The workshop, which was held at the Cook Islands Parliament in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme, ended yesterday and attracted most of the new MPs plus some returning ones.
Dyfan Jones, the parliamentary development specialist from the United Nations Development Programme, said the purpose of the workshop was to educate the parliamentarians about the way parliament works, their role and the expectations from them as MPs.
“It’s been a very good turnout, and I think almost all of the new MPs are here to try and get a taste of what is ahead of them,” Jones said.
“There are also a number of returning MPs who have come, which is very useful because they can share their knowledge and practice on how the parliament has been working in the past.
“There has been a lot of enthusiasm and interest and we have seen real keenness from those attending the workshop to start the work as a parliamentarian. They are looking forward to being sworn in as the Members of Parliament and to do the hard work of being a parliamentarian.”
Jones said participating MPs also showed interest in improving the way the parliament functions.
Incoming MP Tingika Elikana said the workshop was timely for him and other new parliamentarians.
He said there were a lot of standing orders and other terms that they needed to familiarise with to be able to perform effectively as MPs.
“I think it’s very timely and important workshop taking into account (that) it also brings everybody together so we share the experiences of the incumbents, those who have been here before, with us who are just coming into Parliament,” said Elikana, who is the MP for Pukapuka-Nassau.
“The interaction is quite good but the subject matter that’s been talked (about) by the presenters is very important for us to understand, and it will also help us so we can get matters moving in parliament.”
Eleven of the 24 MPs who will be sworn into parliament on Wednesday next week are newcomers.