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Tuesday 25th June
Cook Islands Information - Page 2
The Cook Islands were named after Captain James Cook, the eighteenth century English explorer.

In 1888 the Cook Islands became a British Protectorate. At the beginning of the twentieth century the islands passed to the administrative control of New Zealand.

The New Zealand government passed the Cook Islands Constitution Amendment Act in 1965. This changed to status of the Cook Islands to a State in free association with New Zealand.

The Cook Islands have benefited from development assistance from New Zealand and Australia. The country's main revenue earners are agriculture, fishing, tourism and financial services.

The agricultural sector grows copra and citrus fruits for export. Other products are bananas, papayas, pineapples, tomatoes, beans, taro, yams and coffee. Poultry and pigs are reared.

Pearl farms cultivate black pearls, a leading export of the Cook Islands.

Industries include food processing, clothing, and handicrafts.

Tourism, centred on Rarotonga and Aitutaki, provides an important contribution to the economy. Remittances are sent home from Cook Islanders working abroad. (2011)

The Cook Islands are part of Polynesia. Traditional Polynesian music and dance takes place at festivals and on special occasions.

Crafts include weaving and carving.

Tivaevae, the art of patchwork quilts, was introduced by Europeans in the nineteenth century. Quilts are made with a range of patches and applique. Designs include the flora and fauna of the Cook Islands.

Team games played in the Cook Islands are rugby, football, basketball, volleyball, netball and cricket.

The islands are a good destination for big-game fishing. Visitors can fish for barracuda, marlin, and tuna. Other water sports include snorkelling, scuba diving and surfing.

All Christian holidays are celebrated. Other days commemorated include ANZAC Day on 25 April and Consititution Day in August (1965).

News from the Cook Islands is available from Newslink.

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