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Cooperation between NZ, Cooks on social services

15 February 2008

Joint Media Release
The Ministry of Social Development
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Social Services of the Cook Islands

Greater cooperation between New Zealand and Cook Islands on social policy and services

New Zealand's Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Social Services of the Cook Islands have signed a Cooperation Arrangement to promote a closer working relationship.

"The arrangement offers benefits to both of our organisations and will promote cooperation and the sharing of information between us on social services policy and delivery, social sector strategies and strategic planning," said Peter Hughes, the Chief Executive of New Zealand's Ministry of Social Development.

"Already we have seen real gains as a result of the strengthened relationship. With input from New Zealand officials, the Office of the Prime Minister and other stakeholders, we have developed a draft strategic directions document for our Ministry," said Tamari'i Tutangata, Secretary of Internal Affairs and Social Services of the Cook Islands.

The arrangement will see the Ministry of Social Development offer a range of support to the Cook Islands Ministry over the next three years including:
• Support for the development of policy papers on key issues including children and families, welfare services, older people, non-government organisations and labour.
• Sharing of best practice and standards around Family Group Conferences and social work.
• Assistance with the development of a human resources development plan.
• Advice on the design of a benefit payments system and information management system.
• Communication advice.

"We look forward to a positive and productive working relationship that will enhance the professionalism of both our organisations", said Peter Hughes and Tamari'i Tutangata.


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