1 Sep 2015

US$38,000 travel bill for Cooks Finance Minister

3:51 pm on 1 September 2015

Leaked documents reveal the Cook Islands Finance Minister, Mark Brown, has spent about $US38,000 on travel over the last 11 months.

The documents show between August 2014 and June 2015, Mr Brown went on nine official trips abroad and one to Mauke for the Manea Games.

The most expensive trip was for an Asian Development Bank board of governors meeting in Azerbaijan.

Cook Islands Finance Minister Mark Brown

Cook Islands Finance Minister Mark Brown Photo: Phillipa Webb / Cook Islands News

The 12-day trip cost about $US20,000, with airfares alone for Mr Brown and his wife just over $US17,000 dollars.

Cabinet ministers are entitled to business class travel and to take their wives on one trip each year.

Successive governments have defended the cost of international travel to attend meetings, on the premise that the Cook Islands needs to maintain an international presence to put the country's case at every opportunity.