The newly-appointed leader of the opposition Cook Islands Democratic Party says he's hoping to improve his party's relationship with the other oppostion party, One Cook Islands, ahead of the next election.
William Heather was appointed leader by a sizeable majority at the party's conference last week, after the former leader, Wilkie Rasmussen, resigned following a heavy defeat in a by-election on Aitutaki.
A coalition between the Democrats and One Cook Islands for that by-election fell apart after the sudden death of their shared candidate, Kete Ioane, when One Cook Islands put forward its own candidate, pitting the two parties against each other and the ruling Cook Islands Party.
Mr Heather says he has met with the leader of One Cook Islands, Teina Bishop, and the two have agreed to consolidate their relationship.
"We all have our different issues, we all have our own issues as well -- it's hard to come together. But I believe I have to give this a go. Maybe we will achieve what we're after."