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News 31 May 2018

Peter Marshall, New Zealand’s High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, urges those who are thinking of holidaying in the Cooks to not hesitate in doing so.

“It’s doing very well in relation to tourism, with numbers continually rising and the planes filling up fast, making it difficult to get a flight at short notice,” he told participants at the Pacific Head of Missions (HOMS) Breakfast on 25 May.

Despite a population of approximately 17,500 people, more than 160,000 people visited the Cook Islands in 2017. While tourism is the most dominant revenue earner comprising of almost two-thirds of its revenue, agriculture employs approximately a quarter of the nation’s population and black pearls are a leading export earner. It also has one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones at 1.8 million sq km of ocean to fish in.

The Cook Islands General Elections will be held in a couple of weeks on June 14, but Peter doesn’t expect any significant changes.

“We have a very stable political environment, with a strong interest shown by the New Zealand Government,” he says, adding those ties came through strongly during the Pacific Reset Mission in March.

“There’s also a great anticipation for the laying of the cable for faster internet access that will hopefully reach the Cooks in 2019. It will particularly have significant benefits for those living on the smaller outer islands.”

Peter Marshall has been an outstanding public servant since joining the New Zealand Police in 1972. He held a wide range of uniform and Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) positions and commanded high profile operations, including the policing of the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) and the Americas’ Cup events in Auckland. He is a former Auckland City Area Commander and Commanding Officer of the Hawkes Bay Armed Offenders Squad.

In addition he completed overseas service, including postings to the New Zealand High Commission in Canberra and the New Zealand Embassy in Washington DC, post events of 9/11.

In 2000 he became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) then a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 2014. In addition he has received a Royal Humane Society Award for bravery and holds various international and New Zealand Police commendations.

Peter is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He completed business management studies through Massey University.

After being appointed as High Commissioner to the Cook Islands in September 2016, Peter arrived in January 2017 with his wife Pamela.