With few sitting days per year, the Cook Islands Parliamentary chamber is often empty and devoid of the vigorous political debate that comes when lawmakers come together. 20032507
Taxpayers of this country who pay the salaries of all MPs should feel outraged about government’s failure to deliver a reasonable number of sitting/working days in Parliament, writes Opposition leader Tina Pupuke Browne.
government’s job also to create good laws and policy. It is government’s job to
sit in Parliament and pass the aspirations of our people into legislation.
Delivering the aspirations of our people is paramount for any government. This
in fact is government’s core role and that of the Opposition. To sit in
Parliament, to be present. This is why we are Members of Parliament and not
island councillors or village council members. We know that Island Council
members are there to sit in Council and address matters concerning their
respective island. Similarly, we expect Members of Parliament to be present in
Parliament as their first line of responsibility and business – to discuss and
debate Bills and pass legislation that advance our country to keep it
functioning well, safe and on the right track.
who had a worker only turn up for 10 days out of a year would not be happy with
that worker. That worker would soon find themselves out of a job. Or if the
worker suggested they should get paid but send someone else to work in their
place, would find it hard to convince any boss that this is a good idea.
For the past
10 years, this government has not felt any obligation to have Parliament
convene for a significant number of days each year. The average has been around
10 days a year and the government has neglected its duty to ensure Parliament
sits a decent number of days. A good starting point is a minimum of five days a
month, or 60 days a year. The Opposition has long pushed for an increase in
sitting days, but this has been consistently ignored.
this country who pay the salaries of all MPs should feel outraged about this
failure to deliver a reasonable number of sitting/working days in Parliament.
There is an ongoing refusal by this government to acknowledge it has a duty to
ensure MPs from both sides are in Parliament to earn their salaries, serve our
people and country. To serve you the taxpayer.
you, the taxpaying Cook Islands people, have been paying for your own birthday
for the last 10 years. You have paid for the infrastructure projects with your
tax money. But the government claims the praises, saying each time there is an
opening of a completed infrastructure project, “look what we have done for you,
look what we made possible”. That’s nonsense. You, the taxpayer, made it
possible and the government should build infrastructure because it’s the
governments’ job to do that.
taxpayers go to work, pay their taxes which make all the “cakes and presents”
possible, the government fails to do its own core job making sure there are
sufficient sittings of Parliament. Ten days a year is such a poor record. It
shows no desire to be of better service to our people. This should make us all
stand up and demand that any discussion on proxy votes should be thrown down
the same road of poor excuses that this government has trodden well. It’s time