5 Nov 2002

Cook Islands pressure group meets prime minister to push for action

6:42 pm on 5 November 2002

A pressure group in the Cook Islands which is lobbying for changes to the political system, is meeting with the prime minister, Dr Robert Woonton, today.

The group, known as the Reform Conference, will be putting their concerns to Dr Woonton over the lack of action.

Our correspondent, Flo Syme Buchanan reports.

"The group wants the Prime Minister to confirm his position regarding political reform and to express its concern over inaction by the three party coalition Government in putting in place any of the recommendations made by the Political Reform Commission in 1998. Today's meeting follows the controversial announcement by the Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Henry, that Health Under-Secretary, Tupou Faireka would be getting $NZ158.000, for office support. This is more than the Minister of Education receives and is widely interpreted as a political payoff to keep Mr Faireka in the coalition Government and the Cook Islands party."