22 Jan 2003

Cook Islands MP signs petition calling for political reform

5:35 pm on 22 January 2003

Cook Islands MP, Norman George, says he's signed a petition calling for political reform because he believes in the principles behind it.

Mr George launched the petition in parliament, on behalf of the Group for Political Change, but he's one of only two MPs out of 25 willing to put their names to it.

Among other things, it calls for the number of MPs to be cut, the abolition of the overseas seat, a reduction in the term of parliament and a cut back in ministerial support funds.

Mr George says he has some differences of opinion about issues in the petition but overall, he was happy to sign it.

"I've always supported changes, I've always supported reform, but not entirely as different people propose. This time we looked at ourselves, and I just thought that they are doing a good thing, and they are doing it in a diplomatic manner, and also in a democratic manner, and I find it difficult not to support it."

Mr George says while he agrees with most of the proposed changes, there's no need to alter the superannuation fund because that has already been improved.