24 Oct 2007

Cooks uses website to curb exploiting by foreign researchers

5:08 pm on 24 October 2007

The Cook Islands is using a website as part of ongoing efforts to crack down on foreign researchers who may be exploiting the country's resources.

The site, partially funded by New Zealand's Health Research Council and launched earlier this year, will include an application form for researchers to fill out stating their intentions.

The council's manager of Pacific Health Research, Ngamau Wichman-Tou, says in the past a lot of data, from artefacts to blood samples, have been collected from the Cooks and not returned.

She says the new website will help keep track of who is in the country doing what.

"In many ways, for the Cook Islands, they've been exploited so much that they've just had enough of people whizzing in, getting all their knowledge, taking it away, and nothing's given back to the people themselves."

Ngamau Wichman-Tou says traditional and religious leaders now have a greater understanding of the benefits of research.

The website address is research.gov.ck