Cook Islands

Cook Islanders go to the polls today

Preliminary results are expected to be all in by 10 o'clock tonight local time.

When Prime Minister Henry Puna announced the June 14 date for the general elections less than two months ago, there was a general feeling of relief that there would be only a short lead-up time to polling day.

Long campaign periods have been known to place the small communities in the Cook Islands under considerable pressure as party politics plays a major role in the lives of many.

Fisheries Commission meeting ends but Cooks disappointed

The meeting ran until the early hours of Friday morning despite being scheduled to finish on Thursday afternoon,

Nations were forced to make concessions to reach a deal.

Parties to the Nauru Agreement chief executive Ludwig Kumoru said the Cook Islands was disappointed with a lack of allocated fishing days in the high seas.

He said next year the commission would focus on enforcing the high seas but the negotiation of a new Tropical Tuna agreement had a successful outcome.

Cook Islands netball team make finals in Singapore

Last night's win was the fifth consecutive win for the team, who have made a return to international netball after a two-year hiatus.

The Cook Islands will now play Swaziland in tonight's final, who they beat 54-44 earlier in the week.


Photo: Netball Singapore Cook Islands beating Swaziland who they will now play in Final. 

Cook Islands MP wants govt help for canoe restoration

It was estimated repairs would cost about $US170,000 and MP Tama Tuavera said the government should assist the Cook Islands Voyaging Society to pay for it.

He said Te Marumaruatua, the double hulled canoe which has been traditionally navigated thousands of nautical miles around the Pacific, has served the country honourably and brought pride to the Cook Islands.

He said the canoe was a national treasure that belongs to the people of the Cooks which the government has a duty to help save.



Files from four Pacific registries in Paradise Papers

The leak, dubbed the Paradise Papers, contains more than 13.4 million documents mostly from the offshore law firm Appleby.

The papers also contained details from the corporate registries of the Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Samoa and Vanuatu as well as 15 other registries, mostly in the Caribbean.

The papers covered the period from 1950 to 2016.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is investigating the files along with a network of journalists around the world.

Cook Islands health official now WHO's chief nurse

Mrs Iro began her career in health as a nurse before going to become the Cook Islands senior health official and the first woman to hold the post.

In making the appointment, the WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said nurses are central to achieving universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.

He said Ms Iro will keep that perspective front and centre at the WHO.

The appointment fulfils a commitment Dr Ghebreyesus made when he became director-general to appoint a nurse to his senior team.



Cooks gets sanitation aid from EU

The financing agreement was formalised during the Oceans Conference in Malta this week.

Under the agreement, which is financed through the 11th European Development Fund, the EU will provide $US1.65 million dollars to the Cook Islands' budget to help with the implementation of the National Sustainable Development Plan and the Sanitation Policy over the next four years.


Photo: RNZ/Daniela Maoate-Cox The Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna 

'Developed' status a challenge for the Cook Islands

But the minister of finance Mark Brown said it was not fully viable given current challenges and a lack of resources.

Mr Brown said while the change was a major milestone it involved considerable challenges and meant the Cook Islands had to consider a new way of doing business.

He said there were still options to efficiently run the country without the support of the large grants which would cease once the islands are declared a developed nation.

Cooks bill puts spotlight on laws for gays in Pacific

The Solomon Islander moved to Australia in 2005 to study. He's able to live there openly as a gay person.

But not so in Solomon Islands where he keeps a low profile on short visits home to visit family.

"I feel sorry for my friends back in the Solomons who are gay. I know people who are verbally and physically abused for being gay on a daily basis.

"They even get threatened that they'll be arrested and have the law thrown upon them," he said.

Semi-final showdown today

Both teams advanced to the semi-final after finishing top in the Pool A group match.

New Zealand finished on top with nine clear points and were unbeaten in their pool games while New Caledonia secured second spot with six points.

The defending champions who also won the recent OFC U-19 Women’s Champion are vying to add another title in the U-16 category.

However, Cook Islands U-16 cannot be underestimated as they are eyeing for the final spot.

The second final will feature Fiji against New Caledonia at 8pm today.