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Cook Islands

Cook Islands
General information
Common nameCook Islands
Local nameKūki 'Āirani
NameKūki 'Āirani
AnthemTe Atua Mou E
God is Truth
Largest citycapital
Official languagesEnglish
Cook Islands Māori
Ethnic groups87.7% Māori, 5.8% part Māori, 6.5% other
DemonymCook Islander
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
Head of StateQueen Elizabeth II
Queen's Representative
Sir Frederick Tutu Goodwin
Prime MinisterHenry Puna
Associated stateAssociated state
Self-government in free association with New Zealand4 August 1965
Independence in foreign relations recognized by the UN1992
Total Area91 sq mi (235.7 km2) (210th)
Population census19569 (213th) (2006)
Density (pop.)76/km2 (124th) (197/sq mi)
GDP PPP$183.2 million (2005) (not ranked)
GDP (PPP) per capita$9,100 (not ranked)
Other information
CurrencyNew Zealand dollar
(Cook Islands dollar also used) (NZD)
Drives on theleft
Calling code682

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The Cook Islands -enˈkʊk ˈaɪləndzen-us-Cook Islands.ogg (Cook Islands Māori: Kūki 'Āirani ) is a self-governing parliamentary democracy in free association with New Zealand. The fifteen small islands in this South Pacific Oceancountry have a total land area of 240 km2 (92.7 sqmi), but the Cook Islands Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers 1800000 km2 (694983.9 sqmi) of ocean.

The main population centres are on the island of Rarotonga (14,153 as of 2006), where there is an international airport. There is also a much larger population of Cook Islanders in New Zealand, particularly the North Island. In the 2006 census, 58,008 self-identified as being of ethnic Cook Island Māori descent.

With over 90,000 visitors travelling to the islands in 2006, tourism is the country's main industry, and the leading element of the economy, far ahead of offshore banking, pearls, marine and fruit exports.

Defence and foreign affairs are the responsibility of New Zealand, in consultation with the Cook Islands. In recent times, the Cook Islands have adopted an increasingly independent foreign policy. Although Cook Islanders are citizens of New Zealand, they have the status of Cook Islands nationals, which is not given to all New Zealand citizens.

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