14 Jun 2017

New Zealand's PM touches down in Rarotonga

6:58 am on 14 June 2017
New Zealand's PM arrives in Rarotonga.

New Zealand's PM arrives in Rarotonga. Photo: RNZ Pacific/Koroi Hawkins

New Zealand prime minister Bill English and his delegation of Pasifika community leaders, iwi and business representatives touched down in Rarotonga last night to a warm Cook Islands welcome.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Gerry Brownlee and the Minister for Pacific Peoples Alfred Ngaro are also accompanying the Prime Minister, alongside leaders and representatives of opposition parties from across the House.

Bill English said this week's Pacific mission, which will also see his delegation visiting Niue and Tonga, is a reflection of the close relationship New Zealand has with its Pacific neighbours and the high regard it places on these relationships.

Today the prime minister will meet his Cook Islands counterpart Henry Puna and his Cabinet Ministers to discuss a range of regional and domestic matters.

Mr English said New Zealand supports a number of development projects underway in the Cook Islands and today's meeting was an opportunity to reiterate that support and discuss progress on those projects.

Throughout the day the prime minister and his delegation will also be attending various official engagements and events in the Cook Islands including a visit to the House of Ariki.