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As New Zealand prepares to honour the sacrifice of a handful of Cook Islands soldiers who died of the injuries and illnesses incurred in World War I, a group of volunteer researchers are quietly headed for Aitutaki to find more forgotten graves. Cameron Scott and Jonathan Milne report.
The jewel in the northern crown, Manihiki is determined to rebuild its once-thriving pearl farming industry in the face of global competition, falling prices and diminishing supply.
Bat connoisseurs love the pungent smell of the flying rodent, but their traditional hunting season is under challenge from environmentalists concerned the South Pacific fruit bat is now seriously endangered.
They say Mangaia is the oldest island in the Pacific at 18 million years. But with no doctors, its schools closing and its population dropping like a rock, the stoic remaining islanders are seeking bold new solutions. Photographer Fe’ena Syme Buchanan spent time documenting their lives for a successful New Zealand exhibition.
As a doctor, Wolfgang Losacker knew he was needed here in the islands. The young man gave up his German practice as an internist in order to work as a volunteer at the Rarotonga Hospital.
You wouldn’t know it from looking at the half dozen boats moored up at Avatiu port, but 654 vessels are flying the Cook Islands flag around the world.