First Cook Islands Parliament sitting expected next week

Cook Islands Parliament Picture: Supplied

RAROTONGA, 13 SEPTEMBER 2018 (RADIO COOK ISLANDS) – The Parliament of the Cook Islands first seating could happen as early as Monday next week.

Appointing a new Speaker will be on the agenda but before that Members of Parliament are going through an Induction workshop this week.

The workshop is conducted by Cook Islands Parliament in collaboration with UNDP Consultants.

The aim is to help educate the new MPs on how a Westminister system works such as explaining to them the basics of the three arms of Government which Dyfan Jones, Parliamentary Development Specialist from UNDP says are the Executive, Judiciary, Parliament.

“The Government (Executive) governs from day to day and they are the Cabinet Ministers, they implement programs and spend money that has been approved. The rule of Parliament is threefold, it is to legislate, to pass laws for the country, its oversight checking that the Government is doing its job and asking questions and thirdly representing constituents. The final puzzle is the Judiciary. The role of the Judiciary is to interpret the law, to take decision whether the law has been broken or not and to make judgement on that. The role of the Judiciary is not to make the law and not to implement policies and programmes.”

The workshop is designed to get the new MPs informed on what is expected of them and a refresher for the returning ones.

Twenty two year old Member of Parliament for the constituent of Tengatangi Areora Ngatiarua, Miss Te-Hani Brown is the youngest member of Parliament in the history of the Cook Islands. For her, the induction program was very informative.

“I’m grateful for this workshop because I’m new to this so I don’t really know the functions of Parliament. I learned a lot. I’m really grateful for this opportunity to take part in this so I can be prepared for Parliament next week. I’ve actually learned a few things of what they are talking about because I’ve learned it at University so it’s not completely new to me, it’s just different beucase I’m in Parliament, before I was learning about Parliament, now I’m in Parliament learning what I need to do in Parliament.

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