After Predecessor’s Conviction, Cook Islands Has New Parliamentary Opposition Leader

Rose Brown accepts post vacated by Teina Bishop 

By Richard Moore 

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Sept. 7, 2016) – Clerk of Parliament John Tangi has confirmed receiving a letter from Rose Brown, endorsing herself as the new leader of the parliamentary opposition.

Tangi received a signed acceptance letter from Brown on Monday, officially confirming her position.

The delay in sanctioning the parliamentary opposition leader’s position which was left vacant after Aitutaki MP Teina Bishop stepped down from the post to attend his court case, was due to administrative procedures.

Tangi said the opposition coalition, made up of the Democratic Party, One Cook Islands Movement and Brown, who is the Cook Islands Party MP for Teenui-Mapumai, failed to follow proper procedures.

He said it was an easy process, but one the opposition had taken some time to manage.

“They should have done it when a decision was reached by them. They have good people in the office of the opposition. People who I would have thought would know this simple administrative procedure.” 

Tangi said he did receive a letter from the deputy leader of the opposition, Tamaiva Tuavera, who in writing claimed Brown as the leader of the parliamentary opposition.

But he said it was not good enough for the new parliamentary opposition leader to be approved.

“I needed something with Rose Brown’s signature confirming such a claim, which is logical. It’s just a simple administrative procedure,” he said.

“See, MP Rose Brown can disclaim the letter signed by the deputy leader of the opposition. That’s why I need something in black and white signed, or countersigned, by Rose. Simple. Even the guy on the street would understand a simple procedure like that.”


Tangi claims he has heard rumours that the opposition coalition are blaming him for the delay in the confirmation of their leader heading to next week’s parliamentary session.

“Which is not correct for playing politics, or dragging the chain,” he added.

“I think they expected me to act immediately on the letter they sent me. The deputy’s letter. I couldn’t do that because I’m following the rules.”

He said the issue won’t affect parliament in any way as “it is now in order.”

The second parliamentary session of the year starts on Monday next week.

Cook Islands News
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