23 Jun 2015

Cook Islanders hit out at NZ MP over pension bill

1:45 pm on 23 June 2015

A Cook Islander has accused the New Zealand National MP Alfred Ngaro of voting against his own people, after the passing of the Social Assistance Bill.

New Zealand has now changed the superannuation rules for people in the realm countries - the Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue.

New Zealand MP Alfred Ngaro

New Zealand MP Alfred Ngaro Photo: National Party

Mr Ngaro, the first Cook Islander elected to the New Zealand Parliament, says the new law allows people to move back after 55 and then collect the pension once they turn 65.

The Cook Islands Prime Minister says he wanted more and says the rule that people have to spend five years over the age of 50 in New Zealand should be waived.

A veteran superannuation campaigner, Les Priest, says if Mr Ngaro supported the amendment to waive the rule, there could have been a different outcome.

He says New Zealand will have to provide people over 50 with health and social services while in New Zealand and the rule simply doesn't make sense.