Cook Islands

PM stands by Manihiki advance

The money was urgently paid to the land claimants while they were in Rarotonga for Te Maeva Nui celebrations so they could go shopping before returning to Manihiki.

In a rare statement issued by his press officer Trevor Pitt, PM Puna professed to be surprised that a complaint had been laid with police about the threats made by the  land claimants to vandalise the two solar power plants on Manihiki if they weren’t paid out.

NZDF helps to refurbish Cooks schools, hospitals

The senior national officer, Captain Andrew Blackburn, says the buildings are being refurbished to address potential electrical hazards and ensure they can better withstand cyclones.

Around 40 NZDF engineers, plumbers, carpenters and electricians are working alongside 20 military engineers from China, the United Kingdom and the United States to build a new fuel depot.

The depot will support maritime patrols working to combat illegal fishing in the northern Cooks.

Cooks Chikungunya threat appears to be over

The mosquito-borne disease was first reported nearly a year ago and has infected an estimated 781 people.

The Cook Islands News reports the Ministry of Health has seen a reduction in the number of new cases of chikungunya every week for the last 12 weeks.

The Public Health Director Neti Herman says the decline is down to efforts to identify and clean up mosquito breeding areas.

Cooks PM plays down rumours of instability

Henry Puna says claims of desertion by cabinet ministers and other MPs are speculative rumour-mongering by those who are too hungry for power.

He says he is proceeding with his Government's election mandate, and agenda to govern, until the full term of office is reached in 2018.

The Prime Minister says the public should disregard attempts to destabilise, as they are prompted by jealousy and a loss of mana.

Cooks paddler Ella Nicholas misses semis at World Champs

The 24 year old was 51st in the K1 first round with a time of 115.25 seconds.

She improved to 23rd in the repecharge race with a time of 101.77 seconds but only the top ten progressed to the next round.

Nicholas will have another chance to qualify directly for the Rio Olympics at next year's Oceania Championships but is already assured a spot in Brazil as the sole Cook Islands female paddler.

Her brother Bryden Nicholas and Fiji's Daniel Tuiraviravi will contest the men's K1 heats on Friday.

Niue and the Cook Islands to meet in rugby league international

The Rock thrashed South Africa 48-4 during their last hit-out in May and are now ranked 32nd in the world.

The 17th ranked Cook Islands will use the game on October the third as preparation for their Rugby League World Cup qualifying match against Tonga two weeks later.

Niue coach Brendan Perenara says even though the match doesn't have test status or rankings points on offer, going up against the Cook Islands will be the biggest game in their history.

Cooks keen to co-operate with India over seabed resources

He was involved in discussions about financial support from India during India's gathering of Pacific island countries in Jaipur last month.

India's talks with Pacific states resulted in various offers of help in areas from solar power to space technology as well as expanded trade and scholarships.

Some observers feel the Indian government of Narendra Modi is primarily keen to curry support for the country's bid for a permanent seat on the UN security council.

Small islands call for global moratorium on coal mines

The leaders of the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and Tuvalu caught up on Monday before the wider 16 nation Pacific Island Forum leaders summit in Papua New Guinea later this week.

They issued a special declaration on climate change that demanded the world limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and that countries uphold the principle of polluter pays.

Mobile app latest step in Cook Islands Māori resurgence

The Māori Dictionary app was launched last week by the Prime Minister, Henry Puna, who recalled a time when he would have been caned for speaking the native tongue at school.

But he says the language is now seeing a resurgence, with increased efforts to preserve Cook Islands Māori and get more people speaking the language.

The project was led by Anonga Tisam, which was awarded a grant to develop a database of Māori words two years ago.

CISNOC President appointment flags new era

Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee (CISNOC) president Hugh Graham has been elected as the Commonwealth Games Federation’s Oceania regional vice-president.

His election as one of six regional vice-presidents was made at this week’s Commonwealth Games Federation general assembly in Auckland, New Zealand.

Graham is one of the six regional vice-presidents responsible for the associations in the six regions of the Commonwealth Games Federation: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Caribbean, Europe and Oceania.