The Cook Islands Opposition leader, Wilkie Rasmussen, says the Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna has 'embarked on the wrong course' by addressing the needs of the Pacific region rather than the Cook Islands.
Mr Rasmussen's statements come after Mr Puna spoke to University of South Pacific students in Fiji about the region's need adopt a change in perspective.
In his role as chair of the Pacific Islands Forum he also gave the Leader's Lecture last week in Suva.
But Mr Rasmussen believes Mr Puna is a caught in a culture of pleasantries that leads to countless meetings and resolutions that are rarely implemented.
Mr Rasmussen says the Opposition would rather Mr Puna stay home and deal with the Cook Islands economy and its development.
He says he knows from experience as foreign affairs minister that everyone means well when they go to these regional and international forums.
But Mr Rasmussen says there much bigger island countries in the region that have more resources and more political clout than the Cook Islands.