10 Jul 2008

The Cook Islands Government says it will welcome extended term New Zealand retirees

7:19 pm on 10 July 2008

The Cook Islands Government has distanced itself from statements by the leader of the House, John Tangi, that it wants to limit the numbers of New Zealanders seeking to retire there.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Terepai Maoate, says Pastor Tangi's views in no way reflect the position of government.

Last week, Pastor Tangi told a New Zealand Parliamentary Committee that the Government wanted to limit numbers of New Zealanders retiring there, because they did not want to be overrun by foreigners and that is why there is a cap of 500 on the number given permanent residency.

But Sir Terepai says the Cook Islands will provide extended residency permits for New Zealand retired citizens provided they have sufficient financial support.

Sir Terepai says this will create more demand in the house rental market.

He says the ability of New Zealand retirees to collect their full pension while living in the Cook Islands is one issue that needs to be discussed with the New Zealand government.