She was commenting on a question put to the three main political parties last week as to who their preferred aid partners were, and whether the Cook Isalnds should continue fostering its relationship with non-traditional aid partners.
Manarangi Trott said the Cook Islands simply could not afford to pay for some essential infrastructure and community programmes, and for the most part, aid partners had been very successful in “filling many gaps” for the nation’s communities.
“Important decisions that need to be made by government when deciding on preferred aid partners include, understanding the conditions for accepting aid and negotiating all aid and investments that will have positive economic benefits for the Cook Islands,” she said.
“Aid delivery must meet internationally accepted standards of delivery and future costs must be taken into consideration before accepting any aid investment.
“All aid partners are partners in development. Therefore it is a partnership that builds on respect and understanding that will achieve genuine and realistic outcomes irrespective of who they are.”