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Businessman joins call for Cook Islands to share time with NZ

Friday 27 January 2023 | Written by RNZ | Published in Business, National

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Businessman joins call for Cook Islands to share time with NZ
Prominent businessman and Cook Islander Mike Pero. 21020117

Rarotongan resident and businessman, Mike Pero has joined the call for the Cook Islands to share the same date with New Zealand.

Pero said changing the time would help businesses and be much easier for travellers.

At the moment the Cook Islands time zone is almost a whole day behind New Zealand.

Pero said he sees no negatives to making the change.

“There's only three days of the business week that line up with New Zealand, whereas if the Cook Islands went one day ahead, still two hours or one hour ahead of New Zealand but we would be on the same business day, life would be a lot simpler,” he said.

Pero said he thought around one in every five travellers who visited the country would get confused over the time and he's heard many stories of wrong dates being booked for accommodation.

“It does create a cost for both airlines and for the tourist properties up here, where someone's arrived a day late or early or leaving the wrong date. So, it certainly would make a big difference.

“It doesn't change anything for the islanders, the average person over here wouldn't be affected.”

Pero suggested January 1, 2024, could be a good date for the change.

The change in the date has been an ongoing discussion. Progressive Party leader and lone candidate, Te Tuhi Kelly had aligned the dates as one of his major policies during the Cook Islands 2022 general election.

In 2011 Samoa changed its date to be aligned with New Zealand and Australia.

  • Caleb Fotheringham/RNZ Pacific