17 May 2004

Cooks fishing deal fails

2:51 pm on 17 May 2004

Negotiations between the Cook Islands Government and a local fishing company seeking major investment have failed.

The Government was said to have been considering investing nearly one million US dollars in Cook Islands Fish Exports after two New Zealand shareholders withdrew their investments.

But the remaining shareholder in the company, local businessman Brett Porter, claims that dealing with the Government was too difficult.

"We withdrew from those negotiations, it's all just too hard, politically for them and for us, and we decided to explore other avenues."

Mr Porter, who owns a 50 per cent shareholding in the company, says he is now talking to an overseas group about a partnership, but he declined to name the parties involved.

He says Cook Islands Fish Exports is still operating successfully but wants to broaden its capital base.