Cook Islands

Cook Islands suspends travel bubble with New Zealand

Four community cases reported in New Zealand overnight, including an Auckland hospital worker, brings the total to five.

Cases are all linked to Tuesday's first case in Auckland, which is confirmed as the Delta variant.

"While the epidemiological variance and transmission link for the community case in New Zealand is still being investigated, we must act swiftly here to minimize exposure risk for the Cook Islands so we remain safe," said prime minister Brown.

Increase in Cook Islands men seeking therapy for domestic violence

The Cook Islands Women's Counselling Centre - Punanga Tauturu, are now helping more men than women and there's growing concern tane aren't getting help at the early stages and are instead going straight to court.

Punanga Tauturu has been working to eliminate violence against women for over 20 years.

The group's Co-ordinator Rebeka Buchanan said the lack of early abuse prevention to help Cook Island families break out of cycles of abuse was an issue.

Man with historical COVID-case arrested in Cook Islands

Currently on bail, he has been charged with making a false declaration on a travel document.

The case is considered historical, presenting a low risk to the public.

Health Secretary Bob Williams says the man arrived in Auckland from Egypt on 5 May, where he tested positive for the virus in managed isolation.

He tested negative before being released from quarantine after which he flew to the Cooks, where he tested positive on 5 June.

All his close contacts have tested negative.

Cook Islands detects first positive COVID-19 case

The alert level remains unchanged and the risk to public remains low, the government said.

The man who arrived in Auckland from Egypt on May 5, 2021, and tested positive on his Day 0 test when in managed isolation (MIQ) in Auckland, according to a statement issued by Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health.

The Health Ministry said the man was asymptomatic and his test was deemed a historic case. As of Saturday evening, he remains asymptomatic.

According to the Ministry, a historical case means such cases are no longer infectious.

Cooks MPs to get vaccination first as rollout set to begin

Mr Brown says with the support from New Zealand, they've managed to receive sufficient Pfizer vaccine to provide full coverage for the population.

All residents in the Cook Islands over the age of 16 years are eligible for vaccination.

New Zealand support includes technical advice, vaccine logistics planning and support and vaccinator workforce training. It also includes the supply of consumables such as syringes and the transportation of the vaccine.

New Zealand-Cook Islands travel bubble to start 17 May - PM Jacinda Ardern

Cabinet ministers have this afternoon signed off on a 17 May start date, pending final confirmation by New Zealand's Director-General of Health and the Cook Islands Secretary of Health.

It will be subject to final checks such as airline and airport preparedness.

New Zealand would be providing the Cook Islands with enough vaccine to immunise its population. That roll-out would also commence later this month but is not considered a pre-condition for the bubble.

Tourism industry calls for clarity on border reopening plans

In December, Cabinet agreed in principle to establish a travel bubble with Australia in the first three months of this year.

While the news was welcomed, those in the tourism industry said they needed to ensure there was enough time to get ready for an influx of overseas visitors.

The managing director of the Scenic Hotel Group, Brendan Taylor, said it would take two to three months for the airlines to ramp up, if the borders reopened.

He said operators needed time to prepare and ensure they have enough staff to cater for incoming guests.

Samoa edges Fiji in Tri Nations action

Fiji who lost the opener against Cook Islands 10-15 a week ago, led 16-13 at halftime against Samoa.

But the latter pushed hard and managed to pip the Fijians by a point. Samoa will play Cook Islands in the series decider this Friday.

     

Photo source Cook Islands News

New king crowned on Mangaia in the Cooks

Tangi Tereapii was installed Numangatini Ariki at a packed ceremony and feast at Te Maruata-Nui-o-Numangatini Marae.

The Cook Islands News reports the celebration was attended by the whole island, as well as dignitaries from Rarotonga, Aitutaki and Atiu.

A Mangaia resident, 77-year-old Allan Tuara, said it was one of the biggest investiture ceremonies he had witnessed.

For younger generations, he said, this would have been the biggest event of their lives, featuring many gifts, items and speeches from each puna as well as guests from Rarotonga and other islands.

Cook Islands closes border over re-emergence of Covid-19 in NZ

The Office of the Prime Minister said this came after concern over the re-emergence of Covid-19 in the Auckland community.

A review of the order is expected on 17 August, ahead of the next flight from Auckland to Rarotonga, scheduled to arrive in Rarotonga on 21 August.

The Cook Islands News reported the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration saying preventing Covid-19 from entering the county was a top priority for the government, and this was the appropriate response "while the source and extent of spread in New Zealand is being determined".