The Cook Islands dollar is the official currency of the Cook Islands (alongside the New Zealand dollar). The official currency symbol: $/c.
The Cook Islands dollar was established in 1987 and was pegged to the New Zealand dollar, which was still legal tender, with every Cook Islands dollar backed by a New Zealand dollar. The government introduced bills in denominations of $ 3, 10, and 20, followed by $ 50 bills in 1992.
The Currency Reserves Amendment Act of 1989 amended the required backing of Cook Islands dollars to 50% of the face value of the currency in circulation and 2% of the face value of the non-circulating currency. That fact caused an imbalance in NZ dollar support values, causing the rate of foreign exchange issuance and government budget deficits to rise to such an extent that the national debt was almost twice the annual GDP. In addition, commercial banks refused to convert the currency to New Zealand dollars, leading to capital flight and an economic crisis. The difficult financial situation led the government to reuse the New Zealand dollar as the country’s currency in April 1995. Cook Islands dollar bills other than $ 3 bills were no longer legal tender and were exchanged for New Zealand currency. In 2021, the Cook Islands Ministry of Finance and Economic Management announces that it will issue a new $ 3 note.
The 3 Cook Islands commemorative dollar note front design represents the Legend of Ina and the Cook Islands shark, a maiden who asked a shark to take her to a neighboring island to see Tinirau (God of the Ocean).
The reverse of the note illustrates a fishing canoe and the wood-carved figure of the God of Te-Rongo. The lettering of the note is presented in the English and Maori language. This note is part of the 1992 commemorative series: ‘’6th Festival of Pacific Arts”. Its color is green and multicolor.
Text: Cook Islands, Three Dollars, Ko Teia Kura E Kura Akamana Ia I Raro Ake I Te Ture Moni E $3 Toru Tara. 6th Festival of Pacific Arts – Rarotonga, Cook Islands – October 16-27, 1992.