The Cook Islands is a self-governing island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. It comprises 15 islands whose total land area is 240 square kilometres (93 sq mi). New Zealand is responsible for the Cook Islands' defence and foreign affairs, but these responsibilities are exercised in consultation with the Cook Islands. In recent times, the Cook Islands have adopted an increasingly independent foreign policy. Cook Islanders are citizens of New Zealand, but they also have the status of Cook Islands nationals. The Cook Islands' main population centres are on the island of Rarotonga. Tourism is the country's main industry, and the leading element of the economy, ahead of offshore banking, pearls, and marine and fruit exports.