21 Facts About Cook Islands


In recent decades, the Cook Islands have adopted an increasingly assertive foreign policy, and a Cook Islander, Henry Puna, currently serves as Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum.

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The Cook Islands have been an active member of the Pacific Community since 1980.

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The last Australian census recorded 28, 000 Cook Islands Islanders living in Australia, many with Australian citizenship.

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British navigator Captain James Cook Islands arrived in 1773 and again in 1777 giving the island of Manuae the name Hervey Island.

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The Hervey Cook Islands later came to be applied to the entire southern group.

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The boundary change became effective on 11 June 1901, and the Cook Islands have had a formal relationship with New Zealand since that time.

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The Cook Islands Islanders were trained at Narrow Neck Camp in Devonport, and the first recruits departed on 13 October 1915 on the SS Te Anau.

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Albert Henry of the Cook Islands Party was elected as the first Premier and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

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On 13 July 2017, the Cook Islands established Marae Moana, making it become the world's largest protected area by size.

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In March 2019, it was reported that the Cook Islands had plans to change its name and remove the reference to Captain James Cook in favour of "a title that reflects its 'Polynesian nature'".

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On 11 June 1980, the United States signed a treaty with the Cook Islands specifying the maritime border between the Cook Islands and American Samoa and relinquishing any American claims to Penrhyn, Pukapuka, Manihiki, and Rakahanga.

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In 2017, the Cook Islands signed the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

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Male homosexuality is illegal in the Cook Islands and is punishable by a maximum term of seven years imprisonment.

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The Cook Islands is expanding its agriculture, mining and fishing sectors, with varying success.

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Since approximately 1989, the Cook Islands have become a location specialising in so-called asset protection trusts, by which investors shelter assets from the reach of creditors and legal authorities.

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In recent years, the Cook Islands has gained a reputation as a debtor paradise, through the enactment of legislation that permits debtors to shield their property from the claims of creditors.

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Newspapers in the Cook Islands are usually published in English with some articles in Cook Islands Maori.

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The Cook Islands News has been published since 1945, although it was owned by the government until 1989.

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Dialects of Cook Islands Maori include Penrhyn; Rakahanga-Manihiki; the Ngaputoru dialect of Atiu, Mitiaro, and Mauke; the Aitutaki dialect; and the Mangaian dialect.

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English and Cook Islands Maori are official languages of the Cook Islands; per the Te Reo Maori Act.

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Music in the Cook Islands is varied, with Christian songs being quite popular, but traditional dancing and songs in Polynesian languages remain popular.

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