31 May 2002

Britain denies Pitcairn tourism project approval already given

6:52 am on 31 May 2002

The British High Commission in Wellington has rejected a newspaper report saying Britain has granted a New Zealand company the go-ahead for a tourism development in Pitcairn Islands.

The Dominion newspaper says Wellington-based Wellesley Pacific has been given approval to develop its tourism plan.

The company director Wayne Coffey is quoted saying the development will begin within the next 12 months.

He says it will involve a lodge on Pitcairn, with a floating hotel to be anchored in the lagoon of uninhabited Oeno island.

Eventually the company wants to develop what it calls a six-star hotel on Oeno.

However a spokesman for the British High Commission says approval for any development is yet to be given.

He says the company has been told it can submit proposals.

The spokesman adds that the Pitcairn Island council is also yet to approve any development.