- Business News : Fiji accedes to the agreement on port state measures [14/02/2019 - Italy]
- Sports News : Tahiti concerned about Pacific Games accommodation [14/02/2019 - Samoa]
- News Feature : A rising China and the future of the “Blue Pacific” [14/02/2019 - Fiji]
- Business News : $503.73 million in remittances top Samoa foreign exchange earner [14/02/2019 - Samoa]
- Business News : Vanuatu export breakthrough to New Caledonia [14/02/2019 - Vanuatu]
- Business News : PINA head cites importance of content sharing [14/02/2019 - New Zealand]
- Business News : Pacific Islands government should consider seabed mining impacts [14/02/2019 - Fiji]
- News : Beijing intensifies lobbying of Pacific nations to recognise Taiwan as part of One China [14/02/2019 - Fiji]
- News : American Samoa, Guam, Samoa added to EU blacklist, Vanuatu removed [14/02/2019 - Luxembourg]
- News : TSI: money the focus of elections, Police arrest a man in Honiara for alleged electoral offence [14/02/2019 - Solomon Islands]
- News : Fiji Immigration will extend or renew expiring passports to another 10 years [14/02/2019 - Fiji]
- News : Solomon Islands election chief appeals to citizen not to break the law [14/02/2019 - Solomon Islands]
- Sponsored : Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC)
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Country profile - Cook Islands
A former British protectorate, the territory is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand.
Its economy centres on tourism; the territory's natural assets include fine beaches and volcanic mountains.
More than twice as many native Cook Islanders live in New Zealand than live in the islands themselves. Most of them have left in search of a brighter economic future. As New Zealand citizens they can also live in Australia.
The government has encouraged islanders to return. Businesses have been involved in the drive. But the population level has continued to fall.
Black pearls are the chief export. Agriculture, the sale of fishing licences to foreign fleets and offshore finance are also key revenue earners.
The Cook Islands are prone to tropical storms; Hurricane Martin devastated the northern islands in 1997 causing substantial losses for the black pearl industry.
Named after Captain Cook, who explored them in 1773, the islands were once autonomous, home to tribes of mixed Polynesian ancestry. Governments still seek advice on matters of culture, custom and land ownership from a council of hereditary leaders known as the House of Ariki.
Additional information Full name: Cook Islands Population: 18,000 (UN, 2004) Capital: Avarua, on Rarotonga Area: 237 sq km (91 sq miles) Major languages: English and Cook Islands Maori Major religions: Christianity Monetary unit: 1 New Zealand dollar ($NZ) = 100 cents Main exports: Black pearls
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