“Improve opportunities for social and economic advancement  for all people in the Cook Islands to participate in a vibrant Cook Islands economy”

Given the broad strategic priorities as outlined in the 2011-2015 National Sustainable Development Plan and the Government policy directions, the Ministry’s vision targets two distinctive goals: improving the social wellbeing of all Cook Islanders; and, supporting economic enablers through regulation of employer and businesses.

Improving opportunities for social and economic advancement for   people in the Cook Islands to participate…

The social and economic development of the country and the well-being of the population require the contribution of all members of society and partnerships, based on respect and equality for all.

All people have a right to actively be part of the Cook Islands community and development, for example, to belong to safe and supportive families, to have an education, to have a job, to have financial security, to enjoy recreation and sport.

Some people in the Cook Islands are unable to achieve these things without assistance because of their isolation, age, sex, physical condition or limited means.

Through its social obligations, the Ministry of Internal Affairs aims to assist those people achieve these things by ensuring that they are included, that they participate in community and development, and that they are able to find new opportunities to improve their lives.

Key population groups that the Ministry of Internal Affairs target are: elderly, people with disabilities, women, children, young people and families at risk and those that have responsibility for caring for people with vulnerability.

Assistance is provided through welfare payments to these groups. Assistance is also provided through partnerships and collaboration with civil society organisations, other Government agencies and Pa Enua to reach these groups.

The Ministry also helps to improve social and economic opportunities by ensuring that trends in population groups are monitored and appropriate policy action by Government is identified and implemented to ensure that these groups are supported to actively participate in society, such as, through the national policies on gender equity and women’s empowerment, disabilities and youth.

Positive participation in Cook Islands society is the primary goal for the ministry of these groups, as it directly contributes to their practical needs and long-term economic growth. These population groups represent untapped potential for employment and growth and their participation, be it employment, community service, family and home support, can help lift the national wealth of the Cook Islands in the long term.

…in a vibrant Cook Islands Economy

A vibrant economy is essential to ensure that there are opportunities for people in the Cook Islands to make informed decisions and be able to participate and benefit from development.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs plays a supporting role to economic development through regulation of the employment market, pricing and competition, fair trading and consumer protection. The minimum standards set by legislation governing business and employment practices aim to set an even playing field between businesses and guarantee basic protections to workers.

Ensuring that these rules are clearly understood and complied with provides stability and certainty in the economy, which is essential for businesses, workers and consumers to make well informed business, investment, purchase and employment decisions to support a vibrant Cook Islands Economy.

A vibrant economy also requires sound infrastructure. The Ministry supports sound infrastructure through licensing of dangerous goods to regulated safety standards and by managing contracts for the cleaning of public roads and spaces around Rarotonga.

The Ministry also regulates the ratings of movies, films and other recorded material. Ratings ensure that consumers make informed viewing decisions and that businesses comply with rating standards, lending itself to a vibrant Cook Islands economy by regulating these materials upon entering the country as well as promoting good and acceptable business practices.

 As a ministry, we will strive to reach this vision through excellence in customer service, effective networks and partnership, integrity and a strong evidence base.