Clerk of Parliament John Tangi said the extension was due to high interest from many individuals and interest groups wanting to make written submissions and formally present these before the Parliamentary Select Committee.
The closing date for submissions will now be the end of March next year.
The draft bill repeals and replaces the Crimes Act 1969 (1969 Act) which is currently being followed in the Cook Islands.
The new bill will be a comprehensive, modern criminal code for the Cook Islands.
Tangi said the extension would also give the select committee an opportunity to take the bill to the outer islands.
The committee headed by deputy Speaker Mona Ioane includes Rose Brown, Toka Hagai, Tangata Vavia, Selina Napa, Pumati Iseraela and James Beer.
“A progress report will be presented to parliament later this year and the final report of the Bill will be put before the House next year,” Tangi said.
“Rarotonga alone is not a problem because there have been a number of consultations done here, but it’s the outer islands which is a challenge.
“This extension will allow committee members to visit the outer islands and get views of the people from there.”
Tangi said they were overwhelmed with the submissions they have received so far from individuals and community groups.
He said they were also pleased with the level of interest and concern that the public was showing for this bill.
“We have received some positive feedback and views from the general public at the vaka meetings we held (last month),” Tangi said.
“But there has been request for the committee members to revisit these vaka (in Rarotonga) but this time do it by community groups, rather than holding consultations in the vaka, which is much bigger.
“One problem we encountered in the vaka was the turnout, which was not really good. Going to smaller community groups will ensure we cover more people.
“Titikaveka MP Selina Napa and the MP for Matavera (Kiriau Turepu) have requested and encouraged the committee to visit the different communities in Rarotonga.”
The draft Crimes Bill 2017 draws heavily from the Australian Model Criminal Code, with adaptations to suit present Cook Islands’ law and conditions.
Outdated current offences are not carried over and relevant current offences are carried over in modern form.
New offences are added to ensure the Cook Islands complies with its international obligations.
An electronic copy of the Bill is available from the Clerk of Parliament.