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New committee room and library in Parliament

Wednesday 24 August 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Local, National

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New committee room and library in Parliament
Cook Islands Parliament Photo: SUPPLIED

An unused office in Parliament is being converted into a committee meeting room and library, says Clerk of Parliament Tangata Vainerere.

There are currently six standing committees but Vainerere said new committees would be established when Parliament begins.

Parliamentary committees are a group of MPs who work together to investigate matters of national interest on behalf of Parliament.

“This room will serve as a permanent site for all our committee meetings,” Vainerere said.

“We’re going to be quite busy with all the committees under the new Standing Orders.

“It’s something that we should have done ages ago but now we are forced to do it because of the new committees coming into operation.”

Vainerere said the new Standing Orders passed in July this year would increase Parliament’s service requirements.

A new wall is being put into the room to increase its size from six by three metres to six by six metres.

Vainerere said the room would double as a library and hold old documents, and will be open to the public.

“People sometimes walk in looking for certain materials going back years ago.”

Vainerere said the documents would be in one place, properly catalogued and easy to find.

The new Standing Orders will also allow Members of Parliament to appear virtually and could result in 45 more sitting days a year. Parliament in the past only sat for around 15-20 days annually.