Australian High Commission
Cook Islands

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The health and safety of Australians overseas is our highest priority. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our ability to provide some services may be limited. We will continue to prioritise consular services to those in need. If you require urgent assistance, please contact our Consular Emergency Centre, Canberra (Australia): +61 2 6261 3305.

 

Australian High Commission in Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Kia Orana and welcome to the official website of the Australian High Commission in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

Australia has had diplomatic relations with Cook Islands since 1994, but our shared heritage is much older. Australians and Cook Islanders served side by side in both World Wars and in the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.  We have deep ties founded in shared membership of international organisations, a large diaspora in Australia (more than 22,000 Cook Islanders call Australia home) and a shared belief in democracy and the rule of law.

Our High Commissioner is Dr Christopher Watkins. He delivered his letter of introduction to Prime Minister Henry Puna on 17 March 2020, and became Australia's first resident High Commissioner to Cook Islands. 

Dr Watkins is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He has previously served overseas at the Australian Embassy in Iraq and at the Australian High Commission in Nigeria. In Canberra, he has served as senior analyst at the Office of National Assessments and as Acting Director of the Papua New Guinea Political Section. In 2015 he was deployed to Ghana as part of Australia's response to the Ebola crisis. In 2016 he was made an AILA International Fellow of the Washington based Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

Dr Watkins holds a Doctorate in Modern History and a Masters in Historical Research from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom; and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Melbourne.

 

Travel advice

Need information on visiting Rarotonga? Read the following:

Smartraveller

Smartraveller has the latest, authoritative travel advice so you can be informed and prepared about overseas travel. Subscribe to receive travel advice updates - by simply supplying your name and email address – straight to your inbox.

You can now also subscribe to the new SMS service - by supplying your mobile number – to receive critical alerts in the event of a crisis overseas.

In a crisis, Smartraveller will activate a crisis page on its website. It will make it easier for you or someone you know to contact the Australian Government if you need help. It will supplement the consular emergency hotline.

Visit www.smartraveller.gov.au to subscribe or connect with Smartraveller on Facebook and Twitter.

If you need immediate assistance, you can call the Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas or 1300 555 135 from within Australia.

 

Passports

Has your passport been lost or stolen in Cook Islands?

  • Report the loss or theft online
  • Call the Australian Passport Information Service on 131 232 from within Australia.
  • Seek more information on the Australian Passports Office website.
  • In an emergency the Australian High Commission in Rarotonga may be able to assist in providing a Provisional Travel Document.

Applying for a passport?

  • The Australian High Commission in Rarotonga does not issue or renew passports. Passports can be renewed at our consulate in Auckland. From time to time, we organise a passports team to visit Rarotonga, if you would like to register for a passport interview during that visit, please get in touch at [email protected] 
  • For general information on applying for a passport or renewing your current or expired passport, visit www.passports.gov.au
  • Passport fees for 2020 are listed here.

 

Notarial Services

The Australian High Commission in Rarotonga does not provide notarial services. 

Australian Passport Offices in Sydney or Melbourne can legalise (Apostille/Authenticate) some Australian documents and can issue Certificates of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI). Information on how to request these services via mail can be found in the ‘Documents in Australia’ section on the Smartraveller website https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/consular-services/notarial-services. From time to time, visiting staff may be able to assist with notarial acts, if you would like more information please get in touch at [email protected] 

 

Living in Australia

 

Australia-Cook Islands Community Grants Program 2021

The Australian High Commission’s Community Grants Program is now open.

The Australia-Cook Islands Community Grants Program is a flexible, small grants program funded by the Australian Government, available to non-government organisations and community groups to respond to community priorities. It is not suitable for private businesses.

The Community Grants Program will fund projects that have a direct, practical and immediate impact, and we encourage applications with a focus on community and/or rural development, education, gender equality, health and disability, sport, youth, human rights, the environment, small scale infrastructure, economic empowerment or agriculture.

The maximum grant amount is NZD 15,000 per year, per applicant. There is no minimum grant amount, but we encourage applications of between NZD 5,000 and 10,000.

For more information please see the Australia – Cook Islands Community Grants Program guidelines.

The round will open on 1 September 2021 and will close for applications on 10 October 2021.

To apply please visit the Community Grants website.

 

Job vacancies

The High Commission welcomes expressions of interest from enthusiastic and suitably qualified Cook Islands residents who have an interest in future employment opportunities with the Australian High Commission. 

Current vacancies are listed here: https://cookislands.highcommission.gov.au/rtga/Vacancies.html

Expressions of interest will be added to a temporary employment register which we can draw on for short term appointments as required.

 

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