Cook Islands

Cooks PM axes departure cards

Mr Puna says anyone leaving the Cook Islands will now only have to check in and follow the normal security checks before departure.

However, arrival cards will still need to be completed.

Meanwhile, Mr Puna arrives in New Zealand today for a week of events marking the country's 50th anniversary of self government.

It follows gala events on Rarotonga last week.

Purse seine issue still big concern in Cook Islands says TIS

TIS which has been voicing concern over the purse seine fishing issue for most of the year, has presented an anti-purse seine fishing petition to Parliament bearing 4000-plus signatures.

The organisation’s technical advisor, Kelvin Passfield says TIS is concerned that, in spite of the voting public asking for a ban on purse seining, government has since issued licences to at least two additional fishing companies to fish in Cook Islands waters.

He says this has been done without any disclosure to the public.

Cook Islands still waiting on World Cup playoff info

Five Pacific teams competed at the last tournament, but only four will make the trip to New Zealand and Australia in 2017.

The president of Cook Islands Rugby League, Charles Carlson, says they still haven't received any confirmation about the date, venue and format for the playoff game.

Cooks campaign for compulsory helmets for motorcyclists

The 'Cook Islands Helmets Saves Lives' group on Facebook generated about 1000 likes within a couple of days of being created.

One of the groups members, Sue Fletcher-Vea, says the group is upset with the tragedies that have been happening on the roads, especially those involving children.

She says they want to raise awareness and push for change because they don't want to see anymore injuries and deaths.

The group has written a letter to the Minister for Police, Teariki Heather, and other relevant authorities requesting for a meeting to discuss the issue.

Law expert hails Cooks-NZ association a success

The Cook Islands celebrates 50 years of self government in free association with New Zealand next week with gala events and a visit by a large delegation from New Zealand headed by the Prime Minister, John Key.

The decision to grant some autonomy while remaining within the Realm of New Zealand was implemented in 1965.

Professor Angelo of Victoria University of Wellington says it was a novel concept at the time and brought the Cook Islands security.

Cook Islands Sevens team prepares for Oceania meet

The Cook Islands Rugby Union (CIRU) this week released the 22-member squad. 

In a statement, CIRU says the national 7s head coach Chris Roden will be visiting Rarotonga from August 4 to 7 to observe the local talent at the Cook Islands Games 7s tournament to be played on August 6 and 7 at the BCI Stadium.

Roden has also visited overseas Cook Islands 7s players in Auckland and Melbourne.

Large NZ parliamentary group to Cooks 50th

The Cooks, which had been ruled by New Zealand from 1901, in 1965 became self governing in free association with New Zealand.

Mr Key says, at that time, both countries entered into a unique bilateral relationship.

He says New Zealand welcomes the opportunity to celebrate that and to reflect on an important partnership based on shared values, history, and the positive contribution Cook Islanders make to New Zealand.

Cook Islands to decide on compulsory retirement age

There's currently no mandatory retirement age in public service legislation or policy, although Cook Islanders are eligible for the old age pension at 60.

Prime Minister Henry Puna has said he wants to commence a process of regenerating the public service, to provide better opportunities for younger Cook Islanders.

In June, the government announced a one-off voluntary retirement package for public servants aged 60 and over in a bid to free up government positions.

Cooks PM 'has solution' to Aitutaki flights debate

In a referendum in April, a majority of the island's population voted to end Sunday flights to Rarotonga, with those in support saying Sunday is a sacred day when businesses shouldn't operate.

But tourist operators says the flights are essential, and canning them would have a severe impact on Aitutaki's tourism industry and economy.

At a news conference on Friday, Prime Minister Henry Puna said he will be meeting with Aitutaki's leaders and representatives from both sides of the issue at a meeting in Rarotonga.

Local disappointment over further Cook Island purse seining allocations

The government has access agreements with two Korean based purse seine fishing companies, Silla Co Ltd and Dongwon Fisheries Ltd, and the New Zealand company Talley's Fisheries, all of which have been assigned days within the country's 1,250 day quota.

Te Ipukarea Society's technical director, Kelvin Passfield says the public had only been told of one Korean company and the government agreed to consult on an agreement with the European Union

He said he only found out about the latest agreements in a television interview with the Secretary of Marine Resources.