Cook’s Petrel Pterodroma cookii is an endemic New Zealand seabird that has experienced a large range decline since the arrival of humans and now only breeds on two offshore islands (Te Hauturu-o-Toi/Little Barrier Island and Whenua Hou/Codfish Island) at the extreme ends of its former distribution. Morphological, behavioural, and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1 (CO1) sequence data led a previous study to recognise the two extant populations as distinct conservation management units. Here, we further examine the genetic relationship between the extant populations using two nuclear introns (β-fibint7 and PAX). Using one mitochondrial locus (CO1), we also investigate the past distribution of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that differentiates the modern populations using bone and museum skins sourced from within its former range across New Zealand’s North and South Islands. We found significant population genetic structure between the two extant Cook’s Petrel populations for one of the two nuclear introns (β-fibint7). The mitochondrial DNA CO1 analysis indicated that the SNP variant found in the Codfish Island population was formerly widely distributed across both the North and South Islands, whereas the Little Barrier Island variant was detected only in North Island samples. We argue that these combined data support the recognition of the extant populations as different subspecies. Previous names for these taxa exist, thus Cook’s Petrel from Little Barrier Island becomes Pterodroma cookii cookii and Cook’s Petrel from Codfish Island becomes P. c. orientalis. Furthermore, we suggest that both genetic and non-genetic data should be taken into consideration when planning future mainland translocations. Namely, any translocations on the South Island should be sourced from Codfish Island and future translocations on the North Island should continue to be sourced from Little Barrier Island only.