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In the Cook Islands, a community advisory council has been established to advise national leaders on such matters as the privatization of government-owned businesses, tax reform, and the repayment of government debt.

Chairman of the new National Development Council is Cook Islands Deputy Prime Minister Inatio Akaruru, who says the NDC "brings government another step closer to full cooperation with the community."

The eleven-member Council includes representatives of the private business sector, non-government organizations, and both traditional and church leaders.

Akaruru, the NDC's only government representative, says formation of the Council is tangible evidence of the Cook Islands government's commitment to an increased "level of transparency" in its operations.

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