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Wednesday, April 30, 1997

In the past year, nearly half of all Cook Islands government workers have retired or moved to private sector positions, according to Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Henry.

As a partial result, he said, the government's budget has been reduced from $69-million (NZ) to $43-million, in what Sir Geoffrey called "radical and sweeping financial reforms" to resolve the country's economic difficulties.

Further government budget reductions are planned for Fiscal Year 1997-1998.

The Prime Minister said the reform process, which is patterned after early and successful New Zealand fiscal strategies, has taught the Cook Islands government how to search out fiscal inefficiencies. Sir Geoffrey emphasized that this will be an on-going process.

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