Story: Cook Islanders

Phosphate mine, Makatea Island

Phosphate mine, Makatea Island

Cook Islanders were keen to earn money, and many signed up for one-year contracts on Makatea Island in French Polynesia during the Second World War. While pay rates were low, they were higher than people could earn on their home islands. Young people working on Makatea would often save their wages to buy a one-way ticket to New Zealand.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: 1/4-021470; F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Cook Islanders - Migration', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 April 2024)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 1 Mar 2015