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Government’s business will interfere with Parliament sitting, says PM

Friday 24 March 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in National, Politics

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Government’s business will interfere with Parliament  sitting, says PM
Parliament of the Cook Islands. Photo: SUPPLIED

Prime Minister Mark Brown yesterday highlighted that in 12 years of being a Member of Parliament “it is no surprise that government’s business will interfere with Parliament sittings”.

Brown made these comments in response to Opposition MP Agnes Armstrong’s question if a calendar of events or proposed sittings would be forthcoming to the members.

The Prime Minister said Parliament’s new Standing Order provides for a Business Committee and the establishment of Bills, Petitions And Papers Committee.

He said it is the role of these committees to prepare a calendar of sittings and bills that will be presented before the House.

Brown said the committees have members from different parties within the House.

“I’m sure that we will be able to put together a calendar of sittings for this House during the year,” he said.

“However as a member of this House for 12 years and as a member of the government, it is no surprise that on occasion the government’s business will come in and interfere with the Parliamentary sitting.”

Brown explained that on occasions Ministers or the Prime Minister may be required to attend meetings and be away overseas. This may require members to adjust their schedule.

“Because on occasions these invitations come at very short notice.”

Meanwhile the Bills, Petitions and Papers Committee chaired by Government MP Akaiti Puna include Leader of the Opposition Tina Browne, Mauke MP Stephen Matapo, Ngatangiia MP Tukaka Ama, Vaipae-Tautu MP Tai Herman, MP Wesley Kareroa from Mangaia and Akaoa MP Robert Heather.

The Committee’s role is to scrutinise and review any Bill, petition, report or other matter referred to it by the Parliament.

In the Business Committee, which determines the business to be considered by Parliament each sitting day, Speaker of the House Tai Tura is the chair alongside Deputy Speaker Tingika Elikana, Browne, Vaine Mokoroa (Cook Islands Party), Rose Brown (Independent), Robert Heather and Tetangi Matapo (Cook Islands Democratic).