27 May 2020

Six year limit proposed for expat workers in Cook Islands

7:27 pm on 27 May 2020

A proposed law would set a time limit on how long foreigners can stay and work in the Cook Islands.

A six year cap was part of regulations set to complement a new Immigration Bill.

However the plan had met with reservations from the Private Sector Taskforce and expat workers.

Taskforce chairman Fletcher Melvin said the proposed law defeated their emphasis of keeping good people who contributed to the economy.

He said if people were not good for businesses, they wouldn't stay for long anyway and it was a burden to send people home if they had established themselves in the Cook Islands.

The Cook Islands Fijian Association said it also held reservations about the proposed legislation.

A Select Committee, chaired by Internal Affairs Minister Mac Mokoroa, was considering the Bill, with public consultations starting this week.

The Cook Islands News reported the Select Committee has until 20 September to report back to Parliament.