COMMUNITY LEADERS PRAISE COOK ISLANDS COALITION GOVERNMENT

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RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (November 21, 2000 – Radio Australia)---The Cook Islands coalition government has won praise for its achievements during its first year of governance.

Tariff cuts and preparation for a national pension scheme have been applauded by the traditional chiefs -- the House of Ariki – as well as the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce and the opposition Cook Islands Party.

Opposition party Secretary General Temu Okatai said "it’s good to see action on the pension plan," but he urged the government "to get a move on" with political reform.

Members of the Chamber of Commerce moved a motion at their annual general meeting this month to write to the government, congratulating it on the cuts in tariff rates.

In addition, House of Ariki President Pa Ariki told the Cook Islands news that she’s quite pleased with the coalition government’s progress, praising among other things its raising of the minimum wage.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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