22 Dec 2010

NZ foreign minister discusses assistance with Cooks

2:43 pm on 22 December 2010

New Zealand's foreign minister says tourism, education and healthcare have been identified as priorities for development assistance during his visit to the Cook Islands.

The Minister Murray McCully met with the new Cook Islands government on his visit.

He says in the tourism sector New Zealand could assist with marketing initiatives, maintaining airline links, protecting the environment and improving sanitation.

He says education is also an important area that has already been highlighted by New Zealand's foreign affairs select committee

"Highlighting the fact that these are New Zealand citizens and that if you don't provide something that is very close to a New Zealand standard of education then people have the right to simply move here and have access to the education system in New Zealand. So we're looking pretty hard at how we can lift our participation in the education sector in particular, and that's something that we're looking at more widely in the Pacific as well."

Murray McCully.