New Zealand's parliament is expanding its support to its counterparts in the Pacific with a new programme - Tai a Kiwa.
The Cook Islands Parliamentary Clerk, Tangata Vainerere, is the first to participate in the programme and joined his New Zealand counterpart, David Wilson, in the chamber yesterday as part of his week-long visit to Wellington.
Mr Wilson said he recently signed an agreement with New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to provide funding for the scheme.
"It's really to support Pacific parliaments with the things that they identify as their needs. Really to help them strengthen democracy in their own countries.
"So, it's not about saying 'you should do these particular things because we do them'. But showing parliaments how we do things, talking about some of the principals behind it and then asking them to identify their needs and see if we can provide support for them."
David Wilson said there was $NZ300,000 available for the Tai a Kiwa programme.
He said he will be writing to all clerks and diplomatic missions in the Pacific extending his invitation to participate in the scheme which could include mentorship, visits, technical assistance and support.