About Us India-Cook Islands: Bilateral Brief

High Commission of India

Wellington, New Zealand


India-Cook Islands Bilateral Relations

India and the Cook Islands established diplomatic relations in 1998. At that time, Indian High Commissioner at Wellington was concurrently accredited to the Cook Islands. Since the re-opening of the High Commission of India in Suva in 1999 till October 2021, High Commissioner in Suva was concurrently accredited to the Cook Islands. Since November 2021, Indian High Commissioner at Wellington is concurrently accredited to the Cook Islands. In case of Cook Islands, its Ambassador in Tokyo is concurrently accredited to India.


The two countries are bound together by membership of the Commonwealth as well as cooperation in different international fora. Government of India is also providing regular economic and technical assistance to Cook Islands.


Mark Brown became the new Prime Minister of Cook Islands on 1st October 2020. He had previously served as Deputy Prime Minister under the former Prime Minister, Henry Puna.


The Forum for India-Pacific Island Countries Summit (FIPIC-I): Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi hosted the First Summit of Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC-I) in Suva (Fiji) during the visit on 19 November 2014 with the participation of 14 Pacific countries. Cook Islands delegation, led by the Prime Minister Henry Puna, attended the Summit.


The Forum for India-Pacific Island Countries Summit (FIPIC-II:) Mr Nandi Glassie, Minister of Health, Justice and Parliamentary services led the 5-member delegation for the FIPIC-II, Jaipur in August 2015.


India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference (IPI-SDC): Under the umbrella of FIPIC, Government of India organized the India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference (IPI-SDC) which was held at Suva, Fiji on 25-26 May 2017. Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. (Dr.) V.K.Singh (Retd.) hosted the event. The Conference saw the participation of several high profile leaders from the 14 Pacific Island Nations. India signed MoUs for setting up of Centers of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) with Fiji, Cook Islands, Nauru, Samoa and Niue. Prasar Bharati of India also gifted programmatic content on India for telecast to all the Pacific Island Countries. Mr. Mark Brown, Minister of Finance, Cook Islands led the delegation for (IPI-SDC).

VVIP Visits

  • MOS(EA) Shri E. Ahamed led the Indian delegation to the 24th Post Forum Dialogue Partners Meeting held in the Cook Islands on 31 August 2012. MOS (EA) interacted with other leaders of delegations and participants of the meeting. He met with the Health Minister of the Cook Islands and reiterated our interest in developing closer relations with the Cook Islands and the Pacific region. 
  • Mark Brown, Minister for Finance, visited India on 2-4 February 2013 for the ADB Asia Leadership Program on Sustainable Development and Climate Change held in Delhi.
  • High Commissioner of India in Suva attended the Third Round Table Meeting of Development Partners in Rarotonga on 12 February 2013.
  • John Henry, Associate Minister, Ministry of Internal Affairs visited India in connection with the Second High Level Meeting (HLM) on South-South Cooperation for Child Rights in Asia and the Pacific, held in New Delhi on 23-25 October, 2013.
  • Development Partners Meeting (DPM) was held on 10-14 February 2014 in the Cook Islands (CI), as a forum “for dialogue between government, civil society, private sector, and international development partners on aid effectiveness.” High Commission of India, Suva participated in the meeting.


GOI Assistance (Technical & Financial)



  • GOI had offered financial assistance worth approx. US$50,000 to the Government of the Cook Islands in 2005 for executing small projects. GOI offered a grant aid of US$100,000 each annually to all small Pacific States at the Post Forum Dialogue Partners meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum in Nadi (Fiji) in October 2006 for programmes and for sustainable development, which was increased to US$ 125,000 in 2009. During PM’s visit to Fiji for The Forum for India-Pacific Island Countries Summit - (FIPIC-I) in November 2014, the Annual Grant-in-Aid for the 14 PIC countries was raised to US$200,000, with the facility that this would be rolled over annually.


  • 2006-07: Financial Assistance given for purchase of computer/software etc. for US$94,348/-.


  • 2010-2011: Financial Assistance given for purchase of computer, photocopier, printer, scanner for St. Joseph Primary School for US$9880/-.
  • One 4-stroke outboard motor for Avatiu, Tuatonga Fishing Club for US$12,500/-
  • Repairs of Community building village clinics etc. for US$12,574/-
  • Construction of new toilet, shower for the Nikao Social Centre for US$12,500/-
  • Renovation of Ruaau Meeting House Building for US$12,500/-


  • 2012-2013: A specialized vehicle for disabled persons had been procured by Cook Islands against the GOI Grant-in-Aid in August 2012 – US$64,597/-.
  • GOI provided funds in February 2013 for 16 community development projects in February 2014 – US$385,244/-.


