New Zealand & Australia Harmonised Programme

A Joint Commitment for Development between the Governments of the Cook Islands and New Zealand establishes a shared vision for working in partnership to achieve long-term development outcomes for the people of the Cook Islands, including achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. This informs the Cook Islands – New Zealand – Australia Harmonised Aid Programme.

Joint Harmonised Annual Programme Review Jan 2012 to Dec 2013 outlines progress against the New Zealand and Australian joint program for bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA).

The New Zealand government employs staff at its High Commission office in Rarotonga who act as a point of contact for Cook Islands officials and partners to discuss matters related to the planning, administration and evaluation of activities funded. The NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade keeps a web page with basic Cook Islands program information.

The Cook Islands National Sustainable Development Commission (NSDC) considers proposals and makes recommendations on the program direction to cabinet, who make final decisions. These decisions are made in light of negotiations which include high level discussions with Government officials and regular meetings between Ministers from both governments.

NZ commits funds on a 3-year cycle linked to its Parliamentary budget cycle. Funds are spent by NZ partners or paid over in bulk to the CI Ministry of Finance and Economic Management who disburses these to public and private partners of the program according to mutually agreed arrangements. The form of these arrangements includes projects (e.g. Mauke Harbour), sector support (e.g. Education and Tourism) and a range of other modalities like contestable grant funds (e.g. CITAF, SIF). All funds are reported in the Cook Islands Government's financial statements and budget process and are subject to the rules and regulations which govern the use of Cook Islands public funds.

The New Zealand government also reports on the aid programme funds to its parliament through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Annual Report under the Vote Official Development Assistance.

Useful documents available include:

Joint Commitment for Development

Forward Aid Plan

The FAP is a document used to plan allocation of funds over the coming 3 year period.

Evaluations & Reviews

Concept Notes and Activity Design Documents