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[Media Release - OPSC] Suspension of Secretary of Infrastructure Cook Islands

Wednesday 5 May 2021



The Cook Islands Police Service have launched an investigation into Infrastructure Cook Islands (ICI). As a result, and exercising his authority under s.6 of the Public Service Act 2009, the Public Service Commissioner Carl Hunter, as the employer of the Secretary of ICI, yesterday suspended Ms Diane Charlie-Puna on full pay – pending the outcome of this investigation.


Mr Willem Pille, current Director of the ICI’s Civil Engineering Division has been appointed as Acting Secretary of ICI by Public Service Commissioner Hunter. Employed at ICI since 2019 and managing a team of 18 staff, Mr Pille is a senior civil engineer with over 40 years’ experience and who has managed multiple engineering and planning projects including roads, bridges, culverts, retaining walls, footpaths, offshore waste water and cycle-ways in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and most recently New Zealand.


During his tenure as Director of ICI’s Civil Engineering Division, Mr Pille’s main focus has included capital works such as general road sealing, repairs, seal extensions and maintenance on Rarotonga; the ongoing maintenance of ICI’s fleet of equipment and machinery; the provision of technical assistance for the Pa Enua relating to road sealing in Atiu; the emergency repair of airstrips in both Mitiaro and Atiu; general trench reinstatement on Rarotonga; the ongoing provision of technical assistance to ICI’s Planning & Projects Division; and the major road sealing currently underway on Mauke.


The Office of the Public Service Commissioner is unable to provide any further details. Any questions relating to this Police investigation should be directed to the Acting Police Commissioner.


ENDS


Enquiries regarding this media release can be directed to Teresa Tura, Corporate Services Manager, at Teresa.tura@cookislands.gov.ck or call 29 421 during Office hours.