3 Jul 2014

"Carrots" needed to retain Cook Island workers

2:35 pm on 3 July 2014

A Cook Islands trade union says the next government needs to provide better incentives if it wants to keep the country's working population.

The Cook Islands go to the polls on July the 9th and de-population is reported to be a significant issue.

The most recent figure for the Cook Islands population, from the 2011 census, puts it at just under 15-thousand people but some say that figure is now much lower.

The president of the Cook Islands Workers Association, Anthony Turua, says people are being recruited to work overseas.

"A lot of them are now migrating to either New Zealand, Australia to work in the mining sector, you know we need to retain our own people in the Cook Islands and workers want to know what incentives are there."

Anthony Turua says the Government needs to guarantee employment for Cook Islanders returning from overseas.