A Cook Islands opposition party wants help from New Zealand to address a lack of brain power to move the country forward.
James Beer of the Democratic Party says the flow of people out of the country has been a tragedy for the Cook Islands and he says New Zealand could help with expertise.
Mr Beer says the Cook Islands economy could take off with New Zealand's commitment of another US$27.5 million over the next three years, but only with expert help.
"We've got politicians and ministers that don't have that kind of background. They've come from backgrounds where they're very popular in the village setting but when it comes to business development and business mentoring for the country's economic development, we don't have that. Alot of the talent that was here no longer is here."
James Beer says experts are also needed to ensure the Cook Islands' school curriculum ties in with development initiatives.