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Short sitting brings attack

Friday December 18, 2015 Written by Published in Politics
Democratic Party Member of Parliament James Beer makes a point in parliament on Tuesday. 15121619 Democratic Party Member of Parliament James Beer makes a point in parliament on Tuesday. 15121619

The Opposition is criticising the government for a short sitting of parliament where national leaders were unable to discuss of the nitty-gritty issues impacting the country.


Democratic Party Member of Parliament for Murienua James Beer said the reputation of parliament and the 24 MPs was at stake after this week’s two-day sitting.

“I said this in parliament: how long we sit, and how we conduct ourselves is how we are viewed by Cook Islanders and the rest of the world.”

Speaker of Parliament Nikki Rattle said in the House yesterday that the Cook Islands’ reputation was not in jeopardy, and warned Beer to stay on topic as he received three Points of Order from Minister of Finance Mark Brown during the sitting.

But Beer said in the last year and a half he had been a Member of Parliament, the House had only sat for 30 days.

“That is really poor – there is too much work to be done.”

For example Beer said the Family Law Bill 2015 needed to be addressed.

He said the rumour was that the government did not have enough money for parliament sit for more days.

Critical issues such as the Pacific Schooners scandal needed to be further discussed in parliament, said Beer.

And others have asked whether the compulsory helmet debate will be taken any further.

It was not put forward as a motion by a Members of Parliament on Monday so it was not dealt with on Tuesday.

But Cook Islands Road Safety Council secretary Lynne Samuel said the group was pushing for the nation’s leaders to finally make helmets compulsory.

“No one is bulletproof,” she said.

Minister of Internal Affairs Albert Nicholas, who first raised the issue in parliament on Monday, told Radio New Zealand International it was time to revisit the issue.

“Part of my passion behind it too is that my own brother passed away a couple of years ago in a road accident and my cousin two months ago just passed away and she's just only 16 so I think it is time for us to seriously look at this and I think it is about time that our general public gets onside to support it as well, instead of protesting.”

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