22 Feb 2018

Cooks won't raise UN issue during Ardern visit

2:48 pm on 22 February 2018

The Cook Islands government will not be raising the issue of a seat at the United Nations when New Zealand's prime minister visits next month.

The Cook Islands has long expressed a desire to join the UN, but successive New Zealand governments have batted down requests.

Jacinda Ardern is due to visit Rarotonga on March 6 and the Cook Islands Finance Minister, Mark Brown, said a number of issues would be raised.

However, he said the United Nations quest would not be one of them.

Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown

Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown Photo: Phillipa Webb / Cook Islands News

"No we won't be discussing that at this meeting with the New Zealand government.

"We've made clear in our meetings that the New Zealand citizenship of Cook Islanders is vitally important to all Cook Islanders, particularly the 60-odd-thousand or so that live in New Zealand.

"So that's not a matter that's up for question as far as the Cook Islands government is concerned," he said.

Mr Brown said that did not mean the Cook Islands had given up on the desire, rather that it was not a priority at the moment.