COOK ISLANDS OWES $3.6 MILLION TO NEW ZEALAND FUND

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (November 12, 1997-Radio Australia/ PACNEWS)---The Cook Islands government owes New Zealand's Government Superannuation Fund $3.6 million.

The fund's acting chief executive, Mel Smith, says the debt was accrued when the Cook Islands government, facing bankruptcy, stopped paying contributions for public service employees eligible to belong to the retirement program.

Smith says the Cook Islands government has accepted the debt and is working with the Asian Development Bank to devise a debt payment schedule.

The Government Superannuation Fund is believed to rank third among the bank's list of international creditors.

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