9 Oct 2017

Call for Cook Islands hourly rate to be increased

7:37 pm on 9 October 2017

A political newcomer in the Cook Islands is calling for the hourly pay rate to be increased and bank interest rates to be decreased.

Cook Islands money / currency

Cook Islands $20 dollar note Photo: banknoteworld.com

Tukaka Ama, who has just been selected as a Cook Islands Party candidate for next year's election, said the measures would put more money in peoples' pockets and stop them going overseas.

He said many people were working two jobs to make ends meet, and he said those who left for New Zealand and Australia did so because they were struggling to pay mortgages and raise their families.

Mr Ama said the state-owned Bank of the Cook Islands needed to offer something better for its customers, with interest rates dropping just one percent in the last four years.

RNZ's correspondent in the Cook ISlands, Florence Syme Buchanan said to revise interest rates the bank would have to undergo restructuring, which would only be possible if the government was willing.