3 Oct 2005

Another Cooks petition launched against unit titles bill

4:28 pm on 3 October 2005

Residents in capital of the Cook Islands have started the country's second petition against a controversial land new law, the Unit Titles Bill.

Petitioner Anna Rasmussen says they are aiming for more than 2,000 signatures from an estimated 4,000 voting age residents on Rarotonga.

She says they do not have much time to raise the petition ahead of the bill being presented in parliament next week.

Recently returned from New Zealand, Ms Rasmussen says she was waiting for someone else to start the movement against the bill.

She says she felt she had a green light to go ahead after residents in Aitutaki, 110 kilometres to the north of the capital, started the first petition.

Ms Rasmussen says the bill is far too vague for something as important as land reform.

Critics say the Unit Titles Bill seriously dilutes landowners rights under the leasehold only system in force in the Cook Islands since missionary times.