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Kia Orana and welcome to the Cook Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) website. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration is the principal adviser on foreign and trade policy issues to the Cook Islands government and maintains and enforces the Cook Islands Immigration laws.

Cook Islands Honorary Consul to the Philippines
Friday 10 May 2013

The Hon Tom Marsters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Restituto Tiangco as Cook Islands Honorary Consul to the Philippines. 

Mr Tiangco is a very well-respected businessman who is extensively involved in the Philippines fishing industry with diverse business interests in the Philippines and Indonesia. Mr Tiangco has consular jurisdiction in Metro Manila.

In announcing the appointment, Mr Marsters explained that, at no cost to the ap-pointing governments, Honorary Consuls fulfil important roles in promoting social, economic, trade and investment relations with local governments, private sector inter-ests and non-governmental organisations where they live.    Government is confident that the appointment of Mr Tiangco will further the interests of developing relations between the Cook Islands and the Philippines.  The Cook Islands is a member of the Asian Development Bank, headquartered in Manila, and the World Health Organisa-tion, the regional headquarters also in Manila.  Mr Tiangco will also be able to sup¬port our representatives attending ADB and WHO activities in the Philippines. 

 
Cook Islands and the Hellenic Republic sign Tax Information Exchange Agreement
The Cook Islands and the Hellenic Republic today, 12 February 2013 signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) in Wellington, New Zealand.  The Agreement was signed by the Cook Islands High Commissioner, Tekaotiki Matapo, and Greek Charge d’Affaires Vassilis Koinis at the Cook Islands High Commission in Wellington.
 
High Commissioner Matapo explained the Government of the Cook Islands’ interest in strengthening co-operation with Greece: “The Cook Islands is working with the global community to promote international cooperation in tax matters.  The Agreement helps secure the integrity of the financial system through the uniform implementation of high standards of transparency”.  
 
The TIEA allows for either Party to request information from the other country where a specific taxpayer is under investigation, and where there is reason to believe that relevant information is held in the other country.  The Agreement strikes a balance between privacy and the need for jurisdictions to enforce their tax laws.
 
The Cook Islands Minister of Finance, Mark Brown said that “the Cook Islands offshore centre has matured over the last two decades, and is recognized internationally as specialising in family trusts and structures promoting the long term protection of wealth.  These trusts are established in the Cook Islands because of the attractiveness of Cook Islands trust law, not because of any tax advantage”.  According to Minister Brown, the Cook Islands have become a leading jurisdiction in the fight against money laundering with comprehensive laws and infrastructure in place.  
 
The Cook Islands has TIEAs with New Zealand, Australia, France and others.  The TIEA with Greece brings the total number of TIEAs signed by the Cook Islands to seventeen.


 
Cook Islands and PRC sign Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation
February 2013 
 
The Cook Islands and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) today, 20 February 2013, signed an Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation for the provision of RMBY 20million (approximately NZD 3.8million) grant funds by the PRC to the Cook Islands for projects to be agreed jointly between the two Governments.  
 
The signing ceremony was held at the PRC Embassy in Wellington between Cook Islands High Commissioner Tekaotiki Matapo and PRC Ambassador to the Cook Islands, Xu Jianguo.
 
High Commissioner Matapo explained, “Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Cook Islands and the PRC in 1997, the PRC has provided various grant funds which have facilitated the construction of the Courthouse and the Police station and most recently, support for the hosting of the Pacific Islands Forum.  This additional assistance will no doubt be usefully employed by the Cook Islands Government to support further development priorities.”
 
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tom Marsters welcomed the signing as demonstration of the PRC’s commitment to its relationship with the Cook Islands.  “The PRC has a history of providing tangible and focussed assistance to the Cook Islands, and the Pacific region and we look forward to working with the Chinese Government over the coming months in ensuring this assistance is directed to where it is most needed.” 
 


 
Nansen Initiative Pacific Sub Regional Consultation, 21 -24 May 2013
Thursday 2 May 2013

The Cook Islands will host the Nansen Initiative Pacific Sub Regional Consultation from 21 -24 May 2013 at the Edgewater Resort. The Initiative is a state-led, bottom-up consultative process intended to build consensus on the development of a protection agenda addressing the needs of people displaced across international borders by natural disasters, including the effects of climate change. 

This Consultation is the first of a series of consultations expected to be held in other regions.  
The Nansen Initiative will also address related issues such as disaster risk reduction, internal displacement, or the management of migration as an adaptation measure.

Pacific Island Countries, the Nansen Initiative Steering Group Members of Norway, Switzerland and Costa Rica, regional institutions, development and humanitarian organizations including regional experts will be invited to participate in the consultations.  An outcome document is expected to be produced identifying the common challenges in the Pacific to inform the June UNFCCC consultations in Bonn, Germany, the September Pacific Island Forum Meeting in the Marshall Island and the overall Nansen Initiative Process. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration is assisting the Climate Change Unit, the Nansen Initiative Secretariat and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme with the logistics of organizing the Consultations.

 
Pacific Immigration Directors Conference, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 21-23 Nov 2012
COMMUNIQUÉ

The 16th Pacific Immigration Directors’ Conference (PIDC) was convened in Rarotonga, Cook Islands on 21st – 23rd November 2012. The theme of the conference was “Securing Pacific Oceanic Gateways through Effective Use of Information”. Forty delegates from 21 Pacific Island countries attended including the Cook Islands (Chair), Australia, CNMI/Guam/USA, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Niue, Norfolk Islands, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu and Tuvalu.  

The conference also welcomed representatives of Observer organisations from the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police (PICP), Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Intra-Migration Facility.
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Policy Makers Undergo Gender Awareness and Analysis Training
10 - 12 October 2012, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

“This is the first targeted training for Government Officials to undergo training on gender awareness and analysis to support them in their role to mainstream gender into public policy and programmes in Cook Islands”, says Ruth Pokura, Director for Gender and Development Division, Ministry of Internal Affairs Cook Islands. The training was an opportunity for policy makers to reflect on their own areas of work and to explore the gender issues and impacts in their respective Ministerial policies. The training was attended by twenty three senior Government Officials from the Ministries of Health, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Economic & Management - Aid Management Unit & Statistics, Justice, Education, Internal Affairs, OPSC, OPM, and Cultural Development. 

Building on the gender equality momentum of the recent Pacific Forum Leaders’ meeting held in Rarotonga, the Cook Islands Government initiated this training for policy makers. “Gender responsive Government programmes and policies is the first outcome of the National Policy on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, of the Cook Islands and we recognize there is a strong need to first support our policy makers appreciate there are gender issues in Cook Islands and realise all aspects of our work either in policy making or in implementing projects has potential gender impacts,” says Bredina Drollet, Head of Ministry, Internal Affairs. 
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Entry Requirements

Visitors will NOT need an entry permit if they intend to stay in the Cook Islands for less than 31 days. For more information please click on the links below:

Immigration Forms