Talk:Cook Islands

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I've added some basics to the History section, which was almost empty. I'll need to check a few other things, such as when the London Missionary Society arrived in Rarotonga, before adding anything else. This section also needs something on precolonial (and pre-Christian) history. Aridd 14:01, 3 April 2006 (UTC)


I created an infobox in the form of the Template:infobox country. There was some things that I could not find so I did not put it in this article. The regular editors of this article can decide to use it or not. It is availble for editing (if desired) at Template:Country infobox data Cook Islands. MJCdetroit 21:24, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

The population figure for the Cook Islands is wrong. It is not 21,000, but about 13000

  • 23-October-2006: Above-mentioned customized infobox appears to have been removed. -Wikid77 13:47, 23 October 2006
  • 23-October-2006: NOTE "Infobox Country with obsolete params" had been caused by infobox parameter "leader_titles" which displayed correctly but caused Category "obsolete" in the bottom categories. In the 13:57 revision, I replaced "leader_titles" with infobox parameters: leader_title1, leader_name1, leader_title2, etc. -Wikid77 14:04, 23 October 2006 (UTC)


The South Pacific is a big place! Can someone who knows better edit the article to give readers a better idea of where the islands are in relation to more well-known places? (I'm guessing from the article that they're somewhat close to New Zealand?) Right now all the reader knows is that they are located in the southern part of the largest ocean on Earth, which doesn't help a whole lot! ;) -- Hux 09:52, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

We are neighbours, Niue is about an hour flight from Rarotonga, Cook Islands, oh well Rarotonga is about 4 hours flight from Auckland. Much easier to look at the map. (talk) 14:45, 12 September 2008 (UTC) Oops sorry my comments, forgot to login...cheers! Sioneholof (talk) 14:55, 12 September 2008 (UTC)


It states that the Cook Island Dollar can't be used elsewhere. What currency can?

Some countries attempt to keep all money within it's borders by not allowing any of its currency to be exchanged in other countries (i.e. the Ugandan shilling). Maybe that's what it means. --PaxNobiscum 01:48, 15 September 2006 (UTC)


History of the Cook Islands says Cook visited there in 1770, but here it says 1773 and 1779. It also says he visited Raratonga in 1813, which is impossible. Adam Bishop 21:05, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Fixed about a year ago.-gadfium 07:03, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

There is an inconsistency here. The text says "Another Spaniard, Pedro Fernández de Quirós, made the first recorded European landing in the islands when he set foot on Rakahanga in 1606", but later "The first recorded landing by Europeans was in 1814".

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:51, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

I've reworded the second statement - 1606 was the first European landing on any island in the Cooks; 1814 was the first European landing on Rarotonga.-gadfium 07:03, 31 December 2007 (UTC)


Should it be mentioned that the Cook Islands feature the humourous website suffix of Also, does anybody know whether this hilarity was done on purpose, or was automatically assigned? ZeroG91 09:13, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Even if Cook Islanders have a great sense of humour and love word play, I do not think that it was done on purpose. Nevers

Proposed WikiProject[edit]

In my ongoing efforts to try to include every country on the planet included in the scope of a WikiProject, I have proposed a new project on Polynesia at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Polynesia whose scope would include Cook Islands. Any interested parties are more than welcome to add their names there, so we can see if there is enough interest to start such a project. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 17:17, 20 December 2006 (UTC)


What is the difference in policies between Cook Islands Party and Democratic Party 20:12, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Request for comment: Is the Queen's Representative's residence an official residence of the monarch?[edit]

Editors of this article may wish to comment on the edits being made at Official residence, advancing the unusual view that the official residence of the Queen's Representative for the Cook Islands, and those of his equivalents in other jurisdictions, are "royal" residences (i.e. official residences of the monarch), and that this aspect (assuming for the moment that it exists) deserves mention in a list of official residences, alongside "vice-regal", the somewhat opaque term being substituted for "Queen's Representative" and the like, by the royalising editor.
(For your further information, the "royal" issue began in the "Canada" entry. Afterward, the same editor spread it to the entries on "Cook Islands" and a number of other countries. He did so in conjunction with his "general cleanup" of the article. The "cleanup" is also making the article worse in some other ways, in my opinion. You might wish to look at that, too, but those are separate, or at most indirectly related issues. I would not bother mentioning these tangentials, here, but in the cases where I have left them out, the royalising editor has placed a follow-up note saying that I've "...omitt[ed] the point that the ["royal"] edits ... are part of a broader cleanup..." (for an example of his full remarks, see this), obliging me to place another follow-up, alike to this parenthetical, to dispell the potential impression that I've been less than fully truthful about the situation. Sorry for this digression; I'd much rather have stayed focussed on the main issue.)
-- Lonewolf BC 23:34, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Navigational templates[edit]

