30 Nov 2010

Scare tactics seen in Cooks referendum outcome, says group

2:01 pm on 30 November 2010

A political reform group in the Cook Islands says a referendum on reducing the number of MPs may have been influenced by scare tactics.

The referendum failed to win the two-thirds majority required for the government to bring it to parliament, with 59.2 percent of voters supporting a reduction in seats.

Teina McKenzie, the head of the group, Mou Piri, says people may have been scared that fewer seats could lead to a loss of representation for the outer islands.

But she says this was not the case

"Noone loses representation, it's just a better representation. The concentration on numbers is not necessary, it's about the calibre of representation you get. If you're concerned about representation think about what you've had in the last four years and has it been beneficial for your island or your constituency."

Teina McKenzie says voters did not receive enough information about the referendum, and MPs could have done more.