Cooks PM keen to pursue talks with NZ on UN membership

​The Cook Islands prime minister Henry Puna will again pursue membership of the United Nations when he meets the New Zealand prime minister John Key next week.

Key is in Rarotonga for the 50th year celebrations of the Cooks free association deal with New Zealand.

Puna says applying the same innovative thinking of 50 years ago could also deliver UN membership and the retention of New Zealand citizenship for Cook Islanders.

He says the 1965 arrangement was the first of its kind in the world and the Cook Islands has historically done things ahead of everybody else.

He stresses he is mindful of being careful and how far the Cook Islands can push the issue.

Puna says the Cook Islands and New Zealand have earlier agreed to continue discussions on UN membership but the discussions with the bureaucracy in Wellington have gone nowhere.