Cook Islands

Cook Islands monarch marks 30 years

However, the usually Rarotonga-based Pa Ariki was stranded in New Zealand due to Covid-19 restrictions so a formal event took place in Auckland.

Pa Ariki's son and representative Tupeariki Rangatira said he watched the celebrations from Rarotonga via webcam.

He said the Takitimu Hall at Mangere Bridge was full of dignitaries from Aotearoa and the Cook Islands including the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio and New Zealand's Cook Island MPs Alfred Ngaro and Poto Williams.

Beyond the formalities, he said it was full of dance and song.

Cook Islands keen to lose developed country status quickly

Its status was changed earlier this year by the OECD, a graduation which restricts access to funds from the likes of the World Bank.

That change was off the back of phenomenal growth in tourism, an industry which has disappeared because of Covid-19.

Mark Brown, who is also the finance minister, said the OECD's criteria is based on a country's income.

"It's inevitable that our classification will change. We would like to see that process recognised now, rather than waiting to the end of a year period to have the measurements or assessments taken."

Cook Islands PM says reopening borders a key priority

Henry Puna said it may be the only way to kick start the economy.

In locking down the country on the 5th of March, Mr Puna said he wouldn't compromise the health of his people for economic gains.

Speaking to the Cook Islands News this week, Mr Puna said the country remains Covid-19 free, and any reopening would have to ensure that it remained that way.

But he said the Rarotonga Hospital now has an isolation area and coronavirus testing kits.

The Cook Islands declared Covid-19-free

Starting last night's address to the nation, Prime Minister Henry Puna thanked God for giving people courage and strength during the country's greatest threat in modern history.

He said hundreds of Covid-19 tests taken in the Cook Islands had come back negative, and the country can officially be confirmed as a Covid-free zone - one of the first nations in the world to do so.

This means some of the more restrictive Code Yellow measures introduced in late March to stop the virus, will now be eased.

Stricter measures introduced in Guam, Cook Islands

Countries around the Pacific are continuing to further isolate themselves in a bid to stave off a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the region.

Six cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in the Pacific - three in Guam and three in French Polynesia - since Thursday. No new cases were declared on Monday.

After three residents were confirmed to have Covid-19 on Sunday, Guam's government restricted public gatherings and closed all public schools on Monday. It also closed government offices for two weeks.

Cook Islands Rugby League undaunted by 'group of death'

The draw was made on Friday with Fiji grouped with champions Australia, Scotland and Italy and New Zealand have been drawn alongside, Lebanon, Jamaica and Ireland.

But the Cook Islands, who have only just qualified for the tournament, are locked in to play what many regard as the 'group of death'.

The Kukis go up against the remarkable Tongans, who most recently upset Australia, Papua New Guinea and Wales.

Cook Islands coach Tony Iro said his team was excited at the prospect of playing top teams.

Cook Islands to face Tonga for netball gold

Cook Islands booked a place in the final by defeating Papua New Guinea 58-31 at the Multisport Centre, Faleata, urged on by their boisterous fans.

“This is great for Cook Island netball. Last time we were in a gold medal match was 1991. We have a huge support base, both here and at home,” said coach Suzanne Evans.

Both teams entered the game undefeated from pool matches. Cook Islands took the lead and kept PNG goaled for the first four minutes.

Cook Islands’ Alex Beddoes finishes favourite in middle distance events

Beddoes finished first in the 1500 metres with a time of 4 minutes 3.31 seconds.

He also won the 800 metres title yesterday.

Papua New Guinea’s Messach Fred came in second clocking a time of 4 minutes 6.90 seconds while Fiji’s Petero Veitaqomaki finished in third with a time of 4 minutes 7.10 seconds.

     

Cook Islands to challenge swimming ruling

Swimming is one of 19 sports at the Pacific Games where athletes must hold a passport for the country they are representing (NZ passport for Cook Islands) and have lived there for at least five years.

Papua New Guinea challenged the eligibility of Bede Aitu, Kirsten Fisher-Marsters, Malcolm Richardson and Noah Vilisoni-Heather, who all grew up in New Zealand.

The Cook Islands Olympic Committee immediately withdrew three of the swimmers while the evidence of residency provided for the fourth was deemed insufficient by the Pacific Games Disputes Tribunal.

Dengue outbreak declared in Cook Islands

Of these cases, one was a visitor from French Polynesia with dengue type 3, while the others were dengue type 1.

The ministry said authorities have diagnosed four probable dengue cases this week, one of whom recently arrived from Fiji.

It is reminding the public keep home and work environments clean and to safely dispose of water-retaining containers; to avoid mosquito bites by covering up, using repellents and screen doors, and to see a doctor if fever, pain behind the eyes, or muscle aches develop.