Friday May 04, 2018 Written by  Published in Politics

Cook Islands Party leader and prime minister Henry Puna leads fellow party members at the Cook Islands Party campaign launch on Wednesday night at the National Auditorium area.

A celebrative mood kicked off the governing Cook Islands Party (CIP) campaign launch for the 2018 General Elections, at the National Auditorium area on Wednesday night.

About 500 witnessed the launch which also unveiled 14 of the 23 candidates who will be contesting under the CIP banner.

Buoyed by the slogan “Making it Happen”, the party members and supporters brimmed with confidence in forming government for the third consecutive term following the June 14 elections.

Party leader and Prime Minister Henry Puna assured those who attended the launch that his government can be trusted because they work together as a team. He also said the Cook Islands Party was founded on the Christian principles of respect, love and of sharing, adding their campaign will uphold these Christian values.

“Making it happen is a beautiful thing and it captures what your government has done for the past seven years. They are too numerous to count,” Puna said in his speech.

“My promise to you is we will continue to make things happen. This government can be trusted because we work together. Trust us because we work together.”

Puna highlighted some of the achievements of the CIP government which was first voted into power in the 2010 elections.

He mentioned the delivery of solar project in the northern group with the southern group next to benefit from this multimillion dollar initiative.

Puna also said his government had initiated the increase of the old age pension and the children’s benefit.

In education sector, he said the CIP government had invested significantly with new Tereora College buildings and the reconstruction of Apii Nikao.

Puna also mentioned the gradual growth in the local economy resulting mainly from the tourism industry.

The submarine cable project was another of government’s project to improve the livelihood of the Cook Islanders, he said.

“We are a prosperous nation and we have endeavoured to be transparent with our work with our people. We have cash reserves which is not the sign of a country that is broke, as eluded to by the opposition,” the MP for Manihiki said.

“Our economy has never been this strong and is the strongest in the Pacific. “We have worked as a team, as ministers, Members of Parliament, officials and the whole team. We will preserve with the work we have started and persevere to the end.”

It’s a busy time for the PM – yesterday he was at Government House to see the ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Wu Xi presented her credentials to Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters.

A story and photos of the Government House ceremony will feature in Saturday’s CINews.