Minister Peters spoke on 2 July with Cook Islands Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon Mark Brown, for the annual New Zealand-Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum.

They discussed the challenges presented by the global pandemic COVID-19 and each country’s respective approach to managing the economic impact of the virus.

The Ministers agreed to co-ordinate closely on options for mitigating the impact on tourism – a sector critical to both countries’ economies.

They discussed the mutual aim to re-open travel between Cook Islands and New Zealand when it is safe to do so in the COVID-19 context.

They exchanged views about the ongoing need for strong and effective regional organisations to ensure the Pacific can combat the collective challenges facing the region.