Cook Islands

Cook Islands

Cook Islands

Cook Islands - Find Mobile Phones, Internet. Country Code
Internet Domain name TLD - .ck
Calling code - 682
Cook Islands / Kūki 'Āirani
 -  -
Flag - Coat of arms
Anthem : Te Atua Mou E
God is Truth
(and largest city) - Avarua
Latitude: 21°12′S Longitude:159°46′W  /  21.2°S 159.767°W  / -21.2; -159.767
Official language(s) - English
Cook Islands Māori
Ethnic groups - 87.7% Māori, 5.8% part Māori, 6.5% other
Demonym - Cook Islander
Government - Constitutional monarchy
Head of State - Queen Elizabeth II
Queen's Representative -
Sir Frederick Tutu Goodwin
Prime Minister - Jim Marurai
Associated state
Self-government in free association with New Zealand - 4 August 1965
Total - 240 km (206th)
91 sq mi
2006 census - 19,569
Density - 76/km (124th)
197/sq mi
GDP (PPP) - 2005 estimate
Total - $183.2 million ( not ranked
Per capita - $9,100 ( not ranked
Currency - New Zealand dollar
(Cook Islands dollar also used) (NZD
Time zone - (UTC -10
Drives on the - left
The Cook Islands en-us-Cook Islands.ogg /ˈkʊk ˈaɪləndz/
1 - Geography
2 - History
3 - Politics
4 - Administrative subdivisions
5 - Economy
6 - Culture
  • 6.1 - Language
  • 6.2 - Public Holidays
  • 7 - Art
    8 - Biology
    9 - Sport
    10 - See also
    11 - References
    12 -

    Geography of the Cook Islands
    Map of the Cook Islands.
    The Cook Islands are in the South Pacific Ocean, north-east of New Zealand, between French Polynesia and American Samoa. There are fifteen major islands, spread over 2.2 million square kilometres of ocean, divided into two distinct groups: the Southern Cook Islands, and the Northern Cook Islands of coral atolls. -

    The islands were formed by volcanic activity; the northern group is older and consists of six atolls (sunken volcanoes topped by coral growth). The climate is moderate to tropical.

    The 15 islands and two reefs are grouped as follows:

    Southern Cook Islands:
    Nga-pu-Toru ("Three Roots", the group name for the easternmost islands of Southern Group
    Atiu (Enua Manu or Island of Birds
    Ma'uke (Akatokamanava
    Mitiaro (Nukuroa
    Remaining islands of the South:
    Aitutaki (Araura Enua
    Mangaia (Auau Enua
    Rarotonga (Tumutevarovaro) and also with the capital, Avarua.
    Palmerston Island (Pamati) sometimes grouped with the Northern Group.
    Winslow Reef (submerged
    Northern Cook Islands:
    Manihiki (Te Fuinga o Niva
    Nassau (Te Nuku o Ngalewu
    Penrhyn Island (Tongareva or Mangarongaro
    Pukapuka (Te Ulu o te Watu
    Rakahanga (Tapuahua
    Suwarrow also called Suvorov
    Tema Reef (submerged
    History of the Cook Islands
    Beach on Rarotonga.
    The Cook Islands were first settled in the 6th century CE by Polynesian people who migrated from nearby Tahiti, to the southeast. 5 -

    Spanish ships visited the islands in the sixteenth century; the first written record of contact with the Islands came with the sighting of Pukapuka by Spanish sailor Álvaro de Mendaña in 1595 who called it San Bernardo (Saint Bernard). Portuguese-Spaniard Pedro Fernández de Quirós, made the first recorded European landing in the islands when he set foot on Rakahanga in 1606, calling it Gente Hermosa (Beautiful People). 6 -

    British navigator Captain James Cook arrived in 1773 and 1777 7 - and named the islands the Hervey Islands ; the name "Cook Islands", in honour of Cook, appeared on a Russian naval chart published in the 1820s. 8 -

    In 1813, John Williams, a missionary on the Endeavour (not the same ship as that of Cook), made the first official sighting of the island of Rarotonga. 9 - The first recorded landing on Rarotonga by Europeans was in 1814 by the Cumberland; trouble broke out between the sailors and the Islanders and many were killed on both sides. 10 - The islands saw no more Europeans until missionaries arrived from England in 1821. Christianity quickly took hold in the culture and many islanders continue to be Christian believers today.

    The Cook Islands became a British protectorate at their own request in 1888, mainly to thwart French expansionism. They were transferred to New Zealand in 1901. They remained a New Zealand protectorate until 1965, at which point they became a self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand. In that year, Albert Henry of the Cook Islands Party was elected as the first Prime Minister. Sir Albert Henry led the country until he was accused of vote-rigging. He was succeeded in 1978 by Tom Davis of the Democratic Party.

    Today, the Cook Islands are essentially independent ("self-governing in free association with New Zealand") but New Zealand is tasked with overseeing the country's defence.

