An estimated 245 people in the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau, will become eligible for New Zealand pensions once a new bill passes through the New Zealand Parliament.
The Social Assistance [portability to Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau] Bill is now to be considered by the Social Services Committee following unanimous backing in its first reading on Tuesday.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says this move will help arrest declining populations which is a long standing issue in these island countries.
"This Government wants to make sure that New Zealanders have as many opportunities as possible as to where they spend their retirement. And we also want to make sure that those countries and territories that have close constitutional ties with New Zealand are recognised and their ongoing economic and social viability is supported."
New Zealand's Social Development Minister Anne Tolley
Adults who have lived in New Zealand for 10 years, with 5 of those being after the age of 50, qualify for the Superannuation or Veteran's Pension but under the new bill will no longer need to return to New Zealand to register when they reach 65.