The Cook Islands Prime Minister says Cabinet has approved submissions to proposed amendments to an Act affecting New Zealand superannuation portability.
Henry Puna says the proposed changes to New Zealands Social Welfare Act impact the three Realm countries of the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau, and these changes will allow people who qualify to apply for the NZ pension in their own Islands.
He says the Cook Islands Government has asked the New Zealand Government in its submissions to allow Cook Islanders who return home before turning 50 to apply from the Cook Islands once they turn 65 instead of returning to New Zealand for a period of time to apply.
"We actually see a lot of benefits if the rule was to be relaxed to allow our people to come back when they turn fifty. Because they're still young, they're still full of life and they can actually contribute positively to our economic development."