Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully will host Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna and two of his ministerial colleagues today for the second New Zealand-Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum.

Mr McCully said New Zealand had a strong and long-standing relationship with the Cook Islands, based on shared heritage and close constitutional ties - Cook Islanders are New Zealand citizens.

"Our governments have agreed that the priorities for the New Zealand Aid Programme in the Cook Islands will be tourism and sectors that contribute to sustaining the tourism industry such as education, water and sanitation.

"The development effort will also focus on renewable energy, which will be a hot topic ahead of next month's Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland," said Mr McCully.


Mr Puna will be accompanied by Finance Minister Mark Brown and Tourism, Education and Fisheries Minister Teina Bishop.