Cook Islands Overview


The Cook Islands are located in the South Pacific, covering an area of 240 square kilometers. The islands have a population of about 18,000, with another 4.7 million people living in New Zealand, about l million people living in Australia. Most of the inhabitants are Maori, and are Protestant. The most common languages are General Cook Islands Maori and English. The currency is the New Zealand dollar currency and the capital is Avarua.

Cook Islands Flag

Cook Islands Flag

History Summary

The islands were first inhabited by the Maori, but in 1733, British explorer Captain Cook arrived, giving the islands his name. In 1888 the islands became a British protectorate, and in June 1901 became part of New Zealand’s dependent territories. In 1965 an internal self-government was established, with full legislative and executive power, although New Zealand retained responsibility for defense and foreign affairs. Island citizens are both British subjects as well as New Zealand citizens.

Economy and Culture Overview

The economy is dominated by agriculture, tourism, fishing, and black pearl farming. The island is rich in coconuts, citrus fruits, bananas, pineapples, breadfruit, and other tropical fruits. The fruit processing industry is integral to the economy, as is clothing and handicrafts.

Cook Islands Map

Cook Islands Map