Former Police Commissioner Peter Marshall has been named as the next High Commissioner to the Cook Islands by Foreign Minister Murray McCully.

Marshall was Police Commission of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force for four years and was then New Zealand Police Commissioner from 2011 to 2014.

McCully said New Zealand the Cook Islands had a special relationship based on historical ties and shared citizenship.

Last year marked the Cook Islands' 50th anniversary of self-government in free association with New Zealand and year-long celebrations culminated in reciprocal prime ministerial visits, he said.


"In commemoration of the sacrifice made by 500 young Cook Islands soldiers who served in World War I, New Zealand is hosting a programme of events throughout 2016.

"New Zealand and the Cook Islands are important development partners," McCully said.

"New Zealand's aid is focused on economic development and supports critical infrastructure upgrades, the tourism sector, and quality education and health services."

Marshall has most recently been an expert advisory panel member to the Victoria Equal Oppotunities and Human Rights Commission.

Marshall is not the first police officer to take up a diplomatic posting.
Former superintendent Ross Ardern, and the father of MP Jacinda Ardern, is New Zealand's High Commissioner to Niue.

Niue and Cook Islands post have occasionally been filled by former politicians, including former National MP John Carter, and former New Zealand First MP Brian Donnelly, to the Cooks, and former National MP Mark Blumsky and former Alliance leader Sandra Lee to Niue.

The Cook Islands became a New Zealand colony in 1901 but since 1965, it has governed in free association with New Zealand.

It runs it owns affairs but Cook Islanders are also New Zealand citizens and are free to live and work in New Zealand.


New Zealand is responsible for Cook Islands' defence and some aspects of foreign affairs.