Cook Islands Ministry of Finance News
The Minister of Finance, the Hon Mark Brown, will shortly be arriving in Australia to officially strike the Cook Islands’ new circulating coins to be released later this year.
In August 2013, Minister Brown announced that the Government will launch a set of new coins to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Cook Islands self government on 4 August 2015.
On 4 March 2015, Minister Brown will officially start production of each of the six denominations of the Cook Islands’ new coins in a ceremony at the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra.
Minister Brown will be accompanied by the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) Mr Richard Neves. MFEM will be responsible for delivering the Cook Islands’ coinage reform and managing the process of distributing new coins and withdrawing old coins from circulation.
“From August this year, Cook Islanders will have shining new coins with much-loved Cook Islands designs that they can use every day with pride,” said Minister Brown.
The new coins will be smaller, lighter and made of modern materials.
There will be six new coins: 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, $1, $2 and $5.
The 10 cent, 20 cent and 50 cent coins will be made of nickel plated steel and will be silver in colour.
The $1, $2 and $5 coins will be made of aluminium bronze and will be gold in colour.
The obverse of all coins will feature the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The reverse designs of most existing coins will be retained. A new look will be introduced for the $5 coin which will feature a Vaka.
All coin designs will be released in conjunction with a public awareness campaign to be launched mid-year. More information will be provided regarding the public awareness campaign closer to the time of the official launch.
Earlier this month the Prime Minister, the Honourable Henry Puna signed the Cook Islands' 19th Tax Information Exchange Agreement (“TIEA”) with the Czech Republic in Auckland. This signing, in addition to the news that Italy have recently ratified our TIEA with them, signify further progress by the Cook Islands in meeting its international tax obligations.
The signings were an important step for the Cook Islands to demonstrate its international cooperation on tax matters and to the principles of transparency and effective exchange of information. The entering into of this agreement is further evidence of the Cook Islands’ commitment to the OECD’s efforts in creating a level playing field in the international arena, encompassing the principals of transparency and effective exchange of information for tax purposes.
This signing makes a total of 19 TIEAs entered into by the Cook Islands, and demonstrates that the Cook Islands has become a leading jurisdiction in the fight against tax evasion. The TIEAs allow for these countries and the Cook Islands to request information from each other where a specific taxpayer is under investigation, and where there is reason to believe that relevant information is held in the other country.
Currently the Cook Islands is undergoing a Phase 2 Peer Review by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, which we expect will result in a positive report.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) has embarked on a new approach in our attempts to produce timely consolidated financial statements for the Government of the Cook Islands. MFEM with technical assistance from KPMG is now releasing the unaudited financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2012. The unaudited financial statement for June 2013 will be released shortly after it has been reviewed by the KPMG.
These financial statements will be replaced, once it has been audited, by the audited financial statements.