27 Sep 2003

Head of 1998 Cook Islands Reform Commission says hansard reporting uselsss

9:44 am on 27 September 2003

The former cabinet minister who headed the 1998 Cook Islands Reform Commission, Iaveta Short, says having all speeches in parliament translated into English or Cook Islands Maori, and recorded by Hansard reporters, is useless.

Mr Short's recent call for some services in parliament to be scrapped is not shared by the Clerk of Parliament, Nga Valoa, who says permanent records are crucial to maintaining a constitution and vital to transparency.

But Mr Short says what is needed is a cost-benefit analysis of these practices to see if they are worth the money being spent on them:

"When we undertook our review of the political system, we found that in the last ten years only two persons had inquired and wanted to get copies of the Hansard. Only two in ten years. Surely we can record the debates on CD. Any person can then access the CD, pay for cost of accessing it and it will be a cost benefit and much better for us."