12 Feb 2015

Donors told political reform vital for Cooks

5:38 pm on 12 February 2015

A meeting of aid donors in the Cook Islands has been told political reform is vital for the country's future development.

The Cook Islands News reports there were about 35 participants at the Development Partners Meeting, representing the outer islands, donor countries, development banks and other Pacific nations.

The prime minister Henry Puna says the Cook Islands remains vulnerable and is at risk on several fronts, but his government is committed to growing opportunities for the people.

The National Council of Women's president Vaine Wichman told the meeting political reform was necessary for development.

Cook Islands Parliament

Cook Islands Parliament Photo: Supplied

She is advocating national rather than constituency seats and wants more women involved.

Retired lawyer and former MP Iaveta Short says the political system is broken and the two main parties need to work together.

He says politicians will not make the changes needed for fear of losing their seats.