30 May 2017

Foreign worker fees questioned in Cook Islands

3:21 pm on 30 May 2017

Cook Islands Foreign affairs and immigration officials were summoned to Parliament last week to explain the fees foreign workers are required to pay.

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Photo: RNZ / Daniela Maoate-Cox

Public Accounts Committee chairman Mona Ioane said members of the public are not happy with the increase in fees and wanted to know why the ministry arrived at them.

But Foreign Affairs and Immigration secretary, Tepaeru Herrmann, said the fees were determined by an executive council order with the current fees set in 2008.

The Cook Islands News reports her saying that one would assume such a determination by executive council would have been preceded by consultations with relevant stakeholders at that time.

Ms Hermann said ideally immigration services pay for themselves, in that the fees charged offset the cost of providing the immigration service, rather than profit taking.