16 Jul 2004

Cook Islands party refutes government 'insider' allegations

5:22 pm on 16 July 2004

The Cook Islands Democratic Party has refuted allegations a staffer in the Prime Minister's Office has been writing election campaign adverts for them.

The Cook Islands News reported that the government worker, Cameron Scott, apparently penned party advertisments that appeared in the weekly papers.

A Democratic Party media spokesman Arthur Taripo has confirmed Mr Scott has helped the organisation.

But Mr Taripo says the party's media committee relies on Mr Scott only for advice on media matters in general:

"We like to ask him about things like layout, and how we should approach public relations, but when we seek advice from him it's in his own private capacity: It's entirely outside his role with the prime minister's department."

The Cook Islands public service commission has told public servants not to conduct political activities during work hours.

The country holds a general election in September.