital copies of the bill to post online have not been answered by Crown Law or other agencies, including the bill's promoters, Tepaki Group. If the bill is as visionary as anonymous FUD suggests, it seems strange no one will release a copy of it - or indeed, in thise case, put their name to support for the bill.

Anonymous said...

Why not pop down the road and pick up a hard copy of the bill and put it online for us? Why is everyone so negative these days?

avaiki said...

avaiki responds: what a good idea. Thereby avoiding the whole point, which is that government should be making digital copies freely available online, especially since its already public in hard copy. This is the third millennium. Digital copies are now considered normal in most places. If this was picked up here, then no time would be wasted scanning in the bill, page by page, to produce a digital copy already in existence. Bonus: anonymous commentators would not have to waste time worrying about rising levels of negativity. Not that avaiki sees anything negative in robust public debate.

Buzz Macmuff said...

Talk about slack! We have complaints about the Unit Titles Act which the whingers haven't read or been to the commitee by the sounds of it and another gripe about the fact that the Unit Titles Act hasn't been put on the internet... as if most of the people still at home rely on the intirnet! If they want to look at the Act, they only have to ask - that's why we had all those Commitee meetings to explain and talk about it.

Anonymous said...

I went and got a copy of the proposed Act and studied it which I felt I had to do before I made comment on it. I cannot find the clauses that would deny me as a landowner my rights as they are today. Can the proponents of the petition please point me to where it takes away my rights as a landowner. The only difference in the way things are today and after the unit titles act is that a secondary market is able to be created. Again only if I the landower agree to it - and I don't have to. If my lease says that at the end of 60 yers I get land and improvements back then thats what I get. I don't have to pay for anything that was put on the property - it is just the same as it is now.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree. I am not a lawyer, but I have spent a lot of time reading it and asking questions. I think the Act is creating a lot of extra rights for landowners .. and with the extra money we can invest in improving our lands and everything will be owned by us at the end of the lease. It is wonderful!!!!

Buzz Macmuff said...

Other media appears to have contradicted avaikinuis - see for example http://www.pacificislands.cc/pm102005/pmdefault.php?urlarticleid=0020

The revised controversial Unit Titles Bill has received overwhelming support from landowners, a far cry from its early days. The bill aims to encourage investment in the Cook Islands. It gives unit titles to anyone owning a portion of a building without leasing the land. The initial bill was designed only for land earmarked by New Zealand-based hotel developer Tim Tepaki to build major hotels, including a Hilton. However, a special parliamentary select committee was formed to carry out public consultations on the bill after a public outcry. The revised bill now applies to all land.
-UKM

Jacqui said...

We don't have to have the Unit Titles Bill for our landowners to earn more money from leases. We could change our land laws in existence to ensure landowners receive more benefits. Make it compulsory by law for all landowners to receive a portion of profits and to receive a larger portion of the sale of a property.

Jacqui said...

We also don't need the Unit Titles Bill to complete the Vaima'anga Project. We need to start looking outside the box with regards to that white elephant. A good option would be to allow a wealthy university to invest in it and turn it into an educational institution. I'm sure a university such as Oxford in England would love a School of Tropical Marine Science in the South Pacific. They would be able to finish the construction and landscaping without the need to construct artificial lagoons, alter the beach and change the route of the main road to the back of the property. The environmental and social impact of completing such a construction project would be far less than what is currently proposed. Professors, students and associated conferences would bring more money into our economy.

Jacqui said...

WE DON'T NEED THE UNIT TITLES BILL. We can just change our current land laws so that it is compulsory for landowners to get a portion of profits and a larger portion of the sale of a property. We could change other laws to make it more difficult for leaseholders/landowners to lose their lands to the bank because they can't pay back the mortgage.

Jacqui said...

To say that we need the Unit Titles Bill to grow our economy is RUBBISH. The economy is doing just fine thank you very much. The economy has been growing at 5.5-5.6% during the last 15 years aside from during the economic recession between 1994 and 1998 when it grew at 1.5% (see www.mfem.gov.ck and click on the economic report for 2004/2005). The only reason people are For the bill is because they can see the profits they can make for themselves and aren't thinking about the environmental and social impact on the whole society. People against the bill are thinking about the benefits to society as a whole.
And Cook Islanders aren't leaving because the economy isn't growing. They're leaving because they can't pay rent of $150-$250 a week when they're only earning $5-$6 an hour.

Jacqui said...

Sorry Business Community - I know that some of you think you're the "bees knees" after all, it was Brett Porter who said "What's good for business is good for the country". But WE NEED TO RAISE OUR WAGES to keep Cook Islanders here. Instead of business owners exporting money through expensive cars and trips overseas, they should be paying their workers more money so that this money is kept in the local economy. I don't believe Porter's statement. Importing cheap workers from the Phillipines and Fiji so that business owners can continue to pay low wages and keep a wide profit margin is not good for the country. Look at the social impact that results from it. Gosh the Chamber of Commerce can be so puffed up!

