Minister of Cultural Development Wilkie Rasmussen of Cook Islands

RAROTONGA - Cook Islands Immigration Minister Wilkie Rasmussen has met with its large Fiji community as he seeks solutions to illegal-foreign-worker problems, the Cook Islands Herald reports.
Mr Rasmussen was holding a series of meetings with expatriate communities, including Samoans, Tongans and Filipinos.
Mr Rasmussen has put any deportation orders on hold and said he wants to hear all views on the issue.
Rasmussen was reported planning to first meet with community leaders from the different groups, such as the Fijians, Samoans and Filipinos, to discuss the issue and the issuance of work permits.
RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (The Cook Islands Herald, Dec 4, 2008 ) – Foreign Affairs minister Wilkie Rasmussen has extended his overseas travel this month to include a trip to Norway to sign a convention on cluster bombs.
Rasmussen has been out of the country since early last week.
RASMUSSEN said the Government had recently retained a consultant who had made some recommendations for substantial changes to some laws.
RASMUSSEN said the Ministry of Internal Affairs dealt with welfare payments for both elderly and young people.
RASMUSSEN said prostitution was not legal and was “an almost unseen feature of life”, but stressed that he could not say it did not exist.
Rasmussen said the authorities could prosecute anyone involved in slavery or the slave trade.
RASMUSSEN said progress towards increasing women’s political participation was slow, including in ministries.
RASMUSSEN said perpetrators of sexual harassment in the workplace had been prosecuted under the Crimes Act.
RASMUSSEN said the Cook Islands had a haven for older women funded by the private sector and the Government.
RASMUSSEN said rural women lived both on the outer islands and on the outskirts of the main islands, engaging in craftwork, among other activities.
RASMUSSEN said divorce laws were based on New Zealand and Australian law.
Mr Rasmussen says he was just responding to a direct question about whether the Commissioner's negotiating style was damaging to their cause.
important that members remain focussed to strive to achieve their goals.
undermine local small-scale production.
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Rasmussen has got his facts wrong and has also cast doubt on the integrity of other officers, Wichman adds.
The difference between me and Mr Rasmussen is that I have faith in my officers to do the job.
Cook Islands Tourism Minister Wilkie Rasmussen said his country had agreed to a new joint venture, to be signed within two weeks, The New Zealand Herald reported today.
Mr Rasmussen said the flights were important to secure access to visitors from North America, Britain and Europe.
Wilkie Rasmussen is a former Secretary to Cabinet of Cook Islands; Cook Islands High Commissioner to New Zealand; Tutor in Anthropology Department of University of Auckland; and is presently the Cook Islands Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration.
Rasmussen has launched a major look at the whole immigration question, going out from his office to find the answers.
Rasmussen is explaining that Cook Islands immigration laws must be respected and followed.
But Rasmussen is also asking about the longer-term problems people are having with its immigration policy and trying to find a lasting solution.
Their applications were rudely refused, Rasmussen was told.
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The position was held by the late Greg Urwin.
RAROTONGA (Pacnews) — Cook Islands Foreign Affairs Minister Wilkie Rasmussen says it’s time for change in government and Prime Minister Jim Marurai should step down if he feels he is not capable of leading the country, reports Cook Islands News.
Rasmussen said the current government has reached a point of no return and that there’s now no choice but to seriously consider the continuation of its present leadership.
It’s not the first time Rasmussen has said the PM should step down.
Wilkie Rasmussen is married to Tungane (nee Woonton) of Penrhyn and they have two (2) children; a son and a daughter and they have three (3) granddaughters.
In response, Commissioner Mandelson wrote to Minister Rasmussen suggesting that Rasmussen had been misquoted and that he might consider making a public correction.
Mr Rasmussen said he was trying to explain why two countries of the Pacific initialled an agreement that the rest of the Pacific was not ready for.
Wilkie Rasmussen is a former secretary to the Cook Islands cabinet and high commissioner to New Zealand.
Tourism minister Wilkie Rasmussen is due to travel with Tepaki Group representatives to Atiu and Mitiaro where they will share their vision for developing hotels and resorts in the outer islands.
Rasmussen is expected to travel with the Kia Orana team to Tahiti next month to visit locations and properties similar to the hotels planned in the Cooks.
Cabinet minister Wilkie Rasmussen is now highly critical of deputy Prime Minister Sir Terepais handling of the finance portfolio, saying that eight of the caucus MPs support the suggestion that he should take the portfolio instead.
Mr Rasmussen is saying there is a real possibility that Marurai wont be the Prime Minister leading into the elections in 2010.
Cook Islands Foreign Affairs Minister Wilkie Rasmussen says it's time for change in government and Prime Minister Jim Marurai should step down if he feels he is not capable of leading the country, reports Cook.
Cook Islands, Foreign Minister Wilkie Rasmussen says if the Prime Minister is not enjoying his job he should step down.
Mr Rasmussen said it is important that members remain focussed to strive to achieve their goals.
Mr Rasmussen said African States are some of the worlds biggest suppliers of minerals, and yet they earn just a small percentage of the final market value of the minerals they produce.
On climate change, Mr Rasmussen said We still do not understand very clearly how this is going to affect the world.
Meanwhile, Mr Rasmussen said agriculture plays a central part in the well-being of developing countries economies and their people.
Mr Rasmussen said agriculture also plays a central part in reducing poverty.
Mr Rasmussen said tariff reductions in Africa, on the other hand, are producing unfair competition, since many imported products enjoy heavy subsidies that distort prices and undermine local small-scale production.
Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration, Wilkie Rasmussen, says he is the best person to lead the Pacific Islands Forum because of his better understanding of the political, economical and social aspects of the region.
Rasmussen is one of the three nominees for the position of Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
Rasmussen is a former New Zealand journalist; a fully qualified lawyer; Secretary to Cabinet of Cook Islands; Tutor in Anthropology Department of University of Auckland; Cook Islands High Commissioner to New Zealand; and is presently the Cook Islands Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration.
Since 2004, Rasmussen has been traveling extensively at the ministerial level around the region and internationally for meetings, negotiations and dialogues as minster responsible for foreign affairs, immigration, trade, marine resources and tourism.