Category Archives: Youth

PRESS RELEASE – Youth & the future of Work in the Cook Islands Survey – August 2017

Youth and the Future of Work in the Cook Islands


Survey-August 2017




Recently, the Labour and Consumer Division attended two important meetings under the International Labour Organisation (ILO), one regional with other pacific island member states and one international with all member states of the organisation. Attendance at these meetings resulted in an awareness of the fact that around the world, profound changes in the nature of work are underway. Numerous drivers such as demographic shifts, climate change, technological innovation, poverty and growing inequality, economic stagnation, account for these changes and has urged the ILO to launch the Future of Work (FOW) Centenary Initiative in 2013. Youth and climate change have been two most critical issues of the future of work in the Pacific region.


Future of Work is a theme from the ILO, which explains the initiative to think, discuss and become proactive about work-related issues in our future. It is seen as a contribution to the cause of social justice and was launched in a context of great uncertainty and insecurity, and of fear that direction of change in the world of work is away from, not towards, the achievement of social justice.


 Youth play an important role towards nation building and its future aspirations. The high youth unemployment rate is a chronic issue in the Pacific and will impact negatively on future economic development. The urgency therefore lies with the need to find potential and viable strategies that would encourage youth entrepreneurship and putting more youth in employment and to positively harness young people’s potential across the national and international labour markets.


For small island states of the Pacific, the physical impact of climate change, such as rising sea levels and increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters is phenomenal and particularly devastating.  Climate change poses an enormous dilemma for the governments of the pacific region to retain the balance of development at home and decent job opportunities for youth migrating to other countries. The aftermath of devastating natural disasters results in dysfunctional social and economic systems and the questions around policy response to such negative impacts are important. In addition, concerns lay also on the importance of building the resilience of our youth to prepare, prevent and minimize the negative impacts of climate change in their future of work.


 The purpose of the Youth and Future of Work in the Cook Islands Survey is to have first-hand feedback from the Youth of our country. Our national economy is hugely reliant on tourism which is itself dependent on climate change. The questions to our youth are about their aspirations as future employers, employees of our country and their vision of how they will be contributing to our economic development. Most importantly, their contribution can inform us on the strategies we need to put in place now to allow positive harnessing of their potential and assist them in their development and transition from school into the world of work.


 The survey is a collaboration between the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Youth and Labour Division) and the Ministry of Education. The Government would like to include all Youth into this dialogue, starting with the ones who are within the formal education structure. The survey is available online through our websites (MOE and INTAFF) as well as on our face book pages (INTAFF and Labour and Consumer page). The link will be shared to all general stakeholders, encouraging them to engage their children in the activity for maximum participation.




The link to the Survey is:



Join Us in shaping the future of work in the Cook Islands !





Contact: Labour and Consumer Division, Ministry of Internal Affairs.




Media – Release CINYC

The ministry of Internal Affairs wishes to share this Media  release from the Cook Islands National Youth Council  and wish their New  Committee members the best for the coming Year and hope to continue to work in partnership in empowering Youth in the Cook Islands….

“In  an official meeting, held on the 9th of February, the Cook Islands National Youth Council moved to replace outgoing President Ms. Naomi Manavaikai, who stepped down from the position in the same meeting. In true solidarity, Ms. Manavaikai expressed to the council that she had found the role to be rewarding but rather demanding and was happy to step down to allow for another member to lead the council.  She will continue to support the work of the council as a committee member.

In the same meeting, Ms. Sieni Tiraa was voted in as Ms. Manavaikai’s replacement, and has now assumed the role of CINYC president. Ms. Tiraa brings much enthusiasm and vitality to the work of the council and is more than ready to lead the team.

Other positions that became vacant at the said meeting included the Treasurer and Secretary. The role of Treasurer, vacated by Mr. Papamama Pokino, has now been taken up by Ms. Nukutau Pokura. The position of secretary, which was vacated by Ms. Tiraa after being elected President, was taken up by Ms. Piakura Passfield who is willing to assist the council to achieve its aspirations. In addition, Rotaract president, Mr. Daniel Fisher has rejoined the Council and Ms. Roimata Wilson resumes her role, both as committee members.

The Cook Islands Youth Council has a strong team with many passionate members wanting to ensuring and advocating for the best for our young people, in partnership with government and non-government stakeholders.

The revitalized council members 2017/18 are:

  • Ms. Sieni Tiraa (President)
  • Mr. Tereapii Tumutoa (Vice-President)
  • Mr. Liam Kokaua (Vice-President)
  • Ms. Nukutau Pokura (Treasurer/Public Relations)
  • Ms. Piakura Passfield (secretary)
  • Committee members: Ms. Rima Moekaa, Ms. Naomi Manavaikai, Mr. Daniel Fisher and Ms. Roimata Wilson

If any aspiring young activists out there in the community would like to become part of the council as a committee member, just contact Ms. Sieni Tiraa on 81423, email or drop us a message on Facebook for more details.



The Destitute and Infirmed Payment is set to increase from $165 a month to $200 a month from 1 July 2016 and the Old Age Pension rate for those aged 70 and over will increase from $650 a month to $660 a month.

The Destitute and Infirmed Payment is a means tested payment targeting working age people, primarily those with high disability needs, who are unable to secure employment. There are approximately 200 people currently receiving this payment.

While the rate is set to increase to $200 a month, the Government has stated an intention to progressively increase the Destitute and Infirmed Payment over time so that there is parity with the Old Age Pension.

