Here you can find a list of treaties the Cook Islands has signed. Please use the database below to search for the treaties. Click on the read more link to find out more about our Legal Division. Apostille Certificates are available for use in countries that have signed the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents.
Which documents require apostille certification?
Apostilles are only attached to public documents
1. A birth, marriage or death certificate issued in the Cook Islands: Send the document straight to us if it bears the round seal of the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. A document bearing the seal and signature of an approved government agency such as the Registrar of Ships, Registrar of International and Foreign Companies. Any other type of document: Do not send straight to us. All other documents such as contracts, references, powers of attorney, extracts from commercial registers and other registers; patents; court rulings; academic diplomas issued by public institutions will need to be notarized by a Notary Public in the Cook Islands before you send them to our office. The Notary Public will sign the document and affix his/her seal to it. Finally, the apostille is not attached to documents executed by diplomatic or consular agents nor to administrative documents dealing directly with commercial or customs operations (e.g., certificates of origin or import or export licenses).
How to obtain an apostille certificate?
The Ministry will legalise official public documents such as birth, death or marriage certificates and if your document is being used in any of the following countries:
If the country your document is being sent to is not on the list above, your document will have to be sent to the Cook Islands High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand for verification. The Cook Islands High Commission will send the document to a Notary Public before sending it to the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) who will sign and seal your document. The document will in turn be sent to the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to verify the signature and seal of the DIA. Finally, your document will then be forwarded to the diplomatic mission of the country for their verification. The Cook Islands High Commission will return the authenticated documents to you by your self-addressed envelope or prepaid (international) courier pack.
Contact the foreign overseas mission to enquire about fees plus arrangements for payment and return of documents.
The document to which the Apostille is to be attached. If there is more than one document you may need to check with the end-user whether the documents can be processed as a set or whether they must be treated separately. If they have been issued by different agencies they must be processed separately.
Payment – $20.00 per Apostille Certificate. Send your documents into us including a cheque or payment of $20 per document. Please also provide a note of any specific instructions for us (please indicate clearly where supporting papers belong when you submit more than one set of documents).
Return of documents – Outside New Zealand: Add $5.00 to your fee to cover airmail postage.
Then send everything to us.
If you are not sure what documents you need to legalise, you should contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration on telephone: (682) 29 347, Fax: (682) 21 247 or Email: [email protected] or the relevant diplomatic mission in New Zealand.
For further information on the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents please see http://www.hcch.net
What is legalisation?
Legalisation simply means confirming that a signature, seal or stamp appearing on a document is genuine.
Why documents need to be legalised?
The signatures or seals of Cook Islands public officials (such as solicitors, notaries public, registrars) on certain public documents from the Cook Islands have to
be confirmed before those documents can be accepted overseas.
For example, if you want to get married or start working overseas, several documents (such as your birth certificate or academic qualifications) may need to be ‘legalised’. To legalise a document we attach an apostille to it. The fee for legalisation is NZ$20.00.
You will need an Apostille Certificate if your document is being used in any of the following countries: