FAQ’s  :  Frequently Asked Questions

 how to go about relocating the Cook Islands, Rarotonga




… or the outer islands of Aitutaki, Atiu or elsewhere. It can be very daunting and a search on the net may only reveal scant information.
 
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My name is Carey Winterflood, originally from Sydney Australia. I began visiting Rarotonga in the South Pacific back in the mid 1990’s and have now lived, worked and run businesses here on Rarotonga since moving here permanently in the year 2000.  During these last 20 plus years it has been a huge learning curve. The land laws are quite different from that in New Zealand and Australia and from the rest of the world in fact. Land on Rarotonga and most of the outer islands are LEASEHOLD land. It took a while to find the benefits of Leasehold occupation (as opposed to Freehold) but 20 years into the lifestyle here, I can see the benefits and there are many.

 The most common question that I get from those who are on vacation is, “how can I come and live here”? They recognise instantly that I am not of Cook Islands blood lines and so they feel comfortable to ask me upfront.

 Next question being "Can anyone obtain land or buy a business here in the Cook Islands?" Well the Short answer is Yes, they can.

The longer answers is, ’that there are a few hurdles to jump through on this journey’.

Firstly, let me assure you that anyone can apply to buy a business here, and once approved, they can obtain the necessary permits and stamps in their passports to come and live here – like I did.

 
HOWEVER, as Non Cook Islanders we cannot simple come in and buy residential land or a residential home as OUR INITIAL WAY of entry.

 
The LEASEHOLD situation; The land that any home or business sits upon is always owned by the respective Cook Islands families. A Non Cook Islander, has the ability to, obtain a lease from the ' landowner(s). and can have this leased land 're-assigned' from the current owner. This is the way that you can have ownership of this land for the remainder of that lease period

I have a complete section titled FAQ's, that covers this and more including an outline and a  Road Map

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