17 Jan 2008

New Cooks foreig Affairs secretary to revisit Immigration Department

6:44 pm on 17 January 2008

The newly appoint Foreign Secretary of the Cook Islands Michael Mitchell has firm ideas on who should have control over the Cook Islands Immigration Department.

Mr Mitchell who is the current Solicitor General was appointed over four other applicants.

The foreign minister, Wilkie Rasmussen, says sorting out the Immigration Department was one of the key issues for the appointment.

The Immigration Department which was a stand alone department was merged with Foreign Affairs during the 1996 reforms, and Mr Mitchell is not quite sure why that was.

"There's no real nexus it seems between Immigration issues and Foreign Affairs, one by definition is inward, and the other is outward looking, I think it sits better perhaps with Internal Affairs and that's something I'll be looking at."