The increase to the Destitute and Infirmed Payment was announced as part of the 2016-17 Budget at an additional cost of $92,000 bringing the total cost for the payment to $528,000 in 2016-17.

The increase in the Old Age Pension was originally announced last year and will cost an additional $87,000 bringing the total expected expenditure on the Old Age Pension for those aged 70 and over to $5.8 million in 2016-17. This is in addition to $6.3 million allocated in the 2016-17 Budget for Old Age Pensioners aged from 60 to 69.

Youth Training Opportunities: JENESYS Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youth

The following opportunity is being offered by the Japanese Government for up to 3 students or youth to attend the above exchange programme in Japan under the JENESYS2015 programme.

JENESYS 2015 is a people-to-people exchange program between Japan and the Asia-Pacific region, JENESYS (Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youth) and is supported by the Japanese Government.

The purpose of the programme is to:

  • promote mutual trust and understanding among the peoples of Japan and the Asia-Pacific region, and to build a basis for future friendship and cooperation
  • promote a global understanding of Japan’s society, history, diverse culture, politics, and diplomatic relations.

This is a fully-funded two-weeks study tour of Japan for 14 Pacific Island Countries and Australia & New Zealand.   (For more info check out:

Application process:

*  Completed and signed application

*  Copy of bio-data page of passport

*  2x recent passport size photos (accompanying the application)

*  There is an opportunity for up to 3 students or youth to be nominated

*  Current USP students (full-time or part-time) and Youth are encouraged to apply

*  Must be 18 years old and over

Application forms to reached OPS Office no later than Friday 22nd January 2016.

Cook Islands Youth Monograph

The Cook Islands Government signed a Biennium Work Plan with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the two year period in 2014 and 2015 to target issues affecting reproductive health and improving gender health outcomes.

While much of the planned work targeted programmes to assist with improved family planning, sexual and reproductive health services to prevent STIs, and raising awareness about violence against women, there was also a component for increasing the availability, analysis and utilization of data to inform policy decision making on population dynamics.

With support of the Cook Islands Statistics Office and UNFPA, two statistical reports using existing information contained in the Census was approved: these were the Labour Monograph and the Youth Monograph.

Below is a link to the Cook Islands Youth Monograph.

1. UNFPA _ Youth Monograph Report _ Young people of the Cook Islands HRv1


A meeting was held today with Minister Nandi Glassie, Minister Albert Nicholas, representatives from Minister Teariki Heather’s Office and relevant stakeholders to discuss the proposed Road Safety Strategy and safety helmets for motorbike users.

“Today was an opportune time for all to get an update on the work that has been undertaken by Police, Health, government officials and stakeholders in August this year on improving road safety, the next steps needed and how we politicians can support the proposed changes,” said Minister Nicholas.

The meeting clarified that a comprehensive road safety strategy that had been developed in August 2015 was ready for consideration by Cabinet. The strategy outlines a 5-pronged approach addressing road safety from a holistic approach including improving physical safety of the roads, improved safety by road users and effective road incident crash response.

The strategy would enable the establishment of a new multi-stakeholder Road Safety Committee with the first priority item of business on the issue of compulsory wearing of helmets.

“I am pleased to see that this new Committee includes representation from the Office of the Opposition as this may facilitate quicker decision making at the political level rather than waiting for Parliament to sit to discuss this very important matter”.

“By the time we go to Parliament in the New Year, I hope it will be with a consensus approach through the work of this committee on compulsory wearing of helmets”.

Officials from the Police, ministries of health, infrastructure and internal affairs and representatives from the Road Safety Council, Cook Islands National Youth Council and Teimurimotia Fire Brigade were present at today’s meeting.


Media Release – International Youth Day, August 12th 2015

The United National International Youth Day will be held this Wednesday 12th August and this year’s theme is Youth Civic Engagement. This is a main goal of the UN system wide action plan on youth (Youth-SWAP) and it seeks to promote young people’s effective inclusive civic, engagement at all levels. Although no event has been organised for the Cook Islands to commemorate this day the Youth Division within the Ministry of Internal Affairs is getting behind the #youthpower campaign via social media and is encouraging all young people to support this campaign by:
1. Stand proud, strike your #YouthPower pose and catch it on your camera!
2. Post it on social media using #YouthPower.
3. Tag your friends and get them to share their poses. #YouthPower is stronger together.

A number of Pacific Islanders have already started the #Youthpower journey, and the Cook Islands should join in, to help commemorate this year’s International Youth Day.

In other youth news, the Ministry of Internal Affairs will is supporting the Cook Islands National Youth Council (CINYC) youth conference to be held 6th – 8th October this year. The program for the event has yet to be finalised.

And the Ministry of Internal Affairs would like to congratulate Regina Potini of Aitutaki who has been elected as CIP Director of Youth for the Pa Enua. We look forward to meeting with you.

Overseas Opportunity for a Young Person

An opportunity exists for young Pacific citizens to apply for the position of Assistant Programme Officer for the Pacific Region, based in the Youth Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. Eligible applicants must be a citizen of  a Commonwealth country and aged 27 years or under at the time of application. To be considered for this opportunity, you must have a strong Bachelor degree or higher in a related field such as youth development, social science or international development. You will have a deep cultural familiarity and regional knowledge of the Pacific region and possess at least one year of work experience in the design and delver of youth development and/or youth-led development or democracy programmes. If you are keen to gain excellent experience in one of the world’s most high-profile youth development programmes and can thrive in our multi-cultural environment, the Commonwealth Secretariat look forward to hearing from you.

Apply online :