A new Statement of Partnership between Aotearoa New Zealand and the Cook Islands has been signed in Rarotonga today.
Named Waka Hourua/Vaka Purua, the statement reflects a commitment to work together on issues of shared interests and importance, recognises our countries special links, and elevates our relationship to a new level of expanded cooperation.
“Aotearoa New Zealand and the Cook Islands share deep whakapapa connections which are bound together by Te-Moana-nui-a-Kiwa – our Blue Pacific Continent,” said Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta.
“This Statement emphasises shared priority areas and common goals, such as addressing climate change and strengthening resilience, enhancing our security, and ensuring a sustainable economic recovery from COVID-19.
“Aotearoa New Zealand has supported the Cook Islands since the outset of the pandemic through vaccine rollouts, budget support, and improved access to advice and finance for businesses. This morning I also announced further pandemic support to the Pacific.”
Building on the 2001 Joint Centenary Declaration, the Minister said the signing provides a roadmap of commitments for the future.
“Today is about celebrating our shared successes and highlights our joint ambitions for a prosperous and safe Pacific region,” she said.
Waka Houra and Vaka Purua are, respectively, the Aotearoa New Zealand Māori and Cook Islands Māori terms for the traditional double-hulled canoes that used to journey between the two countries. The name symbolises the enduring links that exist between the Cook Islands and Aotearoa New Zealand, and the intention to continue to work together to navigate future challenges and opportunities.