21 Jan 2010

Call for traditional Cooks leaders to get bigger role

12:51 pm on 21 January 2010

A well-known Cook Islander says traditional leaders need to take on a more active role in the running of the country.

Many people are calling for political reform and proposals are being considered by cabinet with a referendum being planned on the matter.

One proposal is to cut the number of MPs from 24 to 19, and to have 10 national MPs and 9 constituency MPs.

But Te Tika Mataiapo Dorice Reid says the number of MPs could be cut down even more and traditional leaders could advise MPs on cultural and social issues.

"They should be elected by their own council, like The House of Ariki can say we will put forward three members from the House of Ariki. The House of Kotonui can say we'll put forward three members from the Kotonui. And that's an extra half a dozen more people but they are not elected and they are not on the same level as your parliamentarians elected by the nation. But they can make a contribution from a traditional level point of view."

Te Tika Mataiapo Dorice Reed