Broadcasting deal will bring region together - Cooks PM

​The Cook Islands Prime Minister says a new broadcasting initiative will bring his country closer to New Zealand.

Henry Puna says the move to provide up to eight hours a day of free-to-air New Zealand content, including top rugby action, would be beneficial not only for sports fans.

Mr Puna says he is looking forward to the cultural exchanges that will occur via broadcasting.

"We're looking forward to seeing all of these programmes. There will be some educational programmes that will be good for the kids, and for us adults Tagata Pasifika and the Māori programmes will be very, very welcome."

Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Niue, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea are included in the deal announced by New Zealand last week.