In the Cook Islands, we invest in upgrading infrastructure, growing sustainable tourism, and supporting initiatives that strengthen the public sector and improve education, health and social services.

Total aid to the Cook Islands is made up of programme funding for activities specific to the Cook Islands, as well as other funding which can include scholarships, regional initiatives, activities supported through the Partnerships Fund, and humanitarian response.

Graphic showing total aid for Cook Islands 2015-16

Shared vision

New Zealand's assistance to the Cook Islands is delivered under a Joint Commitment for Development. This sets out the shared vision of our two governments, the priority areas we're focused on, and each countries' responsibilities. 

Read the Joint Commitment for Development

New Zealand works with Australia to deliver this aid programme under a delegated cooperation agreement.  

What we're supporting

We're working closely with the Cook Islands Government and local agencies on several aid activities.

Priority Activities and outcomes

Energy 
Expand access to affordable, reliable and clean energy

Supporting the Cook Islands to meet their objectives for renewable energy. This includes ensuring that renewable energy facilities, which we helped fund, are well run and maintained.

Education 
Improve knowledge, skills and basic education

Improving the quality of education with initiatives focused on literacy and numeracy, teaching methods and the curriculum, as well as increasing access to learning technologies and accredited qualifications.

Tourism
Increase economic benefits from tourism 

Support destination marketing and destination development so that visitor numbers are sustained, arrivals continue into the low seasons, visitors stay for longer, spend more and have an improved experience.

Economic governance
Strengthen economic governance
Strengthening the capacity and capability of government agencies to increase their efficiency and effectiveness. This includes human development and improving systems and processes.
Health
Improve the health of people in the Pacific  

Supporting a health specialists scheme that gives Cook Islanders access to a comprehensive range of specialist secondary and tertiary health services.

Improving the quality and reliability of water supply by supporting the upgrade of Rarotonga’s water infrastructure, in partnership with the People’s Republic of China.

Reducing sanitation health risks and the environmental impact of septic tank systems by supporting the upgrade of sanitation systems across Rarotonga and Aitutaki, in collaboration with the European Union.

Find out more about our aid activities by country.

Recent achievements

Priority  Achievement

Energy 
Expand access to affordable, reliable and clean energy

 

Designed, built and installed a 1MW solar power plant at Rarotonga airport in 2014. This system generates enough electricity to meet 5% of Rarotonga's annual electricity needs. 

Funded the installation of solar power systems in six Northern Group islands in 2015. These systems meet at least 95% of the islands' energy needs, reduce diesel fuel consumption by approximately 600,000 litres/year, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the 1,600 tonnes/year (CO2 equivalent).

Education 
Improve knowledge, skills and basic education

Since 2012, our support to the education sector has boosted early childhood education enrolment, improved primary numeracy and literacy results, improved achievement of NCEA levels 1-3, improved senior secondary school retention, increased tertiary and vocational education training enrolment, increased teacher qualifications, and enabled the maintenance of London City and Guilds and NZQA accreditation /registration.

Health 
Improve the health of people in the Pacific 

 

Since 2011, our support to the health sector has provided 3,000 Cook Islanders with access to specialist health services each year, and 100 health staff with professional development. 

Upgraded over 230 septic tanks in the Muri-Avana area between 2012-14

Tourism 
Increase economic benefits from tourism

Since 2013, our support has helped sustain visitor numbers (120,000+ each year), increased cruise ship visits, increased the average stay from 7 to 9 days, maintained high levels of visitor satisfaction (at more than 90%), and enabled a steady increase in annual revenue from tourism (estimated at $209 million in 2014).

Evaluation and research reports

Reports published in 2015

Evaluation of the New Zealand Medical Treatment Scheme

Tourism Sector Evaluation Report

Education Sector Evaluation Report