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Cook Islands PM Visits NZ

Media statement Hon Phil Goff

New Zealand's close relationship with the Cook Islands was the main theme of talks between Foreign Minister Phil Goff and Cook Islands Prime Minister Dr Terepai Maoate in Wellington yesterday.

Mr Goff, who called on Dr Maoate during a visit to the Cook Islands in January, said he was pleased to welcome Prime Minister Maoate to New Zealand on his first trip here since being elected last November.

"The Prime Minister and I talked about the constitutional relationship and partnership between New Zealand and the Cook Islands. We have very close ties which reflect our common citizenship and history," Mr Goff said.

"Dr Maoate and I both recognise the importance of regular communication and a constructive approach to issues of mutual interest."

There are approximately 47,000 Cook Islanders living in New Zealand and approximately 17,000 in the Cook Islands. The Cook Islands has been self-governing in free association with New Zealand since 1965.

During his visit, Dr Maoate will also meet Prime Minister Helen Clark, Governor General Sir Michael Hardie Boys, several Government Ministers and Leader of the Opposition Jenny Shipley.


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