The chair of the organising committee for the 50th anniversary commemorations in the Cook Islands says the year long celebrations will benefit the country long term.
Nick Henry has announced plans for monthly events which kick off on New Year's Day with a concert from the musicians Annie and Will Crummer.
The celebrations have been criticised by the MP James Beer who says spending is excessive and the outer islands receive no benefit.
However Mr Henry says less than US$400,000 have been allocated for the year, not the US$1,000,000 that the MP suggests.
Mr Henry says cultural events and historical highlight shows will be held across all islands.
He also says he spoke to local chiefs about setting aside land for the commemorations.
"They're going to plant that land so when their families come over, they've got the food. Once we do it like this then it's going to be 2016 and we are going to do it again and again and again. It just becomes easier and that's really the litmus test of what we are trying to achieve. It's got to be a sustainable event."
The chair of the organising committee for the 50th anniversary commemorations in the Cook Islands, Nick Henry.