Cook Islands

Large NZ parliamentary group to Cooks 50th

The Cooks, which had been ruled by New Zealand from 1901, in 1965 became self governing in free association with New Zealand.

Mr Key says, at that time, both countries entered into a unique bilateral relationship.

He says New Zealand welcomes the opportunity to celebrate that and to reflect on an important partnership based on shared values, history, and the positive contribution Cook Islanders make to New Zealand.

Cook Islands to decide on compulsory retirement age

There's currently no mandatory retirement age in public service legislation or policy, although Cook Islanders are eligible for the old age pension at 60.

Prime Minister Henry Puna has said he wants to commence a process of regenerating the public service, to provide better opportunities for younger Cook Islanders.

In June, the government announced a one-off voluntary retirement package for public servants aged 60 and over in a bid to free up government positions.

Cooks PM 'has solution' to Aitutaki flights debate

In a referendum in April, a majority of the island's population voted to end Sunday flights to Rarotonga, with those in support saying Sunday is a sacred day when businesses shouldn't operate.

But tourist operators says the flights are essential, and canning them would have a severe impact on Aitutaki's tourism industry and economy.

At a news conference on Friday, Prime Minister Henry Puna said he will be meeting with Aitutaki's leaders and representatives from both sides of the issue at a meeting in Rarotonga.

Local disappointment over further Cook Island purse seining allocations

The government has access agreements with two Korean based purse seine fishing companies, Silla Co Ltd and Dongwon Fisheries Ltd, and the New Zealand company Talley's Fisheries, all of which have been assigned days within the country's 1,250 day quota.

Te Ipukarea Society's technical director, Kelvin Passfield says the public had only been told of one Korean company and the government agreed to consult on an agreement with the European Union

He said he only found out about the latest agreements in a television interview with the Secretary of Marine Resources.

Cook Islander leads laser sailors

 In second place is Teau McKenzie, also from the Cook Islands with 11 points while Rose Numa from PNG is in third place.

A total of 12 races will be conducted in the Fairfax Harbour competition. So far four races have been run while the fifth and sixth will be conducted today.

Meanwhile, Mark Spearman from Australia is leading the men's laser team race. In second spot is also another  Australian, Thomas Vincent on 13 points while Maxim Mazard from New Caledonia is running third.