An expert on the law of small island countries Tony Angelo says the Cook Islands' deal with New Zealand on self goverment can be hailed as a success.
The Cook Islands celebrates 50 years of self government in free association with New Zealand next week with gala events and a visit by a large delegation from New Zealand headed by the Prime Minister, John Key.
The decision to grant some autonomy while remaining within the Realm of New Zealand was implemented in 1965.
Professor Angelo of Victoria University of Wellington says it was a novel concept at the time and brought the Cook Islands security.
"That was a remarkable degree of assurance while at the same time giving the people, if you like the pride of autonomy."
Professor Angelo says the arrangement is an exportable idea as long as the two countries are willing.