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Cook Islands Establishes Taskforce With A View To Opening Door To Foreign Workers

Cook Islands Government

19 December 2000


This story is reproduced by kind permission of the Cook Islands Government at http://www.cook-islands.gov.ck

The option to open the doors to foreign workers will receive closer attention by Government following the establishment of a Taskforce to deal with the population-employment issue. However, that avenue is just one among several options under Terms of Reference set for the Taskforce by Cabinet, last week.

Dubbed "The Relocation Taskforce", the members are to make recommendations on the policies and criteria involved in encouraging the return of Cook Islanders, primarily from New Zealand and Australia.

In examining the options, the Taskforce expects to work closely with the business community on procedures that may involve registering job vacancies, analysing statistical information, and consideration of recruitment incentives.

With the successful completion of talks between the Prime Minister and his counterpart Helen Clark this week, the Taskforce is likely to receive an added impetus to work on options in conjunction with New Zealand Government officials.

A major task that the team faces will be to look at the reasons why residents are continuing to leave the country and the ways in which the outflow can be stemmed.

Ombudsman Andrew Turua has been appointed to chair the Taskforce, along with members Taggy Tangimetua, Vaine Teokotai, and Tutai Toru. Under Secretaries Maria Heather, Robert Wigmore and Peri Vaevae Pare, are also part of the team.

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