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Cook Islands


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A group of fifteen fertile Polynesian islands discovered by Captain Cook in 1773. Owing to pressure from the New Zealand government they were declared a British protectorate in 1888, and were handed over to be annexed by New Zealand in 1901. During and after World War II, resistance against New Zealand rule mounted, within the islands and from the international community through the UN. They were granted internal self‐government in 1965. Until 1978 they were governed by Albert Henry, who was found guilty in 1979 of bribery, nepotism, corruption, and misuse of public funds. He was succeeded as leader of the New Cook Islands Party (CIP) by his cousin, Geoffrey Henry, who was confirmed in office in 1994. In 1999, however, the CIP suffered a heavy electoral defeat at the hands of Terepai Maoate of the Democratic Alliance Party, which formed a coalition with the New Alliance Party. The Democratic Alliance Party won the 2004 elections, but split thereafter, with the Demo Tumu Party emerging under Jim Marurai, who became Premier.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).


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