Financial Secretary Office News

Financial Secretary Office News

Minister Brown welcomes the first reading of the Social Assistance Bill by the New Zealand Parliament

The Cook Islands Government welcomed the first reading of the Social Assistance Bill by the New Zealand Parliament earlier this week. 

The Bill will, if passed, would allow Cook Islanders who have lived in New Zealand for ten years, at least five after the age of 50, to return to the Cook Islands to work after they've turned 55 but still be able to collect the New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's fund at age 65. The New Zealand Government have estimated this change will mean 245 people will become newly eligible when the bill is passed, this number likely increasing by an additional 16 people each year.

New Zealand Social Development Minister Anne Tolley, in speaking to the Bill articulated the change was restricted to the Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau in recognition of New Zealand's "close constitutional relationship, shared citizenship and unique legal arrangements" with realm countries like the Cook Islands.

Read more ...

Manihiki Pearl Farmers Begin to Receive Equipment to Revitalise the Pearl Industry in the Northern Cook Islands

The Manihiki Island Government has commenced dispersing pearl equipment supplied as part of the Cook Islands and New Zealand pearl revitalisation programme.  The programme aims to encourage the sustainable growth of the Cook Islands pearl industry through an increase in production and quality.

Eighteen pearl farmers on the Manihiki atoll in the northern group have qualified to receive a portion of the $1.15 million grant. This will be injected into their businesses through the provision of various types of equipment which will assist them to improve production and quality. The equipment include items such as ropes and floats, which are used directly to suspend the pearl producing oysters in the lagoon, as well as building equipment used to revitalise seeding facilities. To be eligible to receive equipment farmers were required to meet specific criteria:

Read more ...

Cook Islands Confirms Participation in the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Pilot

The Cook Islands Government has confirmed its participation in the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Pilot (PCRIP), which was renewed for its third season with five other Pacific island countries: Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Cook Islands. The third season will run from November 1, 2014 to October 31, 2015.

As of 1 November 2014, the Cook Islands is covered against emergency losses caused by major Tropical Cyclones for a 12 month period until October 31, 2015. The premium of USD100,000 paid by the Government was able to secure catastrophe risk insurance coverage which will provide an immediate payout of up to USD2.8 million in the case of a major tropical cyclone hitting the major centres of Rarotonga and Aitutaki.

Read more ...