2 Jul 2014

Cook Island voters worried about depopulation

7:47 pm on 2 July 2014

A New Zealand academic says depopulation is just one of the issues that will be on the minds of voters at next week's election in the Cook Islands.

Parliament was dissolved earlier this year and the election date brought forward six months.

The government says this was to allow the new parliament time to prepare its budget and plan for the fiftieth anniversary of self-rule next year.

The Pasifika Director at New Zealand's Massey University, Malakai Koloamatangi, says the Cook Islands declining population is a widespread concern for voters.

"The depopulation issue affects other sectors for example the economy relies very heavily on tourism. That must be weighing on people's minds and I dont think any one government can resolve that issue."

Dr Malakai Koloamatangi says the small population means everyone is well known and many votes cast are based on personal opinion.