11 Sep 2003

Cook Islands MP happy with progress of reform

5:29 pm on 11 September 2003

Cook Islands MP Norman George says the passing of two bills in parliament yesterday represents a major stage in the country's reform process.

The five-year term of government in the Cook islands could be shortened to four years after parliament decided to put the matter to a referendum at the next general elections.

Members from both sides of the House passed the bill and a separate measure abolishing the overseas seat.

Mr George says the government is making good progress in the overall reform process.

"We've already done a lot of work internally inside parliament. We've made a lot of changes in our procedures, in setting up new committees. I think if you look at a ratio of our changes or success to that I think we have already accomplished about 70 percent."

Norman George says they'll next look at another seat to be reduced in parliament - one of the three seats of Tamarua on the island of Manaia - to bring the total number to 23 seats.