12 Nov 2010

Cook Islands facing 'enormous economic problems' as election approaches

3:16 pm on 12 November 2010

A Cook Islands election candidate says people believe the government's wasted huge amounts of money while failing to address important issues such as the cost of food and housing and emigration.

James Beer, who's standing for the governing Democratic Party, says he's conducted conversations with almost everyone in his Murienua electorate.

He says the Cooks Islands has faced economic adversity before but it's reached its most critical level.

"We would be correct to say that this country is facing enormous economic problems. We've got a situation where we are currently losing about 1000 people a year, net emigration from the Cook Islands. That's probably the most serious issue."

James Beer says he's been told that he's articulating the voice of ordinary people who've been suffering in silence.