The Mayor of Atiu, a southern island in the Cooks group, says money that's to be spent on a new civic centre would be better spent on upgrading the island's water supply, power, schools and hospital.
Aneru Tautu says says priority should be given to Atiu's water supply.
People in the village of Areora have been forced to collect water in buckets from a communal well because a water pump has broken down.
Two thirds of Atiu's capital expenditure budget of 294 thousand US dollars has been appropriated for constructing the civic centre, which will be made up mainly of government offices.
Mr Tautu says a lot of things can be done to benefit the island's social develpoment with the 226 thousand US dollars that is to be spent on the civic centre.