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Submissions on minimum wage open to public

Wednesday 15 February 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Business, Economy, National


Submissions on minimum wage open to public

The 2023 Minimum Wage Review will be considered against a backdrop of rising costs for both living and running a business as the island nation continues to recover from Covid-19, the Ministry of Internal Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Businesses are still recovering from the impact of the pandemic, and the country is witnessing a steady outflow of the workforce towards New Zealand.

“A minimum wage review is therefore important as a tool that can be used, in support with other measures, to support our economic recovery.”

The 2022 review saw the minimum wage rise from $8 to $8.50.

The aim of the panel conducting this year’s review is to “strike a balance between the needs and abilities of all sectors”, the statement said.

“In order to engage effectively with the different sectors of our community, there must be the opportunity for active discussion and debate on Rarotonga and the Pa Enua.

“Hence, the panel will be organising public platforms and written submissions in order to collect as many views as possible before making their recommendation to the Minister.”

The panel is comprised of Maru Mariri-Tepou, representing the Ministry of Internal Affairs; Tristan Metcalfe, representing the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management; Chamber of Commerce chief executive Rebecca Tavioni, representing employers; Cook Islands Workers Association president Helen Maunga, representing employees; and Nga Teao-Papatua, representing the community.

They met for the first time on Thursday last week, kicking off the compulsory annual review process.

“The panel is looking forward to engaging with our community and be in a strong position to give valuable recommendations reflecting the needs of our country to the Minister,” the statement said.

“This year’s minimum wage review occurs in a changing economic environment, shaped by the recovery from the global Covid-19 pandemic.”

The deadline for submissions is March 10. Submissions must be made in writing and addressed to Minimum Wage Panel, Ministry of Internal Affairs or emailed to

Minimum wage was first established in the Cook Islands in 1964, when the Industrial and Labour Ordinance was passed.

Mariri-Tepou was approached for further comment.

  • Joanne Holden