15 Jun 2020

More calls for New Zealand to include Cook Islands in 'bubble'

3:26 pm on 15 June 2020

The Aotearoa Society of the Cook Islands has joined the call for New Zealand to open up its borders to allow travel with south Pacific nations that are free of Covid-19.

Aerial landscape view of the beautiful Muri Lagoon and a Motu (Islet) in Rarotonga Island in the Cook Islands.

Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/ 123RF

Spokesperson Derek Fox said, in the Cook Islands' case, the economy is almost totally reliant on tourism, but this had stopped dead, despite there having been no coronavirus in the country.

Mr Fox said his group appreciated the New Zealand Government wanted to revive domestic tourism, but he pointed out typically about 115,000 New Zealanders holiday annually in the Cook Islands, spending $US145 million.

He said New Zealand businesses still benefitted from this.

"Almost every cent of it ends up back in New Zealand again, one way or another.

Derek Fox

Derek Fox Photo: Supplied

"Either providing provisions that these New Zealanders want to eat when they go to the Cooks, but also in just all sorts of other things," Mr Fox said.

"All the building materials, the medical supplies - all those sorts of things - they come from New Zealand, and that's how they are paid for at the moment, through tourism dollars."