16 Oct 2002

Cook Islands politicians under pressure to act on political reform

5:32 pm on 16 October 2002

Pressure is continuing to be applied to politicians in the Cook Islands to act on political reform.

Last week, a citizens group, called the Political Reform conference, announced it would be holding public meetings next month on political reform.

Now, its chairman, Tua Pitman, is calling for political parties to take action over a four year old commission of inquiry report that recommended a radical overhaul of the country's political system.

Jason Brown reports.

"Tua Pitman has been better in the Cook Islands as a navigator for his series of lenghty vaka voyages around the Pacific, sailing tens of thousands of kilometres to Tahiti, Hawaii and Aotearoa. Now he's begun an equally challenging task - helping reform politics back home. Pitman has emerged as spokesman for the Citizens Reform Committee. He's told local media they expect political parties to take note of what the public have to say ahead of general elections in 2004. Pitman says that since the last general elections in 1999 there's been four different governments, none of them have made any progress on political reform. Members of the Citizens Committee want all three political parties to build reform policies into their election platforms so that changes can be made no matter who is in government"