23 Feb 2010

Cooks PM holds off parliament for another seven months

4:05 pm on 23 February 2010

The Cook Islands Prime Minister says he has no intention of recalling Parliament before September, despite the leader of the opposition Democratic Party saying it should be done to ensure adequate funding to cope with the Aitutaki disaster.

Sir Terepai Maoate, who was dumped from Government late last year admits any recall of Parliament would see a motion for a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Jim Marurai, but he says his concern is for the people of Aitutaki.

But Mr Marurai says Sir Terepai is using the disaster for his own political ends.

He says Cabinet has today confirmed Parliament will not sit before September, but he has been assured that the Government has access to an NZAID fund of more than 11 million US dollars from which they can borrow to provide aid relief.

"We have been sitting on that money for years and agreed that we can use it in the meantime on the relief matters."

Mr Marurai says the Government is about to begin the construction phase and is to send four inspectors to the island to ensure the new building meets the country's codes.