7 Sep 2002

Cooks MP wants to abolish overseas seat

9:17 am on 7 September 2002

A Cook Island MP, Teina Bishop, is looking to gain support to abolish the parliament's overseas seat, based in New Zealand.

During the 1996 it was proposed that the seat be cut as part of the reforms, however it never eventuated.

Mr Bishop says because of the current economic situation, the seat's viability needs to be re-assessed.

He says it is also unfair to have a seat based in Auckland when there are Cook Islanders based in Australian cities as well.

However Mr Bishop says the issue needs to be debated in a public forum as there are many factors to take into consideration.

"Once you abolish the overseas seat then, you have twenty-four members and you might have a situation of a hung parliament. So it's not just a simple matter of getting rid of the seat. What happens in the situation where you have 12-12 in the house?"

Cook Islands Party MP, Teina Bishop.