26 Apr 2011

Cook Islands business body worry some visitors are taking local jobs

8:05 am on 26 April 2011

The Cook Islands Business Trade and Investment Board is concerned over people visiting the Cook Islands and providing services that can be provided by locals.

The Board's chief executive Terry Rangi says those taking work away from locals include photographers, builders, property valuers, writers and wedding celebrants.

Mr Rangi says it was spelt out at the recent Economic Summit that there are areas where opportunities are available for local enterprises to benefit and there should be a policy to avoid leakages from the economy by providing support to local enterprises.

He says the government should prefer local companies over foreign companies in initiatives such as aid donor infrastructure projects, provision of training services, tourism support services and tourism management services.

Mr Rangi says the government should go offshore if the service can't be provided locally.

He says they take this matter seriously and will not hesitate to act if people are found to be working illegally.