    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 also relinquishing its claim to the islands of Penrhyn, Pukapuka, Manihiki, and Rakahanga. 11 - In 1990 the Cook Islands signed a treaty with France which delimited the boundary between the Cook Islands and French Polynesia. 12 -

    Politics of the Cook Islands
    The parliament building of the Cook Islands, formerly a hotel.
    The politics of the Cook Islands takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic associated state, whereby the Queen of New Zealand, represented in the Cook Islands by the Queen's Representative, is Head of State and the Chief Minister is the head of government. There is a pluriform multi-party system and the islands are self-governing in free association with New Zealand and fully responsible for both internal and external affairs.

    New Zealand retains some responsibility for external affairs, in consultation with the Cook Islands. As of 2005, it has diplomatic relations in its own name with eighteen other countries. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Parliament of the Cook Islands.

    The Cook Islands is not a United Nations full member but participates in WHO and UNESCO, and is an associate member of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

    The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

    Administrative subdivisions
    There are island councils on all of the inhabited outer islands (Outer Islands Local Government Act 1987, with amendments up to 2004 and Palmerston Island Local Government Act 1993) except Nassau, which is governed by Pukapuka (Suwarrow, with only one caretaker living on the island, also governed by Pukapuka, is not counted with the inhabited islands in this context). Each council is headed by a mayor.

    The ten Outer Islands councils are
    Aitutakitopo.png - Aitutaki Aerial.jpg - Aitutaki (including uninhabited Manuae
    Mangaia english version.png - Mangaia (Correct Orientation).JPG - Mangaia
    Atiumap.png - Atiu Aerial.jpg - Atiu (including uninhabited Takutea
    Mauke map.jpg - Mauke Aerial.jpg - Ma'uke
    Mitiaro Island map.jpg - Mitiaro Aerial.jpg - Mitiaro
    Manihiki.jpg - Manihiki Aerial.jpg - Manihiki
    Penrhyn.png - TongarevaISS009-E-5524.PNG - Penrhyn
    Rakahanga.jpg - ISS002-E-10047rakahanga.jpg - Rakahanga
    Pukapuka.png - Pukapuka Atoll.jpg - Pukapuka (including Nassau and Suwarrow
    Palmerston Island map.jpg - Palmerston Aerial.jpg - Palmerston
    Districts of Rarotonga.
    The three vaka councils of main island Rarotonga established in 1997 ( Rarotonga Local Government Act 1997 ), that were also headed by mayors, 13 - were abolished in February 2008, despite much controversy 14 -

    The three Vaka councils on the main island Rarotonga were
    Te au o tonga - (equivalent to Avarua, the national capital of the Cook Islands
    On the lowest level, there are village committees. Nassau, which is governed by Pukapuka, has an island committee (Nassau Island Committee), which advises the Pukapuka Island Council on matters concerning its own island.

    Economy of the Cook Islands

    Float parade during the annual Maeva Nui celebrations.
    Music of the Cook Islands

    The languages of the Cook Islands include English, Cook Islands Maori, or "Rarotongan," and Pukapukan. Dialects of Cook Islands Maori include Penrhyn; Rakahanga-Manihiki; the Ngaputoru dialect of Atiu, Mitiaro, and Mauke; the Aitutaki dialect; and the Mangaian dialect. Cook Islands Maori and its dialectic variants are closely related to both Tahitian and to New Zealand Māori. Pukapukan, by contrast, is considered closely related to the Samoan language. Both English and Cook Islands Maori are considered official languages of the Cook Islands.

    Public Holidays
    Date - Name
    1 January - New Year's Day
    2 January - Day after New Year's Day
    The Friday before Easter Sunday - Good Friday
    The day after Easter Sunday - Easter Monday
    25 April - ANZAC Day
    The first Monday in June - Queen's Birthday
    during July - Rarotonga Gospel Day
    4 August - Constitution Day ( Te Maevea Nui Celebrations
    26 October - Gospel Day
    25 December - Christmas
    26 December - Boxing Day

    Carving - Woodcarving is a common art form in the Cook Islands. Sculpture in stone is much rarer although there are some excellent carvings in basalt by Mike Tavioni. The proximity of islands in the southern group helped produce a homogeneous style of carving but which had special developments in each island. Rarotonga is known for its fisherman's gods and staff-gods, Atiu for its wooden seats, Mitiaro, Ma'uke and Atiu for mace and slab gods and Mangaia for its ceremonial adzes. Most of the original wood carvings were either spirited away by early European collectors or were burned in large numbers by missionary zealots. Today, carving is no longer the major art form with the same spiritual and cultural emphasis given to it by the Maori in New Zealand. However, there are continual efforts to interest young people in their heritage and some good work is being turned out under the guidance of older carvers. Atiu, in particular, has a strong tradition of crafts both in carving and local fibre arts such as tapa. Mangaia is the source of many fine adzes carved in a distinctive, idiosyncratic style with the so-called double-k design. Mangaia also produces food pounders carved from the heavy calcite found in its extensive limestone caves.

