New Zealanders are being reminded the Cook Islands is part of our realm.
The island nation has run up a bill of more than NZ$50 million paying businesses a wage subsidy.
Cook Island Prime Minister Mark Brown revealed they may need New Zealand to fork out some funding, if a travel bubble doesn't happen in March.
About 70 per cent of the Cook Island's GDP comes from tourism.
Council for International Development's Josie Pagani told Heather du Plessis-Allan we should be doing something to help them.
"There's never been a crisis and Covid is no exception, where the poor come off better off.
"And I can tell you, right across the Pacific, we are seeing poverty increasing."
She says we must listen to how they want us to use our aid budget.
"They're asking 'help us with digital connectivity, so schools can keep running and kids can keep learning, help us to pivot away from tourism and build up some resilience'."