Writing in the CIP’s “Policy for Prosperity” document for the 2018 general election, Wichman said the party would, “give our people a say in how they want to be represented”.
However, she said there was a need to produce an updated report before considering a reform to the current political system.
“There is a need to go back to our people to ask what form of governance they are keen to consider, so we will give the political reform question back to our people. Not to political parties, but to the people.”
In November 1998, a three-member commission produced a report on reforming the political system of the Cook Islands.
The commission, made up of Iaveta Short, Ron Crocombe and John Herrmann, urged 13 of its recommendations should be given priority for “appropriate action” but little change resulted, apart from the abolition of the Overseas seat in parliament, a reduction in the parliamentary term from five years to four, and changes to the MPs’ superannuation scheme.
Wichman said three of the recommendations in the 1998 report had in fact been implemented by the current government.
“First is the Pa Enua Government Act 2013 which gives back management of island affairs to councils and island leaders,” she said.
“The second is the review of the electoral act and proposed amendments to that act which include allowing more flexibility for candidates keen to stand to be able to take leave rather than resign.
“The third is the review of island procurement methods and procedures which has led to more streamlined systems for procurement and use of island capital budgets compared to earlier years.”