5 Jun 2015

Cooks government still mum on Aitutaki referendum

3:03 pm on 5 June 2015

The Cook Islands government has still to say whether it will honour the result of last April's referendum it organised on Aitutaki.

Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Aitutaki, Cook Islands Photo: Ewan Smith

A majority voted for an end to Sunday flights between Rarotonga and Aitutaki.

The prime minister Henry Puna called the referendum as part of a campaign promise in the lead-up to a by-election on the island.

A spokesperson for the prime minister's office says Mr Puna is not rushing with the decision.

He says that is because of the seriousness with which Mr Puna is taking the issue, rather than the perception he may be avoiding it.

He says the decision on whether to accept the voters' verdict will not be a unilateral one by the prime minister, but one that allows for the input of cabinet.

The flights have caused ongoing tension since being introduced six years ago, as those opposed to them say Sunday is a sacred day when businesses shouldn't operate.

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