I saw a Cook Islands tourism ad, and the English spoken there seemed very similar to New Zealand English. For example, the accent, and the use of "bro". (The sense of humour is also very similar to that of New Zealand, such as John Clarke's). This wouldn't be surprising, as the Cook Islands are in free association with New Zealand.

However, Paradise or Gloucester? The Pacific islanders who all speak with a West Country accent on Daily Mail Australia (not the most reliable source, I know), cites a researcher who associates the accent with the West Country in the UK, and apparently has no mention of New Zealand English. (I assume that if New Zealand English is also influenced by that of the West Country, it'd have been mentioned)

Is the English spoken in the Cook Islands similar to New Zealand English?

Searching for "Cook Islands English" mainly gave matches unrelated to the concept of the version of English spoken in the Cook Islands.

  • The researcher refers to the accent of 63 people living on one small island, it doesn't appear to be representative of the entire Cook Islands. Jun 25 '17 at 6:48

The following extract suggests that the variety of English they speak may be close to the NZ one:

  • For a number of reasons the newly emerging varieties of English that can be found in Samoa, Fiji and the Cook Islands are likely to develop common traits. They are all non‐native varieties of English used in everyday life in a postcolonial society. The local native languages Samoan, Fijian and Cook Island Maori are genetically related as they all belong to the Oceanic language family. In addition, the geographical closeness of New Zealand as well as its impact on politics, education and the economy in the three countries makes it possible that New Zealand English (NZE) will become the new model for a national standard for these new varieties instead of American or British English.

(South Pacific Englishes – the influence of New Zealand English and the Oceanic substrate languages - Carolin Biewer University of Heidelberg)

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