21 Jun 2019

Cook Islands MPs wages get a huge boost

1:08 pm on 21 June 2019

The prime minister of the Cook Islands has been given a $US30,855 wage rise.

Cook Islands Prime Minister, Henry Puna, at the Asia Pacific Energy Leaders' Summit, 1 November 2018, Te Papa, Wellington.

Henry Puna Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

It is part of a 45 percent increase for MPs coming into effect on 1 July.

Prime Minister Henry Puna's salary goes from $US68,566 to $US99,422.

While leading a country of just over 13,000 citizens he will become one of the best paid leaders in the Pacific.

The Cook Islands News reports cabinet ministers will go to $US80,484 and the other MPs to $US47,180

The Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown told the paper the rise is timely, given there has not been an increase in remuneration for 15 years.

He said he was happy the Remuneration Tribunal considered factors such as keeping the increases in line with the rate of salary increase of public service employees over that time period.

The opposition Democratic Party had opposed the increase but its leader, Tina Browne, says her members will take the money and use it for their constituency work.

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