19 Nov 2004

Cook Islands minister remains neutral for time being

2:45 pm on 19 November 2004

A Cook Islands cabinet minister, Robert Wigmore, says he will remain a cabinet minister even though he refuses to confirm his allegiance to either of the two factions of the Democratic Party.

Mr Wigmore says he will continue to serve in cabinet until asked to stand down and will not resign just because the Prime Minister's faction has gone into a coalition with the Cook Islands Party.

He says that it's too early for him to answer questions of his allegiance between Dr Robert Woonton or the party leader, Dr Terepai Maoate.

But Mr Wigmore says he would like to have seen the Democrats stand united, particularly given the anti-coalition stand the party campaigned on.

"Politics, you never, never tell. That's why I'm still remaining with the Democratic Party. We're still working together. I'm still deciding what's the end of the matter."

Earlier this week, Robert Wigmore attended the swearing-in ceremony of the Cook Islands Party's two cabinet ministers Sir Geoffrey Henry and Tom Marsters.