New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta during her visit to Rarotonga hospital yesterday. NZHC Cook Islands/22101323
The New Zealand Government has boosted the Cook Islands Government’s Covid-19 response.
Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta, who was in Rarotonga yesterday,
announced additional funding of $3.8 million for the Polynesian Health
Corridors programme for pandemic preparedness and response over the next year,
as well as access to Covid-19 oral antivirals from New Zealand’s domestic
supply for the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau.
It also includes provision
of second Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine boosters to the Cook Islands, Niue and
Tokelau as requested.
Mahuta said she
had been hugely impressed with the Cook Islands Government’s response to the
“To be able to
achieve 98 per cent of the eligible population vaccinated (for the first
dosage) is remarkable,” Mahuta said.
“I was really
pleased to go out there and thank the frontline staff at Rarotonga hospital.
challenges, but it’s all going to take us working together.
“The impact of
Covid-19 is still being felt around the world, including the Pacific. As we
continue our re-connections this year, we have a clear focus on supporting the
social and economic resilience of our Pacific partners and their health
providing treatments and vaccines through our domestic supply, and increasing
access to antiviral treatments in collaboration with the World Health
Organization, will enhance countries’ ability to respond to the pandemic and
across the world have felt the burden of Covid-19. It is our responsibility as
a Pacific nation to work together with our Pacific partners to strengthen our
collective capabilities to prepare for and respond to pandemics. In the long
run, this helps us all in our efforts to achieve a safer, prosperous and
resilient Pacific,” Mahuta said.
At a joint press
conference with Mahuta, Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown said the
collaboration with the New Zealand Government during the Covid-19 pandemic had
protected the lives of thousands of people in the Cook Islands.
“It was a key
factor that ensured the Cook Islands remained relatively untouched by the
pandemic from a health perspective,” PM Brown said.
“We were spared
much of the devastation that other countries experienced.”
Since the pandemic
began in the Cook Islands, there have been 6389 cases of Covid-19.
also announced a $1.1 million contribution to the World Health Organization to
increase access to Covid-19 therapeutics in the wider Pacific, with
accompanying technical support.