8 Feb 2008

Cook Islands suggests joint venture shipping service with Samoa for outer islands

3:15 pm on 8 February 2008

The Cook Islands is looking into the possibility of establishing a joint shipping venture with Samoa and possibly Niue to service its outer islands.

This comes as the previous ship servicing the outer islands, owned by Taio shipping, is stranded, and the Cooks Government is looking at ways to re-introduce the full service.

The Government announced earlier it would make two million dollars available and plans to send a team, including the owner of Taio Shipping, to Norway to buy a ship there.

But a spokesperson for the Cooks' Deputy Prime Minister, Florence Syme-Buchanan, says it is also exploring other options.

"The minister of shipping has asked a specially established shipping committee to look into the possibility of a joint shipping venture with Samoa, possibility of jointly purchasing a vessel with Samoa, explore this in some detail and report back to them as quickly as possible."

Florence Syme-Buchanan