3 Feb 2015

Cook Islands look at minimum wage

6:04 pm on 3 February 2015

The Cook Islands has launched the public consultation phase of its minimum wage review for the year.

Last year the Minimum Wage Review Panel's report led to the first increase in eight years, going from five local dollars an hour to six.

The panel is appealing to the public through email and local radio and television shows to get involved.

Panel chair and director of Labour and Employment Relations Patricia Tuara-Demmke says she is hoping for more input from the outer islands this year.

Ms Tuara-Demmke says the minimum wage issue is not straight forward.

"All of us would like to get more money but you have to think of it on the side of the employer. How much can they afford to pay? It's quite interesting. We talked to business people on the outer islands where costs are quite high and for them to increase the minimum wage higher than six dollars last year would have meant them having to lay off some of their staff because they were already having to meet the cost of goods and services."

Patricia Tuara-Demmke.

Public submissions close on February 20 with a final report to be submitted to cabinet by March.