Duncan Garner: I have no idea why the Cook Islands travel bubble has taken this long

OPINION: To the Cook Islands we go.

The bubble is on - May 17 is the date, freshly announced by the Government just over 12 hours ago.

Yet remarkably Air New Zealand has been selling tickets for weeks - just like they did before the Australia bubble was announced.

Air NZ is not just an airline, it clearly deals in crystal ball gazing too - and they have been busy filling planes.

This is one mid-winter bubble we want to be part of and boy are the Cook Islands desperate to see us and relieve us of our wallets.

They have been without tourists since March 2020. For an island that survives on tourism, the impact has been devastating.

I can't think of a better place to visit and a better place to support than our friends in the Cooks. I have no idea why it's taken this long.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has tried to explain to us that we didn't want to give them COVID-19.


We don't have COVID-19 - that's what we're so proud of, right?

So how can we give it to them?

I suspect we wanted our tourism sector to benefit from domestic travellers first before we embark on a mass exodus to the Cooks - which looks like it's happening.

Flights on the first week are almost sold out - a few seats are left on the Tuesday and Saturday at $270 one way.

A week later flights are available to return to New Zealand on the Monday only; $343. The rest of the week is chocker.

We are saying Kia Orana to the Cook Islands bubble and in the unfortunate event of a lockdown Ardern wants to bring us all home - good luck finding everyone.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.