Cook Islands: Country and Foreign Investment
The Cook Islands are a self governing parliamentary democracy. The Islands have a prime minister, a cabinet, and a legislative assembly whose 25 members are elected every 5 years, most recently in November, 2010. Additionally the traditional tribal chiefs( the "Ariki") have their own house of representatives where they consider matters submitted by the legislative assembly.
The seat of Government is at Avarua, the capital town located on the Island of Raratonga. The Queen of England is the head of state in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand and New Zealand has a High Commissioner on the Islands. The Prime Minister is Henry Puna (since 30 November 2010); The Deputy Prime Minister is Tom Marsterss (since 2 December 2010).
The legal system is based on English common law and equity. Since 1965 the Islands parliament is sovereign, meaning that it must approve and pass all new laws. The superior court of record is the High Court of the Cook Islands. From there appeal lies to the Court of Appeal and thereafter to the Privy Council in England. Legal services are provided by local and New Zealand lawyers.