5 Apr 2018

Puna says Cook Islands will continue to foster relationship with China

8:59 am on 5 April 2018

The prime minister of the Cook Islands says despite New Zealand's "Pacific Reset" his country will continue to foster and develop its strong relationship with China.

Cook Islands Prime Minister, Henry Puna.

Cook Islands Prime Minister, Henry Puna. Photo: RNZ Pacific/Koroi Hawkins

Henry Puna and a delegation of ministers are in New Zealand to talk about evolving the relationship between the two nations.

Mr Puna told an audience at parliament in Wellington that the relationship with New Zealand was his country's "premiere" one.

However, he said by managing the relationship with China carefully and sensitively there should be little concern but that he was looking forward to discussing this with New Zealand's foreign minister Winston Peters.

Mr Puna said the friendship with New Zealand was a long and enduring one.

"There is nothing we will do to jeopardise that relationship because it involves a very serious issue for all Cook Islanders, you know New Zealand citizenship."

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