Money and duty free for Cook Islands
Currency and Money
New Zealand Dollar (NZD; symbol NZ$) = 100 cents, supplemented by notes and coins minted for local use which are not negotiable outside the Cook Islands. Notes are in denominations of NZ$100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of NZ$2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10 and 5 cents.
American Express, Diners Club, Mastercard and Visa are all accepted.
Accepted in hotels and some shops; NZ$ recommended as some outer island banks won't change US$.
Mon-Thurs 0900-1500, Fri 0900-1600. GlobalEX Western Union is the only bank open Sat. 0830-1200 and gives a better rate than the banks without commission.
There are no restrictions on the import of local or foreign currency. Local currency can be exported up to NZ$250. Foreign currency can be exported up to the amount imported and declared.
Exchange facilities are available at the airport, banks and in some larger stores and hotels. EFTPOS and ATM machines are available at both ANZ and Westpac banks on Rarotonga and Aitutaki, and also major stores and restaurants. ANZ charges a much higher commission than Westpac. At the banks, traveller's cheques attract an exchange rate around 3% higher than cash.
Cook Islands duty free
The following goods may be imported into the Cook Islands by travellers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 1kg of tobacco or 50 cigars.
• 2L of wine or spirits or 4.5L of beer.
• Goods to the value of NZ$250.
Prohibited imports include illicit drugs, pornography, and copyright- or trademark-infringing materials.
Restricted imports include firearms and ammunition, and fireworks and related goods. Goods listed under the CITES treaty for endangered species must be accompanied by a permit from the National Environment Service.