Jacqui said...

Why should we change property rights just because one person needed to find some investors? If we want to PROTECT OUR LAND we should be changing the laws in existence so that it is difficult for us to lose our land to the banks. Don't be intimidated by the dominating nature of some members of the Chamber of Commerce. They've been the most powerful organisation in the country (probably second after government) and some members have had it good for a long time. IF THE PROFITS WERE SHARED AMONGST THE WORKERS INSTEAD OF BEING EXPORTED ON TRIPS OVERSEAS AND EXPENSIVE CARS and if we made it easier to pay back bank loans our economy can still grow and we WON'T LOSE OUR LAND AND OUR PEOPLE!

kill bill said...

i am against the bill. I don't know why people associate the benefits in terms of $$$. if anything the financial benefits will only be for a very few. there is no limit set on development on rarotonga. if anything it encourages more. is this what is best for Rarotongans - I don't think so? wake up the bill was designed for the investor. we already have a lease system in place. shouldn't we fix that!

Anonymous said...

The petition is a product of ignorance and envy - people trying to make mischief. People should be allowed to develop their family lands. Unit titles is just one way.

Anonymous said...

I disagree that landowners should be left to develop their own lands why, because I also am a landowner, from Aitutaki and Rarotonga to be exact. Sell my lands and Im left with no heritage, nothing to fall onto and be proud of. What is going on...even we are that desperate for financial stability we cant be that ignorant on what is important and valued in our island culture, untouched environment and future.

Anonymous said...

A lot of people here do not understand that the Unit Title is a lease. Our land can never be sold!

Who is out there misleading the people? We are only here for a short while, and when we die all we leave is our land. We cannot leave our land as weeds and dust, we must use the tenants money to improve it and put it to good use.

Are we like the lazy servant who hid his coin in a hole while the others put their coins to good use?

Jacqui said...

I've never heard the organisers of the petition say that land will be sold.
What about the environmental and social issues of this Bill? I haven't heard a reasonable counter-argument to my belief that this Bill will make development even more rapid than it already is, thereby resulting in compounding issues with solid waste, sewage, and water. WE ARE ALREADY HAVING ENOUGH OF A STRUGGLE ADDRESSING INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES RESULTING FROM THE RAPID GROWTH IN DEVELOPMENT SINCE 1998 AS IT IS let alone adding to the problem by making development even more rapid!!

We don't need to worry about underdevelopment. We need to worry about overdevelopment. Because tourists are coming here because they love our slow pace. They love the fact that people have enough time to be friendly. They love our landscape with its pretty vegetation and little cottages - not the concrete jungle that advocates of the Unit Title Bill want.

Why doesn't my government want to listen to me? I'm a Cook Islander. I have land here. My government sent me away to get educated. I studied Environment and Development. I studied all aspects of development - why don't they trust me to know something?

Jacqui said...

And those of us against the bill are not ignorant. I've read and studied the bill. I've listened to the pros and cons and I've made my decision. Knowing everything I know about the environment and what tourists REALLY WANT TO SEE, I've made an INFORMED decision that the bill is not good for us. And so have many others.

And those of us against the bill are not trying to cause mischief. There are many other things I'd rather be doing than sitting on this computer debating this stupid bill.

Those who organised the petition are just concerned about their country. They LOVE their country and their people. They are NOT ANTI-DEVELOPMENT. They want SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT - and they mean it. To them Sustainable Development is not just something you talk about. It's something you implement.

And I'm not envious of anyone who only thinks about money. I'm proud to want sustainable development - economic growth in harmony with our environment and social systems.

Anonymous said...

Many third world nations have an easy laid back lifestyle that tourists (particularly backpackers love) but why should we be like that?

To get quality tourists that spend and tip generously (not low end quantity tourists like backpackers like we have now that cause the strain on our infrastructure) we need to invest in our land and our infrastructure. All most of us can afford to do now is run backpacker hostels.

The Unit Title is the best way for this to happen. The foreign investor buy a lease, pay for the improvements and the infrastructure to attract the high end tourists, pays the rent to the landowner and training and money and tips to the staff, and at the end we get it all back.

There is too much FUD at the moment. What if this? What if that? We have an environment authority and the unit title will be controlled.

Anonymous said...

Guys,
You all seem to be intelligent people and seem to have read the bill in depth. I have only read the bill summary and boy did I have to read it over and over for it to make some sense. I doubt if your average Rarotongan can make head or tails of it? But thats the whole idea I suppose? What really concerns me is that a small group of individuals were able to exert such influence on the Government yet a multi-tude of concerned citizens were all but ignored? We all want to progress financially however many of our people don't have the knowledge, education and discipline to live the life style this new found highway to wealth poses. Many of our people love to party hard but not work hard and they can do so in the current environment. But bring in development and high end tourism ...soon the goverment will be building concentrated slums to hide away the undesirables. Poverty will be a reality. I am deeply concerned about the integrity of Government!!