Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced in Rarotonga that New Zealand's pensions will be able to be portable back to the Pacific islands by January 2019.
It's been a longtime irritant to Cook Islanders that to be eligible for their full pension back home they have to live in New Zealand for five years after they turn 50.
The Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau are most affected by the pension rules as their residents are New Zealand citizens.
Ms Ardern said New Zealand was pleased to move on this important issue for Pacific locals, especially those looking to move back to the islands to develop business.
“Under the current system people must have lived in New Zealand for five years after turning 50 in order to be eligible for New Zealand Super," Foreign Affairs Minister Winson Peters said.
"We will now allow residency in Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau after the age of 50 to count towards the eligibility requirements.
"This will mean that people who are eligible for New Zealand Super will be able to remain in these countries and contribute to the local economy without having to return to New Zealand just to qualify for their pension."