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State

Capital

Cook Islands*

Rarotonga

Currency unit

NZ dollar

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History

Associated state with New Zealand

They consist of some remote islands South West of Samoa. Most of the people appear to have come from Samoa and Tonga, the same peoples who later colonized New Zealand. Thus the languages of the people are similar to those of New Zealand.

Settlement seems to have been at least as early as 1100. Spaniards first visited in 1595. Cook visited in 1773, 1774 and 1777. Missions began in 1821.

A British protectorate over Rarotonga was proclaimed in 1888. Some other islands in the group were added in 1892. Peruvian slavers visited in the 1860s and took many of the people away, never to return. New Zealand annexed the islands in 1901. The islanders now have associated status with New Zealand. Many of the people have migrated to New Zealand where they live alongside the Maori population.

The population is about 18,000.

Languages

Polynesian

English

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Politics

There is a government with control over all local matters. New Zealand is responsible for defense and foreign affairs.

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Economics

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Green/Ecology

Member of the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS)

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Human Rights

Climate effects

One degree
Rising sea level may make the land unusable

Two degrees
Most of the land will disappear under rising sea level

Last revised 1/5/07


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