11 Oct 2007

Cook Islands govt abolishes Rarotonga Vaka councils

9:34 pm on 11 October 2007

The government has announced it is to abolish Rarotonga's Vaka councils, the island's only form of local government .

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Ngamau Munokoa, says the decision to scrap the councils was made because the councils have not been fulfilling their responsibilities of maintaining community roadsides, road drains and streams.

The Chief Executive for the Minister, Arthur Taripo, admits that in order to do the work, the vaka councils need significantly more resources which the government is unwilling to provide.

Instead Mr Taripo says savings could be made by abolishing the councils and contracting the work out.

"This is the dilemma that's been facing government for several years now - do you abolish or do you give them more money. The way that government is looking at it is that you're removing one level of bureaucracy which isn't working. You'll save alot of money that's going into salaries and remuneration. That one would now go onto work that's expected."