In doing so, we must build on the immense achievements of Cook Islanders since 1965 and learn from our mistakes.
The people have spoken and many lessons can be drawn – not only from the actual number of seats won or lost by the various factions, but also by the historic low turnout of voters.
Some may conclude from the results that a solid portion of the people of the Cook Islands are not happy with the current situation and want to see tangible improvements in the governance of this country.
Be that as it may, whoever forms our new government will have a wonderful opportunity to generate both optimism and popular support for their initiatives.
The first six months will be critical in that regard and no doubt the people will be watching carefully what decisions are made. Particular attention will no doubt be paid to appointments that the new government makes to key decision-making and governance positions, and whether those appointments are for the benefit of the country as a whole or for narrow family or personal reasons.
Will the new government continue what many see as a common practice of the past in appointing its supporters to key posts regardless of their qualifications, with particular attention paid to ensuring losing candidates from their political party are well cared for regardless of the public good?
This is a particularly dangerous possibility given the current focus by our politicians on ‘deal making’ to keep/gain power at what some fear will be at any cost.
Will the final result be to sacrifice the interests of the people of the Cook Islands on the altar of political patronage?
Or will the new government take a strong stand in opting only for the very best this country has to offer to fill key positions?
Only time will tell. The people of the Cook Islands know what is going on and who is who. They are not blind and can see through any smokescreen.
Hopefully, when new appointments are announced, there is a widespread feeling that the right people with the appropriate skills and experience have been appointed.
It would be a real shame if the opportunity before us is wasted.
(Name and address supplied)