  • Given financial aid for purchase of equipment for Cricket Tournament – US$11,452/-


  • 2013-2014: Grant-in-Aid for 10 Project Proposals – US$124,332


  • 2016-2017: High Commissioner of India in Suva visited Cook Islands on 2 March 2017 to hand over grant of US$6,90,846/- to Mr Mark Brown, Minister of Finance, for funding of 16 Community Development projects. High Commissioner of India in Suva had meetings with Cook Islands Prime Minister Mr. Henry Puna and Ms. Tepaeru Herrmann, Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Immigration to discuss bilateral matters. High Commissioner of India in Suva also visited Takuvaine Town Child Welfare Clinic, Pokoinu Neighbourhood Watch, and Centre for disabled people. He had meetings with Representatives of local ‘Chamber of Commerce’, and ‘Business, Trade & Investment Board’.


  • High Commissioner Shri Muktesh K. Pardeshi presented his Credentials to Queen’s Representative of the Cook Islands, Sir Tom Marsters on 7 March 2022. He also engaged with several Ministers and high-level officials to enhance cooperation between the two countries. During his visit to the Cook Islands, High Commissioner met Prime Minister Hon. Mark Brown, Associate Minister for Health, Minister for Business Trade Investment Board, Minister for Education and Secretaries of Foreign Affairs & Immigration, Finance & Economic Management, Transport, Agriculture, & Health departments. He also visited the Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) at the University of the South Pacific (USP) campus and reaffirmed further assistance from India. High Commissioner also hosted a dinner to meet the community members.


  • An MoU was signed in October 2021 between the two countries for grant of financial assistance for the following 6 Community Development Projects in Cook Islands, first instalment (40% of total project cost) for which was released in April 2022:
  1. Road safety improvements for Arorangi School, Tereora College, Takitumu School and Muri market area.
  2. Procurement and installation of waste management system, underground water tank and solar panels.
  3. Procurement of sailing boats and implementation of school sailing development programme.
  4. Procurement of materials to upgrade the Takuvaine Village water station.
  5. Renovation of the Tutakimoa Community Centre.
  6. Procurement of machinery for the upkeep of the Rarotonga Bowling Green.



Human Resource Development


  • Three slots were utilized out of five offered in 2017-18 under the Government of India’s ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation) programme. Five slots were offered in 2018-19 and no slots were utilized. Both slots were unutilized in 2019-20 and also in 2020-21.


  • Two diplomats from the Cook Islands attended the training for diplomats of Pacific Island countries organised by the Foreign Service Institute in Nadi, Fiji in May, 2015.


  • Ms Punanga Kaveao, Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs participated in the 62nd Professional Course for Foreign Diplomats (PCFD) held at Foreign Service Institute, New Delhi from 27 July to 26 August 2016.



Mahatma Gandhi-Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (MG-CEIT): GoI and Government of Cook Islands signed an MoU for setting up of Mahatma Gandhi Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (MG-CEIT) on 24.05.2017.  As per MoU, CDAC was nominated by GoI for implementation of the project and Cook Islands nominated University of South Pacific (USP) as the implementing Agency in Cook Islands. According to MoU two IT professionals have been deputed for the period of two years to the MG-CEIT for its installation and the centre is fully functional. 

Cooperation at International Forums: Recently Cook Islands supported following Indian candidatures at international forums:


  • Indian Candidature to the Executive Board of UNESCO in November 2017 (reciprocal support offered).


  • Indian Candidature to International Maritime Organization (IMO) in November 2017.


Solar Electrification Project: The GOI’s US$1.5 million flagship project of 'solar electrification of 2800 houses in 14 PICs' kick-started on 15 August 2016 with a one-month refresher training of 43 Solar Mamas from seven PICs at the Centre for Advanced Training and Development (CATD), Nadave, Tailevu, Fiji. 200 houses in Cook Islands have been slated to be solar electrified under this project.

Culture: Under ‘Namaste Pacifika’, a Festival of India, Ministry of Culture - sponsored Dr. Yashoda Thakore Kuchipudi dance group, which mesmerized a 600-strong audience in Raratonga on 15 January 2018.


IDY 2018: Fifth International Day of Yoga was celebrated in Rarotonga, Cook Islands on 22 June 2019.  His Excellency Mr. Anthony Turua, Secretary, Ministry of Culture was the Chief Guest at the event. 



July 2022