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Cook Island Employment Guide

Your quick guide on talent and labor compliance norms in Cook Island




New Zealand Dollar (NZD)


English and Cook Islands Māori

Payroll Frequency


GDP per Capita


Employer Tax


Talent Overview

Cook Island is a self-governing archipelago located in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. The country has many opportunities for development and growth. The GDP of Cook island increased by 3.1% in the past years. The country mainly focuses on service industries and tourism to improve the GDP.

Major economic hubs:

Avarua, Amuri, Avatiu

Skills in demand:

Digital Marketing, IT engineer, software engineer, and Developer.

Cook Island Map

Local Universities

The top local universities in Cook Island are as follows:

Cook Island Uni1

Takamoa Theological College


Local: 1

Cook Island Uni2

University of the South Pacific


Local: 2

Cook Island Uni3

Cook Islands campus and Cook Islands Tertiary Training Institute


Local: 3


Salary Data

The average monthly salary of some jobs available in Cook Island is as follows:

Job Title Avg. Monthly Salary (NZD) Avg. Monthly Salary (USD)
Financial Manager 9,300 NZD 5689.04 USD
General Manager 8,340 NZD 5101.79 USD
Business Development Manager 7,710 NZD 4716.40 USD
Financial Analyst 6,030 NZD 3688.70 USD
Business Analyst 5,990 NZD 3664.23 USD
Project Manager 5,120 NZD 3132.03 USD
Cook Island Talentsource

Talent Sourcing Tips

Top Local Job Boards:

CookIslandJobs, Jora, Seek

Number of LinkedIn users:


Top Recruitment Agencies:

CookIslandJobs, Jbsolis

Employing in Cook Island

In order to maintain a fair and decent work environment, the employer must know about the labor law, social security contribution, bonus, and allowances that the employee needs to be provided with. This section contains all the information for the employer.

Employee Contract

The language of the employment contract must be in the official language; English or Cook Islands Māori.

Probation Period

The probation period in Cook island must not exceed six months.

Public and Provincial Holidays 2023

Date Name Type
1 Jan New Year’s Day Public Holiday
2 Jan New Year’s Day observed Public Holiday
2 Jan Day After New Year’s Day Public Holiday
3 Jan Day After New Year’s Day observed Public Holiday
7 Apr Good Friday Public Holiday
10 Apr Easter Monday Public Holiday
25 Apr ANZAC Day Public Holiday
5 Jun Sovereign’s Birthday Public Holiday
7 Jul Ui Ariki Day Public Holiday
4 Aug Constitution Day Public Holiday
26 Oct Gospel Day Public Holiday
25 Dec Christmas Day Public Holiday
26 Dec Boxing Day Public Holiday

Employee Leaves

Type of Leave Time Period Mandatory
Annual/Earned Leave 10 days Yes
Sick Leave 5 days Yes
Maternity Leave 6 Weeks Yes


Payroll 1

Payroll Cycle

The payroll cycle in Cook Island is Monthly.

Payroll 2

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Cook Island is NZD 8.00/hour.

Payroll 3

Overtime Pay

The overtime rate is 1.5 times the monthly wage.


13th Month Pay:

There is no statutory law for 13th-month pay in Cook Island

Employee Benefits:

  • Healthcare Benefits
  • Pension Benefits
  • Maternity Benefits


Employer Payroll Tax:

Fund Contribution
Superannuation 5%

Employee Payroll Tax:

Fund Contribution
Superannuation 5%

Employee Income Tax:

In New Zealand Dollar

Taxable Income (NZD) Rate Payable Tax
Ranges from 0 to 14,600 0% NIL
Ranges from 14,601 to  30,000 17% 17 cents for each 1 NZD above 14,600 NZD
Ranges from 30,000 to 80,000 27% *2,618 NZD + 27 cents for each 1 NZD above 30,000 NZD
Above 80,0001 30% *16,118 NZD + 30 cents for each 1 NZD above 80,000 NZD

In Euro

Annual Taxable Income Income Tax Rates (%) Deductible Amount (EUR)
Up to 7,112 14.5 Nil
Ranging from 7,113 to 10,732 23 604.54
Ranging from 10,733 to 20,322 28.5 1,194.80
Ranging from 20,323 to 25,075 35 2,515.63
Ranging from 25,076 to 36,967 37 3,017.27
Ranging from 36,968 to 80,882 45 5,974.54
80,882 and more 48 8,401.21

Note: Depending on the employee income above the tax-free threshold, calculate the payable tax for each income bracket. For instance, the payable income between 14,601 NZD and 30,000 NZD is 17 cents for every dollar. For the tax bracket 30,000 NZD to 80,000 NZD, the employee has taxed 27 cents.


The standard VAT rate is 15% on Cook Island.

Offboarding & Termination

Both parties can terminate the employment contract based on the requirement. The employer can terminate the contract on the following terms:

  • If there is any case of redundancy
  • If the employee is unable to carry out the duties
  • If the employee is associated with any misconduct

The notice period in Cook Island is one week.

In Cook Island, there is no statutory law for severance pay.

Visa and Immigration

Any individual to work from Cook Island needs to apply for a work permit in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration. Also, the individual has to provide all the personal documents with the employee contract and Health clearance check. Before traveling to the country, police checking is essential.

Cook Island Visa
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Minimum Wage

Overtime Pay

Visa & Immigration