Financial Secretary Office News

Financial Secretary Office News

Government Responds to Knowles Review of the Banking System and announces next Phase

Minister for Finance, The Honourable Mark Brown, released the Government’s response to the recent review of the Cook Islands Banking system.

The report authored by Sam Knowles, former CEO of Kiwi Bank contained seven recommendations.  These were a mix of actions which would go some way to improving the banking environment in the Cook Islands.

“The Government has gone through Sam’s recommendations carefully and I think we have struck the right balance moving forward.   Sam has made some recommendations on land management issues. These are obviously complex issues whilst the Government recognises there are reforms required it will not act on these straight away.

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Cook Islands to have New Coins

The Minister of Finance, the Hon Mark Brown, today announced that the Government will replace the Cook Islands’ current circulating coins with a set of attractive new coins in 2015.   

The launch of the new coins is expected to coincide with celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Cook Islands self-government (4 August 2015).   

This will be the first major coinage change for the Cook Islands since 1972.  Most of the Cook Islands’ coins are now well-worn, including some that are 30- 40 years old.  By modern standards, these coins are too big and heavy for convenient use. They are also too expensive as it costs the Government more to purchase the coins than their face value.  As a result, Cook Islands coins have become scarce and New Zealand coins are used instead.  

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Cook Islands Seeks Expressions of Providing Interest Long Haul Aviation Services

The Cook Islands Ministry of Finance and Economic Management recently released an economic review which it had commissioned on the economic impacts of the Cook Islands Government underwrite of weekly non stop long haul access aviation services from Los Angeles and Sydney to the Cook Islands.  The review was undertaken by Covec Economics, http://www.covec.co.nz/. Covec is one of New Zealand’s leading economic research consulting firms with significant research experience in tourism economics.   Covec economics concluded that:

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