The Cook Islands financial secretary Richard Neves says arguments by international airlines, including Air New Zealand, to exclude departure tax from ticket prices are a nonsense.
Cook Islands departure tax is 55 New Zealand dollars but airlines flying in and out of Rarotonga refuse to include the charge in fares.
Mr Neves says Air New Zealand argues it does not want to collect tax on a government's behalf.
Mr Neves says that is a nonsense argument, because all international airline systems are set up to easily accommodate such procedures.
He says at the departure point for most travellers to the Cooks, that is Auckland and Sydney, the departure tax is included in the fare.