2 Mar 2015

Cooks PM lays out hopes for NZ super change

6:46 am on 2 March 2015

The Cook Islands prime minister, Henry Puna, says greater flexibility in New Zealand superannuaton mobility rules would have a profound effect on his country.

A New Zealand parliamentary select committee is considering planned legislative changes to the portability arrangements for superannuitants who choose to live in the realm countries - the Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue.

Currently, those wishing to retire to the realm countries have to be 'resident and present' in New Zealand at the age of 65.

Under the new policy they could head to the islands at 55 but Mr Puna wants the full pension to go Cook Islanders who have fulfilled the ten requirement, regardless of age.

"If Cook Islanders were free from the conditions and requirements and allowed to continue residing at home they would strengthen our capacity for sustainable development, they would contribute to the stability of our growth, they would add value to our community base and they would improve our national well being."

The Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna.

Cook Islands Prime Minister, Henry Puna says he would like to see the country build a more united political front as it prepares to celebrate 50 years of self rule

Cook Islands Prime Minister, Henry Puna Photo: AFP