Cook Islands [fr]
Type of state
Constitutional Monarchy, in free association with New Zealand since 4 August 1965. Subsequently the Cook Islands has no international sovereignty.
**Head of state
Queen Elizabeth II and her representative in the Cook Islands, the Honourable Mr Tom Marsters.
Henry Puna, elected on 30 November 2010.
Cook Islands Maori, English.
The country’s main religion is Christianity with a large Catholic and Mormon presence.
Avarua (about 5,500 inhabitants in 2006), located on Rarotonga (main island).
The archipelago of the Cook Islands has 15 islands. These have various landscapes: mountains, atolls and high atolls. The total land area of the country is about 240 km².
In the Cook Islands, a census takes place every five years. The 2011 census counted a total of 17,794 inhabitants. 75% of the population is urban.
New Zealand dollar (NZD). The Cook Islands Dollar is also used.
Like other South Pacific nations, the Cook Islands’ economy suffers due to the country’s isolation, a lack of natural resources, deficient infrastructures and natural disasters that regularly affect the region. However, the Cook Islands maintain a close economic and political relationship with New Zealand. Their status of free association with New Zealand grants them annual financial assistance that varies between 7 and 10 million New Zealand dollars (between 4 and 6 million euros) every year.
The Cook Islands have benefited from the status of free association with New Zealand since 1965. However, they have retained complete responsibility of their domestic affairs. The two parties represented in parliament are the Cook Islands Party (CIP), currently in power, and the Democratic Party (DP) whose leader is Mr Wilkie Rasmussen.
Since 2001, the Cook Islands have complete sovereignty in managing their Foreign affairs according to the common declaration of 6 April 2001. The country is not a member of the General Assembly of the United Nations.