20 Oct 2005

Cook Islands parliament clerk finds inaccuracies in petitions against Unit Titles Bill

4:38 pm on 20 October 2005

The assistant clerk of parliament in the Cook Islands says inaccuracies have been found in the petitions lodged against the Unit Titles Bill.

Two petitions from Rarotonga and Aitutaki saw hundreds of signatures collected against the Bill before it was passed through parliament last week.

Puna Rakanui says some people may have been misled over the petition, which raised concerns that the Bill would threaten land ownership.

"We are actually going through the petitions at the moment, the clerks, to verify the accuracy of those who petitioned, their names, and I mean there are some anomalies we have discovered already. Duplicated, falsified. We know for sure that on one particular page, four names were signed by one person."

Meanwhile, Puna Rakanui says a meeting is scheduled to be held tomorrow in Aitutaki for the Island's Council, Mayor, Chiefs and MPs to discuss the Bill again.

The Bill only applies to Rarotonga, but with approval from local leaders, could be amended to also include Aitutaki.