The National Day of Cook Islands is on the 4 August (Self-government in free association with New Zealand 1965). The date celebrates the day in 1965 when the Cook Islands became a self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand.
National Day of Cook Islands
The self government process of Cook Islands began in the 1950s. The people on Cook Island started to demand more autonomy to manage their own affairs. In response to these demands, the New Zealand government began a process of constitutional reform that would give the Cook Islands greater self-governance.
Then as you will note in 1965, the Cook Islands Constitution Act was passed by the New Zealand Parliament. this established the Cook Island as a self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand. This meant that the Cook Islands would have its own government and parliament, but that New Zealand would continue to provide financial and other support.
The first elections for the Cook Islands government were held in 1965, and the new government was sworn in on August 4th of that year. Since then, August 4th has been celebrated as the Cook Islands’ National Day, marking the country’s transition to self-governance. See also the National Day of Japan and the National Day of China.
In recent years, there has been some debate in the Cook Islands over the question of whether to pursue full independence from New Zealand. However, the Cook Islands government has thus far opted to maintain its current status as a self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand.
Public Holidays in the Cook Islands
The Cook Islands has several public holidays throughout the year. These include:
- New Year’s Day – January 1st
- Day after New Year’s Day – January 2nd
- National Gospel Day – the first Monday in February
- Good Friday – the Friday before Easter Sunday
- Easter Monday – the Monday after Easter Sunday
- ANZAC Day – April 25th
- Queen’s Birthday – the first Monday in June
- Constitution Day – August 4th
- Gospel Day – October 26th
- Christmas Day – December 25th
- Boxing Day – December 26th
Note that some of these holidays may be observed on a different date if they fall on a weekend. See also the National Day of New Zealand as well as the National Day of East Timor.