I am concerned by the large number of templates this article is accumulating. While most of the templates are by default collapsed, and so don't take up much screen space, they add significantly to the page load times. The rendered text in this page is now about 140kb. Before the last two templates were added, it was 105 kb. Without any of these navigational templates, the article text would be 70 kb. That's quite a difference, and I can't see that there's enough value in the templates to justify the increase in size. Getting to related articles is what categories are for.

I'd be interested in feedback on which of the navigational templates are considered useful, and why.-gadfium 07:29, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, I suppose the main reason is that they assist in the reader in finding related articles. If a place such as Cook Islands belongs in several classifications, and each of those classifications has its own navigational template, then the article should in principle include all those templates. That said, I understand your concern about the page size. I have not seen a general discussion on navigational templates and their uses, though perhaps one can be found. I'm at work at the moment, so don't have the time to search for such a discussion, but I'll be glad to participate any such discussion. Perhaps a new one should be started? Teemu Leisti 23:46, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
The main page dealing with navigational templates is Wikipedia:Navigational templates. My understanding is that the navigational templates should be small, and the items on them directly relevant to the main article. I can understand the value in having the {{Realm of New Zealand}} template here, but the {{Territories of the British Empire}} one doesn't seem sufficiently relevant. The {{Austronesian-speaking countries and territories}} also isn't very relevant - some languages are closely related, but others really aren't. I think {{Administrative divisions of New Zealand}} is somewhere in between - it shows the similar status of Cook Islands and Niue, but also topics which have no bearing on the Cook Islands at all. It would be better if this template used the Navbox framework so it was collapsed when shown with several other templates.-gadfium 01:38, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
I tried to find a way to make this template collapsed by default. The easiest way to do it would be to use the Navbox template, but I that template expects rows of simple links, and putting a table in it confuses whatever piece of software processes the template; i.e., it won't work. That's probably the reason whoever made the code I copied for my template did it that way, to contain more complex markup. I'll try asking for help somewhere. Teemu Leisti 03:50, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

History sections[edit]

Could the Historical dates section be moved to History of the Cook Islands or at least included in the History section of the main article? — AjaxSmack 20:23, 14 February 2009 (UTC)


I really don't have much interest in this, but this edit caught my eye. A bit of googling turned up Michael Fowler; Julie Marie Bunk (1995). Law, Power, and the Sovereign State: The Evolution and Application of the Concept of Sovereignty. Penn State Press. pp. 52. ISBN 978-0-271-01471-5.  That made me wonder whether this article and/or the sovereignty article might benefit from clarification re the sovereignty status of Cook Islands. Just a drive-by comment. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 02:03, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

This has been discussed extensively here. Basically, the Cook Islands and Niue are sui generis entities with some of the characteristics of a dependency and some of a sovereign state. They've been slowly transitioning towards independence over the last number of decades, and at the moment they're somewhere in the fuzzy middle. I certainly agree that this article would be greatly improved by a good explanation of their unique status. However, given the complexity of the situation I don't think that it's WP:NPOV to describe them in an unqualified way as a "sovereign state". Better to use the indisputable associated state if we aren't going to go into the full details. TDL (talk) 04:27, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

John Williams[edit]

This edit placed a {{dubious}} tag, saying, "The date seems dubious; it isn't in the source and our article on Williams says he was in the Pacific from 1817" (see John Williams). I googled around a bit and found Bill Goodwin (2004), Frommer's South Pacific, John Wiley & Sons, p. 182, ISBN 978-0-7645-7428-3 , which says that Williams "eventually found Rarotonga in July 1823." Ebenezer Prout (1843), Memoirs of the Life of the Rev. John Williams, Missionary to Polynesia, W. Dodd, pp. 122–124  gives some details, but omits dates. Ngatupuna Kautai & 7 others, Atiu: An Island Community,, p. 143, ISBN 978-982-02-0163-7  also has details and lacks dates. Lonely Planet (2012), Rarotonga, Samoa & Tonga Travel Guide, Lonely Planet, p. 329, ISBN 978-1-74321-356-8  says that he landed on Rarotonga in 1823.

