The newly-appointed leader of the opposition Cook Islands Democratic Party says improving infrastructure on the outer islands, decreasing reliance on imported food and stemming the flow of people out of the country will be his main pursuits as leader.
William Heather was appointed by a sizeable majority at the party's conference last week after the former leader, Wilkie Rasmussen, resigned following the party's heavy defeat in a by-election on Aitutaki.
Mr Heather says Rarotonga is too often the focus of major projects, and he wants to see the situation on the outer islands improved.
"I believe that if we finish all the infrastructure, through that I believe we would have given these islands a complete overhaul or a new thing for the people to actually stay and live on the island."
William Heather says he's also looking to improve his party's relationship with the other opposition party, One Cook Islands, ahead of the next election.