Henry Puna elected as leader of Cook Islands Party

Updated at 10:35 am on 4 September 2006

The Manihiki candidate Henry Puna has been elected as the new leader of the opposition Cook Islands Party following the retirement of veteran politician Sir Geoffrey Henry.

Mr Puna's appointment comes after Sir Geoffrey Henry led the party for more than thirty years.

He will be assisted by Tupou Faireka.

Mr Puna says he's more than happy with his appointment but people need to understand the significance of the position not only for the Party but for the country as a whole.

"PLAY AUDIO:COOKS LEADER"

IN:......It's always been my belief that this position is a sacred position. It represents a long history of aspiration, not only for the people of the Cook Islands but also forthis great orgnaisation.

T'S ALWAYS

OUT:...THE ORGANISATION

DUR:...18 SECONDS

And Sir Geoffrey Henry welcomed the appointment, saying that Henry Puna brings a wealth of experience to the position.

The Cook Islands will go to the polls on the 26th of this month, after the Queens Representative, Sir Fred Goodwin dissolved parliament in June forcing a snap election.

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