24 May 2018

Political reform inertia in Cook Islands

6:30 pm on 24 May 2018

An advocate for political reform in the Cook Islands says candidates in the upcoming general election need to voice their views on long standing proposals for change.

Lynnsay Rongokea-Francis said some of the issues in a 20-year-old report recommending political reform had still not been addressed.

With a declining population, many Cook Islanders would like to see fewer MPs, and for those elected to spend more time in parliament than in recess, Ms Rongokea-Francis said.

One of the recommendations to abolish the Cook Islands seat in New Zealand was implemented, but the rest of the report had gathered dust, she said.

"We would like other Members of Parliament to take a stand and make their voices heard on 'do they think that there is fair representation of Members of Parliament?' And 'should the constitution be changed?' At the moment parliament only has to sit for a single day a year."

The Cook Islands general election is on June 15.

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