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NEWS Cook Islands News :: Fund launched for cyclone damaged houses Up to $200,000 will be available to assist families whose homes suffered damage during the recent cyclones. :: Conflict of interest in CIIC payment - audit The Audit Office has highlighted a number of serious anomalies in the way a particular transaction was made, which involved the former chairman of the Cook Islands Investment Corporation board. :: Endeavour stops off at Avatiu Hundreds of residents queued yesterday to explore on board the Endeavour, a replica of one of Captain Cook's famous ships, which was anchored at Avatiu harbour. :: Vaka council nominations open today With the Rarotonga vaka council elections being held on 7 April, election administrator John Henry says people are encouraged to register to be an elector even if they don't plan on voting. :: New Sunday afternoon Air NZ flight this month Air New Zealand's new schedule will start at the end of the month, with 16 flights expected to fly into Rarotonga each week in the period up to September. :: Commonwealth Day today Millions of people around the world will be celebrating Commonwealth Day this week. While some would have celebrated yesterday, we in the Cook Islands will mark the day today, Monday 14 March. :: Concrete work goes into church roof Work continues on the roof of the Titikaveka CICC church as part of the ongoing renovations to the building which dates back to the mid-1800s. :: Pukapuka/Nassau at centre of debate The deputy prime minister and finance minister Sir Geoffrey Henry, and the leader of the opposition Dr Terepai Maoate, were at each other's throats over the Pukapuka issue in parliament last Friday morning. Dr Maoate said he believed that disaster management minister Peri Vaevae Pare - who is currently overseas - has overlooked the urgency of the needs of Pukapuka and Nassau, and that $480,000 appropriated for cyclone relief to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management has already been spent on Rarotonga.

Cook Islands News is updated Wednesdays, Cook Islands time.