Panel members include Sandrina Thondoo, Ministry of Internal Affairs; Ian Hayes, Ministry of Finance & Economic Management; Steve Anderson, Chamber of Commerce (for employers); Tuaine Maunga, Cook Islands Workers Association (for employees); and Ngametua Arakua (community representative).
The Panel was chaired by director of Labour & Consumer Division. As every year, the objective of the minimum wage review panel is to strike a balance between the needs and abilities of all sectors.
In order to hear the views of as many people as possible, there must be the opportunity for active discussion and debate from all corners of the community on Rarotonga and the Pa Enua.
Hence, the panel will be organising public meetings, radio talk backs and surveys over the next few weeks in order to collect as many views as possible before making their recommendation to the Minister.
Economic environment and forecast is essential in informing our final decision. The Cook Islands is a small open economy that is largely dependent on tourism.
Despite being one of the most remote countries in the world, and one of the smallest (even by Pacific standards), the Cook Islands is the third most prosperous country per capita in the Pacific, behind New Zealand and Australia.
Our current Minimum Wage stands at $7. 25, but annual review ensures the rate is set at a level that achieves a fair and equitable balance.
The public is invited to consider the issues papers that will be published in the Cook Islands News this coming Saturday.
The series of questions will assist our people in understanding and reflecting on the importance of a minimum wage and gives us all the opportunity to participate in the process. Deadline for a written submission is welcome by Monday February 25 at 10am, either by email or by hard copy, to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.