Cook Islands United Party leader Teariki Heather. Photo: SUPPLIED
A former key government figure leading a new political party at the upcoming general election will retire if he doesn’t get voted in.
Cook Islands United Party leader Teariki Heather says this will be his last term if he gets into Parliament.
Heather said he would not run again so younger people could
take his place. The former deputy prime minister with the Cook Islands Party government is
aiming for his fourth term in Parliament. He is contesting for the Murienua
seat held by CIP’s Patrick Arioka.
manifesto, the United Party has outlined its plan to implement a policy that Members
of Parliament can only spend two terms.
in the past young people had been denied the opportunity to enter Parliament.
“In the past you have got a history of Members of Parliament being
in there for more than 30 years, 20 years, three terms in Parliament I think
that’s too long.
“You go out there and serve two terms that’s enough time.
“I will lead the Party now for
the sake of this country and then there’s
some competent ones in the United Party that are
able and capable to lead.”
the Cook Islands had enough people for MPs to serve a maximum of two terms.
of the Party’s policies is to decrease the number of imports into the country.
the economy could not grow by bringing in imports because processing the goods
offshore could be cheaper.
the opportunity for others to create any business they want to create here,” he said.
his Party would introduce an import levy on certain goods.
Party leader was also critical of the cannabis referendum put forward by the
governing Cook Islands Party.
referendum will take place alongside the general election on August 1 and ask:
“Should we review our cannabis laws to allow for research and medical use?”
referendum is non-binding which means no laws will directly change from how
he thought it was the wrong timing and was a political move by the Cook Islands
“The people have not been
widely consulted on the benefits or whatever. I think the
process needs to be consulted with the people first, then they will put it in
“It’s the wrong
timing, not now.”
Heather said he was also concerned about children if cannabis was legalised in
He said the
introduction of the referendum would also tell young people it would be ok for
it to be legalised.
“By legalising it not only for medicinal purposes, it sort of creates the freedom for
households, but my concern is the little ones.
“I’m concerned about our young people ...
to be addicted to that, God knows
what happens to the future of this country.”