21 Jan 2003

Petition for political change launched in Cook Islands

5:59 pm on 21 January 2003

A petition was launched in the Cook Islands parliament today, demanding widespread political reform.

Elizabeth Ponga, of the Group for Political Change, says the petition calls on the government to abolish the overseas seat, reduce the term of parliament, cut the number of MPs and cut back ministerial support funds.

Ms Ponga says it's time for MPs to act and commit themselves to change by signing the petition after saying for so long that they support political reform.

"They all say it so we're putting them to the test by lodging the petition, at least we've got members of parliament who have committed themselves so that I feel is a good start. We're going to go around and see all the other members of parliament and say this is what you've been saying all along, well put pen to paper now."

Norman George and Ngamau Munokoa are the two MPs who have signed the petition.

Ms Ponga says it will now be widely distributed in Rarotonga and in the outer islands so that signatures can be collected.