    Weaving - The outer islands produce traditional weaving of mats, basketware and hats. Particularly fine examples of rito hats are worn by women to church on Sundays. They are made from the uncurled immature fibre of the coconut palm and are of very high quality. The Polynesian equivalent of Panama hats, they are highly valued and are keenly sought by Polynesian visitors from Tahiti. Often, they are decorated with hatbands made of minuscule pupu shells which are painted and stitched on by hand. Although pupu are found on other islands the collection and use of them in decorative work has become a speciality of Mangaia. The weaving of rito is a speciality of the northern island of Penrhyn.

    Tivaevae - A major art form in the Cook Islands is tivaevae. This is, in essence, the art of making of tropical Island scenery handmade patchwork quilts. Introduced by the wives of missionaries in the 19th century, the craft grew into a communal activity and is probably one of the main reasons for its popularity. The Cook Islands make some of the most beautiful displays of tivaevae the eye can see.

    Contemporary Art - The Cook Islands has produced notable and internationally recognised contemporary artists and the main island of Rarotonga has an exceptionally vibrant contemporary arts scene. Artists include painter (and photographer) Mahiriki Tangaroa, sculptors Eruera (Ted) Nia (originally a film maker) and master carver Mike Tavioni, painter (and Polynesian tattoo enthusiast) Upoko’ina Ian George, Aitutakian-born painter Tim Manavaroa Buchanan, Loretta Reynolds, Judith Kunzlé, Joan Rolls Gragg, Kay George (who is also known for her exquisite fabric designs), Apii Rongo, and multi-media, installation and community-project artist Ani O'Neil, all of whom currently live on the main island of Rarotonga. Atiuan-based Andrea Eimke is an artist who works in the medium of tapa and other textiles, and also co-authored the book 'Tivaivai - The Social Fabric of the Cook Islands' with British academic Susanne Kuechler. Many of these artists have studied at university art schools in New Zealand and continue to enjoy close links with the New Zealand art scene.

    New Zealand-based Cook Islander artists include Michel Tuffrey, print-maker David Teata, Richard Shortland Cooper, Sylvia Marsters, and Jim Vivieaere, who has mentored many of his compatriots and is a well-known curator and installation artist.

    On Rarotonga, the main commercial galleries are Beachcomber Contemporary Art (Taputapuatea, Avarua) run by Ben Bergman, and The Art Gallery ('Arorangi), run by Kay and Ian George. The Cook Islands National Museum also exhibits art.

    The National Flower of the Cook Islands is the Tiare māori or Tiale māoli ( Penrhyn, Nassau, Pukapuka ). 15 - The Cook Islands are infested with Polynesian rats. 16 - The infestation has devastated the bird population on the islands. 17 -

    Sport in the Cook Islands
    Rugby union is the most popular sport in the Cook Islands with association football (soccer) and rugby league also popular. ]
    See also
    Outline of the Cook Islands
    Index of Cook Islands-related articles
    Demographics of the Cook Islands
    World fact book : Cook Islands
    A View from the Cook Islands SOPAC
    "QuickStats About Culture and Identity - Pacific Peoples". 2006 Census . Statistics New Zealand .
    Cook Islands
    European discovery of the Cook Islands by Brian Hooker
    Cook : the extraordinary voyages of Captain James Cook , 2003, by Nicholas Thomas, page 310-311.
    Cook Islands Government website
    TEN DECADES: The Australasian Centenary History of the London Missionary Society, Rev. Joseph King (Word document)
  • History of the Cook Islands
  • "Treaty Between the United States of America and the Cook Islands on Friendship and Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary Between the United States of America and the Cook Islands (and Exchange of Notes)". Pacific Islands Treaty Series . University of the South Pacific School of Law .
    RAROTONGA LOCAL GOVERNMENT (REPEAL) BILL TO BE TABLED, Cook Islands Government and HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 393 :09 February 2008 "Cook Islands Wildlife" "Rattus exulans Kiore Toka Pacific Rat" "The Status of Cook Islands Birds - 1996"
    Cook Islands Government
    Cook Islands Government (summary)
    Chief of State and Cabinet Members
    Cook Islands Tourism Corporation
    Cook Islands travel guide from Wikitravel
    Cook Islands entry at The World Factbook
    Cook Islands from UCB Libraries GovPubs
    Cook Islands at the Open Directory Project
    Comprehensive Cook Islands site with news section
    Detailed and non-commercial website
    Cook Islands National Environment Service
    Cook Islands Biodiversity Database
    Photographs of CI banknotes including unique 3 dollar bill
    Topographic maps of all the Cook Islands
    Cook Islands
    Cook_Islands General Information and Updated References


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