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 dollar note front design features the map of Aitutaki followed by a seashell which its shape is similar to that of an island, people performing traditional dance, drummers, a sketch of the Manuae atoll, a blue Lorikeet sitting on a branch of a banana and a coral reef showing a pennant coralfish, a manini convict tang, and a Napoleon wrasse.
The reverse of the note illustrates a Christian church Avarua (Capital city), in which people are leaving the eucharistic, followed by an ornamental design of seashells and Tahiti gardenias flowers. The lettering of the note is presented in the English and Maori language. This note is part of the 1992 series, and its color is lilac and green on a multicolor underprint.
Text: COOK ISLANDS AITUTAKI THREE DOLLARS, THREE DOLLARS COOK ISLANDS KO TEIA KURA E KURA AKAMANA IA I RARO AKE I TE TURE MONI E $3 TORU TARA THREE DOLLARS.