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An exclusive summary by the website author who is a former BBC TV and radio journalist
The following  - unless otherwise credited - is a summary of the latest stories from  Cook Islands News,  the daily newspaper of the Cook Islands which is published Monday to Saturday inclusive.

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Its web site www.cookislandsnews.com is now updated daily.  The summary is published with the permission of the copyright owners Cook Islands News Ltd.     Click on any underlined headlines for the full story on the newpaper's own website.   Photos unless otherwise credited are copyright Cook Islands News
This update: 6th December, 2016
MORE FROM THE PAGES OF 'COOK ISLANDS NEWS'
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All of the 1.8 million square kilometres of Cook Islands territorial waters are set to become the world's largest protected marine park.  The Marae Moana, as it's known locally, was originally only going to cover the southern part of the waters.  But after two years of consultation, the government has decided it will extend across the whole of the country's Exclusive Economic Zone. A law is now being drafted to put it in place.   Prime Minister, Henry Puna is hoping the project will get a grant of NZ$7-10 million towards set up.  The plan is to deliver a scheme which supports sustainable economic growth, food security, livelihoods, cultural traditions and biodiversity conservation. 

Surfacing whale
Takutea reef
WONDERFUL WATERS:
The waters around the islands atrract migrating whales.  And pristine reefs such as this one off Takutea are among the most stunning in the region.

Mauke's new king
A new king has been invested on Mauke.  Anthony James Turaki has been crowned Te Au Ariki, succeeding his father who died in 2012.   The Queen's Representative Tom Marsters representatives from the House of Ariki, and various MPs joined representatives from Cook Islands communities in Australia and New Zealand and islanders from Atiu and Mitiaro for the very special and rare event.  Right:  A feast fit for a king

Atiu airport
Work has finally begun to upgrade the airport runway on Atiu.  More than 10,000 cubic metres of rock has been blasted at a quarry near the airport and will now be crushed to improve the 1100 metre coral strip.   Work is expected to take several months, and once complete, the government will seal the runway.  The local MP hopes that it will mean that more tourists can visit the island and so boost the local economy.   Left: Atiu airport (author's photo)

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Opposition MPs are preparing to make their case in the High Court over the validity of a vote in June of no confidence in the government and a call for a general election.   The Islands' Chief Justice and two other judges will hear the application on 5th and 6th December.  The MPs are also looking for a ruling that a "lockdown" of Parliament on 21 June was unlawful.
Traditonal leaders were barred from a government meeting with European Union representatives and a Spanish factory ship organisation about large scale tuna fishing in Cook Islands waters using a controversial method called purse seigning.  The Aronga Mana of Rarotonga wanted to tell the representatives they were not welcome in the Islands.  But the Acting Marine Resources Minister, Mark Brown didn't want them facing the anger and speeches of condemnation from the leaders who were in traditional costume complete with spears.  The MMR secretary said they were offered an alternative meeting, which was turned down.  The Ipukarea Society - a local environmental pressure group - said the treatment of the leaders was disrespectful. 
Steven Kavana performs a traditional challenge at the start of the meeting
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The survival of Muri lagoon on Rarotonga (left) is under threat from pollution, according to a marine science expert from New Zealand.  Consultant, Dr Charles Walters is claiming that if action isn't taken soon, the lagoon could be dead within two years.  His concerns stem from checks on the water quality which is being affected by nutrients from septic tanks in particular. Dr Walters was brought in by the government because of increasing levels of algae in the lagoon which is killing off the coral.  He's also concerned about Aitutaki's lagoon which he says is "approaching a tipping point".        
Muri lagoon from the air
The Little Polynesian
The 14 unit LIttle Polynesian Resort on Rarotonga has been bought by the Pacific Resort Group which owns four other properties on the capital island and Aitutaki.  The resort was built in 1974 and it's understood it was in debt ot the bank for about NZ$4 million.  PRHG's chief executive, Greg Stanaway said the iconic brand would be retained and his group wanted to further enhance the reputation of the resort which has won two World Travel Awards.   Photo: Little Polynesian's own