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Aspiring Cook Islands Party candidate to contest election as Independent

Friday 8 July 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in National, Politics

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Aspiring Cook Islands Party candidate to contest election as Independent
Matavera Independent candidate Taneao Ngamata is running for the first time. Photo: Supplied/22070513

After tying with Harriet Williams last year to be the Cook Islands Party candidate for Matavera, Taneao Ngamata decided to contest the 2022 General Election as an Independent candidate.

Ngamata and Williams both had 143 votes in the Cook Islands Party candidate election last year, he said.

Ngamata said he decided to step down after Prime Minister Mark Brown, the leader of CIP, said he did not want another competition for the Party’s ticket.

“I agreed, I said I would give it to Harriet to take the (CIP) candidacy for Matavera but eventually there were some people who weren’t happy about it.

“They thought it should come back into the village to decide rather than to have another run off.”

Ngamata said he was approached by people in Matavera asking him to run as an Independent candidate.

“I thought about it, I looked at my numbers during the run off and thought I have a chance to stand as an Independent.

“The people in the village were confident that I had the numbers.”

Ngamata, who will be running for the first time, said he did not have any policies.

“I don’t want to bring in another policy if the policy is already there.

“For me it’s about improving it, what the Cook Islands Party has, what the Democratic Party has. They have good policies in place, it’s the same old thing.

“But for me it’s how to improve it or how to bring solutions to make the change.”

However, Ngamata said he did want to build a multi-purpose community hall for his village, work with government services to improve infrastructure, encourage youth in sports and promote community initiatives.