Our Economic Response

The Economic Response Plan (ERP) is aimed at supporting local business, and the livelihoods of those most affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19 in our community. Responding to the border closure situation and the subsequence affects, the Cook Islands government executed a stimulus Economic Response Plan Phase I package valued at $61 million then a further $76 million for Economic Response Plan Phase II. The Cook Islands government is planning for a lengthy recovery period to carry the country towards a post-COVID-19 future.

For more information visit Ministry of Finance & Economic Management

ERP Phase III Extension to June 2021

In light of the continued border closure, the Cook Islands Government will be extending the Economic Response Plan (ERP) Phase III to the end of June 2021. The ERP is designed to ensure employers keep their staff on the payroll and businesses and sole traders are able to keep functioning as best as possible under the current circumstances.

The extension includes a number of measures, including the following:

  • Wage Subsidy

The Wage Subsidy will continue to be available for eligible businesses until 30 June 2021. This will give businesses and their staff much needed wage support even after visitors start arriving on our shores.

  • Sole Trader Grants

A further Sole Trader Grant of $3,000 will be available to those who have previously received support and those new Sole Traders who have yet to register with RMD. Registration for new Sole Traders closes on 16 April 2021. The new round of grant applications will be available from 30 April to 31 May 2021.

  • Unemployment Benefit and Unemployment Benefit Extension

The unemployment benefit was extended in ERP Phase II and is still available until June 2021.

  • Emergency Hardship Fund

The emergency hardship fund was extended in ERP Phase II and is still available until June 2021.

  • Te Aponga Uira discounts

An extension to the electricity discount for households and businesses until end of June 2021.

  • CINSF Superannuation contributions.

An extension of the reduction in super­annuation rates for eligible businesses un­til end of June 2021.

For more Information click here

Economic Response Plan Phase III

On 31 December 2020 the Prime Minister announced Phase III of the Government’s Economic Response Plan (ERP). Phase III continues to provide our people and businesses with much needed financial support. Phase III includes a number of key measures, including the following:

  • The introduction of a new business grant scheme, with payments in both February and April, ranging from $2,500 to $15,000 depending on the size of business and number of employees.
  • An extension of the wage subsidy until 30 April 2021. This will give businesses and their staff much-needed wage support until visitors start arriving on our shores.
  • An increase in the value of the January 2021 sole trader grant, from $2,000 to $3,000.
  • An extension of the Fees Free initiative for those students in the process of completing a certificate or diploma. This will allow those students who commenced their studies under Fees Free to continue with Government support.
  • The placement of a temporary hold on the requirement of businesses to pay the transfer bond for foreign employees. This will apply only to those businesses who have a history of meeting immigration and employment requirements.
  • An extension of the reduction in superannuation rates for eligible businesses until March 2021.
  • An extension to the electricity discount for households and businesses until March 2021.
    For more Information click here

Economic Response Plan Phase I

Budget $61 million
Key policies included:

  • Wage subsidies to help ensure that employers have the ability to keep their staff on the payroll
  • Cash grants for businesses affected by COVID-19
  • A reduction in employer and employee CINSF contributions from 5% to 3%
  • A reduction in employer and employee CINSF contributions from 5% to 3%
  • An unemployment benefit to be provided to all individuals who have become unemployed due to COVID-19
  • School closure support payment of $100 per child for each fortnight that school holidays are extended

For more information click here

Welfare and Employment Support

Information for workers, businesses, family and children, migrant workers
For more information click here