26 Jul 2016

Better code needed in Cooks to fight corruption

1:20 pm on 26 July 2016

A poor code of conduct is being blamed for a series of corruption investigations involving Cook Islands MPs.

Cook Islands Parliament

Cook Islands Parliament Photo: Supplied

Last week the leader of the opposition One Cook Islands party, Teina Bishop, was convicted of corruption.

Cook Islands Party MP Moana Ioane has just been found guilty of bribery under the Electoral act.

Prime Minister Henry Puna is now being investigated by the Financial Intelligence Unit, alongside Finance Minister Mark Brown and Deputy Prime Minister Teariki Heather who are facing various allegations of misspending.

Our correspondent, Florence Syme-Buchanan, said for years the community had been calling for a better code of conduct for leaders.

"What there is, is very, very brief and scant. And so, what's needed here, because that's become quite obvious with all these cases happening, is a code of conduct that's quite firm and states quite clearly what happens to a minister if they come under investigation," she said.