The Cook Islands / Kuki Airani are an independent country in free association with NZ like Niue.
There are 15 small islands. The population is about 20,000, of whom 14,000 are on Rarotonga island. There are at least 58,000 Cook Islanders in NZ. The local language is Cook Islands Maori.
It was represented at the 2000 and 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
The islands were settled from Tahiti in the 700s.