Cook Islands finance minister Mark Brown is confident the country can cope financially when it loses some development assistance after graduating to developed nation status next year.
Mr Brown doesn't anticipate New Zealand financial aid to the Cook Islands changing significantly in a short space of time anticipating that this could happen over five or ten years.
He said the Cook Islands had come a long way from the handout mentality of 50 years ago.
The minister said the relationship today with its most significant partner, New Zealand, was very much one of mutual benefit.
Mr Brown said the Cook Islands was spending in excess of US$142 million a year on New Zealand imports which supported New Zealand companies.
Last year, New Zealand agreed to provide the Cook Islands with $US20.7 million in aid for the coming year.