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Unions are not strong in the country however the Employment Relations Act 2012 sets out very clearly the requirements of employers in the Cook Islands. The unskilled sector has a high dependence on immigrant labour from Fiji, the Philippines and Indonesia (of the estimated 14,000 population on Rarotonga around 3,000 are foreign workers) who tend to stay for only a short time. In the skilled sector workers from NZ also tend only to work 2 or 3 year contracts before leaving.

As a result there is a shortage of labour in all sectors.

Labour Rate(s) Overview


(Local Currency & USD - $)

Rate as of 03-09-2018

Daily General Worker (Unskilled casual labour)



Daily General Worker (Semi-skilled labour)



Skilled Worker

NZ$8.50 - 15.00

USD$6 - 9.90

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