Cook Islands

Cook Islands children receive savings bond

The Jubilee Jumpstart savings bond programme was launched on Wednesday at a presentation to Avarua primary school students.

As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, the government and the Bank of the Cook Islands are providing the certificates to every year 1 to year 6 student enrolled in the country this August.

The interest over five years means each child will be entitled to collect US$97 in 2020.

Former Cooks officer fatal chase found not guilty

While a senior sergeant in 2013, Cymon Ratai Kaivananga pursued a 16-year-old motorcyclist in Tupapa, who later crashed into a police patrol truck and died of internal injuries.

The 20-minute, 16-kilometre chase involved flashing lights and sirens, but Chief Justice Tom Weston advised the jury that did not amount to a legal defence.

Mr Kaivananga cited his 34 years of police service and 20 years in traffic enforcement without causing a single accident, to show he was a careful and competent driver.

Dog owners on Rarotonga told to desex dogs

Police officer Solomona Tuaati says he was called to a property in Ngatangiia on Saturday after a complaint, and then instructed a dog control officer to destroy the dogs, as they were dangerous and a risk to other livestock.

Following criticism from one of the dog's owners Mr Tuaati says all the dogs were unregistered and not desexed.

The SPCA president, Sharon Reichardt, says while she is sorry for the goats, she is concerned with the apparent lack of evidence to justify the shooting of the dogs.

Cooks PM stands by money advance

Mr Puna, who is from Manihiki, agreed to give the landowners just under US$26,000 during Te Maeva Nui celebrations so they could go shopping before returning to the island.

The Government has previously said that the payment was made after the landowners threatened to vandalise the two solar plants on the island if they were not paid.

In a statement from his office Mr Puna expressed surprised that the early payout had sparked a police complaint.

PM stands by Manihiki advance

The money was urgently paid to the land claimants while they were in Rarotonga for Te Maeva Nui celebrations so they could go shopping before returning to Manihiki.

In a rare statement issued by his press officer Trevor Pitt, PM Puna professed to be surprised that a complaint had been laid with police about the threats made by the  land claimants to vandalise the two solar power plants on Manihiki if they weren’t paid out.

NZDF helps to refurbish Cooks schools, hospitals

The senior national officer, Captain Andrew Blackburn, says the buildings are being refurbished to address potential electrical hazards and ensure they can better withstand cyclones.

Around 40 NZDF engineers, plumbers, carpenters and electricians are working alongside 20 military engineers from China, the United Kingdom and the United States to build a new fuel depot.

The depot will support maritime patrols working to combat illegal fishing in the northern Cooks.

Cooks Chikungunya threat appears to be over

The mosquito-borne disease was first reported nearly a year ago and has infected an estimated 781 people.

The Cook Islands News reports the Ministry of Health has seen a reduction in the number of new cases of chikungunya every week for the last 12 weeks.

The Public Health Director Neti Herman says the decline is down to efforts to identify and clean up mosquito breeding areas.

Cooks PM plays down rumours of instability

Henry Puna says claims of desertion by cabinet ministers and other MPs are speculative rumour-mongering by those who are too hungry for power.

He says he is proceeding with his Government's election mandate, and agenda to govern, until the full term of office is reached in 2018.

The Prime Minister says the public should disregard attempts to destabilise, as they are prompted by jealousy and a loss of mana.

Cooks paddler Ella Nicholas misses semis at World Champs

The 24 year old was 51st in the K1 first round with a time of 115.25 seconds.

She improved to 23rd in the repecharge race with a time of 101.77 seconds but only the top ten progressed to the next round.

Nicholas will have another chance to qualify directly for the Rio Olympics at next year's Oceania Championships but is already assured a spot in Brazil as the sole Cook Islands female paddler.

Her brother Bryden Nicholas and Fiji's Daniel Tuiraviravi will contest the men's K1 heats on Friday.

Niue and the Cook Islands to meet in rugby league international

The Rock thrashed South Africa 48-4 during their last hit-out in May and are now ranked 32nd in the world.

The 17th ranked Cook Islands will use the game on October the third as preparation for their Rugby League World Cup qualifying match against Tonga two weeks later.

Niue coach Brendan Perenara says even though the match doesn't have test status or rankings points on offer, going up against the Cook Islands will be the biggest game in their history.