John Garrett (1982), To Live Among the Stars: Christian Origins in Oceania,, pp. 30, ISBN 978-2-8254-0692-2  describes how Williams had left two Raiateans, Papeiha and Vahapata on the island of Aitutaki in 1821. Pages 82-83 revisit this, describing a return to Aitutaki in 1823 and seem to describe Williams' discovery voyage to Rarotonga. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 23:56, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for the analysis. [1] says "The first official European sighting of Rarotonga was from the Endeavour in September/October 1813." It is not clear if this is the same ship as used by Williams or a different ship of the same name, and Williams is not named. I think at the very least we should remove the mention of Williams and replace it with Endeavour, and remove the reference to "Ten Decades".-gadfium 08:02, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
I have no expertise here. A recent edit which caught my eye sparked that googling. Googling further after seeing your comment, I see that Richard Phillip Gilson (1980), Cook Islands 1820-1950,, p. 4, ISBN 978-0-7055-0735-6  says that there's oral history saying that HMS Bounty provisioned off Rarotonga in 1789. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 00:49, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Our article on Williams is at John Williams (missionary).-gadfium 08:04, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

FYI Mauke[edit]

I deleted Mauke as a copyvio, so someone might want to create a proper article about the island.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 01:11, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Singular or plural?[edit]

The term "Cook Islands" is plural. The question is what to say about the country called "Cook Islands". The CIA Factbook uses the singular. I think that is sufficient evidence (and it's about all I could find easily) to use singular. (I had assumed plural was grammatically correct. Probably I was wrong.) But when referring to the islands (not the country), plural is indeed correct. Zaslav (talk) 22:33, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Off the top of my head, I would say that the Cook islands is a single country comprised of a number of geographically separate islands. The United States, similarly, is a single country comprised of a number of separate States, some of which are noncontiguous geographically and all of which have separate and partially self-governing state governments. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 02:54, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
"The United States are" was in use up until the late 19th century. As far as I'm aware, referring to a singular collective noun with 'plural words' (there's probably a proper name for these) has become very uncommon in American English and usage, but I've seen it used by others (albeit the singular is also used sometimes). If there is a 'correct' usage, it may be situational as Zaslav says. CMD (talk) 10:42, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

First sighting[edit]

The article states

"In 1813 John Williams, a missionary on the Endeavour (not the same ship as Cook's) made the first recorded sighting of Rarotonga"

This is said after mentioning Cook had called the islands the Hervey Islands and so forth. How can a first recorded sighting occur in 1813, forty years after cook, and years after sailors from Portugal and Spain?

Montalban (talk) 06:10, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

yes - there may be something astray here. However Rarotonga of course is only one of the Cook Islands, and it is quite possible Rarotonga was fist sighted as statedAndrewgprout (talk) 06:20, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

New Zealand citizens[edit]

Cook Islanders are full citizens of New Zealand. There is no separate status of citizens with Cook Islands nationality.Royalcourtier (talk) 02:13, 16 August 2015 (UTC).

As you know very well above the concept of NZ citizenship there is a concept of Cook's nationality, ie NZ citizens with the right to live in the Cook Islands. Talk pages are here to improve the article I'm unsure how your statement above seeks to do that.Andrewgprout (talk) 04:12, 16 August 2015 (UTC)


Gadfium I think that a detailed breakdown of the population's age in four year brackets for both 2006 and 2011 goes outside of the scope for this article. These are part of a series of edits that have added such information to every single country's demographics page (see User talk: pyramids). I also do not know how to verify the information is correct. Jolly Ω Janner 07:00, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

I don't have a problem with you removing the edit as being excessively detailed, but it certainly looks like a good faith constructive edit and I was able to verify the figures from 2011 using the source provided.-gadfium 07:08, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
I've converted the 2011 data into a graphic using {{Population pyramid}} and removed 2006 data all together. I think this should be good now (one small issue is that the template ends population data at 85+ and the UN ends it at 80+). Thanks for checking the ref. Jolly Ω Janner 07:34, 9 April 2016 (UTC)


According to GeoHive, the enumerated population of the Cooks for the 2011 census was 17,794 ( The population given on the website in the references appears to be the population of residents. Is there a WP policy on which is preferred? I couldn't find anything.

The OECD say "For census purposes, the total population of the country consists of all persons falling within the scope of the census. In the broadest sense, the total may comprise either all usual residents of the country or all persons present in the country at the time of the census.

"The total of all usual residents is generally referred to as the de jure population and the total of all persons present as the de facto population." ( Dan (talk) 17:18, 27 July 2016 (UTC)